It was at that first circus show that Max Polyakov went to with three of his friends that he rediscovered his love for fire performances. Max Polyakov and his friends, Mikael, Adrien and Ricardo had an amazing time in the circus that Saturday afternoon. The show was a travelling show which featured many Indians. The stunts on display were indeed much. At the beginning of the show, no one was quite prepared for the beauty that accompanied a graceful Indian girl dancing to some of her native music. The songs that bounced off the walls of the circular tent were unique to her culture, yet she found a way to draw each and every one of the drooling spectators in with a little more than her moves. Each move was sultry in nature, yet seemed innocent. It was not over the top or below excellence level. The songs that bounced off the walls of the circular tent were unique to her culture, yet she found a way to draw each and every one of the drooling spectators in with a little more than her moves. Max Polyakov looked several times to his other friends and found that they were as mesmerized with the performance as he was. The dance sort of pushed each of the watchers into a world where it was only the music and its interpretation that mattered. This was by far the best show opening that the men had seen, and they had been to several shows.
Procuring tickets for this particular show had been difficult. Everyone was already interested in flocking into the show and more and more people bought tickets each hour. Pretty soon the tickets were done for all four shows and Max Polyakov and his friends had to buy tickets from someone who could not make it to the show. Of course, they had to buy the tickets at a much higher price than was stipulated for the show. Ricardo, especially, made so much noise about attending this program that he encouraged the others to join in. Ricardo himself was on a quest to become a fire performer. According to him, he just needed to find the best master to teach him. Adrien was glad to see Ricardo engrossed in the Indian girl’s tantalising dance. Maybe it was going to be a new field for Ricardo to explore once they were done. Max Polyakov, on the other hand, was in a world of his own. He had pushed his love for arts far back in his brain but somehow, meeting this new set of friends just meant that he was at the brink of being able to change his life forever.
The next act that came around terrified several of the spectators. Two fully grown tigers landed in the pit with the agility of small cats. They were followed shortly by their trainer. The presence of the trainer, however, did nothing to dissuade the spectators of their fears. Knuckles continued to hold on tightly to their chairs, some even had blood draining from their faces at the sight of the majestic beasts that simply prowled menacingly around the pit. The trainer came in with several ropes and hoops. Much to the amazement of the spectators, the tigers obeyed every single command and even jumped over very high ropes and through very narrow hoops. The crowd immediately got ecstatic and began to clap loudly. It seemed as if these two beasts had already closed down the show. The tigers continued to shield what they could do by doing some completely impossible tricks all at the whim of the smallish-looking trainer who seemed to know exactly what he was doing.
Even after these two powerful acts, several other acts were showcased, each giving the crowd something to be delighted about. The applause was loud and uproarious. The circus folk knew exactly what they had in mind. By the time the show was supposed to be ending, a well-built man in his mid-forties had taken the stage. People started to wonder what it was about. Ricardo and Max Polyakov immediately grinned to themselves. This was a full on fire show! They knew and began to follow the moves of this man with sudden elaborated interest. The fire performer, who was introduced as Valencio began to wow the crowd as it seemed like he shot fire fro, his hands and mouth. This man had so much control over the fire that it seemed as if the fire became a plaything rather than a dangerous element. Valencio moulded the fire to form several images and at the end had a large curtain of fire fall from the top where he walked through unfazed. It was at this moment that Max Polyakov thought to himself that he was definitely going to be like Valencio. The entire circus stood up and clapped their hands for him, giving him the iconic standing ovation that marked every great show.
Max Polyakov, while growing up in Warsaw with his mother and father, wanted to do everything possible to please them. He went to some of the best schools his mother could afford to send him to at the time and crowned her sacrifice with wonderful grades. Twenty-six-year-old Max Polyakov had already finished his first degree in Krakow and was looking for the best topic to study as his master’s program. Much to the dismay of his mother and the utmost delight of his father, Max Polyakov took on a turn towards theatre arts sometime during his bachelors’ degree. By the time he was ready to pursue his masters in Warsaw, the city of his birth, he was already highly interested in pursuing the arts. He took time off his schedule each time he could get to visit several shows all around town. It was during that time that he met his three best friends, Ricardo, Adrien and Mikael. Ricardo was an optimistic young fellow who believed he was going to be a master of fire arts soon enough. His friends ridiculed him sometimes all in friendly jest. Deep down, Max Polyakov knew that he too would love to be a firemaster. His love was deeply rooted in the experience he had when he witnessed his first ever fire show in the heart of Warsaw when he was ten years old. Over time, he continued to nurture his love until it reached full fruition when he met Ricardo. Meeting someone who thought just like him when it came to fire arts was exhilarating for his experience and soon enough, he too began to express his fire master dreams to the hearing of all his friends.
