Risk The Highest Step in the World

Ghost River Theatre’s David van Belle and Eric Rose have created a production that asks “What happens when you take a risk? What makes you take that first step from an unimaginable height? ”  “The Highest Step in the World” is a one man show (David van Belle, who does a great job) with 2 men behind the scenes who make him fly. Based on Joseph Kittinger’s record breaking jump from a weather balloon in 1960, the play also includes the story of Vesna Vulovic, an airline stewardess who survived a fall out of a bombed plane, and the mythological characters of Daedalus and Icarus.

Sometimes people take risks and fail. On my way to the theatre I was driving around a tight curve to get onto the Queensborough Bridge. Traffic slowed and I eventually had to pass a semi-trailer truck lying on its side on top of the cement road dividers.  The driver had obviously taken the curve at too high a speed and tipped over. Some of its wheels were still spinning. Emergency vehicles hadn’t arrived yet. When I returned across the bridge in the late afternoon after my theatre experience, I saw the truck being hauled away, the cab horribly crushed. I don’t know whether the driver survived. We take risks in our vehicles every day, and often don’t think about it.

Then there are the risks we do think about, like jumping out of a tree when we’re little, or creating a new piece of art. It can be as small as deciding to use a different colour palette when redesigning your living room, or as large as taking the steps to walk on the moon. Taking risks can be scary, but without it life can be boring. Without risks we would never have new inventions, or art pieces. We might never get married, or travel to a different country. I’ve always been a cautious person, but I do take some risks, and maybe it’s time to take a few more.

For you, why not take a risk in theatre and go see “The Highest Step in the World” on now until October 26, 2013, in Richmond’s Gateway Theatre. Here’s the trailer:


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2 Comments on “Risk The Highest Step in the World”

  1. Joan Says:

    Hi Tiana, these mostly aren’t risks from what I can see or feel. They are ‘chances’ when making foolish decisions like that guy who jumped from a Weather Balloon…..sheer stupidity from my point of view.

    The stewardess who lived thru a plane crash never took a risk, she was working on that plane that went down. Where’s the risk? Risks are thought about before doing something from the way I think.

    As for the highest step in this show, seems to me be the one where this guy is flying around the room hoping what’s holding him up isn’t going to break and he’ll fall on the audience. Another stupid thing to do….the risk taken is by the audience, not the guy floating around above them.

    Let’s talk about it later. Risk takers have no regard for their lives to begin with no matter the outcome either where they gain fame for it turning out well or a funeral will be attended due it not going well in the end.

    I’m not critical of this play just observant and it’s nothing I’d pay money to see and get annoyed by someone flying over my head threatening my life sitting below him. There’s the risk factor based on ignorance.

    Being born in 1930 may have something to do with the way I think things through. I’ve been through many life threatening things growing up and later as an adult. I value life and don’t take it lightly….its amazing! Just wish many more years could be added where man could live at least up to 200 years. That might give mankind more information on how wonderful our bodies really are. The time we have now is nothing…..it’s gone too quickly. The search for longer life will go on until its actually corrected by the creator of life itself. This wasn’t a group effort!


    • tianakaczor Says:

      I think a chance is something you can’t control, as when you have a chance meeting with someone on the street; you didn’t plan to meet, you just bumped into each other. I think a risk has some control and planning, but there are variables that might make the outcome not as you planned. Of course you don’t want to get hurt, so you prepare like crazy, but there are accidents.
      I believe the stewardess did take a risk, however small, in taking a job where you are flying thousand of feet up in the air. But in her case it was a risk probably not thought about much.
      There are many types of risk takers, from sky divers, to mothers who risk pregnancy and giving birth, to L who has risked getting another hamster.

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