If it's a bit quiet today that may be because everyone is at IADF or Mirabilia.
Viewing all threads tagged #2.
|View older threads|
Yo everyone I'm new to this site live in Illinoise USA and was wondering what everyone's favorite siteswaps is (regardless of your ability to preform it) mine is the DB97531 just looks so cool and is highly difficult fun to watch
Ah! Finally another American! Welcome.
I don't really have a favorite siteswap. I'm not that into them. I prefer basic patterns.
Like what maybe the box or the machine possibly back crosses
No, the cascade, half shower and shower patterns are my favorite.
I've been juggling for 21 years, and I thing my favourite siteswap is 3. Because there's just so much you can do with that pattern.
I've been juggling for 18 years, & my favourite would be 3 too for the sheer variety you can put into it.
If you ask a juggler what they can do with (insert siteswap here) the answer for 3 is generally, "this, this, this, this...". I've been captivated by 3 ball cascade variations for hours.
The answer for DB97531 is at best, "land it".
My favourite is 5, for a similar reason—it's so flexible. Although it may not be quite so much as 3, it still has so much potential I don't think I could ever get bored of it.
You are right in many ways but i feel that siteswap the DB97531 is still mesmerizing in all ways
do you prefer it as a one-off (as a trick) or would you rather see someone run it (as a pattern)
Running it is always better. Just in case people haven't seen it, Alex Barron has filmed 4 cycles of db97531. I think Ben Beever was the first to do 1 cycle of this pattern (he first told me about this in 2003). Daniel Eaker was the first to do 2 cycles. Lauge Benjaminsen was the first to do 3 cycles. Since then there was a race to 4 cycles by several of the members of TSC. I believe that Josh Turner and Dan Wood have both done 3 cycles.
Alex Barron said Lauge beat him to 4 cycles too, although there can't have been that long between them.
Thanks. My mistake. I hadn't realised that Lauge got there first.
Doesn't matter just so long as it's really difficult and done with glo-balls, something like this:
Everything else I can think of is heavily biased by how capable I am of performing them.
Some of the most controlled juggling that I've seen you barley moved even in the 7445 wow is that you r someone else
Not me... Oh no... You did say regardless of MY ability to perform it. I merely wish I was that good.
To 'brag slightly' - I have done some of the basic 5 ball siteswaps with glo-balls 744 645 for short runs, but that video is awesomesauce for me.
Aha! That's the siteswap I was trying to remember the other day, having spent most of #bbu2012 playing with it
Thanks for the memory jog :)
Coo, really? I must have mentioned it to you with reference to the siteswapphone. It's my favourite because it was the first pattern I "invented" after having siteswap explained to me.
That's pretty neat. I've just spent 20 minutes working on that & managed to get a decent run of 72 catches (had a few longer runs but they were galloped & ugly, I don't count them because I am a snob).
Funny how siteswap patterns are often forgotten. I have had a few instances where I have started working on a pattern & thought, "this is really easy!" only to later remember that I had already spent time working on it a while ago.
Either cc88441 (why is this not done as much as db97531????!) or (c,2x)(8,2x)(4,2x)* or d191.
Why isn't db7531 does as much as cc88441? Well, it doesn't look as good, for one: the balls peak at similar times, but not identical times, unlike the freezeframe, which lessens the effect considerably. Additionally, lining balls up in two widely-spaced columns doesn't look as good as a single column.
It's so cool, it's actually an invalid siteswap! I think you meant: db9750000 (with 4 zeroes). Why do you prefer that to db97531?
your right I did mean four zeros.
Im not sure why i prefer it to the db7531 I think because when i first started juggling a lot i saw Lauge Benjaminsen do it and couple in some spins and it just blew my mind backwards through a wormhole and into outerspace to the beginning of time.
What i'm tring to say is that it was just really cool.
That's why it's my favorite i saw him do it watching reruns of the 2008 wjf short program
Siteswap validation in... regular expressions?
Continuing the ever-popular habit of wanting to write siteswap validators in strange and esoteric languages, I decided I'd like to give the old RegExp validator a go—it's been tried a couple of times before but never, to my knowledge, to success.
And after a few days of repeatedly scrapping what I'd got and starting over again and then refining the resulting mess, I finally managed to create something that worked.
Regular expressions are very poorly suited to the task and as a result the expressions needed to validate patterns are massive and grow exponentially with each rise in maximum throw height. For non-alphabetical siteswaps (throws of 0 to 9) the expression is 5,383 characters long. For the full range, from 0 to 9, a to z, the character count is 1,993,831. Unsurprisingly, many RegExp parsers have trouble with expressions this long, but most browsers seem to be okay with expressions up one-million characters long, which covers almost every siteswap one would realistically want to check.
So, without further ado, here is the culmination of my efforts: http://varkor.com/siteswap-regexp
It shows the regular expression in action, validating user input. If you want to see the RegExp itself, you can simply check the source.
It's obviously not suitable for actual use, but it was fun to make and shows that such a thing really is possible.
Multiplex notation, however... that's an entirely different story...
Previous attempts have used a series of regexes chained together, so I'm impressed that you've managed to do it all in one regex (although the validation approach you're using is the same in that you're effectively checking for invalid patterns rather than valid ones)
I also like the way you've got around the problem our previous attempt encountered "you have to have at least as many characters remaining in the siteswap as the throw height you're currently looking at" - very neat.
I've sent the link to Tarim (who collaborated with me on the previous attempt)
This reminds me, at one point I was "collecting" siteswap validators written in inapropriate languages. Someone did send me one written in brainfuck but I never got it to work.
I wonder what I did with them all.
Could be quite a fun section to have on the Edge, or some other site—might encourage others to try making them in even weirder ways than before.
I have a vague memory of adding them to jugglewiki, but have no idea when I would have done that, which incarnation of jugglewiki I added them to, or whether they've survived in any form.
You could probably dig most of them out of r.j with enough prodding. Some of the perl "one liners" were quite nice. I think we got that one below 30 characters.
I vaguely recall contributing a validator written using XSLT - yet another language that isn't entirely suited to this kind of application.
Great job on the regex validator. It looks like complete gibberish to me, but so do all regular expressions ;-)
Ah ... just found the email I sent to LP in 2005 where we discussed the idea of pulling together validators using obscure languages. Here's the one I wrote using XSLT ...
An XSLT siteswap validator by Colin E.
The aim was to create a vaildator that takes an XML documentof the following form and annotate
it to state whether each individual siteswap was valid or invalid:
generating the following:
However, the strength of XSLT lies in its ability to perform operations based on the structure
of the document tree, rather than text processing. Therefore the above document is not in a very
XSLT friendly format making it very difficult to validate it using a single tranformation.
After a bit of head scratching I decided to tackle this problem by creating a chain of transformations,
each on performing a specific task. This is much closer to the spirit of what XSLT was intended for.
======= Transformation #1: "expand_throws.xsl" =======
The above transformation splits each siteswap up into a collection of beats, each on containing a throw.
for example the following XML file:
will be transformed to become the following:
======= Transformation #2: "locate_catches.xsl" =======
The above transformation considers each beat in turn and inserts a catch element if
any of the throws within the siteswap are caught there. for example, the following XML:
Is transformed to:
You should already be able to see that this siteswap is not valid, due to their being two
catches made on the second beat, but just a single throw.
======= Transformation #3: "validate_siteswap.xsl" =======
The final transformation inspects all the beats within each siteswap to find multiple
catches. The document is transformed back into its original form, with the addition
of a valid attribute. for example, the following XML:
Is transformed to:
======= Putting it all together =======
if you use Ant, the following build file will execute the transformations
in the desired order:
This prompts the question: why doesn't the Edge automatically escape greater-than and less-than symbols? The information should be there still, so we just need to get Orinoco to fix this little problem.
