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Busking?
Sorry for asking so many questions, just haven't been on the edge in a while. I want to start busking, but I do not know if I am good enough. Before I get into this, I just want to say i know you need to get stuff like permits, but I am just focusing on skill right now. I can juggle three balls easy with many tricks, four balls for over two minutes with many tricks, and 5 balls for about 20 catches each run. I was planning on waiting until I can juggle 5 "solid", although I was wondering if I should busk sooner or later. I was going to just juggle 5 balls once I get that solid, but on the other hand if I go out for a couple hours for a few days aiming for 20 catches each run, by the next few days my progress will really improve. So, should I wait or just go for it?

# by JackJuggles,

Can I start by saying that you are thinking about this in completely the wrong way. Busking is about performance rather than what tricks you do. You should be reading all the articles about building a character, hatting, finding suitable pitches etc rather than what tricks you are doing. If you are going to focus on tricks then it should be along the lines of higher, fire, faster or danger i.e. what the public thinks of as difficult as opposed to what is actually difficult. You will get much better reaction from a diabolo high throw than three on the string unless you can build an act that makes it worthwhile to do. It is why buskers very rarely juggle more than five. Remember that anything that brings you up above the level of a crowd means that you can get a bigger audience (and therefore more money) which is why there are so many giraffe unicycle acts. 
Also the best way to learn about busking is to actually busk. If all you do is to juggle then be prepared to not make much money.
Nigel

# by It's Him, Parent

One of the clearest examples of that last point I remember was from about 2007, watching Thomas Dietz at a street show festival (there with a group act) try to get a crowd with some solo juggling. I've never seen that many people not give a shit about 7 ball pirouettes and 5 club backcrosses in my life.

# by lukeburrage, Parent

I've said it before on r.j more than once, but it bears repeating - I saw Sean Gandini in Peterborough more years ago than I care to remember, busting out a solid 7b cascade for a street audience. I want to say that he died, but at least if you actually died in the street one or two people would take notice. He didn't even manage to die, he got nada, a complete blank.

And if one of the greatest innovative technical jugglers of our time can tank with hardcore tricks, then so can anyone else.

For OP's benefit, here's the skinny : You have to be interesting, that's it. If you ain't interesting then there's little point getting out of bed; and if you have discovered the curious alchemy of being interesting, then do so with three balls or clubs. No one except you cares about five or seven or pirouettes or siteswaps; everyone except you cares about knives, axes, and eating the apple. If you refuse play to your audience then you won't have an audience.

It's a really tough lesson that many aspiring young jugglers find difficult to swallow.

# by Cedric Lackpot, Parent

Thanks ou for your replies. I guess I will start working on getting a variety of 4 ball tricks

# by JackJuggles, Parent

I've seen plenty of street performers build an entire act out of one trick!

It's not the tricks that are the hard part, it's the crowd gathering, the audience connection, the heckler handling and the hat lines and the energy building and all that stuff you unfortunately can't practice in your house. You just have to get out there and do it. It will be appalling the first time (and the second and third and twentieth time) but so far as I can tell, good street performers are just bad street performers who didn't give up. The sooner you start being a bad street performer the sooner you can get it over with :-)

# by emilyw, Parent

You have to s m i l e at the public and at individual exemplars, too, soas to ( surreptitiously ;o]=) .. ) obtain their attention. Convey & sell the love & happiness of juggling.

# by 7b_wizard, Parent

Obligatory link

# by Orinoco, Parent

Mike Bridge, beloved human, gone.

Those of you who do not tolerate Facebook may not be aware that Mike Bridge lost his re-re-match with Geoffrey (his cancer) earlier today :-(

Here's his Facebook page and also that of his wife Sharon. The funeral will be in Durham next Thursday, the 15th.

Vale Mike.

# by Cedric Lackpot,

D'oh! Thursday the 14th!

# by Cedric Lackpot, Parent

A memory surfaced last night.
Years ago Mike had lost his voice - he'd been unable to speak above a whisper for a couple of weeks. I knew that he was due to see the doctor so, when we met for someone's birthday curry at the weekend, I asked what the doctor had said. Mike looked me in the eye and whispered, with a completely straight face, "Cancer".
The only time Mike ever said anything with a straight face was when he was setting up a punchline, so I laughed in anticipation and waited for it to come; he said, "No, really".
Apparently I wasn't the first person to react that way - joking and laughing were what he did. He was caring and clever and generous but most people will remember him for his endless love of life and his brilliant sense of humour.
He was, as usual, great company that night; so good that I left with half a lingering doubt that he was pulling a stunt - but that sort of cruel practical joke wasn't his style. Throughout the years that followed he was upbeat and positive while Geoffrey refused to bugger off. It says a lot about the guy that even at Bungay last year he really wanted us to teach him to pick a lock...he was still playing and learning and laughing despite all that had happened and all that was likely to happen.
Bye Mike.

# by Mike Armstrong, Parent

I'll be honest, I'm finding this post hard to write.

Nothing I can say here comes close to scratching the surface of my fondness for Mike. Yet with us living at opposite ends of the country I've only really ever been able to meet up with him at festivals, but those festivals were long and plentiful - so are packed with memories.

I first encountered the name Mike Bridge in about April 1994, when he won the photographic competition in The Catch with this photo: http://lpbk.net/misc/the_catch_v1_i7_mar-may-1994_p31.pdf (823K single page PDF scan of the page, including the text from diabolo)

That was probably 4 years before I met him in person, and several more before I connected the photographer and the photograph.

21 years since the photo was taken, it's probably still one of my favourite juggling related photos. It captures the moment so perfectly, and there's just something engaging about it. I still get a kick out of stopping and looking at it whenever I flick through that issue.

A few years back I asked Mike about the photo, and he was really proud of the image and regretted sending The Catch his only print, and he had long since misplaced the negative. Ever since that conversation my to-do list has included cleaning up a scan of it as much as I can. Now more than ever I want a copy on my wall.

With so many Bristol, BJC, WJD and Durham festivals since then, so many beers sunk, conversations and silliness shared I can't begin to single any of it out.

His enthusiasm, generosity, sense of humour (no matter how awful the jokes), love of googly eyes and frankly his entire approach to his cancer were greatly inspiring.

I mean, who else would jump fully in to Movember while they were going through a course of chemotherapy and losing all their hair?

Mike was diagnosed within a year of my mum being diagnosed with breast cancer, and I spent many hours talking to Mike and Sharon about it at Bristol that year and I'll be forever grateful for that. It really helped me sort a lot of stuff out in my head talking to friends who were going through a lot of the same stuff.

His battle with Geoffrey was a long one, and he fought it admirably.

Rest easy Mike, I'll miss you.

# by Little Paul, Parent

Lestival XIII - how the hell did we get away with that?

Hello everybody! I'm sure some of you will have attended Lestival XIII last Saturday, and I expect one or two of you even noticed the occasional reminders about the event beforehand.

We had a great day, excellent attendance, silly amounts of raffle tickets sold for silly amounts of prizes (thanks Oddballs in particular for your generosity), a cracking café yet again, and show which rocked much harder than it ever deserved to.

Thank you everyone who contributed or attended, with extra special thanks going to the L!ves who were way more hard-working and useful than I had any right to expect, thank you Luffbra, you rock.

L9! will be announced shortly - watch this and other spaces.
Please feel free to contribute your thoughts if you attended.

# by Cedric Lackpot,

On Saturday the 2nd May 2015 the jugglers of Leicester and Loughborough hosted Lestival!
The event was held at Brockington College in Enderby and is by far the best convention venue on the 1 day convention circuit in the UK (in my opinion).

I liked:
Passing roundabout with Jenni and Ed.
Passing lots of Chopabout and helping Ed with the chopabout workshop.
Nigel attending the entire day, bravo sir!
The games! Zoo ran a well organised and entertaining games session. Lots and lots of people took part and spectated and fun was had by all.
The good half hour of gladiators after the main games were done.
Going for an evening curry with Jenni and Ed.
The show! All the acts were of high standard and Dodger the compere was very good. Slightly too much swearing for a public ‘child friendly’ show, but once I realised it was there to stay I accepted it. It was still a very strong show and very funny comperering.
It was nice to see Dan the Hat performing for a convention audience.
I won something in the raffle!

I disliked:
Nobody wanted to play gladiators after the games; I think everyone was pretty laughed out and tired.
Waiting for the restaurant to open: I never actually considered that there may be opening times, so it was entirely my fault for not checking…


Thank you to the Lestival team, we had an excellent time! The show was the strongest lestival show I have seen to date and the convention was well organised on the day.
If you have never made it to Lestival then come next year as there is plenty of room for everyone and it is one of the best one-dayers in the UK.

We look forward to seeing you next year.
:-)

# by JonPeat, Parent

I read somewhere that the pattern 441 wasn't "discovered" until siteswap was invented. I find this pretty hard to believe, although it does seem oddly possible. Do any old-timers or people with more knowledge on the topic have info on this?

# by ejwysz,

Seen
http://juggling.tv/266
?

# by The Void, Parent

I saw Colin Wright's lecture on Site Swap Theory (SST)back in about '88, and he and his team from the maths dept. at I think Manchester University did indeed discover 441 using SST, and IIRC he claimed it was their first significant discovery using it. But I'm pretty sure that even then they didn't claim it as an invention, just something that was unknown to them.
That said, it certainly appeared to be a novel pattern amongst the hobby juggling community in the UK at the time.

# by Cedric Lackpot, Parent

Linky

# by Orinoco, Parent

Are you a juggler or a flow artist? An article in the Flow Arts Institute website attempts to polarise the two activities. This does remind me of a discussion I had with someone who I guess regarded themselves as a flow artist and they were adamant that Flow had nothing to do with circus or juggling, circus was clowns and elephants, juggling was WJF, whereas Flow was an ethereal communication with our earth spirit through movement.

www.flowartsinstitute.com/juggle-vs-flow

# by Mïark,

Hmm, that's a lot of opinion stated as fact.

# by Orinoco, Parent

I didn't get to the end of the article, but if you did can you tell me if it became any more balanced towards the end?

# by Little Paul, Parent

"the EJA doesn’t have a single female country representative, or female member of the Board of Directors)."

Not true. What about Ali? She's been on it for as long as I've been aware of the EJA!

I agree with Orinoco, much of this is just opinion and you can't just apply the Kinsey scale to Jugglers! There are way too many variables.

"(Many jugglers I know believe it’s below them to teach children)." - sure.. but that's purely the sample of people in they've met. I know many people who'd fall in this "juggler" category who's whole aim is to teach children. The whole youth circus scene for a start.


The more I read this the more I see a short sighted view. It's not as simple as Juggler or Flow Artist! A variable that's completely glossed over is the notion of hobbyists vs professionals:

Hobbyist Juggler
Professional Juggler
Hobbyist Flow Artist
Professional Flow Artist

The whole article feels very unbalanced to me.

# by mrawa, Parent

Ali is no longer President, the EJA reps have always been a bit male dominated, though at the moment it looks like they only have a festival rep who is female, so it is accurate-ish on that point.

http://www.eja.net/en/ejaboard.html

# by Mïark, Parent

Who is the festival rep who is female? Alex? Jules? Or is it Ali?

# by DawnDreams, Parent

Joanna (Lublin) according to the list on the website.  

# by Dee, Parent

cheers!

# by DawnDreams, Parent

I find it so interesting that people find it unbalanced.

Does no one see that I explain flow artists as childish venture-capitalists?

My attempts to explain the good and the bad of each somehow was lost on the juggling side, but I still don't see it.

# by DawnDreams, Parent

"Does no one see that I explain flow artists as childish venture-capitalists?"
I did kinda pick up on that, but since it was at the beginning of the article I guess people might have forgot about it towards the end. I would ask if this is true, but many of the people I know who'd consider themselves Flow Artists have it as their main profession. So I guess its mostly true for my immediate flow demographic (which is mostly those at with spinning@ at or Play).

"Good and bad tends" to be subjective so people will never agree. Maybe a list of characteristics of each would help? e.g.*

Jugglers:

  • obsessed with nailing difficult tricks
  • prefer green props
  • prefer conventions/festivals with 24hr indoor facilities
  • etc


Flow Artists:

  • "Childish Venture-capitialists"
  • happy conventions/festivals without any 24hr indoor facilities
  • etc



*Just an example, not what I actually think.

# by mrawa, Parent

yes. I didn't expect everyone to agree, that's fine.

Lists without qualifying my beliefs would be more grossly misunderstood than it already was.

:) But cheers! Interesting to see all the feedback.
And conversations on message boards are so refreshing. I forgot about ACTUAL discussion, rather than just facebook replies.

;)

# by DawnDreams, Parent

Jugglers, people know what this means
flow artists. WTF.


an example. an agent phones. hi. can i book a juggler. they know what they are getting, generally they will expect a multi skilled entertainer.

no agent ever asked for a "flow artist"


# by Mini, Parent

My assumption is that a Flow Artist is also a juggler/spinner, but a juggler/spinner is not nessassrily a Flow Artist.

Sounds like it's a subculture withing juggling, or a splint movement. Regardless there are common grounds and people will label themselves depending on their personal philosophy.

Since I'm in Vancouver for a while I might as well ask any resident Flow Artists their take on it. Apparently there's a Flow Fest tomorrow, so that'll be a good starting point.

Dawn's article is from a Flow Artist perspective, why not do the same from a juggler's point of view! (Maybe I could conduct some interviews as Madskillz

# by mrawa, Parent

I am so going to make the I AM A JUGGLER video screaming I am a juggler while doing my 5 ball, juggling on a uni, passing, playing combat, and PROVING MY JUGGLER STATUS.

