If a leaf fell from a tree, I'd stop juggling and play with the leaf. I went to my prop bag and got a little bandage and stuck the leaf back on the tree. People loved it.
For years, I have been working on crossing the Grand Canyon. Actually, there is nobody who says 'no,' but since this is a project that comes from me and not a commission, I have to find the money, plan the logistics, etcetera.
When I was learning by myself, despite my parents, despite my teachers, despite society, when I was fighting for building my life as a young wire walker at age 16, I didn't have feelings, I had certainties.
I started putting a wire up in secret and performing without permission. Notre Dame, the Sydney Harbor Bridge, the World Trade Center. And I developed a certitude, a faith that convinced me that I will get safely to the other side. If not, I will never do that first step.
On a very long and very high wire, I will not hope to not be blown off by high winds. I will have the certitude that such could not happen.
In my life, I wanted to meet certain people. I never met Charlie Chaplin, but I met Werner Herzog.
I keep saying I am an auto-didact, but I have a lot of outside influences. One I could cite is juggler Francis Brunn, who was the first man to throw ten rings in the air; he was really an amazing juggler who showed onstage the quest for perfection.
I am fascinated by the engineering. The science of constructing and understanding why it stands. And I am drawn by the madness, the beauty, the theatricality, the poetry and soul of the wire. And you cannot be a wire-walker without mingling those two ways of seeing life.
My time is always divided when I prepare for a wire walk. First I dream, technically and artistically, and then I go to work, and I am the master rigger, climbing trees and ladders and constructing. Only then I change my cap and become the performer.
As I'm studying magic, juggling is mentioned repeatedly as a great way to acquire dexterity and coordination. Now, I had long admired how fast and fluidly jugglers make objects fly. So that's it. I'm 14; I'm becoming a juggler.
I was not born into the world of the stuntman and the daredevil; I was born into the world of theater and writing and sculpting and classical music.
Many people use the words 'death defying' or 'death wishing' when they talk about wire-walking. Many people have asked me: 'So do you have a death wish?' After doing a beautiful walk, I feel like punching them in the nose. It's indecent. I have a life wish.
I have been expelled from five different schools when I was a kid. And I learned basically all what I do by myself.
I was thrown out of different schools because I was practicing my arts - magic, juggling, and the high wire.
I didn't go to school much. I was thrown out of different schools, and my university is the street.
Death frames the high wire. But I don't see myself as taking risks. I do all of the preparations that a non-death seeker would do.
I've frowned at the idea of breaking records, the first one to do something, or do it longer, higher, more difficult.
I rendezvous with the long wire and perform the 'torero walk', gliding my feet, holding the pole away from my body, head high.
When art in general, and film in particular, succeeds is when it pulls you away onto a voyage. Then it's a good film.
Certainly, in the story of my life, the walk between the Twin Towers was one of the grandest, one of the most memorable, but not solely the grandest and the most memorable.