Hard Act to Swallow–Sword Swallower Dan Meyer

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The Tennessee Renaissance Festival featured something a little different on Saturday when sword swallower Dan Meyer performed a portion of his program for the amazed crowd that gathered to watch him.
After working in the music industry for several years in Nashville, Tennessee, Stockholm Sweden, and London England, Dan Meyer shifted his focus from the field of musical entertainment to variety entertainment as circus clown, juggler, stilt-walker, fire-eater, and ultimately the most dangerous of all sideshow acts – sword swallower.
“I saw my first sword swallowers and fire-eaters at circus sideshows with my dad when I was growing up as a child in Indiana in the 1960s,” says Dan. “Like most others in the audience, I was very skeptical, and I remember thinking, ‘There’s NO way that guy really swallowed a sword for the measly 50 cents we paid to get in this sideshow!’
“Later, when I was living as a short-term missionary, I encountered Indian fakirs, snake charmers, fire-eaters and sword swallowers performing as “golewala” street performers on the streets of India where sword swallowing first originated 4000 years ago. These guys did not have any fancy props, and since I could stand just a few feet away from them, I could see first-hand that they really DID swallow their homemade swords. That convinced me that sword swallowing really was real.”

In 1998 after hearing from a sword swallower that there were “less than a dozen sword swallowers left around the world” Dan began his quest to locate as many of the surviving sword swallowers as possible while mastering the 4,000-year-old art.
“After three years of research, study, and daily practice 10-12 times/day, I finally swallowed my first sword successfully in February 2001.”
Dan also made contact with other sword swallowers around the world and networked them into the Sword Swallowers Association International (SSAI). Described as a “Christian David Copperfield” who combines real feats with a powerful message instead of just tricks and illusions, Dan eats fire and swallows solid steel swords, blades, sabers, bayonets, rapiers, cutlasses, and other pointed objects from 15 to 30 inches in length, and up to 8 swords at once! As the only Christian sword swallower and fire-eater in the world, Dan uses his extreme form of cutting edge “innertainment” as a way of drawing crowds and touching youth and adults in a profound way that other ministries might not otherwise be able to reach.
Dan performs extreme feats such as fire-eating, the human blockhead, and the ancient art of sword swallowing in a professional family-oriented stage show that is educational, inspirational, motivational and unforgettable with just the right touch of comedy. Once Dan has captured the audience’s undivided attention with his extreme form of “innertainment”, he then presents the Gospel message clearly and effectively to the kids and adults alike.
“My Christian program starts out with fire-eating, the “Human Blockhead”, a light comedic segment that kids love (where I drive nails, spikes, ice picks, and live drills up my nose), and finally sword swallowing. I use several Christian themes in my show, from unbelief-to-belief to swallowing one’s pride, to swallowing the Sword of the Spirit.”
“My extreme ministry allows me to reach a wide audience and touch folks across a wide spectrum that other ministries might not be able to reach, from church youth to Goth rockers to bikers. I like to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable by performing real feats people think are impossible in order to prove how awesome God made the human body. I also like to remind audiences that God made everyone unique and everyone has their own unique gifts. I like to use my unique ministry to let audiences know that it’s ok to be unique and stand for what you believe in, whatever your calling is!”
You can catch Dan appearing on ESPN next week, at the Grand Opening of Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum Times Square, and several other upcoming programs as well as at next year’s Renaissance Festival.


Related Articles & Links:
Nashville News: Dan Meyer
22nd Tennessee Renaissance Festival Family Weekend
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