Just because I posted it on flow arts institute doesn't mean I don't get to identify as a juggler.

# by DawnDreams, Parent

i am struggling to work out why you feel the need to identify as either, i juggle, you juggle, i play with skill based toys, i assume you do the same, i have even been known to dance (well leap about in a sweaty room)

it seems the greatest division from the posts is this

flow artists want to be known as flow artists

jugglers, dont really give a damn, as long as there is tea and biscuits lol.


in short. enjoy life. and dont get too stressed over which tribal alliance you feel you should have

# by Mini, Parent

I'd like to be known as a juggler, thanks.

(Though I do appreciate tea, less so on the biscuits)

# by Mike Moore, Parent

I'm more with the biscuits and forget about the tea. Not sure whether I wish to be called a juggler, more an entertainer and instructor.
Nigel

# by It's Him, Parent

what kind of biscuits?

# by mrawa, Parent

Too many options. At the juggling club custard creams are the preferred option. Elsewhere jammy dodgers or party rings work well for me.
Nigel

# by It's Him, Parent

I've been disappointed with jammy dodgers recently, the biscuit tastes undercooked to me and the jam filling is too hard and chewey.

I'm sure they used to be softer :(

# by Little Paul, Parent

The Ikea version with an apple jam filling is quite edible. I do think that many biscuits have depreciated in quality over the years but that might just be my taste buds.
Nigel

# by It's Him, Parent

The only logical response is to bake more!

Talking of baking, your mums orange and cranberry cake was amazing the other weekend (post office vehicles day).

Coming up with an approximation of it in time for Bungay is on my todo list.

# by Little Paul, Parent

Apologies! I'm aware that you are also a juggler, but what I actually meant was to conduct it from the point of view of someone without much/any experience of flow. Lacking a better term, a "Pure Juggler"?

I spoke to a few people at Saturday Circus and it seems that even those who consider themselves Flow Artists do not seem to agree on what makes flow flow. It was noted that when discussing the difference that it would make sense to remove Professional Jugglers from the equation (especially in terms of festivals/conventions). This is mostly do to the fact that there are relatively[1] few professional jugglers that go to juggling or flow conventions[2]. I wonder what the split is like for Flow Fests?

One description that kinda made sense was that Flow Artists design not only their acts, but also their practice sessions around music and making fluid, or more akin to dance. That they wouldn't practice without music, which is completely different to jugglers[4] who tend to be happy juggling with or without music[5].

It was also discussed that the background of individuals seems to make a noticeable difference. Jugglers[6] tend to have a technical background usually Engineering, Physics, and Computer Science. For other disciplines such as spinning I've never noticed a common background. On the other hand, an individual would also be heavily influenced by their community, so if an engineer juggler was part of a predominantly flow community then it would only be natural that they pick up characteristics of flow.

It was mentioned that a survey was taken at Madskillz last year, and I'm hoping to get a copy of it.

Guess it'll be impossible to define this empirically when there is no clear definition with the communities themselves and any data used to draw a conclusion will be both biased from those giving (where they all have different opinions) and also those analysing.

"Just because I posted it on flow arts institute doesn't mean I don't get to identify as a juggler."
Personally[7] I think that everything in both the juggling, circus, spinning, flow communities is considered a juggler, but then could also be classed as specialist defined firstly by the props (juggler[8], spinner, whatever) and also the style that they prefer (technical, fluid, etc). I guess you could extend that to the philosophy they use as well (flow, none, or other). In addition, considering that so everyone is constrained to a single prop, I could image that someone who dabbles both in say club jugging and poi might have difference styles/philosophies when practising each, being a technical juggler by a flow spinner. The number of different ways I can imagine classifying jugglers are numerous[9].


[1] Yes I'm aware that some professional jugglers/artists to frequent festivals/conventions, however the ratio of professional:hobbyist is vastly in the hobbyist favour.
[2] From my personal experience of the BJC[3], British, and European conventions
[3] I'm also aware that the BJC occurs usually during a professionals busy season.
[4] Yes I know some jugglers do require music, but I'm talking about drilling tricks, etc. Practising a routine is different.
[5] I personally juggler whilst listening to Audiobooks or Podcasts.
[7] Obviously from a pure juggler point of view, where I consider the definition of juggling to be "The skillful manipulation of one or more objects" and thus many things count (including parkour, skateboarding, bmx, slackrope, etc)
[7] Sample set from those I've met over 8 years in Europe and few recently in Vancouver
[8] Using juggler again as I hate the term "toss juggler"...
[9] and I'm thinking about it in terms of Object-Oriented Programming with multiple inheritance (more Java 8 than 7).

# by mrawa, Parent

Flow Artist is a way to describe that you are doing something with props, but you are not going to be demonstrating from the Rastelli Standard (clubs, rings, balls in numbers) but instead you are more contemporary (dancey/flowy/arty).

# by DawnDreams, Parent

I wouldn't call myself a flow-artist but I rarely do anything with clubs/balls/rings these days, I'm far more about the "gentleman" style of material (hats, household objects etc) but I'm certainly not a "flow artist"

So what would you call me? Where do I fit on your kinsey scale of juggling? Am I off to one side in a different axis or something?

I think that's my biggest problem with this sort of categorisation, it just doesn't work, it's either too narrow or too general.

Personally, I'm with mini. I don't actually care what you call me as long as there's tea and biscuits (ideally also cake and G&T)

# by Little Paul, Parent

I don't actually care what you call me as long as there's tea and biscuits (ideally also cake and G&T)....

jugglingedge really needs an upvote / "I approve" button for statements like these!

# by Dee, Parent

# by Orinoco, Parent

Is it a trap? ;o])

# by 7b_wizard, Parent

Bingo!

# by Dee, Parent

I agree that most of that article is opinion stated as fact.

My opinion on the subject: flow artists are jugglers. They just don't want to admit it. Kinda like how jugglers often don't like to be classified as clowns or flow artists.

Juggling is manipulating props in an interesting and entertaining way. That is what flow artists do. However, I would generally say that flow artists focus on presentation, body movement and posing. Whereas jugglers often focus on the pattern, number, and difficulty.

I once saw a lady friend pose the question, "why aren't there more male flow artists." A male juggler responded, "Because guys don't have a menstrual flow." :)

-Jared

# by Jared Davis, Parent

I found some of that very interesting. For example, I met Marvin Ong at an IJA and we are friends on FB - I see that part of his job is running/organizing flow workshops. I didn't understand how that could make one money, and now I think I understand that better.

By and large, I think that jugglers do value performers over workshop leaders, at least monetarily. It's rare for a workshop leader to have their show ticket/fest fee coverred, but common for performers. And, in my experience, very few jugglers bill themselves as excellent workshop leaders, ahead of performers. Of course, exception(s) exist, like Matt Hall, but I feel that the trend is there.

A few bits I found particularly interesting, and/or contrary to my experience:

"Jugglers tend to be socialist in nature, they don’t pay their coordinators and don’t believe coordinators should be paid for their work."
I disagree with that. I'm more capitalist than socialist (think Canada), and I would be fine with coordinators getting paid some amount for the work they do.

"Master classes assume at least intermediate skill"
(depends what the class is teaching, but okay)
"and rarely teach recreationally. (Many jugglers I know believe it’s below them to teach children)."
I have a hard time believing this. What does "many" mean here? I interperet "below them" to mean that they see it as an insult (hard for me to believe), rather than something that often gets outprioritized (which I can believe).

I'm unclear on what is meant by "technique" in this article. To me, juggling technique is something like "hold your hands like this, tilt yor head like this". But then:
"Learning technique is the main goal and success is about having a technically proficient show with boundary pushing skills that no one has seen before."
For general public performers, I don't think that's the main goal, as I see character development/patter as more of their main goal. For hobbyists, I don't think that's the main goal, as they tend to be less focussed on performance.

"[Jugglers] are focused on the outside appearance of their technique and how it looks to others at all times."
Not true. I don't care how most of my stuff looks. I want to come up with new things, whether they look good or not.

"They bond by showing new conceptual ideas, aka impressing each other."
This was the only sentence that jumped out at me as crazy. I certainly do not equate those two, and I'm sure a math teacher who shows her/his students new concepts daily will assure you that many are not impressed by this.

I liked how this article used the term "self-conscious" in a literal sense, it was a breath of fresh air from the negative connotation that it normally carries.

"The juggling community considers itself sophisticated and wishes other people would join them in their knowledge, trying to elevate everyone to that level of sophistication."
Sophisticated indeed.
https://www.youtube.com/v/ZOmLmOcP7Xs

There are sophisticated jugglers, and not. I don't think that's a good group for jugglers.

I do agree about wanting to see new things, and not the same old 50 tricks/patterns. I'm surprised that the flow group (or any group) can be happy seeing performances that are very samey, that haven't look into what's been done in the past. That's one generalization that fits me very well!

# by Mike Moore, Parent

Canada doesn't pay it's coordinators. Not at the 3 biggest festivals, anyway.

The amount of jugglers who complain about being a daycare rather than a professional jugglers is huge. It's FAIR even. Learning huge amounts of skills for a decade to be underpaid and to run around with kids who can't juggle and play catch is slightly demeaning - unless you decide teaching recreational is what you want to do - which Flow Artists seem more okay with.
Perhaps not written well, I'll take that, but it sucks when you show up to a gig and you have to follow the daycare signs - and I'm not the only one to complain about it.

Nice sacking video.
Sophistication compared to the childish flow people - yes. People in the juggling world know their history. They know what's done before them. They aren't some neophyte who has no idea what site swap is, they have ideas about technique in their desired places.

Nice to actually get an analysis of the piece and not just "I don't like it"
Thanks.
Dawn

# by DawnDreams, Parent

"Canada doesn't pay it's coordinators. Not at the 3 biggest festivals, anyway."

And not in any Canadian fests that I've heard of, either! What I'm saying is that I'm not opposed to paying them. In my experience, you are correct that they are not paid, but the opinion of "[jugglers] don’t believe coordinators should be paid for their work" felt like it was being pressed upon me. I don't think that's a sentiment widely shared.

Re: becoming a daycare, I think I understand your point better now. It made me more aware of my bias: I tend to mostly meet professional jugglers who are performing at juggling fests, and those are often the ones who've "made it [past the daycare stage]". In your example, I think that if the juggler has been hired to do (ony) a performance, and winds up spending (unpaid) time teaching children how to juggle, it's not unreasonable to be annoyed. If they're annoyed doing exactly what was described by their employer to do, I think that's unreasonable on the performer's end. (Personally, I teach juggling to children for free quite often, and sometimes organize events to do so - but true, I'm only one person).

"Nice sacking video."
Thanks...it's an unlisted video, and it's still had more hits than some of my public videos. A little embarassing.

Re: sophistication, I think that if one were to take the median (not mean - gotta keep people like Erik and David from skewing the trend too much!) knowledge of juggling history known by jugglers, and the average knowledge of flow history known by flow people, you're right. But saying that a community considers itself sophisticated, IMO, not expressing that opinion precisely enough. I think the very general binning of people/communities, without qualifiers or references to exceptions is what people are a bit up in arms about.

There are still lots of workshops I run at the IJA/other big fests that I can't speak siteswap in, because only half of the attendees are siteswap-literate. Your categorization of me in that regard is correct though, I really do wish people would learn siteswap (which is why I made an interactive video to teach it. No excuses, people!).

# by Mike Moore, Parent

" I think the very general binning of people/communities, without qualifiers or references to exceptions is what people are a bit up in arms about."

Fair critique on perhaps a muddled use of language. If I had to guess what people would be up in arms about: being called sophisticated wouldn't have been my guess, but ok.

"Jugglers don't believe they should be paid for their work"
Is based on my experience running 2 festivals, and understanding the BJC model. Plus, being on the JugglingDB, contactjuggling.org and many many other discussions about "we should all be doing community work for free" discussion.

The flow artists will have none of those discussions. People get paid. Considering not-paying is crazy talk.

It is likely my strongest - easiest to prove point. Flow Festivals are expensive, in part because everyone gets paid. If you contribute, you get back that money in pay. It works as a system, but it's more a capitalist model.
Juggling festivals cost very little in comparison, because everyone is expected to participate/contribute and enjoys things more in a job well done, we're good friends kind of way.

I mean, hooping.org has ads - juggling edge doesn't. Why is that? Because they have different ideas about how money works.

# by DawnDreams, Parent

I have a question about the people-get-paid model of festivals, since I've never been to one (unless you count IT conferences!).

I am interested in the demographic of the people who come as paid customers. Do you know how it differs from the demographic of paying customers at (say) a BJC? I'm assuming that the different pricing model would make for a substantially different demographic... but maybe I'm wrong! For example, do you get families/students/performers showing up as paying customers? Those are groups who often express difficulties with how high prices are at BJC.

# by emilyw, Parent

I'm going to take a wild stab at the demographic question, based on the narrow cross section of "flow artists" I've encountered (although that sample isn't statistically significant, and is highly biased by the environments I've encountered them in but...)

The demographic is white, middle class with disposable income, mostly late teens to mid 30s. I would say a 60:40 split male/female.

So not a million miles away from the average demographic of something like BJC really, just with a few more weave in neon dredlocks.

While I think of it, I'll just mention that one of my biggest gripes with the flow community (and possibly the article that started the thread) is a single word?

"artist"

it's such a loaded word, and to me it reeks of self importance and a willingness to look down on "mere jugglers" as they "don't understand flow, juggling is obviously devoid of art" - OK so that's as much my bias as theirs, but for me a word like that can really get in the way of what's important - getting together with other people to play with toys in ways the general public wouldn't expect anyone to put that much effort into learning.

