If it's a bit quiet today that may be because everyone is at IADF or Mirabilia.
Viewing all threads tagged #byjoty.
Just back from a great BJC. I wondered about writing what might be my first ever HLGCBBQS but nah, I'll just ramble a bit instead. Highlights included:
Being back at a UK convention. I've liked the Dutch and German things I've been to since moving but there's no place like home!
Watching the 40 minute Gandini show from a sofa in the overlooking bar with the sound muted.
BYJOTY - Was great to have the luxury of a difficult struggle to decide who to vote for. There wasn't a bad act and it was the most 'on message' BYJOTY I've seen. I voted for Luke Hallgarten in the end (though I'd totally failed to recognise him from the last time I saw him at Lestival years ago). I thought Mark Watson also went undeservedly uncredited. Cheesy, but it did actually work! It was also interesting that there were no diabolo acts. That's quite a change from a few years ago! Kudos to Ieuan for pulling the whole thing together so well.
It was strange to fly home from an airport 10 minutes drive from the convention on a packed flight conaining only three people who had been at the convention. Also fun that the airport staff seemed so friendly, but then I guess they've only had two weeks in which to become jaded.
Very little juggling. Was good to have a pass with Mamph for the first time in ages but don't think I did any more than that! A little diabolo, but my main success was probably a bit of hopefully useful 3 diabolo advice for a few people. Though now I look back perhaps I should have just told them not to bother with all the effort and suffering.
Only three weeks 'til Lestical...
Luke introduced himself to me in the gloom of the BYJOTY tent, where I'd snuck in early to spam the fuck out of L! He said "Hi Jay, remember me? I was in the Lestival show" and I just stared blankly at him and after a while he said "It's Luke". It was a struggle to match the lean, young adult face staring back at me to the slightly chubby nerd who rawked at L!
Also, I completely agree re Mark Watson. His act will either be forgotten, or eventually belatedly remembered as one that fitted the brief like a glove. I've chatted to Mark about it already, and some of the Fever crew, and we're all in agreement that it was a seriously underrated piece. I look forward to great things from Mark, so long as rampant capitalism doesn't get him first!
Oh yeah, and although I'd wondered how the Grumpy Old Jugglers thing would actually turn out (I'm sure I'm not the only one [looks pointedly at Jay]) it really worked. I'd wondered if some of them would cheerfully rattle on by themselves for the whole thing, but I think you just about kept them under control. I wonder how repeatable such a format is?
I'm completely determined to repeat it, and I've already been trying to strongarm Kati Yla-Hokkala into sitting on it.
Mark's act certainly didn't go unnoticed at the judges table, but we were limited with the prizes that we were able to give. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see Mark to tell him how much I enjoyed his act.
I thought Ieuan did a great job organising it, but I did mention that I thought a couple of very good acts went uncredited.
How did the awards change this year so someone who deserved it couldn't be rewarded for doing a good job? The way I set up the awards was that everyone who did a good job got recognition. If the show improves and the competitors do better acts as a result of the rule change, that's cool, but from the comments here it seems someone might have got a bad deal out of it.
As I understand it (from the explanation given to the audience before the show), it was as follows this year:
BYJotY is unchanged - audience vote. [Sam Goodburn]
Best trick [Sam Goodburn, cascade -> club kickup -> cascade, all on a unicycle] is more or less unchanged, although Gballz gave a prize of 5 balls to the best ball trick in the best trick competition this year [Alex Barron, db97531].
Judges' Choice has been merged into the medals.
If a gold medal is given (same criteria as before), they are the Judges' Choice and a silver medal will be awarded to the judges' 2nd choice.
If no gold medal is given, the judges' favourite act is given a silver medal (and this act is the Judges' Choice) [Ashley Harris].
Bronze awards may be awarded. One was awarded this year [Chris Noonan], I don't know if they were told to give exactly one; no more than one; or unconstrained.
I believe that physical medals now exist for the gold/silver/bronze awards. This may be related to why exactly one silver is awarded.
I'm readily prepared to believe that the panel might not choose to reward Mark's piece, but I thought it was daft to constrain them to just one silver. I was also incensed that the members of the double act were told that they could only receive individual votes, which was just a blunt instrument to stifle creativity.
To which their solution was placing one box atop the other box to prevent one of them from getting any votes.
I don't think this went down well. I also believe that this was the reason behind Ieuan's faux pas.
 - balls-up would probably be the correct phrase. I'm just glad that it was Luke who was the one who was wrongly told that he'd won - He seemed to deal with it rather well, and I don't think that everyone in BYJotY would have been able to deal with it.
