Fox the Sword Swallower

Fox began performing magic and comedy while working as a waiter in Saint Petersburg, Florida. He learned sleight-of-hand in the 1970s from Tony Slydini, an Italian magician known as "the Master of Misdirection". In his early twenties, Fox was performing in Boulder, Colorado, when he heard that his act had been stolen by a competing magician. He was inspired to begin swallowing swords in order to have "an act people couldn't copy easily". It took him eight months to master the technique, although he has injured himself on a few occasions. Fox estimated in 1999 that he was one of twenty professional sword swallowers in the United States, noting that this was many more than when he began.

Fox can swallow up to 22 inches of steel. Besides regular swords, his act has included swallowing a retractable tape measure, a giant screwdriver and a neon glowing sword plugged into an outlet. His act also included eating fire until he learned that the chemicals used in the trick could seep into his liver.

Fox has appeared at venues including comedy clubs (such as Caroline's), casinos, and tattoo conventions, as well as special events such as an Aerosmith album release party. His television appearances include the Late Show with David Letterman, a 1992 Jonathan Winters television special, and a Maalox commercial in which he swallowed light bulbs. He was featured in the 2003 documentary Traveling Sideshow: Shocked and Amazed by Jeff Krulik.

Although he performed among other acts presented throughout the weekend-long festival, following entertainment by the band, Radio-Free Carmela on May 1, 2009, Fox was honored as the featured performer at the opening ceremony of the annual Avenida de Colores, a festival of chalk painting by professional artists from around the world and talented local school children on closed streets in historic Burns Square in Sarasota. His act also closed the festival.

Fox is the resident sword-swallower at the annual Maryland Renaissance Festival in Crownsville, and has performed there since 1981. He has performed at the Sterling Renaissance Festival in Sterling, New York since 1997. He occasionally works as a consultant for other sideshow artists.

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