Playing With Fire

Playing With Fire


You couldn’t go into Charleston’s Market in the 1990s without seeing Sebastian “Bash” Gomez ’96 tossing colorful, feathered batons and balls into the sky and catching them with a quick hand and that winsome grin. He was Charleston’s resident juggler – and now he’s traveling all over the world juggling, spinning and breathing fire.

“Juggling morphed into fire dancing, and now, juggling, spinning and performing with fire has paved the way to creating propane-fueled art pieces, fire- walking sessions and even pyrotechnic and fireworks-based displays,” says Gomez, who performs at arts festivals

all over the world, including such far- off lands as Slovenia, the Sultanate of Oman and the Yucatan Peninsula and for such massive audiences as the 60,000 spectators at Burning Man.

“My life is a circus, but I never ran away with it. It just came to me one day and stayed,” says Gomez, who also owns the Juggling Gypsy, a hookah bar in Wilmington, N.C. And, so far, Gomez hasn’t missed a trick. He has appeared on NPR’s All Thing Considered, the CW’s America’s Next Top Model and the History Channel’s Quest for Dragons, among others.

Gomez is open to anything: “That’s the beauty and trouble with creating your own occupation out of thin air: It’s a continual evolution – I just don’t know where it’s heading.”