At every show we have a VIP experience where we offer audiences the opportunity to meet our tigers and learn about them, part of the proceeds from these tickets go to tiger protection and conservation. Specifically, the money goes to the Corbett Foundation to support the tiger reserves in India. www.corbettfoundation.org
The most common questions I get asked at the VIP experience is “How did I get interested magic?” and “ What made me interested in raising tigers?”
It all started when I saw a magician perform at my sister’s birthday party when I was just 4 years old. I don’t really remember much about the show he performed, but I remember feeling an incredible sense of wonder. From that moment on I was hooked. At age 11, I watched a magician levitate a woman in midair on T.V. I was so impressed, I urged my Mom to take me to a magic shop in a neighboring city to purchase some tricks and a magic book. For the next four years I sought out all the information I could find on magic. My free time was spent practicing sleight of hand and other tools of the trade. After perfecting my skills in front of friends and family I performed my first magic show to a third grade class at age 14.
Perhaps more interesting is how I became interested in working with tigers. When I was just a toddler my parents purchased a very large and beautiful painting of a tiger and displayed it over our family room fireplace. To this day they are still not sure why they purchased the painting (as they never had a strong affinity for tigers or cats in general). I think they just liked the colors of the painting and felt it matched the décor of the room. Since the age of 3 years old I remember staring at that painting every day.
I have had a deep lover for animals for as long as I can remember. As a child I played on the floor day after day for years, always being mesmerized by the painting of the tiger. Somehow I knew my future would involve tigers.
After high school, I had the privilege of meeting and becoming friends with Rick Glassey (who many would agree is one of the greatest tiger trainers of all time). Rick became my mentor and has taught me almost everything I know about working with tigers. This year marks my 20th year of raising and training tigers and 2nd only to my family, it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life!
As a child it never occurred to me that my daily focus on a painting would lead to thoughts and day dreams of tigers and that someday those thoughts and day dreams would become reality!
My parents picture of the tiger is now displayed in my house and every time I look at it, I smile and think about the wise teaching in the book of Proverbs.
Proverbs 23:7 -“You are what you think”
Proverbs 4:23 –“Be careful what you think about because your thoughts run your life”
Our hope is that everyone who attends our show will not only leave mesmerized with a renewed sense of wonder but also a greater understanding and love for one of God’s greatest creations - the Bengal tiger.