Asia Ray isn't old enough to drink legally, but she can already swallow something more lethal: swords.
Just 20 years old, Ray is not only an accomplished fire eater, she's also the youngest professional female sword swallower in the world -- an amazing feat, considering there are only 200 sword swallowers in the world, according to the Sword Swallowers Association International (SSAI).
Some parents might gulp if their kids wanted to swallow swords for a living, but Ray has had nothing but support from her parents, Todd and Danielle Ray. With good reason: They run the Venice Beach Freakshow in Los Angeles, which regularly features swords swallowers, fire eaters and the world's largest collection of two-headed animals.
The family business is now the subject of Freakshow, a reality show airing Thursdays on AMC, and Asia's attempts to sharpen her sword swallowing skills are an important subplot.
In one episode, Asia learns how to swallow a coat hanger from close family friend, Morgue, who tells her to stop when she feels it touch a certain muscle. "It's basically your a**hole," he explained.
Before Ray jumped into sword swallowing hook, line and sinker, she actually considered becoming a teacher and was accepted into the prestigious Berklee School of Music, but decided the sound of a slicked-down metal sword going down her esophagus was more music to her ears.
Asia Ray first became a sideshow attraction when she was 13 and her Dad, Todd Ray, was trying to attract patrons to the Freakshow.
"I got a boa constrictor and had her hold it outside and people wanted pictures," he proudly told HuffPost. "Then she laid on a bed of nails."
Besides sword swallowing, she also performs as a contortionist and gets electrocuted.
"To be a woman that can dress and behave with class, but also do extremely badass, crazy stunts –- that’s what I’m striving toward. I love to surprise people: 'Oh she’s so cute, but she can eat fire and get electrocuted!'"
Currently, she's most proud of her fire eating.
"There's a lot of breath control and learning to being comfortable with the flames," she told HuffPost. "You mostly just have to have the guts."
Ray's abilities are incredible, but not without longterm risks, according to George "The Gentle Giant" McArthur, a 7-foot, 3-inch sword swallower who said that training himself to swallow long objects has had major physical effects on his body.
"Being a sword swallower means being aware of the passageways in a way the average person is not," McArthur told HuffPost last year. "Once you learn the skill, you have to effect the various sphincter muscles down the throat and be aware so something doesn't go down the wrong passageway."
If his situation is any indication, Asia Ray could eventually find her skill to be a real pain in the neck.
"I am more prone to neck pain as well," McArthur said. "I have to position the neck so a sword can go straight down. But that means my neck is now in a different position than it was six years ago."
Still, Ray seems willing to take the risks.
"I've fallen in love with performing," she said. "It inspires me. I can't not do it. I keep pushing myself to go further."
The Cast Of 'Freakshow'
'Freakshow,' which airs Thursdays on AMC, follows the lives of Todd Ray, who runs the Venice Beach Freakshow in Los Angeles and the members of their extended family, who include sword swallowers, little people, and really tall guys.
Todd Ray is the mastermind behind The Venice Beach Freakshow, a classically-inspired circus sideshow with an attached museum of oddities. Before starting the Freakshow seven years ago, he was a Grammy-winning producer with acts like the Beastie Boys, Nas, Mick Jagger, Santana and Ozomatli.
Asia Ray is the youngest female sword swallower in the world.
Marcus The Creature
Marcus "The Creature" is one of the world’s most tattooed and pierced individuals, and adds some sort of new modification every day.
Morgue is a "shock artist" whose act includes putting things like hooks, power tools, needles and billiard balls into different areas of his face and body.
George Bell stands 7 feet, 8 inches tall and is the second tallest man in the country. A former Harlem Globetrotter, he has been a law enforcement officer for 12 years.
"Amazing Ali" Chapman
"Amazing Ali" Chapman stands three feet, 5 inches tall and is the warm and friendly face of the Freakshow, greeting customers as they enter and snapping pictures inside. She hosts the live show, introducing the performers and chatting with the audience between acts.
Phoenix Ray is Todd and Danielle's 17-year-old son. He's the co-owner of the Venice Beach Freakshow, and is responsible for collecting admission charges from the Freakshow attendees.
Murrugun the Mystic
Murrugun "The Mystic" is a veteran sideshow star who is known for his spectacular, and spectacularly dangerous, sword-swallowing and human pincushion acts. He is the only person in the world to have a swallowed a rocket-powered sword – which he designed and built himself.
Danielle Ray is Todd’s wife, who maintains the front desk inside the Freakshow while holding the family’s five-legged dog, Rocky. A down-to-earth Italian-American born and raised in New York City, Danielle is very much the mother hen of the operation and is also known as "Freakshow Mama."
Brianna Belladonna, "The Indestructible Woman," incorporates a range of specialties in her act: sword-swallowing, fire-eating/breathing, light bulb-eating and more. She is the first woman in the world ever to swallow a sword while being suspended from hooks, and holds the current record for the most swords swallowed while suspended.