Can your cat climb a vertical ladder ten feet high? Can your dog jump through hoops four feet off the ground? Direct from Russia, Valery Tsoraev and his array of house cats, Siberian Huskies, and parrots bring you the fascinating variety show Amazing Pets! Performing at the sprawling entertainment complex at Grand Country Music Hall (1945 W 76 Country Blvd) every morning at 10am throughout the summer, Valery Tsoraev was gracious enough to grant us an exclusive interview and insider look into this jaw-dropping show you just have to see for yourself!
Q: Everyone can see you have a really special bond with the animals. How did you develop such an extraordinary relationship with them?
Valery: Eye contact. Through their eyes I can read their minds! (Laughs) No really, it takes a lot of time, and lots of love in working with all the animals.
Q: What's your favorite animal to train?
Valery: The cats definitely – the orange one was a human in a past life! I believe cats are the most humanlike animal on the planet. The Persian is only eighteen months old – he’s the one who walks the double rope and pushes the big wheels across the stage. I didn’t really have to work with him much on the tricks, he just kind of knew them already!
Q: What’s the hardest animal to train?
Valery: All of them! The birds – they bite! The original owners didn’t really touch them or play with them, so it took about two years to train. When they're scared, they try to bite. Some people believe when the birds bite, it is because they are being bad. But they are not bad, they are just scared! My daughter Olga and I have to develop a lot of trust with the birds.
Q: How did Amazing Pets get its start here in Branson?
Valery: This gentleman seven or eight years ago had an idea to put a show together centered around animals, variety, and comedy. I believe it’s still the only show of its kind in Branson. There are other shows in town that use animals, but Amazing Pets allows the audience to sit close to the stage and enjoy a more intimate experience with the animals. Amazing Pets is very interactive for kids. Since we use house pets as opposed to special animals, the kids can relate and identify with them, like kids can see cats perform tricks at the show and then go home and play with their own cat. Some shows use tigers and such, and while it’s entertaining, the kids can’t go home to a pet tiger!
Q: What’s your favorite trick to perform?
Valery: Any of the tricks! I like all of them!
Q: How do you acquire the animals? Where do they come from?
Valery: We’re proud to say 80% of the animals are rescues. All of the cats are rescues except for the Siamese and Persian, and all the dogs except for the Schnauzer were adopted. One of the Siberian Huskies is from a shelter.
Q: What kind of methods do you use in training the animals?
Valery: I use mostly treats, but not because it’s necessary – I always treat them because I love them! I only use positive reinforcement, and the animals often perform without being given treats. It’s actually really fun to watch them catch the treats in the air!
Q: Where do the animals stay in between shows?
Valery: They stay in a specially-built facility that is USDA-approved with conditions checked regularly by licensed professionals. The facility has climate-controlled conditions, with plenty of ventilation, air conditioning, and heating in the winter months. The Huskies have their own room, the cats stay in another, and the birds have their own room as well. The facility is maintained seven days a week, with professionals cleaning and brushing the animals on a daily basis.
Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring animal trainers?
Valery: Before you start, you need to have 300% patience! Patience, patience, patience is key to getting any animal to do any kind of trick.
This really is a one-of-a-kind show in Branson with dialogue and humor geared especially for children. Amazing Pets is a wholesome family show where you won’t have to worry about explaining to your kids what certain phrases mean. You can purchase tickets for Amazing Pets at BransonShowTickets.com, or by calling 877-6880-3179.