The root cause of Ieuan's faux pas was the decision to consider the double act as individuals, not by them stacking of the voting boxes to beat that stupidity. He wrote his list like this:
Ethelbert & Frances
...and he knew that act number 7 had won. He counted down his list and get to number 7 and announced the winner, but because 5 and 6 were on one line he gave the name of act number 8 by mistake (actual numbers may vary).
Luke seemed to handle it remarkably well - good on him!
Ah, that makes more sense.
When he said that the double act had made him read out the wrong one, I'd figured that he meant that the double act were disqualified for box stacking, so his 1 2 3 became a 1 2 3' for example (where 3 != 3'), and he'd read out 3' 3 2 instead of 3' 2 1. When in fact he read out 3 2 A where ((&A) == (&1)+1).
Now I think about it, Ockham's Razor would suggest that I drew a rather bizarre conclusion.
 Can anyone confirm, have I indeed correctly-ish applied Ockham's Razor here? It's misunderstood most of the time, but I reckon I might have worked it out after an example I saw recently.
When people asked me about double acts entering before, I said they could enter no problem, but they would only be up for judged awards (gold, silver, judges choice, convention awards) and not the audience vote. I did this specifically because the title of BYJOTY should (in my opinion) go to a single juggler, rather than a pair or group.
As it happened, nobody ever got round to doing a double act, so the problem never arose.
We were only allowed to designate one award at each level.
I can't speak for Ieuan, but the impression that I got was that he had wanted to simplify the awards, and had come up with this system. It may have seemed like a good idea on paper, but it didn't really work well on the judges table, as we felt that we were doing at least one act an injustice. I hope that it will revert back to awarding prizes based on reaching a particular standard, rather than trying to pick who were the better two out of three very different acts.
Certainly almost everyone I spoke to seemed to think the old system of having the awards represent a certain standard was preferable. But given the rarity of gold having bronze seems to make sense as a way of giving the judges more flexibility, but only if they aren't constrained to one of each.
Add me to the list of people that thinks constraining the awards to one each is less preferable. With a potentially wide variety of props and styles of act that can enter BYJOTY it makes sense to judge the awards (not prizes note) against individual criteria related to the style and purpose of each act.
The Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain and the Monte-Carlo International Circus Festival are hardly kiddies pass the parcel events now are they?
Ieuan had a discussion with myself and husband and a few others about the BYJOTY prizes. Most of us thought it was weird that lots of people were given a silver award, no one gets a gold award and there wasn't a bronze award. BYJOTY didn't seem to be taken very seriously or get the standard that it should get (depsite efforts from those involved with it before and now). So it was suggested that we have one gold (if deemed suitable by the judges), one silver and one bronze. The other prizes as far as I knew were still valid.
The standard this year was very high and it is a competition - it's not a kiddie's pass the parcel where everyone should get a prize. Yes there were some acts that were very good but clearly they weren't quite as good as the ones that were awarded silver and bronze by the judges - for whatever reason.
By the way - I thought Mark's act was great but there were a few mistakes in it.
I think Ieuan has done a fab job and I personally liked the new format of prizes, but then I am biased.
I agree that this years show was the best that I've seen so far (I've only missed one, in Norwich, and was a judge in all of them before that one) - but I don't think that the prize structure was the cause of the improvement. Ieuan spent a lot of time making sure that acts signed up in advance and therefore had the opportunity to think about their performances properly and then he put his efforts into encouraging the competitors to use their time to plan and prepare.
It was that preparation that was missing in many previous entries and I don't think you can argue that changing the prize structure led to the improvements. I'm still unsure whether I like the new structure better or worse then the old one (my gut says worse, but I'm unsure if that's just a reactionary "change is bad") but Ieuan's efforts to get the competitors thinking about their performances is to be commended - I think it paid off in spades.
From the couple of acts I've seen on youtube, they look a lot more like *acts* than previous years. I put this down to Ieuan's hard work over the year on the blog/facebook groups associated with this, encouraging forward planning and preparation, pointing people towards performance advice and tips, giving them things to think about in advance.
I didn't see much from him over that period which talked about the prize structure, so I think you could have given away toffees as prizes and the show would likely have been the same high standard.
Whoever takes it on for the next year needs to do as much promotion and active encouragement of the preparation/performance side of things next year - it clearly worked this year!
Does he have an edge account? He certainly deserves an award.
Ieuan did a great job in getting people to think about their acts, but the result is determined by how seriously people take their entry.
Last year, I sent regular emails to the participants, encouraging them to think about costume, props, music, character, etc. There were a number that took things on board, and there were some that flat out ignored everything that I said.
When I had entered in previous years, Luke had given a fair bit of encouragement to turn my tricks into an act.