# by Little Paul, Parent

What I'm trying to get at, is how the demographic differs from the juggling community demographic. You'd imagine that hiking festival prices so much would change the demographic, but does it?

Accessibility for families and students, but particularly for professional performers, has been a major driver behind keeping juggling festival pricing down, as I understand it.

# by emilyw, Parent

"The flow artists will have none of those discussions. People get paid. Considering not-paying is crazy talk."

That's really interesting, and helps me understand the context of the article better. While I maintain that I am not against paid coordinators, you've made it clear that I am not as for paid coordinators as most people in the flow community!

I find it somewhat embarassing how clearly ignorant I am about the flow community. I'll try to take steps to learn more at my next fest.

# by Mike Moore, Parent

Interesting question. The Edge doesn't have ads because I don't like them. This is not really because of any anti-capitalist ideals, more because of my snobby desire for minimalism. I don't want *anything* to get in the way of the content. I want to read what you have to write, anything that gets in the way of that (by taking up space on the screen, adding attention grabbing colour schemes/animation or merely adding a few more milliseconds to the page load time) is a problem. Also a lot of big ad schemes come with user tracking (ever since visiting the new IJA site YouTube sticks a Your Membership ad in front of every other video I watch), I hate the thought of making money by selling my friend's privacy.

That said I do consider myself to be more socialist (communist, anti-consumerist) than capitalist so my design decision will have been influenced by my ideals. Interestingly I had these ideals before I learnt to juggle.

People have been subdividing the juggling community for years. I don't think there was anything in your article that I haven't heard from someone before (I don't mean that to be disparaging, I'm just saying I've been around a while), so I'm not sure why your article has triggered more response than others. I think a lot of the negative reactions have been caused by the language used. I have no doubt that everything you wrote was done in complete innocence & you had no intention of treading on anyone's toes but a little more effort to stress that it is just an opinion would have made it a lot easier to read. Acknowledging a North American bias would have helped too.

I think the nature of the backlash is in part down to self-centredness, you may well have described Flow artists as, "childish venture-capitalists" but as evidenced by the reaction from the people on the juggling dominated Facebook groups will not be able to get past the thought of, "hey, I've just been pigeon-holed!" to consider whether anyone else has been pigeon-holed too. Has anyone on the Flow forums complained about being mis-categorised? Here in the UK the BBC is often accused of bias, usually by both sides of an argument which is a very good sign that you are doing something right!

Well done for writing the article, I enjoy a good shake up!

# by Orinoco, Parent

Yup - not disparaged. Writing what I have heard since the beginning (2002). Not everyone has heard this stuff though, so it's good to be a point of reference for people to talk about something. "I agree or I disagree" goes a long way in furthering the conversation. :)

There are flow fests in the UK and Europe - the juggler just have NO IDEA they are happening.
For example: http://livelovehoop.com/bff/

I understand that it seems like Flow Arts is entirely in North America (West Coast Mostly), but it's leaking out into Europe and beyond.

The Flow Community hasn't complained as much as they say "I don't know how I feel about that"...
Which is fair.
Also, there are a few phrases I think could have been worded better on my part. I stand by my sentiments, but the wording of them could have been better.
I thought the first sentence of "I have drawn some inferences of the differences between the two worlds" and the passive use of the word tend towards i.e. "Jugglers tend, to be socialist in nature" covered me, but hey - i've learned otherwise.
Phrasing everything with "IMHO" may not conduct such enormous discussions though.

Although I do worry that I am just an asshole with an opinion.
It's possible, but I love my juggling and my flow communities. and somehow, asshole or not, they still seem to love me. ;)

# by DawnDreams, Parent

Best add that festival to the database then! http://jugglingedge.com/event.php?EventID=4035

# by Orinoco, Parent

The Brighton Flow Festival, from its website, looks like a one day series of four hula hoop workshops in a sports centre. So from this one source of evidence we should conclude that Flow Artists only meet indoors, it is only about top down teaching about the props, obsessively practising and focussing on technique, and having to take instruction from hoopists shown as performers in their photographs. Compared to a similarly priced Juggling Event: EJC which for me is a great get together, making up silly ideas, having fun, being sociable and participating in juggling.

There are lots of juggling and circus teaching workshops not listed on Juggling Edge I don't think there is conspiracy against flow events, there are 13 events listed on the Edge calendar with Flow in their title, all (with the exception of this Brighton event) are in north america mostly USA.

Could you name another non-juggling flow event in Europe?

# by Mïark, Parent

The first half of the first paragraph came across, in my view, as unnecessarily sarcastic and attacky, and I didn't appreciate it.

I know very little about the flow community (and knew less, prior to this thread!), but some googling can answer your question:

http://swhoop.hoopingmad.co.uk/
(I was surprised here...under accomodation, it says that local hoopers will be happy to provide accomodation to out-of-towners for £20. Dawn's point about flow people not charging for things being ridiculous is being corroborated everywhere I look) (looks like no camping)

https://www.facebook.com/events/879722182078086
(Outdoor camping, looks like outdoor venue)

https://italianhoopconnection.wordpress.com/italian-hoop-connection-2014/
(Looks like it's held outdoors, no camping)

http://www.heartandhoopdance.com/location-hoop-dance-workshop-meditation-heartdance/
(Held partly indoors, partly outdoors, no camping)

http://www.germanhoopconvention.com/Welcome.html
(Looks like indoor venue, no camping)

http://www.ukhoopgathering.com/#/new-spanish-hoop-holiday-2015/4555398385
(Looks like outdoor venue)

https://www.facebook.com/events/364619143702879/
(Indoor and outdoor venue, not sure about accomodations)

# by Mike Moore, Parent

Sorry it read as sarcastic or attacking, that was not my intention, I was trying to show that many of the traits attributed to jugglers in the original article could also be used for flow artists, (and vice versa) perhaps there the difference between people is not just whether they think of themselves as a flow artist or a juggler.

The author's experiences do not match my own in the juggling community, as a unicyclist who has dabbled with devilstick, contact juggling, levi-stick, hat manipulation - I don't think I have ever been told I am not a real juggler. I have also happily taught children and creating a technically proficient show has never been one of my ambitions (though I have inadvertently been in some technically far from proficient shows). I have not practised obsessively, have little care about how things might look to an outsider and do not use a mirror to practise. I enjoy the activity of juggling, not worrying how good I might be at it one day. I go to festivals primarily to meet people, drink tea and juggle. I don't consider myself sophisticated, I don't enjoy shows as I am a doing person not a watching person.

There are probably a few individuals who meet the stereotype created in the article, but probable more who don't. There are also differences from one country to another and differences between professionals and hobbyists attitude.

Flow looks like it is being used as a synonym for hooping, is this an attempt to distinguish it from Hoop Exercise, which looks like it might be the successor to Zumba as the new alternative form of exercise.

# by Mïark, Parent

I especially agree that what consistutes juggling varies regionally, with variance even between clubs. Personally, I consider all of the activities you listed to be included in juggling except unicycling. Which is not to say I think unicycling is more or less worthwhile, or that I think it should/shouldn't be present at a juggling festival, just that it's sufficiently different to make categorizing it as juggling confusing/non-useful.

Another distinction: I wouldn't say someone unicylcing is "not a juggler", I would say that someone unicycling is "not juggling". I don't know whether this is a controversial view or not!

# by Mike Moore, Parent

WOW

i could not afford to be a hooper.


Swoop. £325 for 3 days, and the sit of accommodation references hotels in the £300 range..


splutter. i am a bum.

# by Mini, Parent

If you had a hoop act though, I'd pay to see it :)

# by Little Paul, Parent

Yeah, I once considered going to a German hooping convention, but they charge a lot and are fully booked 3 months before the event starts.... I'll wait until they beg me to perform :p

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

I've lost track of where in the thread I'm posting, I hope this is in at least a vaguely relevant place.

On the "paid coordinator" side of things, there are many examples of BJC's (and even one notable EJC in Edinburgh) where the organisers have done very nicely out of it financially. Not every BJC ploughs any profit made into the juggling community, as the event is usually run by a limited company with directors, when the company is wound up those directors can opt to take a payment out of the company (subject to tax etc)

Of course, the IJA had (has?) a salaried festival coordinator for many many years.

Just because we like a 24 hour hall, doesn't mean we're immune to capitalism.

# by Little Paul, Parent

What I have noticed is a subset of jugglers who really do believe that making money, or more money than you "need", is inherently morally negative. I know someone who does circus workshops at a (very low) hourly rate, and won't charge for his admin or travel time because he thinks it would be wrong.

It reminds me a little bit of the argument that it's wrong to pay someone else to look after your kids (or your elderly parents) when you could do it yourself. There's a kind of pervasive belief that some kinds of work should be free. Sex work is another example! Or any kind of community work. This belief came in very useful for David Cameron when he suggested that the "Big Society" should take care of all kinds of things - which is another way of saying that people should be doing more kinds of work for free.

Then we end up in a discussion about who exactly should pay for work that is benefitting people who can't afford to pay for it themselves... and we end up talking about government funding for the arts, which comes with its own set of moral quandaries.

# by emilyw, Parent

reminds of Tai Chi, Kung Fu Shaolin Bruce Lee -wisdom "flow like water", .. maybe spinning S-staffs at sundown, or else "being one with Ur props / with Ur pattern" .. would any of that count as "flow"?

# by 7b_wizard, Parent

Just been reading the about section on the flow arts site (http://flowartsinstitute.com/about-us/what-is-flow-arts/) and the linked wikipedia article.

I'm now pretty much of the impression that there is absolutely no difference between "Flow Arts" and what we in the UK consider the juggling/circus community[1].

The difference (may) lie in this "state of mind" that is mentioned but never explained fully[2]. This state of mind is nothing new, and certainly never originated with Flow Arts, juggling or circus. It's common in almost any activity you can think of. For me I've experienced it drawing, juggling, swimming, video gaming, and (weirdly) programming.

Lastly:
"crew learned through hours of discussions and meetings and some trials and tribulations that the ideologies between Juggling communities and Prop Spinning Communities are not the same. The difference of props is not what makes jugglers and Flow Artists different. The differences lies in philosophies."

I'd disagree... in my experience the difference between Spinning and Juggling communities is that jugglers really want an indoor juggling hall/big top with a high ceiling, whilst spinners are happy to setup in a field and spin.


[1] As far as the activities themselves are concerned.
[2] Unless you read the whole of the wikipedia article.

# by mrawa, Parent

I'm thinking that the scene in general has the curious property of attracting people across the spectrum between extremely hippy woo people and people with an extremely scientific/analytical background. It's somewhat easier to find a hippy woo person in the "flow" camp and somewhat easier to find an engineer on holiday in the juggling camp.

There lie the roots of an overgeneralisation, and an attempt to shoehorn a variety of interesting observations into an overarching framework with a shaky foundation.

# by emilyw, Parent

Im replying here because of Emily's connections to the old Sokol panel... But...

Is anyone else reading this thinking that s lot of the claims made by flow people (meditative, sharing, teaching, mystical state of mind) and a lot of the external stereotyped images of flow people (soap dodging pot smoking hippies) remind them a *lot* of the early 1990s UK juggling scene?

All that "juggling is good for your brain" and "3 ball meditation" guff we were all spouting back then?

I say give it 25 years and the flow scene will look like the juggling scene does now

# by Little Paul, Parent

An excellent comparison to draw LP. Personally, I don't believe that early 90s juggling/contemporary flow are entirely symptomatic of the same phase of development of a popular skill, but I definitely do think there are plenty of similarities.

My experience of the 90s juggling scene included large dollops of harmless hippy bollocks, plenty of soft drugs and rave choons for those that cared for such things (and a polite understanding of those who didn't), but those were different times and were informed by the conditions a the time - the end of Thatcherism, lots of travellers and other alternative lifestyles, the sheer novelty of the nascent new circus scene, and so on and so forth. The flow community does not possess these precise conditions, and nor will any other community. The juggling scene of the 90s was very much of its time and will forever be unique in that respect.

God help the flow scene if, in twenty five years time, they have a plethora of Flow Swap simulators, and legions of teenagers flashing twelve poi.

# by Cedric Lackpot, Parent

Programming is my easiest way into this state, it's interesting to hear that you've shared that experience. It's also the subject that I get the most emotional doing (#2 is teaching, then probably juggling, but there's a big drop off after #2).

# by Mike Moore, Parent

I had a feeling other people would get it programming!

For me I get this awareness of what's going on in the code, project, stack, environment etc. I'm able to happily go can change things, I can debug easier, and indistinctly remember where some code is without having to grep the project. If something causes me to drop out of the state then I get utterly confused and more often than not need to close all the terminals in order to start again...

# by mrawa, Parent

Yes! For me it feels like I'm running the parts of code in my head, and following along the pieces of data as their jostled around by this and that. And, like you, when I get snapped out of it, it takes a while to get back in.

I once missed my own birthday celebration because I completely lost track of time while coding!

# by Mike Moore, Parent

My programming is figuratively (& in the case of the Edge sometimes literally) more akin to trying to hit a squirrel with a 16lb sledge hammer.

# by Orinoco, Parent

Haha, I know what you mean. That's pretty much my relationship with Java (stupid pointless context files!). Even when I'm in flow(?) I can't guarantee my coding is elegant, but it gets the job done.

# by mrawa, Parent

I clarified my definitions before I wrote the article to try to avoid confusion.
http://flowartsinstitute.com/definitions-of-flow/

# by DawnDreams, Parent

You might want to update this section regarding the second term:
"Musical flow, data flow, and the flow of electricity all fall under the category of expressions in the english language that use the term to express something that moves like a stream of water."

