We recently came across this video of Daniel Rosen from one of his many performances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. It is a short routine but Daniel does a good job of creating a character and presenting a well put-together presentation of a few classic skills.
Here is another performance of Daniel’s on The Tonight Show from the same era. If you watch closely I think you can see him grab the fire end of his torch! He plays it off pretty well. The audience doesn’t seem to notice at all.
We always knew that the guys at RenegadesignLab were doing something awesome.
But we never really new what it was or why exactly they were doing it.
Then we watched Jay Gilligan’s talk at TedxHelsinki.
We highly recommend anyone who has ever juggled a ball, a ring, or a club take the 26 minutes to watch this video.
Here is the link:
Jay smartly questions how the shapes and sizes of classic juggling props became universally accepted. “Why is this ring like this? Why is it this shape, this thickness, this weight, this material?”
The answers lead to profound and challenging conclusions about the limitless possibilities of the design of juggling props and their interpretive manipulation. From there he and his friends took a giant step through the looking glass and found unexpected creatures on the other side. Props like a club with a hole through the middle; two rings melded together like a figure 8; clubs with flat tops; clubs with scooped out tops; ring like things that are square or triangular instead of round; long sticks with hooks on one side. . . and you can tell that this is only the beginning.
After watching Jay’s talk the world of juggling just seems bigger and more beautiful to us–and makes us want to get a saw and a hot glue gun and see what we can come up with!
Every audience is different. As a performer you need to figure out the uniqueness of your audience, meet them where they are, and from there take them with you on a journey of discovery and entertainment.
Here’s what that looks like when your audience is a 15-month-old:
Our hats off to the unnamed juggler who isn’t above juggling for a “smaller” audience!
Harry auditioned four years ago and was declared first runner up. Then, last year, the Brothers came calling for him to join the group. They dubbed him “Kuzma” and began training him in the ways of the FKB.
It’s always great to see a performer with a passion for a particular prop. For Riccardo Tanca (Riki) it’s all about rings. He recently released Dadaolta, a twenty-one minute video dedicated to ring manipulation.
Here’s the trailer:
Riky is an expert at using juggling and balancing to form rings into magical shapes, patterns and motions. We’re sure this video will deliver the best of his work.
Many jugglers feel the desire to share their skills with others but struggle to translate what they’ve learned into an entertaining routine. The Dube Juggling Blog recently posted “8 Tips to Develop Your Routine” that we found insightful.
Here are a couple of tips that we thought were particularly helpful:
-Drops happen. It’s a fact of life. Anthony Gatto drops. Jason Garfield drops. You drop. Be prepared for this eventuality. Pick up the prop, smile, and get back to work. Never show the audience your frustration!
-You might love siteswaps, but your audience doesn’t understand what they are. Just because a trick is hard, doesn’t mean that audience understands that. This is why the eat-the-apple trick is so popular–people get it!
-STOP AND STYLE! It is important to connect with the audience. Some jugglers are so focused that they never establish a connection. Make sure to stop and style a number of times throughout the routine. When you stop and style, you give the audience permission to applaud. Try to time your styles to climactic moments in the song.
But in a strange turn of events this season, Piers Morgan surprisingly stands up for juggler Charles Peachock, bringing him back in the wild card round and giving him a second chance to win over the American public.
Despite this opportunity Charles’ nerves sadly get the best of him and he drops a knife during the last portion of his routine:
Cheers to Charles for making it this far in a typically jugglephobic reality show, and for winning over the toughest critic of the bunch. We also appreciate his humility as he exits the show.
We’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon within the juggling subculture. We call it the Trained Monkey Effect (TME).
Here’s how it commonly occurs:
First, a non-juggler discovers that you know how to juggle and that you’re better than the average “I learned in my junior high gym class” juggler.
Second, they demand a demonstration, tossing you the three roundest objects in your nearest vicinity. You indulge them with a couple of different patterns, an around the back or under the leg, a 360 finish and they’re genuinely amazed. They might even clap a few times.
What begins after this incident is the essence of TME.
From this point forward, every time this person introduces you to someone new they say, “oh, and he (or she) can juggle!” and then throw you random objects to entertain your new acquaintance. Wallets, cell phones, rocks, water bottles–nothing is off limits.
TME is often initiated by bosses, older siblings, coaches, or anyone with a hint of authority, making it even harder for the juggler to do anything but acquiesce to the request for cheap entertainment. In addition to personal introductions, TME often occurs at parties, before business meetings, or to break the ice at other large gatherings.
While some jugglers enjoy this kind of “dance, monkey, dance!” attention, many feel trapped by TME. These jugglers would rather not be put on display like a circus animal but feel obligated to comply with the request and thus begrudgingly perform for the impromptu audience.
What you see below is a clear example of TME. You can tell by the look on this juggler’s face that his off-screen, over-served friends egged him on to perform when this party became too boring. So he does. But his lackluster performance is a clear indication the TME is occurring.