It looks like an interesting validator—I'm looking forward to being able to see what you actually did to make it work!
It might be bad timing, waiting for Orin to fix this issue! Here's a gist with the code:
+1 for the poor timing, could you pop a request on meta so it doesn't get lost?
That's a good point. Your code all looks very tidy and you explained your thinking very nicely! We really should find a place to compile a list of all these validators.
Thanks - glad you like it! It's been a few years since I used XSLT, I doubt I could write that code now!
Heh! I'd forgotten that one!
I've spent the last couple of evenings finishing off a validatior written as an asterisk macro. I can't post the code for it right now as the cat is asleep on my lap and I'm posting from my phone, but if anyone wants to try it out, call 0117 911 5202 (or +441179115202 if you're outside the uk and feel like paying for an international call just to find out if 97531 is valid or not!)
It doesn't actually ring a physical phone or anything so feel free to call it day and night. It can only handle one caller at a time, so if you get busy tone just try again later.
Let me know if you break it!
looking at the logs, no one has tried an invalid siteswap yet. The insincerity of the fail message is a joy to behold.
That is absolutely amazing! It could only be better if I had to dial from a rotary dialing phone.
By the way, it did just tell me that 97531 was invalid. Not that it matters - I still thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
So it did! I wonder why its doing that - it was working earlier. Damnit. I'll investigate in a bit...
By the way, have you come across github? It is great place to share open source ideas - I use it all the time (https://github.com/ColinEberhardt). It would make it much easier for people to view / contribute to your validator.
Also, if someone did want to collect together a number of validators, again, github is a great place to do this.
I am aware of github (and I'm using git as the VCS for the asterisk config I developed this on - but that's a private repo for obvious reasons!)
I should probably get my head around pushing to multiple masters, then I could easily push selected bits of the tree to github.
Looks like my fat fingers stuck a space in where there shouldn't have been one when I was going through tidying up some comments.
It works now.
Siteswaphone has now been updated with added hold music (thanks to Cedrick_Lackpot for the suggestion)
If you're curious about how it works, or have your own asterisk server you want to add my gorgeous voice to, there's a blog post with a link to download the asterisk macro and samples kit here: http://www.paulseward.com/blog/20130408/siteswaphone-v1-0/
Love the hold music - I can just imagine a room full of whirring equipment, valves and ticker tape furiously working away at the validation.
The hold music (and indeed, the wait itself) is purely for UI purposes, it was a bit unnerving in early versions when it told you the result instantly!
I did sketch out an electromechanical solution for validating siteswaps (which would have worked with a dial phone) unfortunately it didn't scale very well to siteswaps with more than 2 digits - it was a very crude approach to the problem.
That's great. A possible addition would be to provide a similar siteswap which is valid if it's not valid. For example, if the average is integer it could provide a permutation of the numbers which is valid. I know that's harder. I'm not familiar with Asterisk.
Just validating the siteswap was enough of an effort given that the only conditional instruction available is "GotoIf" and there are no loop constructs (until you build one with well... GotoIf)
Tied myself in a few knots with that.
What you suggest would be possible, but I'd hate to try to implement that in dialplan logic, without resorting to external scripts.
OK, that sounds horrible. On Wikipedia it says you can create additional functionality by adding modules written in C. I guess you wanted to keep it in pure Asterisk just for the program exercise.
I've started writing a validator in Brainfuck following your post the other day. Not got very far with it yet.
Yeah, the cyclic nature of siteswaps was definitely the trickiest part of the expression. As you probably saw, I ended up simply checking for every set of positions for each set of throws (if that makes any sense). I'm not sure how easy it is to figure out how it works from the expression itself, but if anyone would be interested, I could do a small explanation of the method (and possibly release the algorithm I used to actually generate it).
Oh, I remember this game.
What was wrong with the one I sent you LP ? I forget what your objection to that was, or what it failed to do right.
I think it used perls ability to execute perl instructions in the middle of the reflex, so it wasn't a "pure" regex solution?
Presumably you're generating the regex programmatically? Are you willing to share that code? Maybe I'm weird but I find nested code-generation fascinating :-)
It's a little messy at the moment, due to my attempts at extending it, so I'll clean it up first. I'll try to get it done by the end of today.
Okay, here's my code. It's not exactly what you'd call neat, but hopefully you'll be able to piece together how it works. You may even see something that can be optimised, which would be good—I'd very much like to get all the RegExps under 1-million characters.
Very cool! I really like how you're generating the regex programmatically.
I thought of doing a similar thing around six months ago but I didn't think to write a program to make it for each max height so I assumed it would be too hard.
However I recently learnt a little about finite state automata and specifically deterministic finite automaton (DFAs). I realised that it would not be too hard to make a DFA of states and throws (similar to one of these). And since any DFA can be made into a regular expression it would allow another approach for the problem. I'm not sure if would end up more or less ugly though.
If anyone here has experience with DFAs and has any idea on how well/whether this would work I'd be interested to hear your opinion on it.
sounds like an interesting approach to the problem. I don't know much about DFAs (apart from having heard the name) so I can't help directly - but I'd love to see the results if you can make it work!
Ugly or not, I'm very much interested in seeing alternative approaches.
Dealing with states and throws rather than the siteswap itself is an interesting idea. I briefly thought about how applicable using states instead would be, but decided against it, because it requires operating on each throw of the siteswap as a number (albeit a simple operation—subtraction), which is not easy with regular expressions. You'd have to "hard code" each possible position for a number that would be turned into a state. I'm not thinking about it in detail right now, but on first thoughts it'd seem to me that that would mean you'd need a number of expressions the sum of all the factorials up the maximum throw height in number. Or something like that. And that's without validating, which you'd need a modulus operator to do. Although possible to do it, in that format, from my initial thoughts I think it'd be much, much larger than this method.
That said, I'd very much like to see one attempted, so please don't let me put you off. I might have ignored some blindingly obvious points, too—it could be far easier than that. If you come up with an idea for the sort of format of the expression, please do share it!
I think I'm looking at it a very different way to you, I'm not quite sure how you're imagining it but I don't think I need subtraction or modulus.
I had a go working out what the regex would be for the graph of 3 balls max height 4 by hand as it's a simple DFA. I think the main problem with this method is that it will get a very large regex due to having to account for all loops.
Starting off with the following graph (sorry for the ASCII art, it was just a quick job):
1110 -4-> 1101 -4-> 1011 -4-> 0111
^ | | |
| 2 1 0
You need to get a part of the regex from each starting state, so in this case from 1110 you'd get (3+|4(2|4(1|40)))+ this would match any ground state pattern with 3 balls and max height 4. The remaining ones are (((4(1|40))|2)3*4)+, ((1|40)(3*(42)*)*44)+ and (0(3*(42)*(441)*)*444)+.
Putting them together into a single regex that should match all 3b siteswaps with max height 4 gives: ^((3+|4(2|4(1|40)))+|(((4(1|40))|2)3*4)+|((1|40)(3*(42)*)*44)+|(0(3*(42)*(441)*)*444)+)$
I'll look at making a nice algorithm to make these but I'm not sure how to go about that at the moment so I'll need to look into the DFA-regex conversion algorithms a bit.
A couple of interesting things about this method:
Seems the ASCII raph didn't work out well, pretend that the edges come from the actual states, not the other edges :P it's just a height 4 version of the one here
Interesting approach! Though I'm finding it hard to see how you would generalise it to validate patterns with an unspecified number of balls - but that's almost certainly a gap in my understanding of siteswap maths.