I'm not qualified to comment on Musical flow (other than the use of complementary consecutive melody[1], but with regards to the others:
Flow of electricity is indeed similar to water. Both travel the path of least resistance. Data on the other hand is completely different. Instead of following an overarching rule (resistance or gravity) it is determined by whatever the programmer wants it to do (usually the flow of messages between components/systems).



"a relatively new noun called the Flow Arts. We capitalize this name to differentiate it from the adjective descriptions above. It refers specifically to circus disciplines such as poi spinning, hula hooping, staff, fans, and many other prop related and movement arts. Many people will also use the term prop manipulation or spinning to describe the Flow Arts (stay tuned for a future article about why there is a difference between the terms)."
Couple of questions on this:
1 - You reference an article discussing how Flow Arts is different to spinning or prop manipulation. Has this been written yet, as I would love to read it.
2 - I'm still unclear of the definition of Flow Arts, and how it is different to juggling (is it perhaps the pursuit of fluid prop manipulation, as per your dancing analogy, whilst in a flow (psychology) mind state?




[1] Although I'm sure there are some compositions that work well with sharp/contrasting sections, but I'm more referencing freestyle jamming

# by mrawa, Parent

I have written how it became named differently, but I have yet to get to the question of why it is different to juggling. http://flowartsinstitute.com/history-of-term-flow-arts/

Flow Arts, in some ways, is defined differently to escape the Rastelli Standard of Clubs (sticks), Rings (plates) and balls. It's "new juggling" or "object manipulation" (which is a synonym for juggling).

Those who frequent the flow arts scene are more likely to come from the music festival scene, and in that way it has a new energy to it - rather than the traditional - top down learning style, it's a bottom - up, reinvention of the wheel (juggling community).

I have some theories on how juggling DB's rejection of Cj'ers, Poi spinners and other props 10-15 years ago (when I started) created some identity politics which labeled us as "different", and in that, some people went and formed a group that they did feel belonging with.
for example:
http://www.juggling.org/~conway/juggler/MAQ.html#q1

I understand it was a joke, but "you're not a juggler" is a sentiment that - as a contact juggling - I ran into constantly in the juggling community. I still identified as a juggler, considering I have been juggling since I was 7 years old, but it was a stubbornness on my part. Many people felt that rejection deeply, and I believe the result ended in the fracture of the subcultures.

I would agree they are more similar than different. I did write an article on differences, but it's only because we can't ignore they exist.
As an example: I am a human. I am also a women. My experience and ideas are different than those of a man. They differ from the experience of all other identities than can be found. They are all unique and should be acknowledged as interesting and different ways to experience the world. Acknowledging differences acknowledges all of our identities as equally valid.

Juggler and Flow Artist are identities, and this is about identity politics in a random sub-culture.


It will be interesting. It is likely The two communities will inevitably merge. The idea that it was trying to polarize is interesting. It's actually just an attempt for us all to acknowledge our different identities within the same world of moving objects in space.

# by DawnDreams, Parent

"I understand it was a joke, but "you're not a juggler" is a sentiment that - as a contact juggling - I ran into constantly in the juggling community."

Oh boy, if someone in my club said something like that, I'd be giving them a good talking-to. I hope you find that sentiment is dying out!

# by Mike Moore, Parent

Geeky point of order: The MAQ was first posted to rec.juggling in May 1994. The IJDb was born in 2001 & provided access to a pre-existing usenet group so I don't think it was Colin's fault!

# by Orinoco, Parent

I blame Barry

# by Little Paul, Parent

This is amazing! The maturing of a sub-culture :D

Juggling now has become such a big group that you don't need to associate any more with every juggler, and groups start to actively differ from each other. It is interesting development that we now have 'spinners' and 'jugglers', who also have their own conventions and training groups etc. There is still overlap, but who knows what evolves out of this! Back in the days there was not even a juggling subculture, everything was contained in the culture of 'circus'.

Of course this kind of growing has some negative side effects, such as negative stereotypes of other groups (jugglers don't like to teach kids, spinners are dreadlocked weed smokers), but overall it means that more people can enjoy the fun of juggling/spinning/circus :)

Oh btw I didn't read the article. Should I?

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

I doubt you will learn anything from it. It is an opinion piece by someone who appears to be a flow person about how different jugglers are. The majority of the "facts" are mostly wild conjecture or just plain wrong.

# by Chris, Parent

Been in the scene since 2002.
I can juggle 5 balls, rings, clubs, boxes.
Was juggling club president for 5 years at various colleges/universities.
hosted Komei Aoki & Tony Duncan at my house,
Spent week at the Katakomben,
Traveled the world finding jugglers.
Hired as a juggler for a decade.
gone to hundreds of juggling festivals
organized 8 juggling festivals myself.

Yet, somehow, I am a flow-person. lol.

# by DawnDreams, Parent

attempt to define "flow arts":
As subculture in the juggling community, it is the manipulation ('bodypulation'?) of props ( staffs, (fire)poi, astrojax?, meteor?, swinging-clubs, contact-balls, .. folding fans, .. ) mainly by spinning, swinging, twirling, rolling, without losing contact to the body and without losing a hold of them (i.e. not throwing, not tossing).
The focus is on aesthetics and flowing movements of the whole body merging with the prop's physical behavior (& the outward impression in performing on stage).
In a broader sense "flow arts" can be any art or sportive occupation devoted to meditative body culture (in the spirit of asian philosophy) as found - without props, then ;o]) - e.g. in Tai Chi Chuan or other martial arts.
- end def -

"Rock solid" perfect - even meditative - juggling has nothing of this "whole-body-and-mind-flow" .. U can do it standing still - merging with the pattern like a metronome or a clock.
Creative juggling in motion ( just saw Jay Gilligan's "evolution of juggling" ;o]) - yet another 'trend' focussing on prop's history :o] )
can be "play", "experimantal juggling", or then - if aimed on really mastering - "flow" in that sense.

I think it does make sense - call it pidgeon-holing or pegging as sth there isn't or .. - finding names for what we're doing when trends & streams crystalize away from what's usually done & seen. New trends, directions, ways, orientations to locate oneself into and to decide focussing on and finding one's way & identity as a .. [well .. choose! ] :o) .

(and don't forget the closely related Rhythmic Gymnastics)

I myself know this flow-feeling very well when juggling 3d (not in that plane before U, rather like triangular planes) or freestyle when i got no idea where the racketed balls will land and have to lt my hands do the thinking all by themselves. I have it when going to my limits having to take in martial arts' squat ground position, ready to bounce off the ground, or to pivot, or to do a crossing step. All in all it's just one - how major aspect I don't yet know.

# by 7b_wizard, Parent

I've always thought of flow artists as people who are able to improvise & make whatever prop (or even no prop) they are using seemingly do whatever they like at will. A good flow artist will be able to perform a wide variety of tricks but the boundary between each one should be undetectable. Flow artists in my mind have more in common with jazz artists. So in that respect people like Stefan Sing, Minh Tam Kaplan & even Anthony Gatto are excellent flow artists.

I first heard the idea of flow art as jazz from a poi spinner.

# by Orinoco, Parent

that makes me look up jazzdance on wikipedia .. witout any enlightning but "dancers floating across the floor" ( °hovering°, really :o) ).
Yet another notion, that of "continuity" comes to my mind reading Ur post.

# by 7b_wizard, Parent

I completely disagree about juggling not being meditative. I find it to be that.

Humans have been manipulating props in many ways for thousands of years. Eventually the term for that became juggling and people who do that jugglers.

Now there are people who manipulate props but since their limited concept of juggling is throwing and catching they came up with another term for what they do (flow arts).

Flow artists ARE jugglers whether or not they realize it or admit it.

Juggling is not exclusively balls, clubs, and rings. It is not exclusively throwing and catching.

# by Jared Davis, Parent

It might be better if flow artist was shortened to one word I think. From now on I wish to be known as a fartist.

# by pumpkineater23, Parent

Sorry this is my second thread in 24 hours, but I have a question. Can I bounce juggle with tennis balls? I currently use hackey sacks to juggle, and they work really well. Of course, they don't bounce, so I use tennis balls for bounce juggling. I learned 3 ball force bounce, but is it possible to do 4+ balls force bounce with tennis balls? The reason I say force bounce is because they do not bounce high enough for lift bounce.

# by JackJuggles,

Your final sentence answers your own question.

# by The Void, Parent

Anything is possible if you try hard enough!

(except for 16 ball juggling... Lets not lie to ourselves)

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

You can bounce juggle with tennis balls in the same way that you can juggle with haggises, both are possible but they are essentially curiosities :-

https://www.youtube.com/v/c5w9pfnbS8E

It's actually pretty good that you have learned to force bounce with tennis balls. Now get yourself something better and it'll all seem so much easier and you will open up a vast range of other stuff which is pretty much impossible with tennis balls.

If you can afford them get some silicone bounce balls. If. They're bloody expensive.

If you can't afford sillies then try some of the mid-range substitutes made with non-silicone compounds such as Oddballs Hi-Bounce or the ones from Play.

And if that's still too much then use what the pros did waaaay back in the day and get yourself a set of lacrosse balls.

Whichever you choose, try to find a hard, solid, and most importantly glassy flat surface to play on.

Good luck!

# by Cedric Lackpot, Parent

I second the lacrosse balls. Silicones are clearly better but the price is just ridiculous.

# by ejwysz, Parent

The "limits" of juggling ability. What are they? I'm talking the 4-Minute mile here.

I've seen this debated about in reference to juggling before, and thought I'd bring it up on the Edge.

What are the absolute limits of technical juggling ability? Or are there possibly none? Is there a maximum amount of objects that a human being can possibly flash, or qualify?

A member of the juggling club I go to told me that the human brain can only perceive 7 (plus or minus two) objects in motion at a time. He went on to say that while jugglers may currently qualify 10 or even 11 balls, their brains can't fully understand what's going on, and juggling ability actually can't go much farther than it currently has. I found that exceedingly interesting, even though I - if only out of hope and love of juggling - disagree with it.

What do you think?

# by ejwysz,

It's probably true that the brain can only perceive 7 objects *consciously*, but with training most of what you're doing when juggling becomes subconscious. Even when just walking in a crowded street your brain is subconsciously perceiving and processing probably hundreds or thousands of things at once. The limits don't come from the brain, but the physical limits of the body. Some work has been done on this by Jack Kalvan, although I don't fully agree with the methods or the results.

http://www.juggling.org/papers/OJ/
http://www.juggling.org/papers/limits/

From experience I can say that the physical difficulty increases exponentially. The next number always requires greater height and speed, but at the same time more accuracy and more weight in the hands at the start. I believe a 14 ball flash is doable, but I don't think we'll see anyone doing 15. I think that long runs of 11 is doable also.

# by peterbone, Parent

Why not 15? Alex is young, so he must have reached 13 in a relatively short time. With 10 years more training at this pace, he could be at a level that makes 15 within reach? Or do you think the best age to flash high numbers is early 20s?

Also, I don't know so many people who work dedicated on their numbers. Out of so many jugglers, so few seem to care after 7 balls. If there would ever be a culture shift where more jugglers decided to dedicate all their time to flashing 15 balls, or even if we just wait another 100 years which gives time for plenty of other jugglers to rise, would there not inevitably be a lucky shot at some point?

All that being said, my experience with numbers juggling does not even come close to yours...

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

Alex was juggling for several years before he became more involved with the juggling community. I don't think that numbers juggling is something that only people in their early 20s can push the limits of (or I hope not). I think you underestimate the difficulty of increasing the number. It would be like asking if a sprinter can run the 100m in under 9 seconds. The difference is just over half a second, but to achieve that would require much more power. I think that a 15 ball flash would be even less likely.

# by peterbone, Parent

Peter, your 11 ball flash with a pirouette is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. After seeing you push forward the "edge" of juggling, I have to say I'm surprised at your cynicism.

What if Gatto had shifted gears, and for years dedicated his practice to high numbers with beanbags? Do you think he never would have nailed 15?

# by ejwysz, Parent

The 11 ball flash with a pirouette is not much harder than an 11 ball flash. I collect 10 and then just spin under the last one. I'd say that it's easier than 13 catches with 11. I do believe that we're still a long way off the limits of numbers juggling, but I also believe that 15 beanbags will never be flashed no matter who it is. Gatto would have the same chance as anyone else under the same conditions in my opinion.

Hearing you mention Albert Lucas has made me want to clarify something. I don't think that 15 beanbags will ever be flashed from the hands. Juggling records set using a holster for the launch don't count in my opinion, but the official rules do say that you can use them currently. I'm almost certain that Albert has flashed 14 rings with a holster. My statement doesn't apply to rings either, which seem to become easier than balls at the higher numbers.

# by peterbone, Parent

Ah, yeah, that changes the game too...

Are you even able to launch 8 balls with decent height and accuracy from one hand? The grip must be terrible....

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

Yes, a have an 8 ball grip, but never really tested it with high throws at speed. I hold 6 in zig-zag and 2 on top, holding the back top one down with my thumb.

# by peterbone, Parent

I watched Anthony Gatto in 2000 breaking records and such (and later on video). 12 rings looked trivial.

However, as soon as he tried 7 rings in one hand, it looked waaaaay beyond his abilities. It wasn't just the grip, or not having holsters, as he would pass the last few rings over to the launching hand from the other hand. The height and speed needed for the 7 rings in one hand is right at the very limits of human capabilities. From my own (limited) experience, and from watching others, the extra pattern height needed for higher numbers increases way more quickly with rings than with beanbags.

So with holsters, 7 rings from one hand seems more than possible. 8 seems less probable. I'd put the cap there at 14 rings.

Next consideration:

Balls don't have handles, so if they are in a holster, or stuck with velcro, they have to be big enough to grab cleanly without looking. This is super easy with rings, as the whole thing is a handle, and also easier with clubs, as it is half handle.

