On the high wire, within months, I'm able to master all the tricks they do in the circus, except I am not satisfied.

My journey has always been the balance between chaos and order.

It's part of my life to feel like a criminal, to have eyes in my back and see if I'm being followed. It's a feeling that comes from street juggling because I have been arrested so many times.

When a loved one disappears, you continue to live with the accompaniment of that person. One has to find a balance between joy and sorrow.

There is a child inside me that wants to come out and do something to surprise all the adults.

If you see how carefully I prepare for any kind of walk, legal or illegal, small or big, you will see that, actually, I narrow the unknown to virtually nothing. And that's when I am ready to walk on the wire.

Right after my Twin Towers walk, I was approached by hundreds of people, and I said no to all the offers. I could have become a millionaire overnight, obviously, but I said no, and I continue to be uninterested.

I wanted all my life to give my world into other arts - books, plays, movies - but I didn't want to sell out.

I have been performing in the street for more than 50 years: magic for basically 60 years, and the high wire 45 years. The beauty of it is that it's never the same. It's never easy. And yet, part of my art is to make it look easy.

I didn't go to school much. I was thrown out of different schools, and my university is the street.

Art is maybe a subversive activity. There is a certain rebellion when you are an artist at heart, even if only in the art of living.

I am a wire-walker. I can walk any time, anywhere - I'm indestructible.

It's always easy to describe something complex by applying to it an already known label.

On a very long and very high wire, I will not hope to not be blown off by high winds. I will have the certitude that such could not happen.

An intellectual challenge presents itself? I am in bliss. Instantly, it brings forth the notion of triumph.

As I'm studying magic, juggling is mentioned repeatedly as a great way to acquire dexterity and coordination. Now, I had long admired how fast and fluidly jugglers make objects fly. So that's it. I'm 14; I'm becoming a juggler.

I was not born into the world of the stuntman and the daredevil; I was born into the world of theater and writing and sculpting and classical music.

As a high wire walker, I do not allow myself to 'leave the wire' during a performance.

I would not describe my personality. And I think when you describe people, you are making a mistake. That's not how they are; that's how you perceive them at that moment. It's limiting in front of something that is magnificent and unlimited: life.

I rendezvous with the long wire and perform the 'torero walk', gliding my feet, holding the pole away from my body, head high.

Fame was never something I was seeking in my artistic journey. It's to be used as a tool for an artist to break open doors and keep creating. That's how I enjoyed fame in '74; it was not just for the emptiness of being famous.

I am the poet of the high wire - I never do stunts; I do theatrical performances.

This moment where we think we rest, when the brain is floating, you know, in sleep, is actually a moment where I could be very creative in a very strange, uncontrolled way.

How could I share with you how I felt when two towers that I loved, two pieces of steel and glass and concrete fell down, when actually they took with them thousands of human lives? That is the actual tragedy. But those towers were almost human for me. I was in love with them, and that's why I married them with a tight rope.

I walk on the wire; it's my profession, and there are no two high wire walks alike.

I was born in a world of opera, theatre, films, poetry, art, and therefore, out of the wire, I made a stage. That's why they call me a high wire artist.

Many people use the words 'death defying' or 'death wishing' when they talk about wire-walking. Many people have asked me: 'So do you have a death wish?' After doing a beautiful walk, I feel like punching them in the nose. It's indecent. I have a life wish.

Wire-walking in performance is one thing - I never fell, of course. If I had, I wouldn't be here talking about it.

I started putting a wire up in secret and performing without permission. Notre Dame, the Sydney Harbor Bridge, the World Trade Center. And I developed a certitude, a faith that convinced me that I will get safely to the other side. If not, I will never do that first step.

I needed more knowledge in rigging and knotting. I started collecting books on knots and really learning more and more. That's how it started. And also in magic, of course. With a piece of rope, you can do magic.

It is treacherous on a high wire to change your focus point and suddenly look down.

I have a fear of water, believe it or not. To put a wire 12 feet over a swimming pool frightens me. I don't like water.

I would like to continue to tell stories of what I did in a biographical way, so I will continue to write.

Passion is the motto of all my actions.

I am not up there by chance. I am there by choice. And I know the wire. And I know my limits. And I am a madman of details.

I am fascinated by the engineering. The science of constructing and understanding why it stands. And I am drawn by the madness, the beauty, the theatricality, the poetry and soul of the wire. And you cannot be a wire-walker without mingling those two ways of seeing life.

I'm a wire-walker, but actually, I'm a moviemaker that hasn't done his first movie.

I, like everybody else, have a certain fear of heights, and I have to be very careful when I am in the clouds, but it is also what I love; it is my domain, so when you love something, you don't have fear.

I love or hate things straight away. I like to go directly to action to see the result. I think I must be difficult, but at the same time, it's not for me to say.

I love to remember the World Trade Centre walk, but it should not define me.

I've been arrested many times for illegal high wire walking and illegal street performing.

Every year, I am conscious of the anniversary of my 1974 World Trade Center walk.

What I think tailors the creativity of most people are the rules that we learn from the age we are very small - in school, our parents.

There was a time when fire and story would fall asleep in unison. It was dream time.

I was in art school once a week from six to 16, which was essential in shaping my artistic sensitivity.

Of course, the slightest little mistake on the wire will deprive me of my life, so in that sense, yes, it is a dangerous profession. You have to pay attention; if not, you will lose your life.

Death frames the high wire. But I don't see myself as taking risks. I do all of the preparations that a non-death seeker would do.

If a leaf fell from a tree, I'd stop juggling and play with the leaf. I went to my prop bag and got a little bandage and stuck the leaf back on the tree. People loved it.

Truly, from a very early age, I started distancing myself from other kids, not out of willingness, but just out of the nature of my energy. I liked to do things solely, and I already had a taste of the quest for perfection, which is unusual in a little kid.