BORED with swallowing swords, lying on beds of nails or lifting weights with piercings, Sebastian Vittorini has a new trick up his sleeve.
Not that it’s a trick, he says.
Passing one million volts of electricity through his body is very real for Vittorini.
Professor Voltini, as he’s better known, is the only performer in the world to take to the stage and pass the massive electrical current through his body, making him the Lightning Man in this death-defying act.
He said: “It’s all physics really, there’s not a trick to it. It’s very real. Science is stranger than fiction.”
Voltini, 45, has been a performer for two decades, travelling the world performing ‘mind over matter’ acts, swallowing up to five swords at a time or lifting heavy weights from delicately placed piercings to wow audiences.
He and wife Electra, who controls the Lightning Machine’s voltage, are the latest addition to Gerry Cottle’s Wow! Circus.
It’s a welcome relief for Electra to flick the switch each and every night, after she spent the last few months on the receiving end of currents in an electric chair act.
Voltini said: “She quite likes the fact that we’ve swapped roles now, though she might worry a bit each night.
“It has to be done very carefully - if the current earths on anything, I’ll be killed.”
The Lightning Machine is recognisable as the same type used recently by American illusionist David Blaine - however Blaine used a metal body suit to render the potentially lethal current completely harmless.
It was this that inspired Professor Voltini to launch his new act.
Voltini takes a different approach, shunning a metal suit in homage to the machine’s inventor, electrical engineer Nikola Tesla.
Instead the current runs over his body, making him the only performer in the world to do the stunt with no protection whatsoever.
He added: “Before each show there is that moment of doubt, but afterwards it feels brilliant.”
Voltini performs in Gerry Cottle’s Wow! Circus at The Globe Theatre, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, until November 3.