Motivational Speaker and Stunt Show performer, Martika Daniels is the face of fearless entertainment.
It’s times like these that we share an intentional appreciation for each new day. With it presents chances to mold and evolve in ways we couldn’t have seen necessary otherwise. Even in the limited lifestyles we’re experiencing currently, we must be ready to adapt to our surroundings. Finding versatility and courage wrapped all in one relentlessly. One could argue that the only person you truly need in order to take a chance on yourself, is you. One artist who is a chameleon when it comes to capabilities in her personal life and craft is Kansas City performer, Martika Daniels.
Friday, January 24th-
Another brisk cold night in Kansas City as I make my way to another venue for the first time. The Rude Revue LIVE! a burlesque and variety show is taking place at the Knuckleheads Saloon. The room is full of fun, sensual energy with each performer falling in sync with the live band playing alongside them. Rigid confidence took the stage many times this night as performers took their turn drawing the crowd. Although every set had its unique appeal to the audience, Martika Daniels, stuns with her one woman stunt show routine.
As the brief intermission ends, the crowd is quieted. The lights are dimmed and focused on center stage. Already differing from the others before, Martika’s act grabs the attention of the room without even seeing her. She’s properly introduced by the host as a “wrecking ball of wonder”, creating even more excitement. Out she comes, eyes and smile bright with multiple flashing hula hoops in hand. She’s small in stature but her silhouette presents a calm regalness as she begins. She and the hoops spin and spiral in a trance of beautiful light manipulation. The same could be said regarding the hand-made, glimmering, forest-green leotard she’s that she’s wearing. It almost feels magical in it’s surrealness.
It was clear that this act had indeed stolen the show that night. After witnessing for myself, it was evident that this was a regular occurance for her. When interviewing Martika the week prior, performances were a hot topic, of course. With 10 years under her belt, this one woman stunt show has taken on many various acts. Of those acts include sword swallowing, hooping, glass walking and fire dancing, breathing and eating. She describes herself as a “sponge of youthfulness” with her craft. “I want to inspire young people, and honestly everyone to see their strength through me“, she stated proudly.
We fell into agreement when considering the amount of strength that comes from enduring life’s upsets. Martika thoughtfully opened up about losing her mother and job, both within months, at the age of 23. “When people see my work, I want them to see the importance of enjoying the pursuit of happiness…You need to be ok without feeling happiness right now. You’ll feel it again. It’s the light at the end of that dark tunnel“, she says. Another subtle reminder to myself.
Martika’s persistence, adventurous spirit, and willingness to invest in herself has led her to many opportunities. Two days after the burlesque show that Friday night, she traveled to New Zealand for another engagement. Invited and hired as an international performer for a two-week festival, she shared her talents on a large scale for other cultures to see. This was not her first international trip nor will it be the last, I am sure. She also continues to be an inspiration in other ways as she has also done motivational speeches at colleges as well.
Patiently pushing uncertainty aside in this waiting season, Martika is undoubtedly keeping her fire alive. As an international representative of the Kansas City community, she stretches our imagination on how we perceive art. Her craft demonstrates that even though life may be a wild card at times, every year is different. We may be in a slow, dark season now but the light will always return. Thank you Martika for the affirmation to not only live in every moment, but to live through them in our pursuit back to happiness.
*Disclaimer: Please do not attempt any stunts pictured*
Join us next sunday for our upcoming artist review: John Pannell