Max throw you can peg at 9 easily enough - but what's the maximum number of balls in a max-height-9 pattern? I have a feeling it's infinite. You could bound it at some arbitrary guess at what's "humanly possible" I suppose...
Actually, it's just going to be 9. You can see this if you remember that the average of all the throws in a siteswap must be the number of balls in the pattern. So a pattern with more than 9 balls requires at least one throw that's over 9, so that the average is over 9. So the maximum number of balls in a max-height of n pattern is n.
Yeah the max number of balls is just the max throw, the only problem with this is that I still need to create a separate graph and regex for each number of balls (they can all be combined by 'or'ing them together of course but that's not the point) this means that the size of the regex increases dramatically.
Oh, I see. I was thinking in terms of actually converting it into the state notation and then validating it. You're talking about using the states for the logic, but working with the original numbers. That's probably a far better way to do it. Well, do keep us updated! It certainly looks like a potential candidate for a regular expression shorter than mine, which would be nice.
Ah, ok, I was wondering where actual operations fitted into it, that method seems like it would be quite hard to implement. The method I'm using should in theory should work well with regex due to having the same structure through the DFA.
I'm not convinced it will give anything shorter than yours however (though it might as it checks for valid patterns rather than invalid and there are less valid than invalid siteswaps)
I feel like it should be possible to pre-calculate the length of the regex of each of our approaches though I'm not quite sure how to go about it.
Yes, I think your method should work. It is hard to predict how large it'd be though, I agree.
It would be possible to predict the length, yes, because they both follow a set of invariable rules—they're basically created with an algorithm, although I'm not sure if I feel like working it out—if you can figure out the length, you'd have figured out how the logic behind the algorithm should work and once you get to that stage, you might as well go ahead and write the thing.
OK, so I've made one that works, it currently creates a hugely long regex though.
My program creates the state graphs for each number of balls then uses a method I found to convert it to a regex, the regex isn't optimally small but it's reasonably good for the algorithm's complexity.
The regex sizes for heights 1 through 7 are: 9,25,89,392,2627,36420,2807288 so you can see it gets very big quickly (it didn't finish for height 8)
The python code I wrote is here: http://pastebin.com/cBVwNMSM ironically python can't do a regex if it has over 100 named groups or something so heights > 4 don't actually work in python.
The first five REs are here if people want to play with them: http://pastebin.com/HZBpmt4u
max height 6 is here (separate as it's long) http://pastebin.com/gcFZQgwq
I'll have a think about how to get them smaller but if anyone has ideas I'd love to hear them.
Also, I know my code is not very readable so if anyone wants to know how it works then let me know.
Very quick work: I'll have a closer look at it later on today, but from a short glance it's looking pretty good.
Well, from what I can see, it seems pretty comprehensive. It's definitely interesting that there are two very different ways to go about doing something like this. Although your method avoids the annoying requirement of mine (the cyclic part), which is also what makes mine so large, the amount of different states grows so exponentially that overall, it's far less efficient. However, it does work, which is the thing.
Great work—you finished it really quickly. It's funny to think that this had been attempted in the past with no success, and then two people come up with entirely different but valid solutions within a week of each other. It's a very interesting puzzle and now that you've done this, I'm starting to wonder if there's yet another approach that might work... I don't think I'll try it though—I'll leave another solution for someone else.
Now that we've solved this problem, what next? Any thoughts on some other interesting experiments we could try out?
Actually mine still has the cyclic part, it's just hidden a bit. I have to generate the cycles from all nodes to account for cyclic rotations, I agree though, it ends up with a far longer regex (though it's possible that could be reduced using a better conversion algorithm) I suppose it's more the idea than the actual program that is interesting in this case.
I think previously people have mainly tried to make a shorter one by hand instead of making a program to do it which may have been why people haven't completed one previously.
I agree, maybe in five years it will come up again and we'll see how people will improve on these ideas.
I've been looking at counting/generating anagrams a bit (actually it was around six months ago but I've done it occasionally since then). I have a reasonably fast program for periods
All this FSM stuff has made me rethink approaches for "doing it in hardware" as mapping a FSM into logic is fairly straight forward.
Initial sketches doing it with relays though come out to more relays than I've got spare (and silicon is too boring!) even for small numbers.
I'm noodling around with some ideas based on ring buffers (one per digit) as I can build/populate them with digits fairly trivially - but not getting anywhere particularly quickly.
This makes me think though - does anyone fancy trying to write a siteswap validator for the Harwell WITCH - all the documentation is there, and the machine is now up and running at the national computing museum at bletchley park (uk)
That would be quite nice in hardware, but yes as you say it would use a lot of relays/transistors. It might be possible to use shift registers so that you don't have everything accessible at once or something similar. You might also be able to use an FPGA (which I don't know very much about...) but I suppose that's silicon hence boring :P
Not quite sure how the Harwell WITCH code works and looking over the documentation it looks like it might be a bit of a pain to do. That said I'd be interested in reading it if someone else wrote one...
Well, I've made a start!
I've got agreement from the national computer museum that if I write anything, it can be run on the WITCH (no point in writing it if you can't test it!) I've read all the documentation, and I think I've got my head around the architecture. Mostly... it's a bit "odd" by modern standards!
I'm planning to take all my notes, and a big stack of paper with me to Bungay. Hopefully I can spend a few evenings working out how to go about things.
I've got two approaches in mind, one which will read the whole siteswap into store and work on it there (which limits the number of digits in the siteswap to something like 8 or 9 digits) or an iterative approach which involves the program punching an intermediate results tape which is fed back in as an input tape for a second run - this is repeated until either a collision is detected, or the end of the siteswap is reached. This approach should allow for arbitrarily long siteswaps.
Obviously all this would be easier if there was a WITCH emulator available. The machine architecture is such that an emulator would be fairly straight forward to build - but that strikes me as cheating, so I'll only do that if I get stuck :P
Awesome!! I'll look through the documentation more thoroughly when I have some time but it sounds like a cool project, keep us updated!
It seems like it would make you have to approach validation in a completely different way so I'm interested as to how it turns out.
I don't think I've seen anyone implement an iterative approach so yeah, that might end up being novel (although if anyone has any prior art on that sort of thing please let me know, I'm not a fan of reinventing algorithms if I don't have to!)
Other than that, I think fairly standard validation approaches would work easily enough. I'm certainly planning to try and re-use the algorithm I used for the siteswaphone and see how far I get.
Makes me think though, as well as collecting language specific validators, it'd be interesting to collect algorithms written in pseudo code.
That sounds like a good idea, I tend to implement a completely different algorithm depending on what language I'm writing it in.
For example if I'm in python I tend to add the beat modulo by the period and then sort and see if it's equivalent to [0,period]. Though I suppose that could be because it's one line in python to do that...
However in C++ I'll normally work out where it lands in the same way but actually keep count of how many balls are falling on each beat.
Then I suppose it's also possible using the 'flattening algorithm' along with all the ideas discussed in this post. It would be great to have a collection of them :)
Awesome! Had a quick look at the WITCH programming manual, very interesting, I always like the challenge of programming in a constrained environment.
If you get it finished we'll have to arrange a Juggling Edge trip to TNMOC to see it run :-)
"I always like the challenge of programming in a constrained environment." - I'll race you then :P
If I do get as far as attending in person to run it, I do of course intend to make a video of the event...
