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Busking to success

Friday 25 Jan 2013 10:38 p.m.

For one of the headline acts at this weekend’s 13th annual Buskers Festival in Auckland, performing odd feats doesn't just make him a living – it may have saved his life.

Life's a delicate balance – and no-one knows that better than Matt Baker, who was a troubled teen before he discovered his calling

“I didn't find my way until someone sent me away to find my way,” he says.

“I was the youngest of four kids and all my siblings have PhDs and Masters Degrees and I wasn't into school that much.”

But who needs a PhD when you are the holder of five Guinness World Records.

“I have two hacky sack tricks, I have fastest time juggling and taking my clothes off, most bowling balls caught on my head in 30 secs, and most leap frogs while juggling with another person,” he says.

“I made them all up, didn't break anyone's existing record. I almost did most jokes in one minute which is 18 – and I got 17 twice.”

In between record attempts, the former pro hacky sack player performs on cruise ships, at corporate gigs, and on shows like America's Got Talent

But there’s always a reminder of how far he's come close at hand; there’s a tattoo on his arm of the title of The Smiths’ song, “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”.

“I'm a huge Smiths fan and I got it at a time when I needed to remind myself you can make anything happen.”

And to prove it, he caught a bowling ball with his face.

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