Robert Nelson, "The Butterfly Man"

Robert Nelson (aka The Butterfly Man) is the street performer’s street performer. He’s fast, funny, charming, a little rude, and very skilled at keeping an audience entertained. He’s a fine juggler and unicyclist, but its his personality and persona more than his tricks that have made him nearly legendary in street performer circles.

A former research chemist at Vanderbilt University, Robert Nelson quit the world of science to pursue a dream of making people laugh. Mr. Nelson first metamorphosed into his Butterfly Man character in 1978 while performing at Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Soon after, he indelibly affirmed his commitment to performing by getting his butterfly tattoos. Since then he has been working around the world, performing on streets and stages and winning over audiences and performers. He has won numerous awards at festivals, and has been voted best performer at San Francicsco’s Pier 39 multiple times.

His show consists of a number of typical juggling skills: unicycling, cigarbox and hat manipulations, fire-eating, ax-juggling, etc. But its his play and rapport with the audience, and his honest philosophical bent that makes him a one of a kind performer. He’s also genuinely a nice guy, and is usually willing (sometimes too willing) to give a helping hand to new performers.

To find out more about Robert’s work, please visit his website listed below: (it’s a flash website, so you must have flash to use it)


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