Right now my all my 'programming in a constrained environment' time is taken up developing for iOS ;-)
In my yoof I did do quite a bit with artificial constraints to bring out the art of programming. I revisited it a couple of years ago here:
I also have some memories of being down the pub and discussing algorithms for fractal Christmas trees and asserting that I could create one in a single line of code. To prove it to my challenger I ended up writing said program in ballpoint pen on his leg. Happy days.
The 25th British Juggling Convention
The BJC started on the 10th of April for me. I arrived at Kev's at 7.45am just after Simon who arrived just after Kev woke up. We rammed the car full of stuff. It was an easy, uneventful drive up (which I think is a first) & we arrived on site at 9.30am. We met Mini & Emily who told us that the fencing (for which I already had my gloves on & was ready to launch into) hadn't been delivered on time as expected. So instead we went for a second breakfast & a cup of something that was almost but not entirely unlike tea at McDonalds.
The build was already well underway. The Cirque Normandie tent was up, the beer tent & the Food Groove kitchens were a hive of activity. The first batch of fencing finally turned up at about 10.30am & around 8 of us laid out the panels in place. Daryl loaded up his car with the blocks & Sciz was looking very regal as he rode sitting in the boot, depositing blocks in place as they went. Once all the panels were in place we pitched our tents while waiting for the next batch. By the time the second batch of fencing arrived there were a lot more willing hands available to help. So much so that it was a bit of a piranha feeding frenzy as people scrabbled to get the panels out. It soon settled down though & I enjoyed being part of an assembly line with the SJC crowd which was fantastically efficient & the fence shot up. Good work peeps.
On my travels through the campsite I saw Sciz holding Graham's arm in the air, which I thought was odd. Graham was looking very translucent because he had dislocated his shoulder. He maintained a very impressive stiff upper lip while in obvious pain as we waited for the paramedics. When they arrived I was on arm supporting duty. They cut away his shirt to see what was wrong & yes even I could tell that something was amiss. Out came the gas & air so that they could manoeuvre his arm into a sling. I took a step back as the paramedics took over & braced myself for what I thought would be a blood curdling scream as they carefully brought his arm down. But in the end there was just an, "Ahh, it just went back in!".
Graham was carted off to A&E but was back later in the evening.
As the sun went down, we celebrated a successful day's work with pizza, pasta & a few beers in the beer tent. Everyone was pretty tired though so most people turned in before 10pm.
The morning started much the same as the previous day with a lot more carrying & fetching: carpet, tables, chairs, water, beer kegs, more fencing. Crawley Dave had made a start on sign posting the day before but we still had a lot to do so I said I'd help him out. I honestly thought that putting up the necessary signs would take about 2 hours (Mini burst out laughing when I told him this in the evening) but it ended up taking all day. We weren't helped by not having a great understanding of the site layout & an uncooperative printer, but still why shouldn't it take a couple of hours? I've got more to say on signposting now which I shall save for another Big Post.
It was a real struggle to get main organiser Amie out of the office & into the bar, but we finally managed it & got our first pints of the Juggling Convention Ale in at about 10pm. We welcomed old & new friends & nattered a lot. Before we knew it it was way past midnight. Time flies in Southend.
I was up early so trekked to Waitrose for a pint of milk & some tins of Vaseline to combat the cracked lips we were all suffering in the dry sea wind. Turns out I was too early as the doors were closed. I don't like to say that I broke in but I did time my run to slip between the doors when the trolley attendant came out. The staff all gave me strange looks as I was walking around the store. To their credit they were happy to serve (get rid of?) me.
I had some breakfast then went to the main hall for a juggle. The space was fantastic & possibly one of the best we've ever had at a BJC. Many tennis courts in size with a high ceiling & good lighting. The courts were split in two by a raised walkway which provided a convenient & social viewing platform. The stereo system was set at one end so that there was a loud side & a quiet side which I think kept people happy.
I juggled clubs for a bit, passed with Simon & did some handstand practise which was really painful on aching shoulders. A shout went out for volunteers to carry the unicycle trials course so I joined a group of a dozen people who all helped carry various logs, tractor tires, benches & other broken bone inducing material.
After lunch it was time for...
The British Kendama Open
Conveniently organised by The Void of The British Kendama Association to coincide with a heavy downpour the competitors & spectators sheltered inside the Cirque Normandie tent. Although it didn't provide the greatest protection from the elements as the panel of judges had to also shelter under umbrellas.
Louisa (not Laura) & Kevin both competed in the beginners division & both did well in difficult conditions - it was very cold & the light was very poor. The eventual winner Andy did a fine job though to complete the whole ladder with just 4 misses.
I had a go in the advanced division drawing Tom Derrick in the first round which was great fun. It was really cold so we did some exercise to warm up. We seemed to be on stage for ages as we both went through miss after miss on numerous tricks. I managed to get through to the next round picking up points with a knee bounce & 2 slip on sticks.
In the speed trick challenge I spent my 20 odd seconds trying to untie the knot I created...
For the next round in the advanced division I was drawn against Matt Nix & inevitably didn't score a single point. Matt exemplified what I love about the BKO in that he was a great sport & helped me out by demonstrating what I should be doing on the tricks I wasn't familiar with (what do you mean I should've revised, I've been busy with the Edge!).
Matt continued with his usual solid performance to take his second title of British Kendama Champion.
Many thanks to Void for organising & also Sunrise Kendamas for their generous sponsorship of the event.
After all that excitement I went back to my tent for a quick nap. I must have been more tired than I thought as I woke up around 3 hours later just in time for...
The Open Stage Show
I was a little bit late but found there was plenty of space round the sides. The seats were hard & uncomfortable & the lights were shining straight at me at eye level, but I've had worse. I was surprised at how much empty space there was up in the stands, even more so when I heard that loads of people had been turned away because capacity had been reached!
The show opened with Jeff in a monkey suit aping round the stage, then with great timing he launched into a poi routine using his suit's oversized arms. Although it went on a little too long it was a well thought out & fun routine that set the show up with a great atmosphere.
Next up was with a sexy club swinger. It was a nice act with some slick moves but it lacked flow for me. The gentleman juggler performed a variety of tricks with hat, cane & cigar boxes with good humour & a lot of surprising touches. Pouring a drink from the end of a stack of cigar boxes made me laugh out loud.
Jake performed a beautiful silky smooth devilstick routine. The music was a great fit to his style & it was well choreographed with a wide variety of 1 & 2 devilstick trickery. I liked the careful manipulation of two devilsticks one balanced on the other in a cross shape. Easily Public Show standard.
The next act saw 2 contact jugglers sporting their acrylics on their heads start with some amusing & impressive darting glances at the audience & each other to various musical queues to the soundtrack (Teardrops by Massive Attack). The act included some very nicely performed synchronous contact & some very impressive 2 person body rolls. Easily Public Show standard again.
I thought Naoya Aoki started off pretty flat with his diabolo routine. But then he went vertical which was truly exceptional. There were loads of moves & surprising stalls that I had never seen before as well as the crowd pleasing multiple genocides performed without a noticeable slip. The circular circus ring really suited the vertax style enabling everyone a great view. Possibly the best vertax I've ever seen. Well deserving of the standing ovation he received.
Rob Firey juggled hats & rings, the hats were very good, but the rings left me underwhelmed, but very impressive for just 2 months worth of practise. Another Rob performed a staff spinning routine using a prop with 2 large umbrellas at each end. It was a nice idea but but didn't hold my interest. Perhaps because the prop has too much drag to do anything really complex?
Closing the show was Seb with a club juggling & manipulation act. It was big & impressive with lots of flashy flourishes & some big multiplex tricks with 5 clubs & a 5 club cascade with outside spins was a worthy finish for the Open Stage.
Very well done to Matt for pulling it together. Lots of variety, lots of quality.
