When the saying, “Keep your chin up” is said to Kevin Shiflett, it’s a whole different meaning. Inspired by a trip to the circus, Shiflett attempted to balance a broom and his skill has grown from there. In high school, the chin balancer was voted ‘Most Likely to Join the Circus.’ Leaving a lasting impression on his legacy during his teenage years, Shiflett was featured in the yearbook balancing a wheelbarrow. (Phoenix CW)
Kevin Shiflett has been balancing items on his chin for over 20 years. From chairs to ladders, bikes to wheelbarrows, amazement abounds as he balances items small to big for audiences across the globe!
We’re doing chin balancing tonight folks. Consider me entertained pic.twitter.com/hC5TAbWZN6
— Hank Lockwood (@hen_ease) October 30, 2021
Gameops.com: What has been the career high point for you thus far?
Kevin Shiflett: Every game is a high point for me. Every performance is awesome. I’ve definitely been blessed to be able to perform throughout the NBA, WNBA, throughout the nation, but a few highlights for me would be my first game was with Utah Jazz, and that was definitely a highlight to help me start professionally balancing. I’ve been able to perform one of the bigger games with the Warriors. When Kevin Durant came back to visit after being traded full house. That was at the Oracle Arena. I performed in the Indoor Football League for the United World Championship, which is fun. A couple of seasons ago, right before COVID , I was actually featured by the NBA as one of the most incredible halftime acts . So that was definitely a high point, too.
Gameops.com: What makes your show different. I know I’ve seen you balance a whole range of things. Do you actually have, like, an inventory of products that you say, hey, bring me a ladder and a wheelbarrow? Or you kind of go with, like, you go backstage and wander around and see what you find.
Kevin Shiflett: It goes both ways. So I have a list of general things that I like to balance. Ladders, table, wheelbarrow, bike, Dolly, and things like that. But yeah, I open it up to teams and say, hey, if it’s okay, I wander around the arena and grab different things that may be there. But I definitely like to incorporate the team, too. So, for instance, I was with Santa Cruz Warriors, which is down south, like by San Jose real surf kind of town. They recommend asked, hey, can you do a surfboard? Of course. And so I try to adapt it to the teams as well, whatever they might have.
Gameops.com: I love it. And we talked about the high points. Let’s talk about the low points. Anything along the way as you progress, as an act that you can share that with, something funny that went wrong or something you learned from along your travels.
Kevin Shiflett: So one of the funniest things and kind of scary things that happen to me when I go to a different arenas, I’m either arriving in a van or a pickup truck. If I’m in a pickup truck, then I have a long bike cable that goes through all the different equipment so that nothing is stolen if I’m out and about. And so I traveled. I was in DC for a Mystics game, WNBA and I had a truck, and I had my bike cable all through all the equipment in the back of the truck. I got there. Time is limited. You have to get there, and you have so much time to get into the arena, especially with all my props getting it into the right spot. And the one thing I forgot was the key to the lock. So I get there and I’m panicking. In order to perform, I need all my stuff. So I’m working with the game ops people. They were awesome. They were trying to get a Bolt cutter. Trying to open up my equipment.
They’re running around trying to help me. I’m freaking out. But luckily there was a taxi driver who had some tools that I was able to borrow from him. I was asking everybody, whoever was in the parking garage and like, did anybody help me? Somebody. And he had tools. I was able to get it open lately and was able to perform well, but it was definitely scary. Always remember your key!
Gameops.com: What makes you so special?
Kevin Shiflett: The theme that I wear on my shirt is says chin up. And so I feel that my act is great for the fans because we all have different experiences coming in from our personal lives, whether it’s good, bad, otherwise. But when we’re all together at any event, my entertainment provides an escape of fun and joy as I do chin balancing. I hope that brings that to the audience. As I’m balancing, the crowd definitely seems to love me balancing. As the items get bigger and bigger, they’re instantly engaged, they’re ready for more, and they get louder and louder. Sometimes even the crowd is louder than the regular game. I hope that the cheers that my half time brings also inspires the team to perform well, too.
As we all come to a game, whoever’s coming to the game, we all have different experiences in our personal life going on. So we have the good, the bad otherwise going on. But at that moment that we’re all together for the event, my show provides an escape of fun and joy through chin balancing.
Gameops.com: Thank you Kevin.