Ottavio and Naomi constantly shoot crossbows at each other from 35 feet away. He shoots arrows past her breasts, she shoots arrows between his legs, and they love each other very much.
Their stage name is Mr. and Mrs. G, and the first time he shot an apple off her head, they were on “The Tonight Show.”
“That was also the first time she performed the shot when I did the handstand into a split, and she shoots a balloon between my legs,” Ottavio Gesmundo says with a big smile of happiness.
Naomi Brenkman Gesmundo excitedly says their thinking was, “Let’s be on TV and do all new shots!”
When you ask courageous entertainers like Mr. and Mrs. G why they do wild things, they give you answers like this:
“It’s exciting for the audience, and it’s exciting for us,” he says matter-of-factly.
Is it the adrenaline they’re addicted to?
“No,” he says. “We enjoy relaxing and traveling.”
Ah, yes, the traveling. Mr. and Mrs. G have performed on a variety of Las Vegas stages, but mostly they tour the world for gigs.
“Most of our work is in Dubai and London, and New York and Miami. We’re leaving in a week to go to Hawaii,” Ottavio says after the couple’s performance Wednesday at Inspire Theater.
They do a lot onstage. Mr. and Mrs. G dance around, do some martial arts moves, make comedy facial expressions and then pick up a crossbow and quickly shoot balloons off their bodies.
Occasionally, she suffers a wardrobe malfunction and her pasties pop off.
“People seem to enjoy that very, very much,” she says.
The top three questions people ask (and the answers):
1. “You guys must trust each other?” (Yes.)
2. “Who’s the better shot?” (No answer.)
3. “Have you ever hit each other?” (“Yes, we have matching scars,” he says, but just finger nicks.)
My favorite question: “Aren’t you worried one of you will ‘accidentally’ shoot the other after a marriage argument?”
“No,” Naomi says, laughing. “We check the equipment. We check each other. We do lots of yoga. There must be a lot of calmness about us. And everything changes when you step onstage. We’ve got each other’s back.”
Their back story is a trip. Naomi learned ballet and dance while raised in Holland by a nurse-mother and a sensei-father who taught her shorinji kempo karate at age 4.
“How much ass can you kick?” I ask.
“A whole lot,” she says with a laugh.
Ottavio comes from an Italian circus family based in Las Vegas and Sarasota, Fla. His grandfather did a chimpanzees-in-Army-duds act on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” His sister opened Circus Circus, spinning by her teeth three stories above the casino floor.
“You can see her doing that in ‘Diamonds Are Forever,’ ” Ottavio says.
Ottavio grew up singing, dancing and circus-training, then performing in shows along the Strip. Twelve years ago, he landed an Elton John musical in Holland, and that’s where he met Naomi.
“I saw him,” Naomi says, “and it was love and lust at first sight. I’m still in love with him.”
“We’re still very much in love,” he says, looking into her eyes, and I realize they’re holding hands.
Ottavio’s sister got them into shooting crossbow arrows (called “bolts”) at each other. His sister did crossbow so well she is in the book of Guinness World Records, but she wanted to do something else for a change.
Ottavio and Naomi have long, fun stories I could tell you, such as how he proposed seaside.
“I can’t get rid of these hiccups; you have to scare me,” she told him by the ocean. So he got down on one knee and proposed. “She lost her hiccups,” he says.
I could go into more detail about all seven of their acts, such as burlesque-crossbow and mambo-crossbow, but let me just tell you about their “neon ninja” act and what’s so special about it.
“Everything is glowing neon, and I catch a bolt in midair. She shoots it and I catch it,” he says with another big smile.
Let me just leave you with this thought. This weekend, while many of us are lounging on beds and couches, Mr. and Mrs. G might be at that same time practicing routines at home, shooting 40 feet down a hallway into custom-made targets.
She might even be firing bolts directly at heart-shaped targets he holds over his Cupid-struck chest.
“We love doing things together,” he says.
Doug Elfman’s column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.