Editor's note: This corrects an earlier version that contained an incorrect date.
Dan Meyer describes himself as a "human blockhead." It has nothing to do with intelligence. It's more about his habit of inserting sharp objects into his nasal cavity.
Meyer is a sword swallower, who in addition to swallowing a more than two-foot sword, also uses an icepick and a blade from a hedge clipper in his shows.
Local audiences can watch Meyer complete this stunt during his three daily performances at the East Texas State Fair. The shows, Meyer said, are about more than shocking people.
"It's not about the swords," Meyer said. "It's about impacting people's lives, so they can do the impossible in their own life. I don't do it to show off. It's to impact people to overcome the fear they have in their lives."
Meyer swallowed his first sword when he was 44 years old. He said he started practicing in 2007 and finally accomplished the feat in 2011. Since then, he has set world records, been in Ripley's Believe It or Not, competed on America's Got Talent and performed for audiences around the world.
As a kid, Meyer said he dreamed of being Superman. He wanted to do real magic to conquer his fears and overcome the school bullying that led to social anxiety and fears he developed as a child. Meyers started working on his fears by learning to juggle, eating fire and glass. He said he used this time to find a purpose and a life calling.
Meyer begins his act with a warning to the children not to attempt these feats themselves. During a performance last week,Meyer asked the audience if there were any medical professionals in the crowd, and Judy Green, of Chandler, identified herself as a former nurse. Meyer allowed Ms. Green to see his sword and verify for the audience it was a real sword.
Meyer went on to swallow the 23-inch sword with an 18-inch blade. For his final feat, he invited Ms. Green to the stage to watch as he swallowed a 30-inch sword with a 24-inch blade and then bent over at a 90-degree angle.
"I enjoyed the show," Ms. Green said. "I knew he was really swallowing the sword. What he was saying about how the sword goes down made sense because it's how an endoscopy procedure is done."
"During the finals of 'America's Got Talent,' Simon Cowell asked me if I was there to win a million dollars," Meyer said. "I told him, 'No,' because I do this for the bullies who said I wasn't good enough. I do it for those who have been told you're never going to do anything with your life. I do it for my family and God and to travel the world."
Meyer will do three performances daily - 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. - at the fair, which runs through Oct. 2.
Meyer will head to Italy and the country of Georgia for "Georgia's Got Talent" after the fair.
For information, visit www.etstatefair.com/events to see times and other scheduled shows.
Visit cuttingedgeinnertainment.com for more information about Dan Meyer.
If you go
Youth ages 6 to 12: $6
Children 5 and younger: Free when accompanied by an adult ticket-buyer
Parking lots are administered by the Tyler Lions Club, and all proceeds benefit their organization. Parking in the Purple, Green, Orange and Red parking lots is cash only. Free parking is available along the streets, where drivers are asked to observe normal parking laws.
Weekdays: 2 to 11 p.m.
Weekends: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Weekdays: 4 to 11 p.m.
Weekends: Noon to 11 p.m.
CARNIVAL RIDES & WRISTBANDS
Wristbands are sold each day, are valid for one day and allow the owner to ride all the rides for one price. Wristbands purchased online from the East Texas State Fair website can be redeemed any one day. On both Saturdays during the fair, wristbands are valid from noon to 5 p.m. After 5 p.m., individual ride coupons can be purchased at the carnival ticket booths (vaild until close -- 11 p.m.).
ACCEPTED FORMS OF PAYMENT
The fair accepts cash and credit and debit cards. ATMs also are present at the north entrance near Harvey Convention Center.