Later in the evening concern was expressed over the security or lack thereof. They seemed to be more interested in hanging out in the bar rather than manning the main gate to the campsite despite repeated requests to do so. I impressed Simon with my badge control (kettling) ability until they came back.
The Old Skool
New for this year was a Grumpy Old Men/QI style panel show hosted by Jay Linn. The panel consisted of Guy Heathcote, Ben Cornish, Dave Jellybean, Michael Ferguson & Toby Philpot who were tasked with spinning yarns from their experience over the years prompted by various cue card subjects. It's difficult to write anything meaningful about this other than it was a really enjoyable, interesting & very amusing evening's entertainment. One which I hope will become a regular fixture at the BJC.
One highlight for me was Guy trying to find a way to defend poi, "um, ah, um ah..." ad infinitum, "they come in lots of nice colours!"
Renegade happened in the beer tent this evening due to the Cirque Normandie not wanting alcohol in their tent. Bungle did a fine job as host for what little I saw (a guy stripping on a unicycle, Jack singing a song, Pete doing some whip cracking). But it was difficult to get a good view so I spent most of the time chatting at the back.
We woke to a thick blanket of fog. I tried out the showers in the leisure centre which were a lot warmer than those in the block at the campsite. The showers were split into cubicles, but the shower heads all shot out the door so you had to stand outside the cubicle to receive any water. The showers were also button activated but the moment you let go the shower stopped which made showering difficult. Many apologies to those people walking through who witnessed some of my 'hands free' methods of keeping the shower running.
After breakfast it was back to the main hall for a bit more of a juggle. My right shoulder was still very crunchy but functioning. Tony Pezzo was drawing a lot of admiration with lots of studly club tricks such as (6x,4)* with the 6s on singles, 5 clubs with a balance, 5 clubs with triples from one hand, singles from the other.
Andy from Hastings taught me the highlights of a passing workshop he attended earlier that focused on zaps (short half spin passes). I particularly liked a simple 4 club pattern where both jugglers pass zap zap zip,one on straights one on crossings.
In the afternoon it was time for...
British Young Juggler of the Year
Our comperes for the evening were Rosie & Charles who I thought were a lot of fun, very lively but at the same time relaxed & maintained the energy between acts. My only criticism is that costume is just as important for the compere(s) as the acts & they did bring on the next act before the stage hands had finished setting up on a couple of occasions.
Opening the show was Mark Watson with what I think was the first comedy juggling routine seen in a BYJOTY competition so well done for that. It was a very well put together routine revolving around a 'How to put together a BYJOTY routine' audio track. It was very well thought out & well performed. It was choc full of in-jokes that made me laugh out loud, but I wonder if this counted against him in the judging because it would not be a re-usable act?
James Maidment wore sparkly shoes & performed a slick cabaret act. I was offended & highly amused by his opening kendama trick.
Ashley came on stage wearing a bright orange shirt & a spangly waistcoat. That's good - a nice visible costume. But wandered around stage as if he was just passing through but decided he was going to do a show. Who wears an orange shirt & spangles if they are not going to perform (too picky?)? He juggled balls & clubs. Pretty good but didn't stick in my mind.
The next act had loads of stuff going on with a flip chart that I couldn't read from where I was sitting round the side. His ball juggling though was pretty sensational with lots of Dave Kelly style behind the back blind tricks & combinations. It was a bit droppy but very highly skilled. I think a dropless performance would have seen a much higher proportion of the audience vote go his way.
Jason Lu woke up on stage & performed lots of nice siteswaps with balls. The routine was good & relatively drop free, but didn't excite me at all.
I'd already seen Sam Goodburn on the renegade stage at Crawley so I knew what he was capable of. We were treated to a wide range of Really Hard Stuff™ such as a unicycle kick up mount, juggling 2 balls on one foot & foot stalls while juggling on a unicycle. As an act I felt it was very disjointed, but the wow factor was enormous.
We then had a ball passing double act who did lots of side by side patterns with interesting takeouts. I could tell they were very good, but I couldn't get a good view of what they were doing from my side on seat. Shame. Well done them for a creative way of getting round the votes for individual performers only rule.
A chap from Wales pranced about in a flat cap & wellies which was fun & I always like the catching of a hat on a club balanced on the chin. I don't like overuse of the enforced rhythmic clap though.
The final act was Luke Hallgarten who is currently studying at Circuspace with a dynamic club routine. He used all of the stage well, & juggled with lots of last second catch tricks. Another slick & well presented act.
While the votes were totted up we were treated to the best trick competition. Highlights included Sam with a 3 ball 1 up pirouette & also a helicopter kick up back into a 3 club cascade while riding a unicycle. Numbers legend Alex Barron pulled off a DB97531 back into a clean run of 7. There were some very nice 3 diabolo suicides. One very tiny lad did an excellent genocide combo trick & also a sweet vertax move which really wowed the crowd. I expect big things from him in the future.
This was by far the most professional, stand out BYJOTY show I have seen. Ieuan deserves a lot of credit for the build up to the show which clearly had a positive impact & is one I hope will continue. For that he can be forgiven his faux pas of incorrectly announcing Luke as the winner of the competition. There was a lot of confusion but it turns out that Sam Goodburn took away the top honour of British Young Juggler of The Year.
Again, well done Ieuan. Top job.
Circomedia/Circuspace Showcase Show
In the evening there were going to be two performances each of the Circomedia/Circuspace Show & a performance of The Event by the Gandinis. There was much deliberation over which to see first. We decided to go for the Circomediaspace show because we thought the tent would be marginally less freezing earlier on in the evening.
The opening act was very odd & involved 3 people crawling on stage carrying chairs, then arranging props on & around them in different ways. Perhaps an advert for Ikea?!
As per previous years the acts were interspersed with skits by the first year students to some funky electro swing sounds which we enjoyed dancing to in the back row.
My notes for this show are lacking but I remember a girl in a white dress & silver hoops doing lots of very fast & smooth hoop swinging. A contact juggler did a piece with a large stage ball that could be wedged in various places of a chair, this act in particular contained a lot of nice ideas but lacked polish. A guy in a stripy t-shirt performed a great rocky ball juggling act with lots of impressive 4+5 ball shower material. Very upbeat & enjoyable. A club juggler was amusingly carried on stage & positioned in a collapsed state around a table. I particularly liked the point where he had 2 clubs balanced on the upturned table's legs then causually walked through with a 3 club cascade & went into 5. Nicely done.
The Gandini Juggling Project - The Event
The queue for the first Gandini show wound its way through every corridor of the leisure centre but well worth the wait.
It was really nice to see young jugglers Jon Udry & Arron Sparks make the A team.
It is a little pointless picking out individual bits from a Gandini show because it works so much better as a whole but I'm going to do it anyway. I was impressed by Kati's 3 ring triplex pass. I liked the section where the whole troupe balanced a club while 2 of the troupe took turns to steal clubs for some snappy 3 club spots before handing them back. The Melee of the whole troupe juggling lots of balls doing more Really Hard Stuff™ was phenomenal. Each time someone pulled off a big trick they'd shout 'yes' or 'no' depending on whether they landed it or not. Great to see some WJF level juggling in an artistic setting. There was a spectacular 4 person 20 ring line. Sean running forward to rave about a Prechac pattern in typical Seanese, then hearing it again in German then Italian really made me smile. As did Arron sprinting in circles, good running that man.
In the evening we got decked up for the black & silver party. I just had a nice shirt & trousers with a ridiculous silver bow tie. Kevin wore his beautifully tailored pink dinner jacket which is possibly the sexiest jacket I have ever seen & received a lot of attention for it. Although perhaps not quite so much attention as the lovely young girl in the silver hot pants. Who again did not receive quite as much attention as the equally lovely Tom Derrick sporting nothing but a bow tie & a thong.
