One warm Saturday afternoon in the summer of 1981, 7-year-old Danny Trout sat in a large, dark room full of strangers, eyes transfixed at the images formed by the light patterns reflected off the wide, white wall situated in the front of the room. The images depicted a man in a hat suddenly spinning round and extending his arm. In his hand was a long, sinewy rope-like object that snaked out of the shadows, disarmed a bad guy with a gigantic Whoosh-Bang, and then curled back to be coiled into neat loops by the man in the hat. Danny was so struck by these images that he was afraid to blink for the next two hours out of fear of missing another appearance of that object.
Thus began a life-long obsession with motion pictures and the bullwhip.
Daniel spent his early adult years studying theater performance and video/media production. During this time, he spent his weekends wearing silly clothes and playing with swords at Medieval/Renaissance reenactment events. He went on to become a “front-line soldier” in the Desktop Video Revolution in the late 1990’s and served almost a decade as instructor and program coordinator for a 2 year media program at a state university in Ohio. As a freelancer, he’s found himself manning video cameras hovering over the open chest of a patient during heart surgery, and down range from full-auto weapon fire with live rounds.
On his 30th birthday, rather than doing something as tedious and predictable as buying a sports car or getting blind drunk, he took a weekend bullwhip handling workshop with whip artist, Gery Deer of Jamestown, Ohio. Up until then, he’d tinkered with cheaply made goat-skin-and-sisal-rope and swivel-handle cowhide bullwhips with limited success, but this was entirely different, and would change the course of his life forever.
Daniel has spent the last decade and a half exploring and teaching various styles and techniques of whip artistry. He has worked and trained with such skilled performers as Chris Camp, Adam Winrich, Robert Dante, Ron Lew, Scott McElroy and Anthony De Longis. More is available about his approach to whips and whip artistry at mach1whips.weebly.com
In addition to his “Secret Identity” (read that as “Day Job”) as the video production specialist for a network of Classical Education Charter Schools in Southeast North Carolina, he also produces and consults on educational multimedia as well as video and film projects, writes fiction, records music, and indulges in a variety of other esoteric shenanigans.
He recently produced and directed Maestro Ron Lew’s “Tibetan Wave: The Filipino Fighting Whip” instructional video, (available at the HolyOak Whips booth at Combat Con, and soon available from Amazon, RonLew.com and HolyOak-Whips.com,) and is currently writing the book “Meditating At The Speed Of Sound: The Incomplete Book of Whip Artistry.”
He lives near the aptly-named Cape Fear River in Coastal North Carolina, with his wife Jennifer and their neurotic cat Solomon.
He is also half-fictional on his father’s side.