Twenty-six-year-old future fire twirler Max Polyakov and a few of his friends set off one fine Saturday morning to watch the circus in Warsaw, Poland. With his love for life and his new-found friends who seemed to share this interest of his, Max knew very well that they were in for a good time. They bought their tickets well before the commencement of the show because they knew that the circus was really popular in town. Max Polyakov was sure he would be unable to forgive himself if he was unable to procure the tickets.
The show proved to be everything Max Polyakov and his three friends, Adrien, Mikael, and Ricardo hoped it would be. There were several tricks on display. The show began with a tantalizing sultry dance by one of the Indian dancers from the circus. Her moves, so deliberate, very sensual, and almost nonchalant looking lured each and every spectator into a state where she alone mattered. The music echoed from the tents and resounded loudly in the hearts and minds of the spectators. Many of the spectators were sure in their hearts that they had certainly witnessed love at first sight. The dancer continued to lure them into her world with wild moves and deliberate facial expressions. Many of the spectators could not take their eyes off her. In what seemed to be a rather short time, the music ended and the real acts followed. There was an obvious and audible groan from many men who had fixated their sights on the young Indian. They were definitely sorry to see her leave the stage. They, however, had almost no time to recover because right after she left, large tigers climbed into the pit. At that moment, Max Polyakov and his friends felt their hearts jump into their mouths. The tigers roared and looked menacing. People were glued to their seats in fear. The animal trainer came out almost immediately after the tigers had taken to the stage. He came with a whip and some hoops. Were these tigers going to jump? People were terrified about the prospect. The tigers awed everyone by jumping ever so gracefully through the hoops. A few even jumped over long ropes hung across the circus.
The tigers finished their show and immediately there was loud applause. Everyone stood on their feet to clap. This circus was indeed proving to be a good investment for the four guys. People thought they had seen the best of the circus. Little did they know that the entertainers had indeed saved the best for last. The fire breathers came in last. They were named so because of the way they handled the fire. It seemed as if they had immediately become pyromancers and fire-breathing dragons. These fire handlers expertly moulded the fire into several designs to the complete awe of the spectators. The ideas that seemed to flow from their heads and materialize into their hands in the form of fire were so fluid. At the end of the show, many people could not contain their awe at how excellently the stunts were done. However, for the four boys, it was the beginning of something new.
Max Polyakov grew up in Warsaw with both his parents. His father was a musician and his mum worked two jobs to sustain the family. His mum often warned him not to venture into the arts and then leave a poor wife to fend for the family. Max Polyakov, however, had a mind of his own. Max Polyakov’s father, although he earned little, was constantly happy and singing. He brought joy to the house and even managed to make his wife smile more than a few times. It was the great love she had for him that made him get away with having a career that brought little to no income, forcing her to work two jobs to sustain the family. Max Polyakov’s mother, Martha, although always stressed, was not a bitter woman. Martha worked primarily as a secretary in the daytime and was a tailor by night. She had several clients who paid a hefty sum to get their favourite dresses made. Regardless of the stress, Martha loved her jobs and felt no pressure to lash out at her family. Her husband loved her dearly for this. There was always peace at home and as a result, Max grew up in a loving home. Max Polyakov did all he could to make his mother proud. He learned hard so that he could one day ease the burden on his mother. One fine evening, coming home from high school, a few of his friends invited him to a show just out of town. It was there that he found his love for pyroperformances. He witnessed a man breath fire out of his mouth and was immediately intrigued as to the how’s and why’s of such a feat. Since then, Max Polyakov made it a point to go to every fire show he came across. There were not many at the time, but Max Polyakov happened to know the whereabouts of the next fire show by the time it was announced.
Max Polyakov’s mother soon realized his love for arts and although she foresaw him becoming very much like his father, she wished he would abandon the love for arts and take on a stable job. She made a point of mentioning it to him every chance she got. Max decided in his heart to make his hobby a part-time guilty pleasure. Much to the excitement of his mother, he began to excel and soon enough won a scholarship to do his bachelors degree in a university in Krakow. That was where Max Polyakov’s desire for the arts was reborn. Soon enough, Max started using his spare time to go to several shows no matter the art form. Krakow was the city of great production prospects so Max Polyakov thrived in that atmosphere. By the time he had completed his bachelor’s degree, he was working part-time in a television studio and his employers were ready to take him on full time. Max Polyakov’s mother was elated beyond measure.