The band for the evening were the awesome Scooby. They played a great set list of covers from all eras that encouraged a lot of bouncing & shouting. I danced myself sore & shouted myself hoarse. Yet another band leaves a BJC delighted by the enthusiasm of their audience.
...was a very groggy morning. Emily, Kev & I helped tidy up the aftermath in the bar in the morning. I had a chat with the barman to say thank you for what a great job they were doing, I think this was one of the best run bars we have ever had at a BJC. The barman was all smiles & gushing about what a great time he was having.
Even by my standards I over did it with breakfast.
I helped ferry the parts of the huge balloon dragon made by the BBMC to the seafront. I traveled on the bus completely hidden under a mass of latex which was fun as I got to play at being the disembodied voice of the dragon to scare the kids. We took the parts to the parade starting point & assembled them together.
I've never really been interested in the parade but I did watch it move off from the big viewing tower. I liked the idea of having a team of whip crackers clearing a path at the head of the parade. The Samba band were excellent & I really liked the group of contact jugglers wearing their acrylics on their heads too.
The space for the games was too small for the number of people & the PA system was too quiet, but Pete & Russell did a fine job as hosts. I had a go at 3 club gladiators but there was no space to move & I didn't last very long. Simon & I had a respectable attempt at the long distance passing.
Before the games finished a group of 9 of us went off in search of somewhere to eat. Main organiser Steve recommended some Italian places near the theatre so off we trekked. The first restaurant we tried was completely empty, but they decided to refuse us entry. Now I know I do look a little tramp like but really? We still come from Royal Tunbridge Wells don't you know. In the end they probably did us a favour because the next restaurant we tried couldn't have been more welcoming. All the staff had a great sense of humour especially the Maître d' who enjoyed brandishing Cat's whip at his serving staff. Good food, good beer & good company. It was a great evening out.
Which was only going to get better because then it was time for...
The Public Show
You know it it going to be a good show when the likes of Luke Wilson & Arron Sparks can only make it to the level of stage hand :)
Donald Grant ably took the reins as compere.
Opening the show was Phil Os with a spectacular diabolo routine. It did unfortunately contain some unnecessary glow & I have to agree with Mini though that the soundtrack was about 100 decibels too quiet. Aside from that it was big & bold with no build up, just straight into the spectacular stuff. All performed with high energy & appropriate head banging. A storming start.
Ian Marchant did a comedy street routine which would have been awesome on the street but went on too long for the theatre. I really liked his finishing trick despite taking too long to get there.
Matthias Romir performed 2 spots in the show his clown character shuffled on stage & performed some really nicely done hat manipulation with disappearing/reappearing glasses but unfortunately he milked it a bit too much. He then went on to create an amusing juggling mini man by wearing his hat & glasses on his bent knee & a coat around his leg. My favourite trick was the shower with the balls rolling down the brim of the hat.
Matthias' second spot used a weighted helium balloon that threatened to drift up into the rafters, in between pulling it down again he would perform some snappy club manipulation & juggling. Excellent timing. He then pulled up his hood & inflated a balloon in front of his face & drew a cute smiley face on the front then continued with lots technical club manipulation performed blind. Woo!
Smashing the shows camp homo erotica quota was Gunnar Erik. In amongst some astonishingly solid hand balances with seemingly zero flailing or counterbalancing with his other hand (the aloof & controlled flicking of dust from one of the canes was a nice touch) was a lot of tongue in cheek posing including gratuitous pectoral & buttock flexing. Donald also helped send up the act as his assistant. Nice chest hair Donald!
Closing the first half were the Gandini Juggling Project with one of their beautiful gloclub routines. I'm told that there was an almost mistake but it totally passed me by. Well deserving of the standing ovation.
From the US, Tony Pezzo performed a sensational ring routine beautifully combining technical & manipulation. The 5 ring outside pancake throws was sensational. Best ring routine I have ever seen.
I don't get Rod Laver. I've seen him perform his ping pong ball routines dozens of times now. But he still amazes me, & I still laugh really hard.
Tigris performed a hula hoop act with contortion. High skill indeed but I was not excited by this act.
The finale was Françoise Rochais who juggled parasols & rings in period dress before whipping the costume off & going into some modern high level technical juggling with batons. It was slick, classy & dropless. A fine way to close the show.
Congratulations to Luke & Donald for assembling a very fine line up & running an excellent show.
Back to site I had a brief spell in the bar tent. I wasn't particularly fussed by the band that was playing so went over to the hall. I chatted to Void about kendama for a bit before being enticed into the late night combat. It was good to see our Simon playing really well & that it is not just me that he can make look stupid without any visible effort. It was also nice to see a lot of the stars from the public show joining in as well.
Tony Pezzo called me an arsehole (asshole?) for taking him out, at first I thought I must have clipped him when I hit his club but no apparently I'd just taken him out from behind (dude I was totally beside you!). I don't think I'll ever get these limitations on play. At TWJC our only rule is 'try not to hurt anyone', which unfortunately wasn't being succeeded at. I retired myself after taking a fist to the face to staunch the flow of blood from my mouth (in the shower before I went to bed I also found 3 massive yellow & purple welts, only 2 of which I could account for).
I sat out for a while to recover & watched from the walkway to see Hairy take one to the face which resulted in a chipped tooth. He then started the next game by charging into the centre of the circle screaming, "COME ON YOU FUCKERS!" then proceeded to systematically charge (& I really mean charge) at each person in the circle in turn knocking them out then running back to the centre to reclaim his dominant position. Each attack he made was what I'd term kamikaze but he was pulling off attack after attack. With every person he took out the excitement built that he might win the game & myself & the other spectators cheered him on. Seeing him take out the last remaining combatant was a moment of pure joy & Simon, Nigel, Andy & I applauded our respect.
In the morning I cleared the wreckage from the beer tent again then pulled up the nails & the fuck off tape in the camp site.
There was a pause for the business meeting which was very positive. Good luck to York for 2013.
In the afternoon it was time for the sad occasion of the BJC closing show...
The Gandini Juggling Project - Smashed
It was another typical Gandini piece, a huge well choreographed masterpiece with lots of interesting stuff but this show included a lot more humour than usual. On the back row we were all chuckling to ourselves throughout the whole show. There was lots of innuendo revolving around the boys trying to woo the girls, Jon Udry's manic dancing fit the bill perfectly, Owen always makes me laugh the way he hams it up. I thought the section where the girls crawled on all fours while the boys performed floor juggling moves on their backs was rather odd. The section where everyone ran a 5 ball cascade while Sean tried to distract them with a rolled up magazine - waving it in front of the eyes, poking in the stomach, even garroting the juggler was a lot of fun. Even more fun was when jugglers took turns to perform Really Hard Stuff™ while everyone else screamed "BORING!" & other jeers to put them off until they dropped. The whole show was on a constant upward gradient finishing with a chaotic china smashing finale that was immense. Pure magic.
Tents came down over the afternoon Simon & I spent the whole time constantly picking up rubbish & ferrying bin bags to the pick up point. Seriously people how hard can it be? Interestingly I found a Blackberry phone partially trodden into the mud, I believe 3 wallets were also handed into lost property. Be careful people!
By the evening we were among the last on site, just us, the Cirque Normandie & Food Groove crews & a couple of other jugglers. The bar staff who were still full of smiles told us that they would be leaving a couple of started barrels of Juggling Convention Ale that would be chucked in the morning so we should help ourselves. Result!
