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Born on the Highwire: The Autobiography of Arthur Duchek
by Patrick Davison

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Born on the Highwire: The Autobiography of Arthur Duchek by Patrick Davison

Arthur Duchek, born (almost literally on the highwire rigging of his parents' circus act) into a European circus dynasty in 1930, grew up to be a world-famous circus and variety artist and international entertainment agent.

He survived a devastating accident on the circus lot as a 4-year old child, an accident that left him with a speech impediment. His will power and determination, along with the help of an eccentric Parisian speech therapist, helped him overcome this obstacle. After joining his uncles with the circus in America, Arthur experienced unbelievable abuse at their hands.

You will read about his acquaintances with the Ringlings, the Three Stooges, Mickey Mouse, Tinkerbell and Goofy, along with a full cast of good guys and bad guys in and out of show business.

He tells the story of his father's ordeal in Hitler's army and a Russian prison camp during World War II, his life among the Gypsies, his appearance before the queen of England, the vicious molestation of his first love by a pair of Russian soldiers, the terrifying death of his first wife during their aerial thrill act, his impersonation of a midget circus performer (!), his developing innovative acts for the Disney arena shows, his close shave with the Hungarian KGB, and how he stole away with his second wife, Goldie, from the clutches of an exploitative circus performer.

All in all it is a fun and adventurous true tale of life in show business with the world as a stage. This intriguing life story is told with lots of insight by Pat Davison, himself a circus performer and variety artist of nearly 50 years' experience. Arthur's story is told with smiles and tears and you will go away from this ebook with a fresh inside look at what really goes on backstage and under the big top!

  • Preface
  • Introduction: Circus History and Definitions
  • Chapter 1: "I Am Born"
  • Chapter 2: It's All In The Family
  • Chapter 3: Thank God I'm A Hard-headed Austrian
  • Chapter 4: What Did You Do In The Army, Daddy?
  • Chapter 5: From Russia, With Lust
  • Chapter 6: "Can I Read Your Palm, Mister?"
  • Chapter 7: Move Over Columbus: I Discover America!
  • Chapter 8: "N-Nice To M-Meet You, M-Mon Ami!"
  • Chapter 9: "Don't Treat Me Like Family!"
  • Chapter 10: Jolly Old England
  • Chapter 11: I Put the "Great" in "The Greatest Show On Earth!"
  • Chapter 12: Goodbye Ringling Brothers, Hello Three Stooges
  • Chapter 13: My Angel Goes To Heaven
  • Chapter 14: I Discover Gold(ie)
  • Chapter 15: Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Me
  • Chapter 16: I Become An Animal
  • Appendix
  • Afterword
  • Photos
1st edition 2012, PDF 172 pages.
word count: 52683 which is equivalent to 210 standard pages of text

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Magic & Conjuring / Biographies & History