It was no surprise when, by the time they had completed the circus show, Ricardo had held tightly to Max Polyakov’s hand urging him to come backstage to see Valencio, the fire master they had just witnessed. The rest of the group held them back and began to think aloud. Each of them had been awed beyond measure at the beauty of the art form and hoped with all their hearts that they could be just like Valencio. It was then that a unanimous decision was made to go and see Valencio.
Valencio was right where they expected him to be, backstage, cooling off from the tremendously exciting performance he had just put on. He studied the four young men in their twenties with much scepticism as they poured out their love for the art form and their decision to study it. Valencio simply looked at them and told them that in order to study the art of fire, the friends needed a lot of training in order not to become casualties. The man went on to rattle a list of people who themselves had started with their own enthusiastic reasons for wanting to learn how to be a fire performer. Many of these people on his host had either died of poor fire practices or left the art form to pursue greener pastures. That information was enough to deter the young men, but they pressed on, unfazed and certain that this was indeed what they wanted to do. Valencio then told Max Polyakov and his friends that the circus was leaving soon. If the boys wanted to learn anything, they had to accompany him and the troupe for at least six months. Max Polyakov and his friends asked for a day to take a leave from, their schools and quickly joined the circus troupe.
18 January, 2019
Max Polyakov and his friends spent a month with the circus undergoing hard training on discipline and the art of entertaining an audience before they were allowed near fire of any sort. The training was indeed vigorous with barely any resting time since the circus was constantly on the road. Valencio proved to be a rather strict teacher who worked up the young men so well that by the end of the fourth month, they had begun assisting in his shows. One evening, he looked at them and told Max Polyakov and his three friends that they resembled fireflies. That was where the inspiration of the name came from. Max Polyakov, Adrien, Ricardo and Mikael quickly voted on naming their quartet ‘Firefly.’ Within the fifth month of their training, Firefly debuted during one of the circus shows in Belarus. The act was so flawless that people began to ask questions about their origins. The group Firefly continued to flourish, and soon enough they did not need Valencia’s guiding hand. They had their own segment of the circus show and people paid large sums of money to see them in action. The four young men generated a lot of income for the circus troupe. Money that they had not made in a long while. Max Polyakov and his friends continued to wow the audience each opportunity they got and soon enough ‘Firefly’ was the name on the lips of many people who came to see the circus.
Max Polyakov, together with his friends said their goodbyes to the circus at the end of their sixth month with them. The circus folk were sad that Firefly was leaving. They held several parties for them where the group got to showcase their abilities for the last time. The proceeds from these parties were given to Max and his friends to start their own show. Luckily Firefly, they had built a huge fan base during their travels that getting bookings was not a difficult task. Soon enough they began to get requests from all over Poland and its environs. They were invited to almost every entertainment show imaginable. Even elite gatherings requested for Firefly to give them a show. It was a great first year for the group. Max Polyakov and his friends continued to make huge sums of money from their shows, making them among the richest young entertainers in their part of Europe. People flocked in just to see the group perform.
Firefly started touring Europe soon after they went solo. During their tours, they held several shows which were all sold out. Their fan base increased exponentially and their success was resounding. Max Polyakov always made it a point to come home to visit his parents whenever he was in Warsaw. His very excited mother and father also tried to attend several of his shows whenever the group came into town. Soon enough, Firefly had to extend their touring into Asia and parts of America. Several people came in to see the group that seemed to have appeared from nowhere. It was at the height of their career that Firefly was invited to perform at a very high profile party in Turkey. During that performance, the team got to experience Turkish cuisine and tradition. They also got to tour the country.
If any of the guys from Firefly were asked about the secret to their sudden resounding success, they attributed it to their hard work and perseverance, but most importantly to their passion and teamwork. That was what made Firefly what it was!