'Incredible': Human cannonball to wow crowds at show
WARREN Brophy first decided two years ago to lower himself into the mouth of a cannon to be propelled through the air untethered and at high speed.
He is one of about a dozen performers worldwide currently working as a human cannonball.
This weekend he is set to fire up thousands of Coast residents as he performs his perilous act at the Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show.
"Being shot out of a human cannon is incredible, it's violently fast," Mr Brophy said.
"Once inside the cannon your entire body is really tense, and then you have to prepare for launch.
"In a split second you go from stand-still to flying through the air at 60km per hour."
A seventh-generation show legend, Mr Brophy has been performing in circuses since he was a child.
On a trip the United States, friends in the industry showed him the ropes of human canons.
He said he was the only human cannonball based in Australia at the moment.
"There isn't a human cannon shop you can just go and buy a cannon,' he said.
"So there is only a few of us worldwide.
"We all know each other and we're quite a close-knit community."
Mr Brophy said each human cannon is custom made for the performer, designed according to height and weight.
But his cannon was second-hand, bought off a fellow performer with a similar build.
He had to travel overseas for a "fitting".
"A lot of preparation goes into being shot out of a canon, including mathematics," he said.
"You can increase and decrease how far you want to be shot and we test it with sandbags each time.
"The actual act is quite visual, quite dangerous and really spectacular."
Sunshine Coast Agricultural president and local councillor Jenny McKay said they came across Mr Brophy at the 2019 Showmen's Guild Think Tank at Yatala early this year.
The guild connects show societies and performers across Australia.
"This act will be at our show for the first time ever so we're really excited," Cr McKay said.
"Our Facebook post went ballistic over the news."
A first for the Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show, Brophy's performance this weekend will his third ever in Australia.
It will take place in the main arena every night of the show on June 14, 15 and 16.