BUT when you catch, balls also don't have handles, nor do they have holes. Rings can easily fall down over your arms, leaving the hand to catch the next ring unimpeded. Clubs can also be tucked under arms, or generally clamped against the body (see latest Willy Colombaino 9 club video). But once a ball is caught, it's just taking up space in the hand.

So no matter if you can launch 8 balls from a hand (for 15) you have to also catch 8 balls in one hand, or at least 7.5 balls per hand. David Ferman is already struggling to catch all 10 balls at the end of his world record run, and even using his arms and leaning back, only gathers 9.

If you have a ball big enough to be suitable for a holster, it's then too big to catch at the end. The way to get a record is to do more throws, and get the record without a clean finish (like David did with 10 balls). But for 15 balls, with balls you can launch and catch 5 in per hand, that means 5 more balls in a holster, which then means you have to do 20 throws in a clean enough pattern, then catch the next 10 balls clean, and let the last 5 hit the floor AFTER you've already caught those first 10 balls clean.

Anyway, this is a long way of saying I don't think any new high numbers record with balls will be set with holsters of any kind, and also kinda why I don't think 15 balls will ever be flashed by baseline humans we have in the world today. Not unless juggling becomes as prestigious as the 100m sprint, or some other crazy hypothetical.

# by lukeburrage, Parent

The obvious conclusion is that eventually all the juggling records will be set by people with high end prosthetic arms and a dedicated pair of juggling hands. With the appropriate gear they could even read a book while doing it.

That would be an act I'd watch.

# by emilyw, Parent

Perhaps not holsters, but a ball launcher, that allows you to catch the ball first and then throw it up into the pattern.. Can be done with tiny balls, allows for a clean start, who knows what the future might bring us!

Thanks for pointing out the Willy vid, I hadn't seen it yet! Interesting catch indeed ;)

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

I saw some videos of Ty Tojo working on 9 and Dick Franco would throw one high for him to start the pattern.

# by ejwysz, Parent

Assuming the launch is not a problem, what would you think about finishing a flash not by gathering balls in your hands but catching & placing them in a kangaroo pouch similar to doing a pull down with rings?

# by Orinoco, Parent

Bullshit.

# by lukeburrage, Parent

I'd think the same that I think about using a holster for the launch. It shouldn't count as a pure flash.

# by peterbone, Parent

IANANJ, but pull downs require more control than a simple catch. Letting balls bounce off your hands into a sack requires less control so Luke is spot on with his answer.

# by Mike Armstrong, Parent

For "Letting balls bounce off your hands" I would certainly agree, but that's not what I said.

I tried this for a few minutes last night at TWJC & found it considerably harder than just catching the balls normally. I had a waist height table in front of me, I considered a successful 'putdown' to have occurred if I felt the table with my fingertips when placing each individual ball, & all the balls remained on the table where I put them, ie if I had dropped or thrown the balls at the table they would have rolled off or to the edge. It took me several attempts to complete a successful putdown with 5 but didn't take me long to be able to do it regularly. The urge to throw the ball down early to make the next catch is really high & difficult to overcome. I found I had to juggle considerably higher than I normally do to give myself time to make the placement. 6 took much longer, usually my 6 ball fountain is only marginally higher than my 5 ball cascade, so the adjustment needed was even greater. I lost interest before I could solidify a 6 ball putdown or try 7.

It won't catch on because it looks crap (unless you can build a stacked pyramid or something), is harder to do & because only the juggler can feel if they've done it right cannot be independently verified.

# by Orinoco, Parent

I never knew Anthony worked on that. He never got a 7 in one hand flash when you watched? To play devil's advocate, I'd say working with smaller diameter rings for a shorter pattern height might help... And that Anthony juggled for many years after that, who knows if that was something he was just first trying.

Ferman is using relatively huge balls for that number, and I applaud him for it. But I don't think they'd HAVE to be big if you designed the perfect holster.

So 15 balls... What if someone grabs and launches the last two balls of the 15 from holsters, and to collect places the first two caught back in the holsters before catching the rest? Would this officially be a valid 15 ball flash? The time and accuracy required to put them back in place in my opinion would make it real to me.

Also, I've been thinking a lot about the 14 ball flash... Would flashing 12 synchronous and then exchanging 2 balls in (2x,2x) below it be easier than the standard flash of 14? I feel like if someone did this they might get criticism, but I would personally count it.

# by ejwysz, Parent

"Also, I've been thinking a lot about the 14 ball flash... Would flashing 12 synchronous and then exchanging 2 balls in (2x,2x) below it be easier than the standard flash of 14? I feel like if someone did this they might get criticism, but I would personally count it."

I've read and heard soooo many ideas like this about flashing high numbers. I don't think anyone who hasn't tried 11 or more balls really understands just how fast and physical it is. You have NO TIME to do any of these things. Also your brain and hands only have the capability of doing ONE thing. As in, you can't do up and down motions, then side to side motions, then catch with your hands facing inwards, then turn them all upwards again to catch the rest of the balls. If this was in any way easier than a 14 ball fountain/wimpy pattern, it would also be a standard way for jugglers to flash 8, 10 and 12 balls for the first time. But it isn't, for good reasons.

As an experiment, try your above idea, or any other idea but with 6 balls. But do it sitting under a table. Suddenly how much faster is your flash? How much less time do you have for any of these tricks?

When you get to 12, 13 and 14 balls, the underside of the table is now built out of physical laws and concepts such as gravity, inertia, time and total possible energy expenditure of a closed system.

# by lukeburrage, Parent

Another way of looking at it is to use siteswaps, the 12 ball pattern you suggest is (e,e)(e,e)(e,e)(e,e)(e,e)(2x,2x). So to start with you've got to learn to do 10 throws of 14 balls.

# by Orinoco, Parent

Here's an interesting video of 9 large balls with 4 starting and ending in a holster:
https://www.youtube.com/v/R8iJ3HisE_Q

Here's a longer run of 9 starting with 4 in the holster and ending with 7 on the ground:
https://www.youtube.com/v/9q3pvJudUNQ

# by Scott Seltzer, Parent

That second video isn't a longer run. After he throws the second to last ball, he only makes 8 clean catches. The first video is more successful.

# by lukeburrage, Parent

I really do think they count. It just seems like the logical progression when you reach that technical level.

Like: "I only have 5 fingers, but I have gotten so good at juggling that now I require apparati just to allow my physical body to do this."

There is no shame in that. Yes, you can put 1 between your legs for 11, and I've even seen Junming Lin hold two in his teeth, but where does it end? I would never say anyone's 11 or 12 ring flash didn't count because of a holster. In fact, I find the need for a holster amazing.

# by ejwysz, Parent

A holster undoubtedly makes it easier. Apart from avoiding the problem of grip, it also greatly reduces weight in the hands for the first throws. A flash consists or the launch and the collect. Anything that aids in either of those phases and is not part of the body or the props should not be counted as a pure flash in my opinion. Working out how to launch and collect high numbers is part of the challenge. It would be like a high jumper deciding that he's reached his limit and saying that he now needs some kind of spring to take it to the next level.

# by peterbone, Parent

I see where you're coming from, but is there anywhere you draw the line in that respect? Catching them with the feet, cradling them in the arms, catching one in the mouth?

In the end, I still think that if you release all of them from your hands, and catch all of them with your hands(provided none drop) it is valid. I would rather see that than someone trying to make a net with their arms and knees to catch balls.

# by ejwysz, Parent

If you can do it naked.

# by lukeburrage, Parent

Uncomfortable memories of your first "11 ball flash" video.

# by peterbone, Parent

That wasn't me.

# by lukeburrage, Parent

Sorry, I was sure it was you for some reason. There can't be too many numbers jugglers who don't mind getting naked in public (thinking of the Finland EJC games now).

# by peterbone, Parent

Lots of people remember me doing things that no longer exist in my brain, so it wouldn't have surprised me if you'd found evidence (though most of those forgotten things happened in Renegade shows twelve to fifteen years ago).

# by lukeburrage, Parent

Unfortunate wording perhaps. My first thought was 'there certainly can!'.

# by barnesy, Parent

Whoa, I was almost sure that was you too!

# by ejwysz, Parent

hahaha! The one thing better than an 11 ball flash is a naked 11 ball flash!

Yes Luke, I also have the Finland EJC memory though. If you ever attempt 12 on camera again, consider doing it naked ;)

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

> It would be like a high jumper deciding that he's reached his limit and saying that he now needs some kind of spring to take it to the next level.

That would be a pole vaulter would it not?

# by Cedric Lackpot, Parent

Exactly. As long as they make it a separate discipline with it's own rules then it's fine. If it wasn't separate then it would be unfair on the athletes not using poles and pure high jump would eventually no longer exist.

# by peterbone, Parent

I think this is something that could easily be added to the Juggling World Records page on Wikipedia. Most records have videos, so you could just look at the top end records for rings and clubs to see if holsters or other non-juggler's-own-body assistance is used for launching. There is already a clubs/sticks distinction in place for 9 clubs.

And there shouldn't be a category for any records with holsters or nets for catching and holding props at the end. I still think the Tim Nolan 11 ball bounce record is completely farcical, due to each "catch" being a mere touch to each ball before they all went fucking everywhere. By every definition of juggling records I'd ever write, that wouldn't count at all. But when I set up that page on Wikipedia I just went with the sources and rules already in place, and the bounce page seemed like the authority on the matter, so yeah.

I'm just saying that if holsters attached to the body are allowed for catching balls after they have touched the hands, why not something attached to the floor? Like, you know, a carpet? If this was the case, I've flashed 12 balls LOADS of times.

# by lukeburrage, Parent

I think I'd only allow the carpet if your feet were attached to the floor.

# by Little Paul, Parent

I do think 15 balls will one day be done. After 14 is done (Albert Lucas is lying IMO), 15 will be the next new frontier. Pressure will be on! I think this would be easier with rings, but I am only speculating.

And I agree with you, Daniel. I feel like the reason for people not caring after 7 is because most people able to do such things are professional jugglers, most of whom probably find really high numbers a waste of practical practice time. Would they ever put 11+ objects in a performance? I've never seen it.

But yes. This is one of the things that makes me wish juggling was "bi". Then maybe we would have already seen 15 or 16 objects.

# by ejwysz, Parent

***"big"

# by ejwysz, Parent

Both Gatto and Ignatov (oh, and Gerasimov, without holsters!) all have performed 11 ring flashes.

And it's not so many, but Gerasimov and Columbaioni perform 8 club flashes. So performers are interested!

I believe Albert Lucas showed a video of a 14 ring flash at this years JJF. He also tried to do it publicly for a TV show, which he probably would not do if he hasn't done it before! http://juggle.wikia.com/wiki/Albert_Lucas

# by Brook Roberts, Parent

Yeah, I've been thinking about that too... But than again, hardly any pro ball jugglers perform with their tiny saggy bags which would be recommended for flashing 11, while every pro ring juggler (and club juggler) practises and performs with the same kind of ring that would be required to break a record..

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

I seem to remember Albert Lucas was using specially made titanium rings for his record attempts because they're lighter and more stable than standard rings.

Of course, that memory is from ejc 2000 so shouldn't be trusted...

# by Little Paul, Parent

I remember hearing that too.

# by ejwysz, Parent

I was also at Abert Lucas's pre non-record attempt presentation at EJC 2000 and agree anything said there shouldn't be trusted. The worst abuse of science was the statement that by giving the juggling rings an aerofoil profile gave them more lift.

But for titanium juggling rings to be as light as plastic ones they would need to be 0.3mm thick* (about as thick as 3 pieces of paper) which would slice your fingers off (also titanium isn't very elastic and would deform from being dropped (like an aluminium spinning plate)).

[assuming density of titanium 4.5g/cc, ring dia 32cm, plastic ring weight 130g]

# by Mïark, Parent

I think that's a bit exaggerated - although I don't have the exact density of the plastic used for rings, nor do I have the exact dimensions of a ring handy to calculate it.

Density of titanium ~4.5g/cc
Density of plastic ~1 g/cc

Therefore thickness of a solid ring would be about 1/4.5 the thickness.

Solid plastic rings tend to be between 3mm and 5mm thick, therefore our titanium ring is now going to be about 1mm thick.
Of course this can easily be made thicker by:
1) making the ring thinner cut out a larger diameter circle.
2) making the ring hollow
3) making the ring heavier
4) thickening the edges (think I-girder, such that the bits which make contact with hands are thicker than those that don't).

The aerofoil story does sound a little suspect, but I'm not going to rule it out entirely. While rings are affected by aerodynamics such that the top of a fountain pattern can be much wider than the base, I can't think of any way in which a wing shape can help... anyone else got any ideas?

# by ^Tom_, Parent

Albert's titanium rings have holes cut out all the way around to reduce weight. He also wears gloves while using them. Remember also that he's using a holster, which I think holds 6 rings, so there's not much weight in the hands at the start. Increasing the weight of the rings slightly could enable you to throw them higher since the inertia can overcome air resistance more (think about throwing a table tennis ball vs a golf ball).

# by peterbone, Parent

Ah, there's the answer.

# by ejwysz, Parent

Yep. I've definitely thought about this. Which made me think they might be some sort of alloy, or even be hollow. But then again, who would have the money to design that, especially for what would be likely such a tiny performance increase.

# by ejwysz, Parent

I don't believe Lucas is lying about flashing 14 rings, only that he got it on video. Now he's stuck trying to get it on video again, and can't, so it's going to come back and bite him. I managed just one 12 ball flash in my life, so I know the frustrating feeling of not having recorded your best.

# by lukeburrage, Parent

I've considered this before. I'm procrastinating, so time for some wildly inaccurate number crunching.

