My $500 Show

I developed my juggling show in college. I worked on different skills, I practiced performing, and came up with a show that has worked pretty well for me over the last few years.

It’s a solid $200 show.

What does that mean?

Good question. Let’s put it this way; I feel comfortable that if someone hired me to do my show that I could fairly charge them up to $200. If I charge them less they’re getting a deal, but, given the production value, the skills I demonstrate in the show, and a few other factors, something wouldn’t feel right charging them any more.

But it’s a new year. And it’s time to increase the value of my show.

So, in 2009, my goal is to produce a $500 show. I imagine this will be a process that takes most of the year, beginning with an interesting thought exercise about what ads value to a juggling show.

Some of my initial thoughts:

  1. Props: A $200 show can get away with dirty, old props that look like they’ve been juggled over rocks for 10 years. A $500 show would have clean, high quality props, that look like they’re kept in a hermetically sealed carrying case.
  2. Skills: This is the difference between flashing 5 clubs and having a fully developed 5 club routine. It’s time to step it up a notch and put in some skills that could even impress other jugglers.
  3. Production Value: A $500 show should have music, should have smooth logical transitions, should have staging of some sort, and in general look like a team of producers spent years crafting a solid piece of entertainment.
  4. Shtick: My current show has some funny stuff in it. But it usually comes out off the top of my head. Although a $500 show would have plenty of breathing room for ad lib, it should also have a solid script that would be proven to reach all audiences.
  5. Financial Investment: It takes money to makes money! What is a logical investment to produce a show that would be worth $500 a shot?

I know no one likes to talk about what they make, or what they charge for their juggling shows, but I appreciate you letting me open up like this. I’m excited about this challenge and welcome your input about what you think makes a show worth $500.

A Modern Juggling Film by Wes Peden

Ever since his video Marshmallow rocked the juggling subculture, and ever since he issued his challenge to “do something different!“, we’ve been wondering what Wes Peden was up to.

Turns out it was his newest movie, Expectations, available for purchase and download at www.wespeden.com.

In this short film, Peden offers a series of creative, well edited juggling vignettes showing off his unique style of interpreting classic juggling skills with a modern artful twist. A great soundtrack and some interesting locations add to the overall entertainment of the film.

We’re hoping this is the first of many similar films by Peden and others who have been inspired by what he is doing.

Here’s the trailer for Expectations:

Here’s an endorsement from one of Wes Peden’s buddies:

Juggler Game

Recently we introduced the juggling subculture to the game Booty Juggler.

Here’s another online game based on juggling: Juggler by coldtomatoes.com. This one is very simple and will take you back to that shiny set of multi-colored beanbags that you first learned on.

Careful, if you drop 5 times the game’s over! (Aren’t you glad that’s not how it is in real life!)

The Juggling Blog Void

Sometimes we feel so alone. Where are all the other juggling blogs?  There are blogs about every subject under the sun, but the representation of the juggling subculture in the blogoshpere is paltry and depressing. Jugglers are smart, willing to work hard, creative, collaborative, entrepreneurial, enthusiastic–all ingredients for solid, interesting blogs–but for some reason, very few of us are willing to channel these characteristics into blogs.

That needs to change. We need more juggling blogs!

Like we said in one of our first posts:

Juggling and the internet seem like they meant for each other. Juggling is a collaborative endeavor. And now–with sites like YouTube, MySpace, Flicker, etc–it’s easier than ever to share. Any 12-year-old kid with a Macbook and a decent three ball cascade can make a video of himself/herself doing the “most awesome juggling routing ever”, ad a groovey soundtrack, and post it up for the world to see.

So why aren’t more of us doing it? Are there just not as many jugglers out there as we think? Is there not enough for the juggling subculture to talk about? Are jugglers not thoughtful and passionate enough about their skills?

A thousand times NO!

There have been a few rays of light that quickly fade away. It seems to be an epedemic among juggling blogs: They will post a few great posts, seemingly walk away for months, and eventually abandon the endeavor. Even some of the big names in juggling have started blogs that get a post once every three months at best.

So here is yet another plea to the juggling subculture: Start more juggling blogs and stick with them!

If you need some good examples here are a few people who are doing exactly what we need:

(Disclaimer: We humbly admit that we don’t know everything, and that there may be some great juggling blogs out there that we haven’t found. If you’ve found some or if you’ve started one please tell us!)

A New Place To Practice

I was excited to go to the gym last night. After a day at work, all I wanted to do was throw up 5 clubs a few times and let the stress of the day fall to the floor. But my excitement was quickly crushed after I walked into the gym. Fifty young children covered the gym floor running back and forth with basketballs. A charming community center scene but crushing to a hopeful juggler.

Sure, I could have staked my claim in the corner and went along with my practice in spite, but I could already hear the comments from the parents and kids in the room–Where are the chainsaws? How long have you been practicing? How many is that? Can I try? Can you do 7? Do you do parties?–and I just didn’t feel like dealing with it.

Defeated, I left the gym.

But on my way to my car I made a discovery. A gated soccer field adjacent to the gym was emitting a soft glow. No one was on the field and yet a few of the lights illuminated small pockets of grass around the corners. Surprised that I had never noticed this field at night, I searched around until I found a way in and walked across the dark field to my very own piece of grass. Feeling slightly victorious, taking a deep breath of the cool fall air, I took out my clubs, threw them up and had a great, refreshing practice.

Booty Juggler

Enjoy this online game for the juggling subculture! Help this octo-pirate catch and throw bombs before they explode.

Knives, guns, kegs, and bombs . . . a lot of street performers would kill for a finale like that!