This year's BYJotY is a great example of all the entrants pulling their collective fingers out, which is wonderful. I do think it's a little erroneous to say that the blog and Facebook were the reasons for this, as similar information has been dispensed almost every year.
Good to hear BYJOTY went so well. Also good to hear Luke has stuck with juggling. I think last time I saw him was at Crawley and he was asking us for suggestions of what trick he should try next.
"Can you do the one where you pull your trousers up properly?" still makes me chortle quietly to myself.
What a great few days. My first solo BJC since the mid-90s, which was a bit odd, although it was nice to just turn up with a rucsac containing a tent, sleeping bag, change of clothes and five clubs rather than the vast kit the family travels with to conventions.
I thought the organisers did a fantastic job - everything seemed to run well with a chance to juggle, sit, play, watch and party - especially the last given it was the 25th. Friday's Black and Silver party was a particular highlight with a kicking covers band, far too much Juggler's Ale (I'm not sure my liver will thank whoever organised the late bar license) and lots of dressed up (and undressed) people. The public show was excellent with the Gandinis being my favourite, although I loved Mattias as well. Hell, even the hooper was entertaining in a bendy camp kinda way.
Not a great deal of juggling on my part, although I had a few nostalgic passing sessions with old friends. I enjoyed learning about locks - nice one Pete! Definitely one to repeat. Looking forward to York next year - when I came back Alex was already talking about how we should take the family next time.
Well, if no-one else is going to use the tag, I will. #BJC2012
I had a great time, and a huge THANKS! to Amie, Steve and the team. The kendama day on Thursday was of course the highlight for me - good clickin' times. But I also enjoyed The Old Skool quite a bit (although Ben bored me senseless with his drug stories), Toby P was great. I'd like to see that happen again, with 1 comment taken from the crowd on each cue-card subject, and at least 1 woman on the panel too. Well done Jay for making it all happen.
Public show was very good (see other thread) - kudos to Donald and Luke for that. It was cool to see Don Robertson present the Special Achievement awards (or whatever they were called), and I approve of the recipients too.
The big gym was great - traders around one edge is good, and the walkway down the middle was a good viewing point, if lacking in seating. Having a "wheels side" also worked really well. Hot showers in the gym! Cold showers at the camp site! Well, it's good to have a choice, right?
Watching the Gandini show from the bar was top fun. Missing #BYJOTY 'cos I didn't fancy the overly long show that it invariably is, and then finding out it was only 9 acts, and the awards were stripped-down this year, and the acts were all at least a bit "act-ish". Sounds like Ieuan's doing a good job there. I'm more inclined to go next year now.
I inadvertently did no juggling apart from with stringed props - until I related a story to Jack on Saturday night, and then realised I'd done some cigar box tricks to do so. So then the clubs came out.
Cat's cradles in the ears. Kendashboard. Setting up yellow wood trades. Too hectic to win^H^H^Hplay the quiz properly this year.
"...and the young pretty one." - Pete
"Strawberry flavour is... weird" - Ceri-Ann
"How is this professional?!" - Eden
"Did you see the diabolo string race in the games? Did you like the kid who sped his up the wrong way?" - Ginger Tom.
Other thoughts vanish in the haze....
Meanwhile... York!! Good on yer, Sam & co, and good luck! You fools! ;-)
The at least one woman bit is a sore point that I should've addressed, but I caved in the end and chose blokes. Sorry about that.
Just a quick message to thank you, Barnesy, for your kind words about my act - I always appreciate feedback from people, helps me improve and refine what I'm doing.
I would just like to add, having seen all the acts from BYJOTY in the tech run, that my personal favourite was Jamie Maidment. He performed a good technical circus style routine which is just the sort of thing I enjoy! You can have a look at a video of his performance here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYNlAny8JPk&feature=youtu.be
A bit of digging in the source code reveals :-
Will it work? Who knows?
Ah, that's his name! Yeah, he was another of the strong candidates for my vote, though I think I remembered him less than other acts by the end, which doesn't seem a fair reflection.
I think the video may not be working because it's unlisted. Orin?
re BJYOTY, I think this was definately the best show I have seen, the acts are getting more profesional every year. I particularly likey the first 2 acts. I'd also like to mention the young comperes, Rosie and Charles who I thought did a fantastic job, they were funny and kept things moving well. I thought it was a mistake not to have let them do the awards, they were doing so well and I know had material prepared for the finale and could probably have handled it a bit better. Shame that the acts didnt get the feedback they usually do from the judges especially given the obvious effort they had all made to put on a good show. BYJOTY's first dropless act(Ashley) did get a worthy mention, overall an excellent show it was a great pity that it fell a little flat at the end.
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