Throw height will be a limitation, which would be determined by force on a ball. This paper found that the highest force of an underarm throw of the Aligarh University cricket team was 4936 N. This is likely to be a huge overestimation for juggling, but as we are going for an absolute upper limit for numbers juggling, this will do.

Mass of the prop will be a limit, and a lighter ball will be able to go higher. The lightest ball that The Bag Lady makes is 58 g. A force of 4936 N on 58 g leads to an acceleration of 85 km/s^2. If accelerated through 30 cm, this leads to a launch velocity of 160 m/s (which leads to the ball being airborne for 32.6 s (holy shit)).

With an acceleration of 160 m/s, you could throw a ball 133 times per second (heh), meaning that the upper limit for ball juggling would be 4330 balls.

I reckon that might be a slight overestimation though...

# by Chris, Parent

I think you're failing to take several things into account. The weight of the arm is the main one, which is many times heavier than a ball. This is why simply reducing ball weight will only help to a point. It will also greatly reduce throw accuracy. Air resistance also has a greater affect on a lighter ball.

# by peterbone, Parent

*pssst* none of that is supposed to be taken seriously

# by Chris, Parent

Also, I don't see how you get 133 throws per second? You refer to 160 m/s as acceleration when you said previously that it's the launch velocity.

# by peterbone, Parent

I think there is a difference between a cricket throw where you have several seconds to contemplate and build up to the throw,and juggling where you have a split second to decelerate the ball from almost the speed you launched it with and then throw it again.

# by Mïark, Parent

Regarding a limit to perceiving objects I don't think this needs to be considered, partly because of the reasons Peter states but also because I don't think you need to. When I juggle 7 balls I just try to line the balls up so the next ball follows (or improves upon) the trajectory of the one before, so I'm only ever thinking about two lines (one coming into each hand) rather than x number of props.

# by Orinoco, Parent

You may or may not know that you can double click on a message to mark it as read/unread. I've known since the beginning that this breaks double clicking to select a word, but I've just put up with it.

This evening though I've had a play & come up with a system that toggles the read status using a long click/tap which I'd like to use instead of the double click.

I've made up this test page with 6 different messages set to toggle at different time intervals. Please have a play with toggling messages, try clicking & dragging & double clicking to select text, click the links etc.

What's your preferred setting? Any other thoughts let me know.

  • 0.25 seconds
  • 0.5 seconds
  • 0.75 seconds
  • 1.0 seconds
  • 1.25 seconds
  • 1.5 seconds
  • None of the above leave the double click action alone


Personally I'd be happy with 0.5 or 0.75 seconds, but would like to know what others think.

#newfeature

This is a competition thread which ran from 8th Apr 2015 to 15th Apr 2015. View results.

# by Orinoco,

Tried the test page, I like the feel of held clicks much better than double clicks. All hail the the God Emperor.

# by Mike Moore, Parent

I use and like double click to MaR/U, would both options be independently opt-in/out-able?

# by ^Tom_, Parent

Ideally not, I'd much rather run one system to keep the code as lean as possible. However, this is certainly not out of the question hence this thread to get more feedback.

# by Orinoco, Parent

what about mobile? I couldn't tell the difference between the test messages with an iPad.

# by david, Parent

How do you mean? The only difference between the messages is the length of time required to activate the toggle (which toggles the background colour between grey & green the same as on Small talk). Are you saying that you can't tell the difference between the first one that changes after 0.25 seconds & the last one that changes after 1.5 seconds? Or are the messages not toggling at all on the iPad?

# by Orinoco, Parent

They stay all grey no matter how I touch.

# by david, Parent

Fwiw, neither double nor long click methods work on my phone (chrome, Android KitKat).

# by ^Tom_, Parent

On my phone, double tap zooms the screen to the size of the element I've tapped, and I wouldn't want anything to override that behaviour as it's useful.

# by Little Paul, Parent

Ditto and ditto. And the long press is essential for both scrolling and right clicking, so I'm glad that doesn't work either.

# by ^Tom_, Parent

Long pressing is how to select text on my touch screen devices. Please don't fuck that up. And the double-click to resize and zoom is also great, so don't break that either. Thanks!

# by lukeburrage, Parent

Interesting, well if double clicking is not presently broken then your phones are overriding the behaviour so nothing to worry about.

This is going to be an interesting one to fix.

# by Orinoco, Parent

I find it very hard to keep my mouse perfectly still immediately after clicking. Therefore even the 0.25 one is hard to trigger for me...


Double click worked fine.. If you are going to change, definitely 0.25!

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

Seriously? I did have a comedy 60 second option which I had no problem activating. Are you using a mouse, trackpad or touchscreen?

# by Orinoco, Parent

Normal mouse. The trick seems to be that I have to rest my mouse on the trigger area before I go and click, then it is not so hard. However, most of the time my mouse is just somewhere on the screen, and I click as soon as I reach the button, a behaviour I've trained since the day I started using computers, to get efficient at clicking buttons...

When I play with it and don't make too much of an effort, at least 1 out of 4 times I don't get the thing to work. Knowing that I need to be very still helped me with it, the first time I tried (before my post) I was very confused because I did not understand why it wasn't working... :/

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

While you are at it, can you move the "mark thread as read" somehow so it doesn't come up in the same place as "mark as read"? I didn't know about the double click option (how would I except by accidentally discovering it?) and I kept accidentally clicking "mark thread as read" in the first post of a thread instead of "mark as read". It very much annoyed me.

# by seveirein, Parent

Any suggestion of where to move it to?

# by Orinoco, Parent

I actually just found out about the double click thing yesterday - selecting text has never caused issue with me before.

So... I say either keep it the same or do a very short time period. .5 or .75 like you suggested seems fine.

# by ejwysz, Parent

I've always used the double click to mark posts as read/unread as it's so quick. The 0.75 version is too long for me so I'd say 0.25 (by preference) or 0.5.

# by Lorri, Parent

Voted for something or other; would rather have voted for "don't even think about trying to do two things with one method".

The Edge is fairly profligate with screen space, so even a one character post occupies quite a large box - put a square box within it (so it's a nice big target) on the right hand side, containing a tick or a cross which toggles between mark as read/unread on a single click, and you should be able to solve all the problems with ambiguous controls, and with uncooperative tablet and smartphone OSes.

# by Cedric Lackpot, Parent

As far as I'm aware I'm only trying to do one thing with one method. Unless you meant it the other way around, in which case I'm not, I originally intended to replace the double click functionality with the long click functionality. Or I suppose you could be referring to the overlap between Edge functions & OS functions.

It has quickly become apparent that every option is going to be broken for someone.

Oh well, I see another bloody set of options in the near future!

I originally felt nauseous at the thought of a big button in each post, I think that would ruin the feel of Small talk, but if I'm going to be adding options anyway it won't be a problem.

# by Orinoco, Parent

0.25s is good.  0.5s is perhaps better.  Anything over 0.5s is too long IMO.

# by Danny Colyer, Parent

This poll has now ended. The results are:

  1. 0.25 seconds (4 votes)
  2. 0.5 seconds (6 votes)
  3. 0.75 seconds (2 votes)
  4. 1.0 seconds (0 votes)
  5. 1.25 seconds (0 votes)
  6. 1.5 seconds (0 votes)
  7. None of the above leave the double click action alone (3 votes)

# by Marvin, Parent

I went to check the original post in this thread to see what the question these results were the answer to, but now it only says:

This is a competition thread which ran from 8th Apr 2015 to 15th Apr 2015. View results.

It might be better if the original post was preserved, I think there originally was a question.

# by Mïark, Parent

Yes. This is what we call a "bug".

It has happened to every competition so far on the live site but never seems to happen on the dev site annoyingly...

# by Orinoco, Parent

FEMALE NUMBERS JUGGLING WORLD RECORDS?

Okay, so I was looking through old posts here and found the list of the 31 people who for sure have flashed 11 balls. There are NO women on the list. Same for the 12 people I can list who have either claimed or videoed themselves qualifying 10. The Wikipedia list of juggling world records for balls, rings, and clubs also contain no women listings.*

Obviously less women juggle, but seeing that no women on the list for flashing 11 really surprised me. What about flashing 10? Trixie did that, right?

The point is... Many sports and physical activities (running, shotput, etc) have separate records for women competitors. Has anyone ever considered trying to compile some for numbers juggling?



*[Granted, they pretty much only contain Anthony Gatto and Alex Barron. (plus 1 record from each Thomas Dietz and Albert Lucas)]

# by ejwysz,

In was Jenny Jaeger who performed a ten ball flash. Sue Kirby could run nine balls. Francoise Rochais can run 7 batons and flash 8 batons. Sergie Ignatov has a female student who can run 7 clubs and 9 hoops. I believe there's a Ukrainian gal who can also run nine hoops. Nikolai Gerasimov's sister performs a perfect 7 club flash and can probably run it. I know of at least a couple of Russian women who can flash 7 clubs. Delaney Bayles can qualify 8 balls well. Frida Brinkman can bounce juggle 9 balls well.
David Cain

# by DavidCain, Parent

Add Olga Galchenko to the 7 club flash list.
The Ukrainian gal you are talking about is Alexandra Soboleva.

Oh and this girl might go on to break some records.. I can't figure out why but in my memory it said somewhere that she was 8 years old at the time of filming.. There are more recent clips of her too...
https://www.youtube.com/v/1_k9mzQTmY4

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

it said somewhere that she was 8 years old

That would be in the title sir.

# by Norbi, Parent

ah haha, I don't know Japanese but I probably translated that when I saw it first ;)

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

And David, thank you again for your awesome insight. I think we might have a start here. I volunteer to compile the female juggling world records list myself, and you already have been an immense help.

# by ejwysz, Parent

Make a Wikipedia page. That's what I did when I was disappointed with the then-current system of tracking world records. Pretty soon other people began contributing to the Juggling World Records page on Wikipedia, and after about a year I didn't need to put more work into it. The built in version control is also a handy way to have at least some kind of view into the timeline of how the individual records change over time too, though it is far from perfect.

# by lukeburrage, Parent

I was wondering who put that up there; Back before I quit there was no such thing. Anyway, I've started to compile a bare-bones list which I think I'll put up here for last minute input before I Wiki it. Cheers.

# by ejwysz, Parent

I forgot to add Valerie Shugay, who performs a nine ring flash in her act.

# by DavidCain, Parent

Digging through each records history isn't straight forward, as people are more interested in recording who holds the record now than "who used to hold it" - best I can do is http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.juggling.org/records/records.html and a bit of tedious wikipedia page history digging.

I gave up on the whole tedious process of digging before I could find any details of female holders of *solo* records, but they've been involved in various passing records over the years.

For example, the records for club passing were held by teams featuring women between 1997 and 2006. (Heather Hackett-Brinegar and later Olga Galchenko) The records for ring passing unsurprisingly involve Kati Ylä-Hokkala.

# by Little Paul, Parent

Didn't Heather Marriot have some pretty mind-boggling passing records with her brother Darren in the noughties?

# by Cedric Lackpot, Parent

According to juggle wiki, Heather and Darin Marriott, husband and wife used to have the 9-12 club passing records. These records are currently pretty safely Austrian.

# by ^Tom_, Parent

I see passing world records (usually passing with a man who is related (marriage or blood) to them), but what about solo stuff?

Personally, I think a whole new and separate list is in order. I'd be interested to see it. I even hope that such a list would inspire more females to juggle.

# by ejwysz, Parent

Personally, I would not find it very inspiring to find that people expect women to not perform as well as men... Or why else would we need separate lists?

# by Maria, Parent

^ this. Women are perfectly capable of equaling men in juggling feats, they don't need to be segregated.

This reminds me of Morgan Freeman's opinion of black history month, which suggests that 'black history' is not the same as regular history. Here he is giving an interviewer a bit of stick:

https://youtube.com/v/I3cGfrExozQ

# by Orinoco, Parent

If women had an unfair advantage to some sport, I'd like to have a special category for men too. Just like I like to compare myself to people of my culture (nationality), age group, friends....

Now with juggling the male advantage might not be as obvious as with some more physical sports, but it is very clear that men are more likely to juggle and that alone is a disadvantage to the average juggling woman.

If women are indeed perfectly capable of equalling men in juggling, as Orinoco suggests, why did they not already do it? I don't know if it is a physical shortcoming or a mental one or a socially constructed effect, but all of those will make it harder for the average woman to succeed in (sports) juggling!

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

What makes you think they haven't? I believe it was Jenny Jaeger who used to regularly perform 10 balls in the early 1900s until her father forbid her to continue practicing the trick because she was spending so much time maintaining the skill level. The 'regularly perform' bit is the important part, this has yet to be equaled by any man.

http://ezine.juggle.org/2013/08/05/10-female-juggling-stars-of-the-past/
http://ezine.juggle.org/2015/04/02/11-more-female-juggling-stars-of-the-past/

# by Orinoco, Parent

I am happy there are so many successful exceptions from the norm! Yet the original topic of no women among 31 11 ball flashers is still valid...

Rather than "stopping to talk about it" as Freeman suggests, I personally prefer to become aware of my expectations, prejudices, generalisations and discriminations, and become aware of how they influence me.

Sorry if I seem a bit aggressive in this opinion, I've once dated a radical feminist for a year and it had an interesting effect on my opinions of these kind of things... ;)

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

In which case I hope you are aware of the, "exceptions from the norm" bit!

# by Orinoco, Parent

Ability and willingness to learn inevitably lead up to reassessing every single person and situation uniquely. Reducing people to their visible characteristics leads to first impressions which I try and overwrite with every new bits of information.
It is not just to treat people solely on my impression of them, nor it is just to do the opposite and pretend I don't know anything about them. Since the right answer lies at an unknown point in the middle, I might not always notice the exceptions from the norm as much as I wish I did, but I surely am aware of their existence :).

