|I decided to do something totally different for Alice Cooper and I stuck a powerdrill up my hooter!|
Preacher Muad'dib is a world-class stunt sideshow entertainer. But what's more striking - and potentially terrifying - is that the goateed Dubliner possesses more explosive killing skills and tools than Batman piloting a nuclear bomber made of hand grenades.
He ticks them off: "I have black belts in wei chi kung fu and kenpo karate, and I'm highly skilled in using six types of weapon, including butterfly knives, katana, bo staffs, nunchucks and swords. And I'm trained in Muai Thai and Krav Maga, a martial art developed by the Israeli armed forces. Basically it's no-nonsense, fuck-the-other-guy up stuff." He pauses, then laughs. "Don't worry, I'm a nice chap really..."
The 31-year-old has built his reputation on death-defying stunts. Knife-throwing, fire-breathing and glass-eating are all in a dull day's work for this unholy, world-record-breaking Preacher man. To shake things up, he likes to balance a running lawnmower on his chin while audience members chuck lettuces into the rotor blades. "It's a fairly silly stunt,"
Preacher chortles. "It's a preposterous thing to do and it took a lot of practice. The first mistake I made was using a Flymo; they're too difficult!"
He currently holds six Guinness World Records, including one for balancing a lawnmower on his face for the longest time ever achieved, and one for fire-breathing the most flames ever blown with one mouthful of fuel.
Growing up in Dalkey, Dublin, the high-kicking Preacher wanted to be a martial arts instructor, but turned to sideshow when he was 15. "I taught myself fire stunts and glass-eating," he remembers. "People asked me to come to parties and perform for beer. And then they started paying me."
Aged 19, he joined the world-renowned Jim Rose Circus, a haven for the biggest and best in sideshow artistry, before moving to London five years later. Preacher practiced his skills eight hours a day and the hard work paid off when he won an open audition to get on the bill for Alice Cooper's Halloween Night Of Fear at the Roundhouse in Camden in November.
"I usually do vaudeville-style stuff, but I decided to do something totally different for Cooper and I stuck a powerdrill up my hooter," Preacher explains. "I went as a demonic clown, got completely covered in red paint, and mixed sideshow with lunacy."
Alice loved the act - just don't mention Simon Cowell and the Britain's Got Talent cronies who Preacher also auditioned for. They aren't fans, and the feeling is mutual.
"They hate sideshow," Preacher spits. "When I went along after being invited for an audition, they set up my props wrongly and it seemed as though they wanted me to fail. They use alternative entertainers as something to laugh at instead of giving talent a chance. Cowell thinks that sideshow is self-torture, so clearly he doesn't know what it really is."
Luckily for Cowell, Preacher Muad'dib - who could burn Simon to a cinder with his fire breath then decimate his charred remains with a few well-placed karate kicks - is too preoccupied with perfecting his daredevil craft to take it personally. "I'm thinking of doing the lawnmower stunt on a rola bola - a plank balanced on top of a cylinder, like an unstable see-saw," he tells us. No doubt he'll do it. After all, he's pretty fly(mo) for a white guy...
SEE PREACHER MUAD'DIB:
Preacher is currently performing together with a whole bunch of other insane freaks and bonkers performers in CIRQUE DES OMBRES at London's posh-restaurant-cum-alt-theatre The Brickhouse, from Thursday 13 Jan to Saturday 05 Mar 2011.