Stunt performer, magician and comedian Wade Henry is appearing nightly at the Laurel County Fair, and on Tuesday night at 8 he strolled out to an open area just inside the park’s entrance, laid down his equipment and put on a show.
Henry brought with him his signature unicycle, a trunk full of accessories — like tennis balls and clubs to juggle — and three blue ropes laid out, giving the crowd the limit for how close they could get to watch.
“I think they like the danger the best,” Henry, 49, said. “That kind of snaps them into present time, kind of wakes them up. They like to see something that could harm or injure. That makes the live show interesting.”
Henry, who has been performing for 24 years, definitely gave the crowd danger at the end of his performance by mounting a unicycle a couple yards tall and juggling three clubs with flaming ends. The clubs were tossed to him by a member of the crowd and Henry then concluded his performance by comically blowing one flame out only to “accidentally” reignite it with another one in his hand.
“We both enjoyed it very much, especially him,” Barbara Cox said, motioning to her son. “I liked the fire juggling on the unicycle.”
Henry is from London, Ontario, Canada and has been doing shows for 25 years. In his quarter-century of being an entertainer, he has done over 10,000 shows, according to his website WadeHenryShow.com.
Henry grew up playing goalie for his ice hockey team, and his coach threw him balls to work on his hand-eye coordination and reflexes. This combined with the fearlessness of a hockey goalie must have showed that Henry had always had it in him to be a talented performer.
Henry also performed a couple of impressive magic tricks. First, he took an open, empty Pepsi can and a plastic cup, moved his hand over the can, somehow resealing it, reopened it and poured soda into the plastic cup before giving it to an audience member.
Later in the show Henry took a narrow, four-foot long balloon and somehow managed to swallow it whole to the bewilderment of the crowd watching.
“I’d like to know what he did with the balloon or if he’s going to puke it back up,” said Kayla Taylor after the performance. “The balloon part would be my favorite part.”
Henry got the audience involved more than once, with one part of his acts involving him taking a curved-bill hat off a man’s head and balancing the bill on the bridge of his nose. He then put the hat on, took a shoe off a kid’s foot and balanced the toe of the sneaker on his face again.
After this, he gave the hat to the kid and the shoe to the dad, causing them to exchange items while he continued the show.
“You can do anything for a living as long as it adds value to the people and services them in some way,” Henry said.
Henry said he does over 500 shows a year, playing at county fairs, state fairs, festivals and corporate events.
For booking he can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 727-244-9213.
Wade Henry will continue to have performances nightly at the Laurel County Fair on Friday and Saturday as well.