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

I was specifically referring to your use of the phrase, "exception to the norm", do you not see that this implies that your default position is that men are better than women? Why not start from a blank slate?

# by Orinoco, Parent

Yep, gender influences my expectation of skill level when I am introduced to somebody new. Just like I am also influenced by: who introduces them to me, the seriousness in their voice when they say "I am a juggler", the location where we meet, the hippy rating of their hair... That is how first impressions work!

The other alternative, a blank slate or trying to not have any expectations, is unfair too in my opinion. From the moment I have the impression that my conversation partner is a juggler, I will act on that. Topic of conversation might be about conventions, siteswaps, or learning the cascade, depending on my impression. Starting with the general topics, and getting more specific as my (and their) impression gets more accurate.
But if I were truly to give them a blank slate, would it be fair to assume that they enjoy talking about juggling? Would it be fair to even assume that they know my language? At an EJC in France I definitely have different assumptions on what language people might speak, and therefore make another approach to a stranger than I would at a BJC.

When I walk on the street, strangers pass by all the time and I wont take the effort to say hello to each individual (that would be awkward...). However, if I run into someone who has all the characteristics of being very likely to be into the kind of juggling I am (for example, young people carrying mini hoops), I'll be sure to approach him/her!

My behaviour is ultimately depended on my impressions and expectations of people. As soon as I have heard of someone, or seen someone, there is no way back to a blank slate. I won't pretend that gender will not be a part of this impression, though I believe that for me it is a relatively unimportant one.
It is impossible, and in my opinion unfair, to try and treat male and female jugglers perfectly equal, as long as I am convinced that there are more male jugglers, and more male juggling record breakers.

Sexism might do more harm than good in our society, but getting rid of it completely is an awful alternative.

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

I think we should give Jenny Jaeger the benefit of the doubt, given that she regularly performed and advertised juggling ten, who are we to say she didn't privately flash 11 and felt it was not worth mentioning. btw she has a nice, active facebook page with no login required.

https://www.facebook.com/JennyJaegerJongleuse

# by david, Parent

Alexander Jaegers page about Jenny is wonderful, I've been following it for two years!

It is a bit ironic, that Alexander originally burned all of Jenny's juggling equipment (at her request), and now runs the best juggling historical facebook page on the web!

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

I really do believe she could have easily flashed 11. I don't know what kind of balls she used, but I even could see her getting 12 up there.

So I'm making this list, but I'm having trouble finding video of Jaeger. Is anyone aware of one? My ball records for females on this list are pretty bare so far. Even my best videoed 7 ball run is only 31 seconds.

# by ejwysz, Parent

Jenny Jaeger video
http://juggling.tv/1517
David Cain

# by DavidCain, Parent

The fact that there are no female 11 ball flashes doesn't mean anything because of the cultural influences that could be (and in my opinion are) causing it. It would be just as valid to say that Indian people are less able to juggle high numbers because there are none on the list, despite their large population (proportionally at least 5 should be on the list).

# by peterbone, Parent

Yep, agreed!

I definitely think that juggling, because of cultural influences, is harder for Indian people than for e.g. westerners. National records are therefore interesting lists. We actually have a Dutch one: http://www.simonacampo.nl/nederlandserecords.html

So I'd argue for creating records list for any group of people, country, gender etc... But of course the big problem is: when you create a separate record list for women, the assumption automatically is that the other list is for men...

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

Well, Frank Le Dent did regularly perform 11 balls for several years prior to Jenny Jaeger flashing 10 in her act regularly. Read the following article I wrote for lots more info.
http://ezine.juggle.org/2015/01/09/frank-le-dent-the-almost-forgotten-juggling-legend/
David Cain

# by DavidCain, Parent

Thanks for the correction, haven't read that one yet!

# by Orinoco, Parent

I wouldn't call the smaller likelihood of women juggling a disadvantage, but it obviously makes one expect more records by males.

Though I am pretty sure that men, having naturally stronger muscles and wider shoulders, are at an advantage.

# by trebuchet, Parent

And this sort of thing is precisely why I wish I'd recorded the OldSkool prep conversations.

Cindy Marvell went on about this (in the context of her arguments with Jason Garfield about the WJF "womens division" being an afterthought which sends the signal that women can't possibly be expected to take part in the "main event") - I say "went on" I mean "talked eloquently at great length"

I can't remember if it came up in the show, but it deffo came up in the prep.

# by Little Paul, Parent

Alas no, it didn't come up in the show, and Cindy mentioned the fact on FB a few days later, and I instantly regretted not having steered the conversation that way - it would've been a properly meaty bit of discussion. Would that the rest of us were as sharp as she is.

# by Cedric Lackpot, Parent

Oh Jesus. I hardly even know how to respond...

As I stated earlier, pretty much every quantifiable sport will have two sets of lists - one for men, and one for women. This says nothing about women being 'inferior', or anything at all negative. It's just that physically, men's bodies are built differently than women's. It is almost certain that no woman will ever hold the 100m dash record, and that's fine! There are whole rankings of records for women in that area.

I think that doing this for juggling will be a huge step, for many reasons. If this doesn't inspire you, oh well. I bet many women would disagree with you. I'm all for equality, but you're doing it wrong.

# by ejwysz, Parent

What if there were no WNBA, and women who wanted to play basketball professionally had to try to get on teams with men? I think that would be the opposite of inspiring, and would make many who would have tried not bother. Or worse, fail.

That's why the WNBA was created. It's progress. FOR equality.

# by ejwysz, Parent

pretty much every quantifiable sport will have two sets of lists - one for men, and one for women.

Maybe this is the difference as juggling is much more than a sport, though the juggling records side of it is perhaps similar to sports records.

I don't have a copy to hand, but in a book like the Guinness Book of Records do all the records have a female category?

# by Mïark, Parent

For sports with separate records for men and women they do. Or did. I've not looked at it for about a decade.

# by lukeburrage, Parent

Have you considered that segregation of gender in sport could be holding women back from their full potential because it reinforces the bias.

Here's a relevant link I just found that appears to be backed up by science.
http://bayesianbodybuilding.com/natural-muscular-potential-women/

# by peterbone, Parent

For sure, it probably is. But while there are still substantial social factors having a negative influence on women's performance, having non-segregated competitions and records can end up reinforcing the impression that women don't belong in the sport at all.

You know how five balls suddenly became easy, when everyone could do it? Or how once one person ran a four minute mile, lots more people suddenly did? Similarly, now that you can go and watch women playing professional football, there are a lot of little girls thinking "maybe this is a thing that I could do". But none of the current professional women football players would be anywhere in a mixed league - and at the moment the limiting factor is not inherent gender differences but just a laughable lack of institutional support for the women's game.

# by emilyw, Parent

I can see the possibility, but I don't personally think it does. At least not enough to make a difference. I feel the good outweighs any hypothetical detriment.

# by ejwysz, Parent

With Fight Night Combat organizing, I'm always getting as many ideas and recommendations from people, passing them by other groups of people, and trying them out in competitions. Also when I come up with an idea, I'll run it by people before trying it out too.

One idea was for a women only Fight Night at the EJC this year. I wasn't sure if it was a good idea or not, but I didn't feel like doing nothing about the massive imbalance of male to female participation in FNC. There are just 17 women among the 302 players listed: http://fightnightcombat.com/category-gender-option-female.html

Everyone I spoke to about this said a women only Fight Night was a bad idea, which became more obvious as I thought about it more. Way before there is any gender segregation, I'm far more likely to have a separate tournament for young people or short people.

# by lukeburrage, Parent

How about a separate Fight Night for people wearing fancy dress costumes.

# by Mïark, Parent

Only if they play with knives not clubs.

# by lukeburrage, Parent

This should be televised.

# by emilyw, Parent

Haha, short people.. Fair, but it sounds like an evil concept :p

I think you have a good shot at doing a youngster fight night. Little resistance from anyone, and a lot of potential talent!

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

Yep, bias exists and this bias might both be positively and negatively influenced by a separate competition.

To add to the the link you've posted: Something they don't talk about is muscle fiber composition. According to my anatomy teacher, woman build a significantly smaller white to red muscle fiber ratio, which gives them a disadvantage at explosive power but an advantage at endurance.

From personal experience, I am convinced that the girls in my circus school work as hard, if not harder (aerialists...) on their strength. Yet somehow they never ever surpass guys in explosive exercises such as push ups or jumping. This is extra surprising since when you are working with your own body weight, your strength vs weight ratio becomes more advantageous when you are shorter, and girls averagely are shorter...

They sure do get muscular though! :)

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

Climbing is a sport in which women are not far behind men, even in bouldering which requires a lot of explosive strength. Here's Alex Puccio showing up one of the best male climbers in the world recently.
https://www.youtube.com/v/9DBMMLCJ4IA

Competitions are still segregated, but climbing in general is not very competitive and men and women tend to climb together a lot.

# by peterbone, Parent

Blimey, that was impressive! In my climbing days, I climbed with several women who could get up harder climbs than I could. But then climbing better than me wasn't terribly hard - unlike the problem in the video.

It certainly makes me reconsider previous ideas about how much strength is needed for top-end numbers juggling.

# by ChrisD, Parent

Okay, since it looks like my comment kind of started a discussion here I feel like I should elaborate a bit.

First, to be clear: I was only talking about juggling. I see good reasons to have separate lists and competitions for men and women in many (most) sports. And, I did not think that wanting to set up a separate juggling records list for women would somehow imply that anyone think women are inferior in any way... Just that they don't juggle quite as well as men.

Of course men's bodies and women's bodies are built differently. No, no woman is likely to run as fast as the best men in 100m. The question is: Are the diffenencies between men and women affecting the ability to juggle many objects?

Well... I already know that I will never be on the juggling world record lists, because
a) I started juggling at age 30,
b) I have a full-time job (that does not involve juggling), and
c) I'm more interested in practicing passing patterns, nice siteswaps or cool tricks than numbers.

It just never occured to me that I'd have any reason to add
d) Because I'm a woman.

If it really is more difficult for women to juggle many objects, then maybe it would make sense to have a separate list. If not, then no.

Also, I agree with Miark that juggling is much more than a sport. I don't get my inspiration from records. I get inspiration from my friends in my juggling club, conventions, juggling videos, shows. There are women in the "Top 40 jugglers of the year". There are women in shows, at conventions and in juggling videos. If I need other female jugglers for inspiration, I have them right there. Usually I don't really care if it's men or women when I see people doing something I'd like to learn, though.

So, for me, personally, a separate list would just say that "It's more difficult for women to become really good at juggling than for men." Maybe that is true, but I'm not convinced. And regardless of if it's true or not, it's not very inspiring. For me.

# by Maria, Parent

:)

# by Daniel Simu, Parent

Keep in mind, everyone, that ALL I intend to do is make a separate numbers juggling world records list. And that's the extent of it. This is a very interesting debate, but I don't want anyone to take my idea the wrong way.

# by ejwysz, Parent

Strange list.
5 balls 1:47? I know over 10 women personally that can do better.
Ok for 5 clubs Joelle is listed but only with 3:25; if I recall correctly her personal record is beyond half an hour.
Also why does this list differentiate between beanbags and balls?

# by Julius, Parent

43 minutes is listed in unverified claims (Notice also Sue Kirby's 45 catches of 9 balls). The problem is finding proof. If you can find a video of a female juggling 5 balls for longer than 1:47 then feel free to update the page.

# by peterbone, Parent

This is one of the obvious problems with making more and more specific lists - unless enough people take it seriously enough to try and set records the records listed tent to be pretty meaningless. Unless you can convince some good female jugglers its worth trying to break the female records they will remain poor.

The records listed on JISCON tend to be ones that people are far more likely to aim to break for the sake of having the record (and probably now that wikipedia has good listing, the ball and ring passing records too).

And I say this as someone who is amused by breaking pointless records on jugglingedge - I just would find it very odd to claim them as world records.

# by Brook Roberts, Parent

Aha! Awesome. This list is clearly not final, for the reason that Brook states; These aren't real world records with the people in the records trying for them, they are just the best someone could find video of on the internet to try and make a "starter" list with.

Thank you, this is an immense help for me. This has a lot that I don't have yet, and I have been doing my own research and have definitely found some that crush these. Together, and eventually with (hopefully?!) the Edge's support, we will soon have a list that will be more obviously viewable, and will encourage some more of the real record attempts to come in.

And that is unusual about the beanbags/balls records. Gatto would be proud.

# by ejwysz, Parent

Don't forget Tongan women doing shower. If I remember correctly, there was a video of a 7 tui tui nut shower and rumors of an 8 nut shower.

# by Scott Seltzer, Parent

#BJC2015 review for Orinoco...

BJC2015
Friday
After a surprisingly relaxing journey (despite seeing 3 near-miss accidents on the motorway due to lane changes) I arrived a little early, in time to spend an hour envelope stuffing making up the arrival packs. Happy to be useful, I did have to wonder why with such a short setup time available on-site (about 3 hours to prep the site and get the doors open) that was being done at the last minute and hadn’t been done a couple of days before… but hey ho!

The evening was spent mostly catching up with old friends, and meeting a few new ones. Drinking beer, chatting, getting people to try balancing a golf ball on their nose You know, the usual. I drank more beer than was possibly sensible, given that the hangover lasted pretty much all day.

Saturday
Woke up late with a mahoosive hangover, which was partially rescued by the tale end of a fried breakfast (all they had left was bacon beans and mushrooms) I wasn’t up to much beyond sitting around watching other people juggle, trying to work out how much of Wes/Tony’s outfits were parody and how much is what they seriously think is everyday wear. We came to the conclusion that they’d been watching goldie looking chain videos.