Max Polyakov’s love for the arts never died and so when the time came for him to do his Masters, he decided to study in the city of Warsaw, the city of his birth. He decided to study the various art forms in the area. As part of his research, he went to several art shows showcasing talents. He then realized that he indeed had a deeply rooted love for all art forms involving fire. It was at one of those fire shows that he met his three friends, Adrien, Mikael, and Ricardo. Ricardo had said several times that he wanted to be a pyroperformer and was currently looking for the best master in that art form to get training. The two other friends frequently called his bluff in a friendly banter and said he was the one with constant dreams. Max Polyakov, however, saw something of a great potential in Ricardo’s utterances and hoped to be as bold as he was. All three new friends loved fire and the beautiful ways in which the most dangerous element could be tamed to suit one’s creative wishes. They made it a habit to frequent various fire shows. It was during one of those trips that they went to the circus and chanced upon the very mesmerizing fire performers. It was at this very show that they all simultaneously decided they each wanted to be fire performers of their own.
Max and his three friends thought long and hard about their new decision to become pyroperformers. After that circus performance that they had witnessed, they each wanted to explore their innate fire manipulating tendencies. Ricardo especially was certain that if they visited the circus and spoke to the fire master, there was a chance they could learn from him. This time, the three other friends took him seriously. One fine afternoon, shortly before the circus was about to pack up and leave town, Max and his three friends approached the fire master. Valencio, the fire master was a middle-aged pleasant man with well-built features. He looked much younger than his age and darker in complexion. When the boys approached him, he looked at them with scepticism and told them that in order for him to take them seriously, they had to travel with the circus for six months during which he promised to teach them all he knew. At this point, the friends were ready to do almost anything. They quickly said their goodbyes and jumped into the moving train. Valencio looked at them and said they resembled fireflies in his eyes. That was how the quartet got their name, Firefly.
The first few months of training were arduous. It was not just the constant training with the fire that wore the friends out, but the harsh conditions that the circus lived in. Since the circus was constantly in motion, putting up show after show in sometimes remote places, there was hardly a great place to sleep or simply relax. The group was constantly on the go. All that coupled with the training in the hot summer sun made Max Polyakov and his friends long for home. Valencio proved to be an excellent teacher and by the fifth month, the group Firefly had their own act in the circus show. People soon began to gather round to see the four young men in action, doing well-coordinated fire stunts that Valencio could not achieve on his own. Valencio continued to mentor the friends and his heart was full of pride every time they managed to wow an audience. Over time, people came to the circus simply to see the young men in action. They became a household name in the circus.
Soon enough, when it came to circus fire tricks, the name Firefly was loud on the lips of many people. Children and adults alike paid huge sums of money to watch the young men perform at the circus. At the end of the sixth month, when Max Polyakov and his friends announced they were branching off to establish the Firefly brand, several of their followers were sorry to see them go. They had generated so much income for the circus that their fellow performers were distraught that the quartet was branching off.
Max Polyakov, Adrien, Mikael, and Ricardo returned to Warsaw as celebrities in their own right. They soon began to receive bookings for shows from children parties to large sophisticated shows. Soon enough Firefly gained recognition all over Poland and eventually in many parts of Eastern Europe. Max Polyakov and his friends were happy they followed their dream. Their biggest client base was made up of sophisticated nationals who hired them for several festivals all over the country. Firefly went on tour to several states and other countries including Spain and Belarus, all the while receiving large sums of money for their performances. Most importantly, Max Polyakov’s mother was over the moon with joy. To her, the marrying of your dream and good income made one the happiest people on earth. She invited the team Firefly to lunch and dinners several times when they were in town and went on and on about how she was excited about Max Polyakov and his friends’ success. Just like any true mother would be.
The group Firefly went on to hold several shows and tours on their own and soon enough their popularity spread all over Europe into Asia and then America. Fire twirler Max Polyakov and his friends were really happy about their progress, and they always said to themselves that hard work and perseverance can get anyone where they wished to be, and Firefly was just enough proof of that!