NAME: Ernest de Castro
OCCUPATION: I'm a 3D and Motion Graphic Designer during the day, and a fire artist, acrobat, aerialist, and highliner after-hours.
LIVES: Bremen, Germany
SOMETHING BRAVE YOU’VE DONE:
I like to get high. Literally. As a highliner, my friends and I walk slacklines up in the air, between buildings, trees or mountains, over rocks, rivers and pavement. Anything we can walk across. Everytime a highliner looks up, you can bet he's checking the skyline for where to rig lines. Because of this sport, I got to travel across Europe, to far flung cities, indomitable mountains and lush forests to walk the sky with my friends. The times I've spent with the highlining community are among of the best moments of my life. Though highlining I learned a lot about fear and how to embrace it. A big part of highlining is about understanding fear, not ignoring it, but rather going beyond it to do great things.
WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE?
I'm a vegan, fire-spinning, acrobatic, aerialist highliner. There's this outdated stereotype that vegans are weak. I've been vegan for a few years now and my level of physical activity has not slowed down one bit. I've been doing all these things at my age (41 *cough*) and with a meat-free diet. I want to remind people that eating meat is absolutely not necessary to being fit, strong and healthy. Natural vegan food, in addition to being perfect body fuel, is just as flavorful as traditional food while being better for the environment. I just hope that more people shun meat and dairy so we can minimize the cruelty we inflict on other creatures and impact on our environment.
DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE:
Shirtless-whenever-possible! My "style" is being appropriately shirtless whenever possible. Otherwise it's tight clothing that can move as much as I do. I hate wastefulness so I love clothes that I can wear for all purposes: whether I'm at a party, performing with fire, highlining or traveling. Highlining often involves leggings and funky costumes. Usually it's stretchy pants that are flattering to the figure, low on the waist and can survive abrasive trips to the mountains and the repeated jumps, flips and butterfly kicks. Because of that I gravitate towards skinny jeans, bold leggings and "harem pants". Oh and I like wigs too!
Yerba mate! It's somewhat like a really bitter and caffeine-rich strong tea. You steep yerba mate leaves in hot water and drink it through a metal straw (called a bombilla) which also serves as a filter. It has a really strong bitter flavor people find intimidating if they’re not used to it. It’s a popular traditional drink in South America. Normally it's served in a dried hollowed Calabash gourd, but I use a ceramic version that fits in cupholders so it's more convenient for traveling. I'm almost always with my mate (leaves, bombilla and gourd) when I travel or when I'm at work. It's my default drink for daily dose of default go for alertness, energy, mood enhancer.
Balance. It's not a motto,but balance has been a key ethic I've had all my life. Balance is moderation. Balance is passion and restraint. Balance is work and pleasure. Balance is joy and sadness. Balancing is somehow meeting our physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual needs in rapidly changing world. I don't think it's a coincidence I ended up slacklining.