PUEBLO, Colo. – Before the Built Ford Tough Series second half gets started at this weekend’s Express Employment Professionals Classic, presented by Osage Casino, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. PBR exclusive entertainer Flint Rasmussen sat down with the Tulsa World's Jimmie Tramel for a Q&A session that covered everything from his early rodeo days, to the scary heart attack that took him off the road for a stretch.
Rasmussen was immediately met with a tough question when Tramel asked what the best job-related compliment Rasmussen ever received was.
After a moment of thought, Rasmussen admitted that he was always humbled when a fan tells him that he brought a smile to their, or their loved one's, face. It has always been a moment that puts things in perspective for Rasmussen, who sometimes hardly believes that he’s paid to make jokes every weekend.
“Doing this job, I sometimes get caught up thinking I’m not really doing anything. I’m not building anything. I’m not curing cancer. I always say, ‘We aren’t curing cancer or stopping terrorism here.’ It’s just bull riding. And sometimes I get caught up in that,” Rasmussen said. “Like, what am I really doing? But when certain people come up and say, ‘You know, you really do make a difference. This is an important job. You are making a difference in peoples’ lives with laughter and with smiles.’ Something like that means a lot.”
He was also asked what it was like when he started his entertaining career in his home-state of Montana at 19.
“I got nervous like I did for football games or basketball games when I was in high school. I just loved it. I loved being out in front of people,” Rasmussen said. “But it was real willy nilly, I guess you would say. I was just out there just being me, just engaging with the people and (trying to be) high energy.”
When asked if he was always a natural born showoff, Rasmussen recalled a moment with his mother.
“One time, I found a stash. My mom used to do a Christmas letter every year. I found her folder with them through the years. Every one of them said, ‘And Flint still entertains us. He’s 9 now,’ Rasmussen said. “I wasn’t the class clown or anything. But I was always in the school plays and sang in the choir and things like that. I think people who have (experienced) being in front of crowds and performing would understand it. There’s a pull there.”
Eight years ago, Rasmussen suffered a heart attack that took him off of the road for a while. Though it was a scary moment for him, he quickly showed that he couldn’t be kept out of the arena for long.
“Believe it or not, I was only out 38 days or something like that,” Rasmussen said. “Now, I didn’t jump back in full like people saw me before, or even see me now. And I didn’t have open heart surgery. I had two stents put in. The doc said to monitor your heart rate the first couple of months. Just do your thing. Be really careful. You are on blood thinners, so we don’t want you to be hit by a bull and bleeding to death out there. So my mind was there, but I couldn’t do everything physically. ... I still can’t go like I used to. There was a little damage to my heart, and you never quite get it back. Of course, now I am 49 years old. None of us go like we used to. I think about it every day and do my best to keep it ticking.”
Rasmussen has been going strong ever since, and when he and the Top 35 bull riders in the world get back to work this weekend in Tulsa, he will keep doing his best to keep the fans and cowboys laughing.
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