Performer 'bends gravity' in Sears Park show

By Kevin Hotary - Staff Writer
East Hampton - posted Mon., Aug. 15, 2011
The fire tricks were the most popular with the youngest audience members. Photos by Kevin Hotary.
The fire tricks were the most popular with the youngest audience members. Photos by Kevin Hotary.

For more than 15 years, Eric Girardi has been entertaining audiences of all ages with his feats of object manipulation. From yo-yo tricks – he is a world-ranked yo-yo player – to juggling and eating fire, Girardi seems to do a little bit of everything. Last Wednesday, Aug. 10, Girardi performed at Sears Park for a group of about 100 children, camp counselors and adults, courtesy of the East Hampton Public Library.

Library Director Sue Berescik said, “It’s an annual collaboration between the library and Parks and Recreation,” where a performer is brought in at the end of the summer season, and the local child care centers and camps are invited to attend. Girardi had performed at the library earlier in the year. “He was a big hit, so we decided to bring him back,” said Berescik.

Girardi began his “Bending Gravity” show with contact juggling, balancing up to seven acrylic balls on his body, similar to the feats of the Fushigi ball that is offered in some late night television commercials. Then, he went to the yo-yo.

“The yo-yo is what I’ve spent the most time with,” said Girardi, as he started with the simplest of tricks, moving the yo-yo up and down, advancing to more complex tricks and eventually tricks with two yo-yos simultaneously later in the show.

“That was awesome. That was so cool,” said Tyler after seeing some of Girardi’s early tricks. But the best was yet to come.

Jacob was brought up to the stage after retrieving an errant yo-yo, and asked to choose a counselor, picking Will from his camp. After some theatrics, Girardi placed a poker chip on Will’s ear, and knocked it off with a yo-yo toss.

Girardi finished his show with his fire tricks, first juggling flaming sticks and advancing to a burning umbrella, which he balanced on his chin.

“He’s unbelievable,” said Beresciki. What’s more, she said she appreciates the message he brings to kids. Sometimes dropping balls when juggling, Girardi picks them up and continues as if nothing happened.

“That’s what I particularly like. If you drop a ball, you pick it up and keep going. It’s a wonderful lesson,” she said.

For more information on Girardi, go to www.bendinggravity.com.


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