Posted by Dee, 2012-04-22 23:13 BST
Travelled to the BJC by bus, train, tube, train and bus. Arrived about 2pm on site to be offered a cup of tea while I put up my tent. Got set up, went to Waitrose with Tom, Steph and Caspar for food and then headed to registration. Collected my registration stuff, finished getting set up, then settled into behind the registration desk. This year we attempted to keep a better record or not just those who arrived, but also of what merchandise had been sold. Worked okay I think, not too much additional work. My eye was still bothering me so I had a pretty early night.
Started my day with a German Wheel workshop - big up to the ever popular Torwood Wheelers! Then took over from Sam P. and Jane R. at registration. Closed up registration desk and then went with Paul R and Sam P to get a fabulous sheish kebab that evening. At this point I have to give my thanks to Luke W. for being omnipresent when artists arrived - I never had to go hunting for him, which made my life at registration so much easier - note to others running a show at other B/EJCs. Missed the Open Stage show as I was covering registration desk (it doesn't run itself you know).
Opened up registration desk (before 9am), did a few hours before attending Paul Silver's very interesting workshop on light. Friday was a very busy day. Friday afternoon was BYJOTY, where I was running drop count (I've been involved in the drop count for the last 4 BYJOTYs), assisted in the counting this year by Alistair and Dr Alice (from Leeds jugglers). I did enjoy the "acts" this year, definitely more professional this year - more thought given to the entire performance. The extra work in preparation does pay off. Went back to registration desk, then saw the Gandini show - I always enjoy watching them, I have especially fond memories of watching Owen and Malte at my very first proper juggling convention (in Dublin). This was all followed by the party; was surprised at the lack of effort by some of the younger jugglers (especially in comparison to the slightly older bunch).
Opened up registration desk (it's a bit of a trend). Bit of a stressful morning as we had sold out of gala show tickets, so the only ones available were at the theatre. As this was the day of the parade/show, it was relatively quiet; I was covering the desk until about 3:30 when I then caught the bus into the "Travelcentre" of Southend, where I wandered down to the seafront to catch the aftermath of the big toss-up. Went for food beside the theatre - where I was spotted by a family who I had helped out at the site earlier in the day (and again on Sunday morning) - they'd christened me the "green lady". We had just settled into the reserved seating to discover that the theatre staff decided to open one door, but not the other. As this would have caused a riot if it had continued, we decided to do the theatre staffs' job at the other door to let jugglers in at the same time. Discovered that this was due to a staff member "running a little late". Despite having what should be one of the best seats in the house [about 6 rows back, bang in the centre], I was disappointed with my view, mainly due to the flat nature of the seating plan. Back onsite on the second lot of buses, I headed over to the Ladybird tent for the alternative games, hosted by Rob T. and assisted by Steve C. Tasteful (!?!) nakedness ensued. Contributed some of my Glen Moray whisky to the cause there.
Mainly consisted of packing up, tidying up the registration area and selling merchandise, all before seeing Smashed. Then walked to the train station, got train, walked, tube, train (first class upgrade meant that I avoided the pigeon shit in Paddington - that in itself was worth the extra £5) and bus back to my bed.
Went to work. Just about coherent. Went home, decided to have a nap before juggling then got a message from Lynne asking if I wanted my excess baggage dropped around to my flat - I had been so tired that I slept right through Monday night juggling!
What was missing from all this? No juggling. Every year, I bring my props. Each year, they remain in my tent. Really, I shouldn't bother bringing them - I should just borrow some clubs if I do find time to juggle. I do juggle, honest (as those who attend Altern8 in Bristol on a Monday night will testify), but I'm also exceedingly good at drinking tea.
I had a great time, although I did find the shade of lime green on the crew t-shirts and hoodies a little harsh on my skin tone, especially when tired. However, they were visible from a distance and easily identifable, and didn't show a huge amount of dirt quickly which are the main criteria for crew colours.
I did also attend the "How to run a BJC" workshop - can't remember what day it was on (either Thursday or Friday). So why do I do it (all this volunteering, not much juggling at conventions) - well jugglers are brilliant [and I did attend a record number of workshops for me - BJC2011 was the first time I've ever attended a formal workshop at a
large juggling convention].
I've written a series of brain dumps that I may refine into something more cohesive on running different aspects of juggling conventions; an awful lot has steeped into my brain over the years and we need to ensure that the knowledge is passed onto others to avoid the same mistakes being made. It is, after all, preferable to learn from the mistakes of others rather than your own.