Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun
Where does one start, when one wishes to swallow swords? Whatever you do, don't go straight to the kitchen knives. Andrews stresses that in order to become this type of performer, you need to train extensively. "Internally, you're going to have to control your own body," he says, "And make an involuntary muscle function into a voluntary muscle function.
"I use kung fu, yoga, tai chi -- something that develops a mind-body connection. Ideally, I want to get someone into meditation -- if you can strengthen your mind with mediation, then you can start building your body via martial arts."
The second most important aspect of this performance, Andrews says, is just that: performance. The actual swallowing of swords takes just a few minutes. "Go out and learn how to perform, and tell me what you're going to do for the rest of the hour," he says.
Andrews teaches private Kung Fu lessons in Baltimore and will soon begin teaching public classes. He also offers performance coaching and workshops for circus professionals -- belly dancers, magicians, circus performers, comedians, even public speaking for executives -- "anyone who stands up in front of people and wants to make it more interesting."
As for sword swallowing? He can teach you that, but it takes a bit more dedication. "Anyone I work with is generally a professional -- I don't tend to work with amateurs," he says. But if the will is there, he's open to it.
"Show me that you already posses the skill level and masterwork needed to begin sword swallowing -- And if you don't I will walk you back to whatever step in that process that you are at, to make sure you're pointed in the right direction."
• VIDEO: Side-show skills: sword swallowing
For more information, call 800-393-2666 or go to swordswallower.com