So we certainly did, we took up residence in the kitchen where I cooked up pretty much every bit of food I had left for Kev & Simon & we had quite the feast. We also finished off our cider, vodka & made a good dent in the leftover ale. We were joined by 2 lads from the Scottish Borders Juggling Club, John from Southend & 3 peeps from the Food Groove. We chatted about the festival & all the shows. I thought it was really nice that one of the non-jugglers from the Food Groove was able to pick up the Sean & Kati were together by the way they juggled together.
Kev received a call from Amie asking him to give one of the keys to the Cirque team, so the pair of us made the daring expedition across a pitch black campsite with the world's most ineffectual wind up torch. We tripped over & walked into every single obstacle on the field & got tangled in the plastic net fence. We finally made it to the Cirque caravans making a very drunken & giggly racket while failing to find a door to knock on. We were startled by a shadowy figure sneaking up on us out of nowhere (probably thinking we were the local yoof), but in the end he was happy to take the key.
The next morning we had to chip our way out of our icy tents. John from Southend joined us again to help finish off the remaining fencing which all had to be restacked for pickup. We spent even more hours clearing loads of rubbish. It is amazing what people will throw away, the Salvation Army were very grateful for a lot of left over food from the Food Groove & also some tents & brand new duvets that were also left behind. Next year people might want to reevaluate the mixers they buy. We must have easily poured away over 30 half started bottles of soft drinks.
I don't think I have ever been so exhausted after a festival. I had a wonderful time. Thanks again to everyone for reminding what a wonderful world the juggling community is. Congratulations to big cheese's Amie & Steve & their team of Kevin, Graham, Dave, Emily, Mini, Jane, Sam & Lorri for pulling together a superb event.
Re: The 25th British Juggling Convention
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.
It is now 3 hours after I saw Feeding the Fish's new toys & my mouth still won't close. Just extraordinary.
which toys were they playing with, their persistence of vision stuff? Because that looks like it'd be well tasty live.
Yes it was. And. Yes. It. Was.
It's not often that I'm lost for words.
Yep, it's one you have to see live, as video just does not capture the magic. I had a fun day at #tlc2012 so thanks to all who made it happen. I dozed through the first half of the show, and what I did see I would have happily missed. The second half was good. Ryan Murphy has got better since I last saw him. Characterful and skilful hat act. Lynn Scot somehow made me laugh when I should have been concentrating more on her skills (go watch her on JTV*). And FTF, what a finale.
In the daytime, I had fun clicking with Orin, Tom, Chris, Andy, Sandra & Sam. Also teaching some new stuff to beginners Joey and Chris was rewarding as they both learnt quickly. Catching up with friends I hadn't seen for years was lovely too.
Coffee and snacks kept me alive, and grumpiness just about at bay.
If you are going to TLC, The London (juggling) Convention (#TLC2012) tomorrow you will be able to pre-register for the 2013 British Juggling Convention (#bjc2013) in person. Look for somebody who looks like Miark wearing a black BJC 2013 t-shirt. Payment by cheque or in cash only, if you wish to pay by credit card you can pre-register on-line at www.bjc2013.co.uk/tickets (you can also find the forms to fill in on that page).
Do not worry if you are not going to TLC there will also be the opportunity to pre-register for BJC at Leeds Juggling Convention (#LeedsJugglingConvention) in two weeks time (8th December 2012).
Don't worry Miark! We'll point you out to everyone at TLC! :D
I like the fact that even though the event sold out *ages* ago you're still going to the trouble of hyping the event one act at a time on the blog!
oops! wrong Twitter link correct one is http://twitter.com/2012tlc/status/242644226926596098
Interesting, I thought I posted the link up in Small talk the same time as I put them all up on Facebook and Twitter. Oh well...
Get your tickets now while you still can. I will be constantly reminding everyone that there will be NO tickets sold on the door. 0, zilch, nothing. It's pre-orders through Oddballs website only. And no, you cannot buy them in the shop either. Oddballs have been very kind in letting us use their system, but that's the extent of their involvement.
For more details and ongoing updates checkout the Facebook Group, Event, Twitter and the website: http://www.tlc2012.org/
Hope to see you all there!
I picked the announcement up from Twitter in the end. I would never have seen it on Facebook.
Does anyone know if the tickets will be sent out by post or do we collect on the door?
It says on the Oddballs website that there are no physical tickets. Just print your order confirmation email and take it along with you.
Does anyone know if we'll have the combustion chamber this year? It was very cramped last time with just the one hall and the maximum capacity number was quite low.
Correct, there are no Physical Tickets. All you need to do is print out your confirmation e-mail that have your Order Number, number of tickets bought and your billings address on it. Also bring a form of Id so that we can confirm your purchase.
I believe we have the Combustion Chamber, Creation Studio, Courtyard and Links Corridor.
Yes there is a maximum capacity which is the reason for on-line-only booking and no door tickets. We really want to avoid what happened back in 2010.
If there's further questions or requests let me know and I'll do my best to answer!
Great to see this is happening again. Are there any plans for a show please? Any advance details of time (esp show finish time) would be helpful (inc. for booking train tickets).
There will certainly be a show and a good one at that! I personally can't wait to see it! We are aware that people will be travelling from all over for this and we're taking that into consideration. As soon as we have an itinerary set in stone I shall make sure it's on the website, facebook group, event, twitter and on here.
Hey everyone! Just an update... 100 tickets have already been sold, that's in under two weeks!
What's the limit this year? I think it was 200 the last time I went.
The limit is 350 people in the venue. That includes the organisers, people running around making things happen, circus space stuff, performers etc. Since we're still calculating how many performers and extra people we need we're selling a fixed a amount for now and then some more later (when uni kids are back and indoctrinated into circus clubs!)
I'd heard a rumour that Feeding The Fish might be in the show. I was waiting to hear that confirmed before I bought tickets. However, I just heard it sold out this morning. :-(
You'll be needing a bigger venue next year then.....
Is that sold out completely or sold out of the first fixed amount as mentioned above?
Also, Feeding the Fish? YAY!!
I know it's only a rumour but still YAY!!!
Sounds a lot like completely sold out to me: http://www.oddballs.co.uk/odd-blog/?p=95 Not seeing Simon & Lix (if they were there) is more of a drag than missing the convention.
Fear not! That's just the first 200 tickets sold! There will be another 100 tickets available soon. We've release the tickets in batches so that we could being selling before we knew exactly what our capacity was.
As for rumours... well, you'll just have to wait and see! We shall be releasing a program in the coming weeks!
I should (while I remember) thank Void for his great tips on T-shirt printing, the flock print on the TLC shirts is fantastic!
For those who don't do facebook..
Just to note that, to quote the facebook comment: "Ahoy there! We found more tickets behind the sofa! Check out Oddballs website to buy tickets for The London (juggling) Convention)! Be quick they won't last long!!!
50 more available
Maybe, but from the Oddballs website:
Yeah! We managed to find another 50 tickets (They were down the back of the Sofa). When these are gone - that is categorically it!
That was an estimate, we've had to account for more volunteers than the original estimate. I really really really, want to find a large venue for next year. So I've already started looking... ideal would be somewhere that would easily fit 500 or so people.
Haha, you guys beat me to it! Be quick with buying, they'll sell out quick! The show will now be even better than I thought! Acts to be confirmed soon!
Any idea on finishing time yet? I need an idea how much extra training I'll need for the sprint for the last train home.
There is some event information available here, but to answer your question directly: the event will finish at 10pm, and the show is currently planned to finish before then, thus giving people time to get trains, buses, tubes and helicopters home.
