A professional sword swallower - who can easily gulp a 19-inch blade - admits she is dicing with death every time she goes on stage.
Despite knowing it could kill her, daredevil Lilith Revere loves nothing more than getting on stage and swallowing sharp swords – up to 19 inches long – in front of stunned audiences.
The 28-year-old has never been a stranger to the stage, with both her parents having careers in performance and Lilith singing and acting when she was younger.
In her early twenties, the stunning redhead began circus classes and became a skilled contortionist, which led her to first try out sword swallowing in 2017.
And after finding her ‘sword mentor’ while training in Beijing, Lilith is now a skilled sword swallower who amazes audiences with her spine-tingling acts – which she admits could kill her at any time.
Lilith, of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, said today: “To ensure a successful swallow, I need to make sure that I’ve eaten and that I’m well hydrated.
“I also need to be calm, relaxed and have no immediate threats to my safety. This can be very interesting with an excited audience.
“I’ve gotten very used to the feeling of the blade going down my throat, but sometimes if it’s a bit cold it can be a bit of a shock.
“If I move my torso while swallowing, I can feel the blade inside my oesophagus and chest cavity.
“Occasionally I can feel the reverberation of my heart beating against the blade.
“I can still breathe while all this is happening, but it’s very easy to forget.
“Currently, my longest sword has a blade length of 19 inches, which goes right down into my stomach when swallowed.
“Every time I swallow a sword there is a risk of death. That risk only increases when swallowing multiple swords at once.
“Sword swallowing is extremely dangerous, and should never be attempted without guidance from a professional.”
Growing up with creative parents, Lilith was always destined to become a performer.
After training to become a skilled contortionist, she decided to learn sword swallowing to add to her list of skills.
In addition to the above, Lilith also performs with razor blades and can act as a ‘human blockhead’ – a trick where she hammers a nail deep into her nostril.
She said: “My dad is a musician, and my mum was a gymnast, dancer and showgirl. I sang and was in theatre when I was younger, so I’ve never been a stranger to the stage.
“I’d always had interest in the circus as a kid and would have butterflies in my stomach while watching Cirque du Soleil performances.
“After removing myself from a toxic relationship in my early twenties, I decided to try a general circus class and soon realised that it was something I loved.
“This sparked my interest in contortion, which is how I dipped my toes into the sideshow world.
“I’d always had an interest in sword swallowing but knew it would be very difficult to find someone to teach me.
“It wasn’t until I was training in contortion at a circus school in Beijing that I was able to find my sword mentor.
“I love doing it. My family are pretty supportive for the most part, they don’t understand why I do it but it’s become a novelty.
“Most of my friends are sideshow performers themselves so they’re very supportive.
“I also perform with a troupe of amazing women called the Chevron Showgirls, who are like family to me. It is wonderful to be surrounded by like-minded individuals.”
And when asked if she had any tips for people who might be interested in trying out sword swallowing, Lilith had just one word of advice: “Don’t!”.
With reporting by Caters.