Bello Nock walks the tightrope of show business
Posted On July 4, 2022
They call the entertainment industry “show business” for a very good reason. As one great showman I met recently told me: “If you have no show, you have no business. If you have no business, you have no show.”
That showman is Bello Nock, a seventh-generation entertainer, circus performer and daredevil who performs around the country. You might have seen him on America’s Got Talent a few years ago, You might remember him from his years with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. You might have seen him in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest unsupported tightrope walk, which he did over a cruise ship.
He’s the one with the eight-inch high blond hair.
Nock was our guest on a recent episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston,” sharing the lessons he’s learned during a lifetime in an occupation that’s part show, and part business.
Nock was essentially born to be an entertainer. His mother’s family had a background in theater, and his father came from a line of daredevils and tightrope walkers. Nock’s family history goes back to the 18th century in Switzerland, where Circus Nock became the national circus.
“My parents never forced me or my brothers to follow in the family footsteps,” said Nock, the youngest of four. “They just said we had to try it for 30 or 40 years.”
All jokes aside, the 53-year-old Nock has built his show into a thriving business, as he and his wife manage five troupes that travel across the country. His daughter Annaliese has taken the family business into its eighth generation, with her own show at Sea World in San Diego.
Among the lessons Nock has learned through his years of walking tightropes and making a name and a living in show business:
• If you can visualize it, you can do it.
• Whether you’re being shot out of a cannon or selling nails, mitigate your risk.
• Don’t be afraid of not being the smartest person in the room.
• Know how you — and your clients or sponsors — measure success.
• There’s no such thing as luck: “It’s preparation meets opportunity.”
Nock’s current show, Funambula, was at Biloxi’s Beau Rivage in June and is currently in the middle of a 12-show run at MGM National Harbor near Washington, D.C., through July 13.