Mark Segal Takes us to the Circus

Published: August 24th 2010
in Culture » Stage

Mark Segal
Pic: courtesy of Mark Segal

In fact, “I remember a couple years ago I had a conversation with my mom and dad, where they told me how they’d never seen me stick to anything the way I’d stayed with this,” he recalls. “And I was in a bunch of trouble here and there when I was younger – not that bad trouble, but trouble enough – and bouncing around and not really sticking with things. They said that they thought that running away and joining the circus was probably the best decision I ever made.” 


And the job is shaping up well for him. He’s almost at the point where performing can become his full-time occupation, and he hopes to delve into acting as well. But despite taking his career to literal heights, Segal recognizes the importance of staying down-to-earth. He shows me a tattoo on his left arm, where two long arms are connected to a demonic head and a jagged heart-line runs perpendicular. It was inspired by a Buddhist painting he saw while in China. “This is my hanging hand,” he says. “If Buddhism at the end of the day is kind of about release of ego, then this guy is sort of like a demon monk – he’s in service of the aspect of the Buddha that’s about not getting cocky. So when I’m hanging from one hand up in the air at 25, 30 feet, and that’s the only thing that’s between me and something bad, it’s just a gentle reminder to stay humble. But it’s also this, the power of the heart-line, the power of what it is that I’m doing for myself and what I feel I’m giving to other people when they watch me.”




The11th annual Scotiabank BuskerFest runs Thurs. Aug. 26-Sun. Aug. 29, 2010. Admission is by voluntary donation to Epilepsy Toronto. For more information, visit For more information about Suspended Animation Circus, visit

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