Despite learning to juggle at the age of fifteen, David J. Hirschi (a.k.a. Slim Chance®) began his professional life as a science teacher. Although he has spent thousands of hours on the stage and screen as an actor and entertainer, performing always took a back seat to more serious endeavors.
David attended Virginia Tech where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, Magna cum laude. While in college, David performed in several theatrical productions as well as establishing the Virginia Tech Juggling Club. Following graduation, David worked as an education specialist for the National Park Service in Maine and Utah, The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and Point Reyes Bird Observatory in California.
At the same time that he was teaching science, David worked as an actor in theatrical productions, industrial videos, and a television mini-series “The Murder of Mary Phagan” with Jack Lemmon. He also honed his juggling skills with appearances at Busch Gardens Theme Park and Disney World.
David’s unique combination of theatrical experience and science education led to six years of writing, directing, and producing large-scale, science shows for The Science Museum of Virginia and The Science Museum of Minnesota. David also received consulting contracts from The Minnesota Zoo and The Science and Technology Museum in Atlanta to develop science-based theatrical productions.
But in 1991 David shifted his career direction when he accepted an invitation to perform his juggling act in Las Vegas. From that point, David worked full-time in Las Vegas as a juggler and comedian, polishing his act at the Excalibur, Maxim, Sands and Aladdin hotels.
In 1994 David began performing at the Country Tonite Theater in Branson, Missouri. For the next four years he developed his new character Slim Chance ®, the sophisticated, juggling hillbilly with an off-beat sense of humor and garnered two Comedian of the Year awards.
In 1998 David joined Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff at his theater in Branson. The duo created The Yakov Smirnoff Show, with David serving as Writer, Director, Performer and Co-Producer. The show became one of the most successful shows in Branson, attracting some 250,000 people per year.
When Yakov wanted to create a one-man show for New York, he brought David on board to serve as the Creative Producer. In 2003, As Long As We Both Shall Laugh debuted on Broadway and was heralded by the New York Times as “splendidly funny... touching... delightful... sometimes poignant.”
That same year, David also wrote and directed a show for country superstar Pam Tillis, whose fans enthusiastically approved of the new format.
After thirteen years in Branson, David moved to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in 2007. For the next four years he performed at the popular Comedy Barn Theater before moving to The Smoky Mountain Opry. As the featured comedian, David continues to polish his juggling skills as well as writing new material to entertain and convulse his loyal fans.