The 5-ring circus Youth Circus show was a good example of a youth circus show. I like that youth circus exists, and think it fills a very important role in the UK circus scene, but well… I just don’t like kids that much. The clowns had some good bits, and there was some pretty impressive macro/tumbling - but most of the show did nothing for me, so I wandered off to look around the traders.

The traders were in a great room this year, enough space to wander around without falling over anyone, and space to try things out. I got the chance to try out some Freaks Unlimited knives for the first time in about 15 years. I will always have a soft spot for freaks products, although Paul seems to have started putting staples in his fire eating wands. He used to stitch the wicks which seems like a much better way to construct an eating wand to me.

We dodged the raindrops to get our way onto one of the earlier show busses at about 4pm with M, J, Charlie and Alex’s nephew Max for the long drive into sheffield. After much faffing about trying to find an eatery that wasn’t already crammed full of jugglers, we squeezed in to a pizza express and gorged ourselves. Then it was on to the show.

I apologise for not having made any notes about the acts, this is from memory so doesn’t include anyones names incase I cock them up:

Compere - he was fun, although telling a long story before the interval was an odd thing to do. He’d have been better off doing that in his intro, but that’s a minor quibble.
chinese pole and clubs (Great act, could have done with a little more pole and a little less club fondling for me though)
1st female ball juggler (nice routine but a bit droppy, I’d love to see her on a good night)
??? I genuinely can’t remember what act came next, there must have been one though. It was probably a hoop act, there’s always a bloody hoop act.
2nd female ball juggler (wonderful bit of physical comedy, ball juggling and table wrestling, with a nice surprise at the end.)
Diabolo guy closed the first half. He had some really exciting moves. I know "just enough" about diabolo to have some concept of how complex it was, without actually being able to describe that. Also the 2 diabolo combination of norma/vertax on the same string was new to me, and very nice.
** interval ** (I had ice cream)
The second half was entirely Water on Mars. It split the audience. I don’t think I was in quite the right frame of mind, I was tired and still a little hungover so had difficulty giving it the focussed attention it needed. I think if I’d gone to see it as a show (rather than the second half of a show) I’d have enjoyed it more.

The bus ride home involved steve mills wearing a wig, then there was a lot more beer, bed far too late. I don’t remember seeing any of the Renegade.

Sunday
The clocks changed, which screwed up my breakfast plans as everything happened an hour before it should have done. Dalton College catering staff were an hour ahead of me!

The afternoon was the Circus Geeks show, which was frankly awesome. So much fun in that show, and frankly I didn’t realise Arron Sparks could pull faces like that. The highlights for me were the 10 ring passing section, the jugglers lexicon, and Jon Udry’s rant about wanting to be in “The Water Boys” - made more special for me because I was sat across the isle from tony/patrik/wes (or as “Johno” wanted to call them ‘Pesto, Emo and Pee… erm…”)

I skipped the fire show, I have no idea if the alternative games happened but I didn’t see those either. I did show Tiff the golf club trick, and once he got it he showed off by maintaining it long enough to qualify 3 balls under it. Which was just showing off really.

Monday
Another slow start for me. I missed the Toorwood Wheelers show as I was spending a very pleasant 3 hours talking to Steve Mills, Cindy Marvell, Juggly Jane and Suzy Oddball in preparation for the OldSkool Panel. I was genuinely surprised how lovely, thoughtful and talkative they all were. I’d been hesitant about talking to Steve as everyone has been telling me for years that he’s a bit of a handful, but once you get chatting to him and he gets comfortable talking to you he came across as a really sweet guy. Cindy, well - I’m even more in awe of her having talked to her than I was before I met her. My god she’s got a sharp mind on her, and some awesome stories to tell.

Steve and Cindy were defy my “crush” for the week.

Next year, I’ll see if we can get the pre-chat recorded and possibly crowbarred into some form of podcast.

British stage. I didn’t take any notes about this, and as such can only remember 4 acts.
Hillbilly juggler character act (nice club work, but a character act should extend beyond costume/music choice. The juggling/movement just didn’t fit the character at all.)
Diabolo and rabbit “act” (2 minutes of material crammed into 20 minutes, total lack of awareness of the energy they were sucking out of the room. Notable because the comperes basically came out afterwards and pretty much started a show again)
Tom Senior did some awesome bounce juggling, including use of a V shaped surface to bounce off. Afterwards, Ewan pretty much persuaded Tom to go to Broxford as that’s were the gandini cube is currently stored.

The highlight of the show for me was Tom Derrick, doing Ballet with Big Blue Balls. Tom, as ever, hit every single musical cue you could possibly find in the music. I talked to him about it afterwards and he said he had to use a spreadsheet to work out all the throw timings, and then learn it throw by throw to make sure he hit them. Bloody good job Tom. :)

The Old Skool Panel itself went off OK, although was interrupted several times by tannoy announcements. The first couple were annoying trivialities, but the “everybody stop what you’re doing and check your tents now, half of them have blown down” once cleared out 50% of the audience. Luckily we were near the end anyway.

I don’t think the “britovision” game advertised in the program happened, I think everyone was too busy panicking about the site being blown away.

Tuesday
I have no notes about Tuesday at all. The site was still being battered by the wind, more and more tents being destroyed or taken down. An emergency accommodation plan was hastily drawn together (which is something Perth have promised they’ll do in advance - nice to have a disaster plan even better if you never have to use it)

BYJOTY. Mark Watson was great at compering as ever (I’d love to see him do a public show. Rumour has it he’s played the dame in Panto, and personally I’d love to see a Dame compere a BJC public show… I may be on my own with that one) Tiff, Void and Mamph were judging.

The first 6 acts were pretty good, and the audience were in a supportive mood. We did however notice that a lot of them were circomedia students, and none of those students took a bow at the end of their acts. They all finished their routine by walking off through the curtains ignoring the audiences appreciation. I guess "taking applause” is in one of next terms modules.

The 7th act came on and blew them out of the water though. I think his name was Luke something, a few rough edges, but he used the whole space, did some extraordinary juggling, and really got the audience going. He looked like a clear winner, but Eddie Bacon (sp?) was up next and took it up another notch again. Bags of character, great costume/makeup and an all round polished act. Eddie won the audience vote.

I ended up helping out with the "performers buffet” for the BYJOTY entrants afterwards, and it was interesting to watch Luke collar each judge in turn and ask them some really important questions about what he could have done better, taking it all very seriously and really taking notice of the responses. He’s one to keep an eye on I think.

Line dancing happened around me, and then it was fight night. I didn’t see much of fight night, but what I did see was very entertaining.

Wenesday
Again no notes, but looking at the program it was the Youth Cabaret (I think Nigel said that happened, but clashed with the business meeting? Even if it hadn’t clashed I’d probably not have watched it, see my earlier comments about kids) the Business meeting was interesting as usual. Perth sounds *awesome* and I’m already looking at transport/accommodation options. 2017 sounds like it’ll be Devon, or possibly Cornwall, or possibly some combination of teams/venue depending on who gets what sorted when.

I saw some of the games, but spent most of it talking to Suzy Oddball. I could talk to her for ages.

The international show happened (despite rumours that a certain diva kicking up a fuss about the lighting) I didn’t make any notes, but do remember that Wes was well, Wes. Tony and his fishing net routine was a lot of fun (He’s got more moves with those than Nick Gatto ever did) Florent Lestage did his walking stick and club routine, which is *gorgeous* - lovely moves, excellent physical comedy, a great unhinged clown character alternately shouting at everyone and singing to himself to great effect. There were some other acts as well, but again, I didn’t take notes.

That evening, we also got the farewell email/facebook post from Mike Bridge. A lot of tears, hugs and memories were shared.

As soon as I got to bed, by head filled with snot and I came down with the worst bout of manflu I’ve had in a while. Great. Just in time for the 4 hour drive home.

Thursday
We were packed up and off site by 11, the site was supposed to be clear by 12, but from the looks of it when we left there was no way that was going to happen.

Anyway, so there we go. Orin, I hope this review is long enough to make up for you not being able to post one, I've not proof read it, and autocorrect has probably done some awful things along the way, but there you go.

# by Little Paul,

Thanks for that LP. It's a shame not to see anywhere near as many reviews nowadays (for those of us who couldn't get there this time.)
I've not heard about Mike. I'm sadly assuming bad news.

# by Al_Bee, Parent

Not *quite* yet Orin, but it all looks a bit bleak.

And if it turns out to be the ballsiest April Fool in the history of ever, I will personally go round his house, cure him of cancer, kiss him full on the lips for having such monumental brass neck, and then give him cancer again for being such an utter bastard.

# by Cedric Lackpot, Parent

Ah shit. I don't really even know him but I do know that he's a lovely guy. Bugger.

# by Al_Bee, Parent

Just confirmed who Mike Bridge was, I didn't know him personally but have chatted to him & seen him at previous festivals, struck me as a really nice guy. Wishing him my best.

# by Orinoco, Parent

That does very nicely indeed thank you, I really appreciate the effort. Most gutted to have missed: Circus Geeks, Tom Derrick, Florent Lestage & Cindy Marvel I think. I too would also like to see Mark hosting a gala show.

How difficult would it be to record the Old Skool show as a podcast? Many of the stories told have been real gems, it would be great to get them preserved. Or would that spoil the magic of the show a little?

Oh, & what flavour ice cream was it?

# by Orinoco, Parent

I don't have the gear to mic five people unfortunately. I'm also unlikely to run an Old Skool next year. It relies on my ability to find four people who are either already attending, or I can persuade to come without paying travel expenses, and I anticipate that being quite a challenge in Perth.

Naturally that doesn't prevent someone else with a more haggis tinged address book from taking on the Old Skool next year should they wish to.

# by emilyw, Parent

Over the last couple of days, I've been toying with the idea of a Q&A session for Perth - which we may be able to replace the Old Skool with (unless we can find a way to make it happen)

The idea would be for whoever the "special guests" are (eg this year it would probably have been either the water boys or circus geeks) to hang around for an hour in a panel setup similar to the Old Skool, but instead of the questions being driven by the chair - the questions come from the audience.

It would probably need to be negotiated with the performers as part of their contract so that they can make space for it (eg Circus Geeks left the evening of their show as they had another gig, so we'd need to avoid that sort of thing)

But, that said... if the limitations on the Old Skool happening in Perth is knowledge of likely panel members - it might work around that.

# by Little Paul, Parent

Sounds like a good idea! I'll make sure that that is kept in mind when the contracts are drawn up and pass it on to the show organiser.

# by mrawa, Parent

How well it'll work will depend largely on who ends up being booked. It'll still need a chair.

I know this years team are very keen on a "you want $FEATURE? You organise it!" approach, and I'm not *quite* ready to commit to that yet. I'll have a chat to a few more people over the next couple of weeks (and no doubt a long chat with ewano about it in a buttercup field somewhere) and see where it goes.

# by Little Paul, Parent

oOo now I can imagine a feature where every year, somebody different pops up who really wants to interview a person that's inspired them, so you'd get a different interviewer / interviewee pair every time..... Interviewer responsible for persuading interviewee to show up at convention :)

# by emilyw, Parent

Part of the reason I did Old Skool in the first place was that I was interested in experimenting with different formats, not just shows and workshops. So if missing an Old Skool makes some room for other innovative kinds of new stuff that would be extra fantastic.

There are so many people I'd love to see one-on-one interviews with; I went with the panel format because I thought one-on-one with an audience would be a bit too high stress for everyone involved, but there must be a million other interesting things people could do.

# by emilyw, Parent

For a couple of years now, I've toyed with the idea of proposing a buzzcocks-style light hearted quiz show.

On the one hand, I'm sure it could be really funny, though I do think that it's only worth doing properly.

Overlap with the old skool has been a concern, particularly as I'd love to have the teams as new schül vs old skool.

# by ^Tom_, Parent

I reckon a "Would I Lie to Jugglers?" show would be fantastic.

# by Al_Bee, Parent

Just so long as we can still have a mime based guess the juggler, or guess the trick round (or feel the juggler if you're more into they think it's all over).

# by ^Tom_, Parent

It would be much easier to record the pre-show chat, as you can do that with a portable recorder and a couple of mics in the middle of the table. I've got the gear to do that (I <3 my Tascam DR-40) I even had it with me, but didn't think to get it out of the van.

Recording the oldskool panel itself would involve micing everyone on the panel at a minimum (5 mics) and that's a lot to set up given that to date, the old skool hasn't used mics at all. Mixing it down for the podcast would also be more of a pain.

We *may* be able to do something with the DR-40 if the room setup allows us to put it somewhere unobtrusive, but the sound quality isn't going to be great in a live show scenario - and some juggler is going to knock it over when they walk out half way through or something.

I had a dairy milk chocice-on-a-stick thing.

# by Little Paul, Parent

Fab review LP, it seems on Saturday we may have had synchronised hangovers :-) WHY did no-one tell me there were Freaks knives in the traders hall? I thought Freaks had disappeared decades ago....I have a set and they're simply the best knives I've ever juggled; individually weighted, beautifully balanced, I'd recommend them (and have done many times).

# by charlieh, Parent

I think it was butterfingers that were selling them. Paul is still making a small range of freaks products, focussing mainly on fire stuff but he's also still making the knives. http://www.freaksunlimited.com (includes online shop, which curiously seems to be cheaper than the "BJC special price" the stall had them for)

I agree, they're a lovely knife to juggle, and sooooo sparkly!

# by Little Paul, Parent

More BJC 2015 words from Stuart Wetherell.

# by Orinoco, Parent

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