daredevil acrobat

The Daredevil Acrobat



dare acrobat combination
risk hilarious wonzie (onesie)
solo grow up grow/grew/grown
thrill mattress middle-class
across take of (2) know/knew/known
outfit round (2) run/ran/run
aka assistant nice-looking
sea amazing think/thought/thought (2)
mic show (2) look like (2)
god watch (2) balance (3)
wow incredible congratulations
advice heart (2) straight up
edge brilliant on the edge of my seat
silent audience surprising
vote wonderful capture (2)
defy daredevil death-defying
stunt backyard background
judge pass (3) passion (2)






My name is Gary Sladek. I’m 57 years old; I am America’s oldest daredevil acrobatic hand balancer.

Nick, AGT Host: “Daddy, what are you gonna do for today?
Gary Sladek, Acrobat: “I will risk my life for America’s Got Talent.”

It’s a solo act with my little brother as my assistant. I grew up in North Babylon, New York. It was middle-class families when neighborhoods used to be neighborhoods and everybody knew each other. My best friend Jeffrey and I, we used take the mattresses off the bed and put them in the backyard. And we’d start in the other side of the street we’d run across the street clip on other mattresses.

Almost 38 years later, here I am on America’s Got Talent. There is nobody in America that is doing what I do, at my age. I really shouldn’t be doing it at my age, but it comes from my heart — it IS my passion; that’s what I do. I mean that’s what I do.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .


Judge Heidi: “Hello.”
Judge Howie: “Hello.”
Judge Heidi: “That’s a nice-looking onesie (wonzie, from the seventies).”
Gary Sladek: “Well thanks.”

Judge Howie: “What’s your name?”
Gary Sladek: “Gary Slavik; aka ‘The Amazing Slavik’.”
Judge Howie: “Okay Amazing. Where you from?”
Gary Sladek: “I’m from North Babylon, New York. I am a daredevil hand-balancer. And I think I’m America’s oldest daredevil hand-balancer.
Judge Howie: “How old are you?”
Gary Sladek: “I’ll be 58 in July.”
Judge Howie: “Oh wow. So, what was your background? What did you do all your life?”
Gary Sladek: “I come from a theatre family; the real star of the show is my little brother Broadway Jim backstage; he’s my assistant tonight. That’s the real talent in the family.”
Judge Howie: “He also looks like a New York. All right, you ready?”
Gary Sladek: “Yes sir.”
Judge Howie: “Then go do what you do.”
Gary Sladek: “Okay. Here’s the mic.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .


Judge Mel B: “Oh my god. This is hilarious.”
Judge Mel B: “Oh my god!”
Judge Howie: “Oh my god!”
Judge Mel B: “I don’t want to see this.”
Judge Howie: “I don’t want to watch.”
Judge Heidi: “He’s changed his mind.”
Judge Howie: “This is so dangerous.”
Judge Mel B: “He’s not going to get down.”
Judge Howie: “Oh my god. I can’t watch!”
Judge Mel B: “Oh God!”
Judge Howie: “Wow! Wow! Wow!”
Judge Mel B: “I can’t . . . ”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .


Judge Heidi: “The only adivce that I would give is you need a new outfit, because this is straight up from the 70s. And it’s not working.”
Judge Mel: “Oh, I was on the edge of my seat.”
Judge Howie: “So was he.”
Judge Mel: “And that’s what America’s Got Talent is all about: the whole audience was like silent. You captured everyone. It was brilliant.”
Gary Sladek: “Thank you so much.”
Judge Howie: “It was. You’ve got so many surprising things about you: number one your age. Number two where you come from. It’s it’s a wonderful combination of Americana and death-defying stunts. So you thrilled us all. We’re about to vote; I’ll start with Mel.”
Judge Mel: “Yes.”
Judge Heidi: “YES!”
Judge Simon: “Yes for me.”
Judge Howie: “Four ‘yeses’. We’ll see you next time.”
Gary Sladek: “Thank you so much. Thank you.”

Host Nick: “That moment. You said is was the biggest moment.
Gary Sladek: “It’s the biggest moment. This is it. This is it. It’s the biggest moment of my life.”

Gary Sladek on Phone: “All four judges. All four judges of passing us on to the next round.”

*     *     *     *     *     *     *



1. Gary Sladek comes from a rich family in California. True or false?

2. Did he enjoy his childhood? Does he miss his old neighborhood and life?

3. Gary performed completely alone. It was a purely solo act. Is this right or wrong?

4. What did Gary do? What was his act or performance?

5. “Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!” Elaborate on this. Explain this.

6. Was everything perfect? Did all the judges love everything about Gary’s routine?

7. The greatest moment of Gary’s life was a summer camp trip as a 12-year old. Is this correct or incorrect?

A. Gary’s performance was easy. Anybody could do it. What do you think?

B. How did you feel as you watched Gary? Were you scared? Amazed?

C. I know people who are acrobats or daredevils. I have seen acrobatic or daredevil performances. Yes or no?

D. Does Gary offer any lessons or inspiration for people?

E. What might happen in the future?

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