Brentwood native Grace Good once thought her career as a circus performer was over.
Like it did to just about everyone in the entertainment industry, the impact from COVID-19 kept Good from traveling and performing as venues went dark and events were canceled.
That’s why her second national television performance of 2021 meant so much, even if it was a brief appearance last Wednesday night on the Fox network’s “Game of Talents” show. Good, a 2011 graduate of Centennial High School who attended Middle Tennessee State University before turning a hula hoop hobby into a career as a self-taught cirque artist, performed as a “fire hooper” after contestants guessed what each of the candidates did.
That came on the heels of her appearance in January on the TBS series “The Go-Big Show,” which featured entertainers with extreme talents who competed for a cash prize. Celebrity judges included Snoop Dogg, Jennifer Nettles, Cody Rhodes and Rosario Dawson.
"Performing on two prime-time network TV shows in the first half of 2021 is something I would've never dreamed of just over a year ago, at the start of the pandemic, when like all entertainers, I feared my career was ending,” Good said in a press release sent after her Wednesday appearance on the show. “These opportunities kept me going.
"This isn't arriving. I have so much I want to do. This is only the beginning."
The show’s premise
After months of keeping the results of her appearance on “Game of Talents” under wrap, Good's surprise identity was revealed by TV personality and show host Wayne Brady to a national audience.
To maintain the surprise element of the show, where contestants win huge cash prizes if they correctly guess the talents of the guests they meet, Good was not allowed to tip her hand in advance that she would appear on the show.
"This was the hardest secret I've ever kept," she said.
In addition to Good’s category of fire hooper, others on last week’s show were hip hop dancers, daredevil biker, bubbleologist, human candelabra, beatboxer and lion trainer. One of those was just a decoy.
Contestants were given clues on a particular performer, and had to guess in which category he or she belonged. The team that saw and heard clues for Good’s category wrongly guessed she was a daredevil biker, and their error was revealed as Good performed her act with fiery hula hoops.
"It was amazing to be invited to do what I love in front of Fox network's giant audience!” Good said. “The surprise element was so much fun. I'm all about wowing my audiences with surprising, unexpected, unbelievable feats, so the show was a perfect fit for me."
Good considers the exposure she has received on a couple of national TV networks a boon for her career, but she is particularly eager that performances are soon once again live and in-person.
"While I do want to continue TV appearances, I'm also thrilled that live stages are opening again,” she said.
Click here to see the segment on “Game of Talents” that features Good as the fire hooper.