“My grandmother bought me a magic kit when I was 7. By the time I was a teenager, I was making money doing magic in the San Francisco area,” says Victor Kent of Berea, a Blue Grass Energy consumer-member.
He met his wife, Mami, in college, and they soon married, moving to her native Japan and performing magic shows for several years before returning to California.
“As the seven kids were being born, they wanted to be part of the show,” says Kent.
Then the kids learned acts from other performers—juggling, walking the tight rope, flying on the trapeze, fire juggling, fire eating—and Kent picked up side show stunts.
“We do a traditional, old-fashioned circus with vaudeville-type comedy,” he says.
The oldest, James “Juggling Jim” and Cynthia are now on their own and no longer performing as part of the circus.
“Miles is a bull whipper and lassos—he does as a cowboy act—and juggles. Titus, who is disabled, does magic and Mami juggles,” Kent says. “Victor Jr. juggles, does the bull whip, throws knives, lays on a bed of nails and has a flaming brick broken on his belly. Amelia, performs on aerial silk and hula hoops 60 hoops and a fire hoop.”
The youngest, Olivia, 15, performs trapeze and barehanded fire juggling. She balances bowling balls on pins, ladders and items like a grill on her face, as shown above, with dad, Victor, setting it on fire.
The family’s two poodles, dove, rabbit and tortoise are show favorites, as are the human “Robot Rangers” that mingle with the crowd.
The Kents travel the country performing circus shows or individual acts at fairs, festivals, schools and corporate events.
Moving here six years ago, Kent says, “We chose Kentucky. We could have moved anywhere in the country. It’s perfect. It’s a friendly, down-home place to raise a family.”