I'm currently working on a sensible way to announce travel information on the day... probably end up announcing the last tube times in the location area.
So it looks like there's a large circus thing happening at Piccadilly Circus,London tomorrow(2nd Sept). Twelve Stages, many many acts! You can find out all the information you need here!
Just don't expect to find any times or anything...
I turned down the opportunity to go to london for the weekend, had I known about this last week I might have chosen differently :/
If anyone goes, I'd love to hear about what I missed!
...& their twitter account @Piccadilly_CC looks like it will be pretty active too. I've added this event to the database to remind me to look for it earlier next year.
(& in other news Juggling Edge now autolinks @username to Twitter accounts)
It was an unusual marketing style, there was just www.londonsecretcircus.co.uk with no information at all but a chance to sign up to receive e-mails. The facebook page was quite uninformative too,
It wasn't till Friay that the www.piccadillycircuscircus.co.uk went on-line explaining what the event was, who was in it, and where it was taking place.
Whether this style of campaign was deliberate to limit the number of people coming, but it does mean people from outside London are less likely to go.
This might only be a one off as it is using olympic money which probably won't be available next year.
Historical Juggling Props Website Update
9 new entries added today, including a Lottie Brunn stick / club, a
Vladik club, a Two Miagkostoupovs club, and 6 other props. Still have
more coming very soon, but please check out the new stuff for now.
so *that's* what the infamous jugglebug clubs look like.
All those years of hearing them slagged off on rec.juggling back in the 1990s and I'd never actually seen one.
My efforts to dig up a Freaks Jester club aren't getting me anywhere terribly fast at the moment. There is a juggling fest coming up (#bristol2012) which is the sort of fest which attracts a few people who would have been around at the time the Jester was being made and moving in the sort of circles that may have bought some - so I'm going to ask around there and see where it gets me :)
Oh, and OMG! thankyou for making me aware of Tommy Curtin!
It looks like he does the plate/bottle routine (or at least part of it) which I've been enthusing about for the last 10 years but which I've only ever seen written descriptions of, or illustrations! The video you link to only seems to contain a small snippet of that routine though, I'd love to see the full thing.
I got as far as having a wooden practice bottle made for me (which is *gorgeous*) and started learning it, but I didn't find it at all easy. I should put it back on my list of things to play with more seriously.
LP, thanks for looking for the Jester club for me. I would really love to find one, although I know the chances are slim. Tommy is a great guy and still performs. I had lunch with him recently, and he does do that whole classic bottle and plate routine. There's a slight chance I might have the whole routine on video somewhere. I'll have to look into that sometime, or maybe I'll just call or email Tommy and see if he has it. Please keep your eyes open for anything else that might interest me. Thanks.
Seeing that you are using Wordpress is there a reason why you've not gone for a more useful blog format? As it is I'm struggling to find new stuff. If you set up a blog you could tag entries with the prop type, the era, the performer & it would do all the filing for you, & more importantly it could generate an RSS feed. I don't think people visit websites the way they used to, they expect content to be delivered to them. This is why I chuck everything I possibly can into an RSS feed, & use bright orange flags to point out where the new stuff is.
As it is you are expecting visitors to go through every page on each visit in order to find what's new, which as time goes by is an ever increasing ask.
I'm new to Wordpress, but I'll look into that. We're doing some redesign soon, anyway.
I've added two more items today. They are the top two entries at:
Nice additions. Great to see the origins of light up clubs.
On a side-note, I think "Phippipine Pride jugglers " has a few too many p's and not enough l's.
light up clubs go back a bit further than the 1960s
"Salerno" had an act with a set of clubs which lit up, somewhere around 1910 I think. They were swung rather than juggled - they were connected by bundles of cables to a bank of switches back stage so his assistant could make them change colour so letting go wasn't really an option!
There are some long exposure photos of them somewhere on my bookshelf (4000 years, Art and its Artists and "Strange feats and clever turns" being the most likely suspects) which are probably also among the earliest examples of light painting.
But yes. It is nice to see an early example of a light up club! :D
I don't know exactly who used this lighted club. I know a lot about it, just not who used it. I know it was part of a large juggling act using at least 19 lighted clubs at least as early as the 1960's. My understanding is that the circus was located in the UK.
P.S. I have new props to add, but haven't been able to add them yet. Still waiting on tons of stuff, including stuff from four "epic, legendary" level jugglers.
I've dug up some details of the Plate & Bottle routine, and written it up here: http://www.paulseward.com/blog/20120829/plate-bottle-bottle-plate/
If anyone has any video of anyone performing this routine, I'd *love* to see it.
Paul, I'm working on it. The request for a video has been sent!
You're looking for something for me, so the least I can do is return the favor.
To make new additions to the website easier to find, I've added a "Recent Additions" page. Items are listed with most recent items at the top and entries are hyperlinked to the proper page.
...but do you *have* to keep putting swing to pinkie in the advanced trick list?!
:-) It was either that or film a whole new video. Sorry, I was feeling lazy!
Also, is this like the American Dodgeball Association of America? :p
Hmmm, one of those "Kendama"s was probably superfluous.... :)
Thought I'd write a little review about PLAY.
Firstly I have to say that the festival was a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be. Partially I thought that because I'm a jaded old cynic who has been to so many conventions that it takes quite a bit to impress me now and partially it was because we'd already been in Wales for most of a week and it had rained most of the time and when we got to Play it was raining and it kept raining quite a bit. I also didn't think that a festival that seemed mainly designed for staff, poi, hula hoop and aerialists was going to hold much attention for someone who doesn't really do any of these.
Well I didn't attend any of the workshops (nothing new there), the one aerial workshop that my wife signed up for got cancelled by the rain and there were way too many staff acts in the first fire show. However the aerial show was good and querky, the open stage show was great especially the extremely humourous lonely panda act (I don't think I'll ever forget MCPs interpretation of Kate Bush) not to mention seeing Marky Jay's chair collapse in the middle of the act. Gail O'Brian (sp?) hoop act was technically way above anything else I've ever seen and Dave's Chimney Sweep routine was right on the button. The main show was equally good although personally I'd have swapped the last two acts around. Partly because I'd already seen the juggling act but mainly because I loved the ninja staff moves.
The other things about the festival that I appreciated were many. Learning new tricks from loads of people especially Helen and Chris for the contact ball stuff and Tom for the golf ball and spoon tricks. Getting some solid practice time with Tracey trying to remember the stuff we could once do and working on some new stuff. Chatting to old friends and making new ones. Watch out jugglers for Joe from Cornwall, he's 9 years old, has 5 balls solid (and been juggling for a year) and has the ambition to be the first to juggle 15 balls. My claim to fame in the future was that I taught him to pass clubs (he'll be better than me next week).
Then there was the renegade. What can I say. Jugglers old enough to remember when renegade was good would have enjoyed this one. There was chaos, humour, skills, the best poi you will ever have seen, a personal appearance from Jesus, semi-nudity, a man in a purple morph suit and loads more all held together by Natti Lunatricks but don't ask me how. Hobbit was a star and I'm sorry I ruined your balloon routine Natti!
any idea where abouts in cornwall joe was from? he's a little ripper, i would like to hook him up with other jugglers there.
His mum did tell me but I can't remember. He was part of a school juggling group called Circus Unlimited. His 16 year old sister was working on 7 balls and getting more than a flash so he can get some advice there.
I also forgot to mention in my review 5 ring circus. As most people who know me know I am all for youth circus and those guys rock. Great show and the whole convention benefitted by them being there.
|View older threads|
Subscribe to Small Talk via RSS 1 article per branch (updated every 24 hours) 1 article per post