Brian Miser – also known as the “Human Cannonball” – will have his record-breaking act, the “Human Fuse,” air on “America’s Got Talent.”
A Peru native, Miser began in the circus at just 8 years old. He went professional after graduating from high school. Since then, he’s toured the world with Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus as a flying trapeze artist and later as a human cannonball.
Now, he’s waiting to hear whether or not he moves onto the next round of “America’s Got Talent.”
Before he began his career as a human cannonball, Miser said he started out as many young circus performers do – learning the art of trapeze.
“I started out on the trampoline before I got into flying trapeze,” Miser said. “I was a flying trapeze artist for 16 years – then I decided to build myself a cannon and be a human cannonball.”
Miser said that his human cannonball and human fuse routines are completely self-taught.
“I’ve built seven cannons myself,” Miser said. “I currently have three cannons and then I have the crossbow.”
Miser uses his human crossbow in the human fuse act. He described how his crossbow-cannon hybrid works in simple terms.
“With the crossbow, it looks just like a crossbow, just a lot bigger. I’m on the outside of it, and my wife lights me on fire and then shoots me through the air,” he said.
Miser said that his wife, Tina – whom he met while working at the Peru circus in 1999 – also serves as his trigger woman, shooting him out of cannons and the crossbow. He described them as a “human cannonball couple.”
Just five years ago, Miser put his name in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first-ever human fuse. A flaming Miser launched himself from his custom-made human crossbow, flying almost 105 feet in the air at the Peru Amateur Circus, establishing the world record in front of his hometown.
Miser converted his human cannon into a giant crossbow by installing a sled and a bow behind the cannon to launch himself.
Miser, didn’t break an old record – he created a new one. According to a representative of Guinness World Records, since it was a first-time feat, they set a minimum distance of 26 meters. Miser exceeded that by flying 31.87 meters.
Although Miser has performed the human fuse act hundreds of times, “anything can happen,” he said.
“I’m excited and I’m also nervous,” Miser said. “I do this all the time, but it’s still stressful and nerve racking every time. Anything could wrong. The most dangerous thing is flying through the air and making the right landing.”
Miser said that his act was recommended to “America’s Got Talent,” and instead of auditioning for the show, he flew out to Pasadena, California to perform his act directly in front of the show’s judges. He had the crossbow hauled across country via truck.
“When I got there, we had a meeting – they said there were over 40,000 applicants and that only 225 made it,” said Miser. “They contacted me. I didn’t really have to audition – they already knew what I did.”
Season 14 of “America’s Got Talent” will get a two-hour premiere on May 28 at 8 p.m. However, Miser isn’t positive when his episode will air.
“America’s Got Talent” will feature its new judge lineup and host, with Gabrielle Union and Julianna Hough taking over for veteran judges Heidi Klum and Mel B. “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” host Terry Crews will emcee after Tyra Banks hosted the show last year. Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel are returning to the judges table.
Miser joked that he “can’t reveal anything” that’s slated to happen when his episode of the show airs, but he’s happy to appear on the national stage.
“It’s been a really exciting journey so far,” Miser said. “I’m happy I went ahead with this – I want to get my name back out there.”
Reach Quentin Blount at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-732-5130.