Flying Karamazov Brothers in NYC

Being in New York means seeing a show, right? Actually, let me rephrase that: being in New York means seeing a show.* And while I would go see the Flying Karamazov Brothers any time I could, seeing them on stage in New York was really a treat. To further sweeten the treat, I got to hang out with the gang before the show, watch them warm up, and even toss a few clubs around with them, all a real treat for a geek juggler like myself.

The new show at the Minetta Lane Theatre, which used to be called 4-Play but is now just called Flying Karamazov Brothers, was great. Lots of music, juggling, juggling while playing music, playing music through juggling, and some unexpected hilarious comedy. It's my hope that the show catches on and gets big not only so the group flourishes, but because the more people that see this hilarity the better. To that end, go see the show! It's reasonably priced, a totally great experience, and unlike anything else you'll see here in New York.

Also, it is worth pointing out that Steve and Amiel, who stood in for some travelling members of the group, did a spectacular job on stage. So not only did I get to see a great show, hang with the gang, and be inspired by some creative juggling, I got to see 2 friends hit the big time! Chalk one up for New York!
Sunday October 24 2010File under: juggling, travel

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Careers 101 by Yours Truly

You never know what a day on the road will hold. Just last Friday, in Toronto, I got the chance to talk to a high school Careers class about my "career". Ha!

While I tried my best to tie stories about traveling, circusing, housesitting, etc. back to applicable information, making smart choices, and other "teachable" topics, after the kids warmed up to me, it turned into more of a Q&A with perhaps somewhat of a less teachable feel. I mean, the story of pooping in a cup in Guatemala can't have too much value in a Careers class, but it is a pretty good story.

Then, of course, it degenerated into a juggling demonstration. It's hard for me to say no to the request for a personal juggling show. The kids seemed to enjoy my impromptu mishmash of juggling tricks, although less so with the rope tricks. Oh well. Anyhoo, here's a brief clip of me throwing some balls up in the air. Hope you like it. (And if you want to book me to speak at your school, I come cheap!)


Sunday October 17 2010File under: travel, juggling

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Youngest. Juggler. Evar.


Sunday October 3 2010File under: video, juggling

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The Amazing Race


People often ask me what goes on at juggling festivals. "Juggling...duh!" I helpfully reply. But it is often so much more, esp. in the case of Lopez Jugglefest. The non-juggling shenanigans are often pretty epic. To that end, as promised in that earlier post, here's footage of the Epic Footrace of 2010. (I think there was only one club related injury reported*.)
Tuesday September 28 2010File under: juggling, video

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Highlights from Lopez Jugglefest 2010

Another Fall Equinox means another Lopez Jugglefest, the crown of the juggle festival season. While this year was marked with rain and more yellow jackets than you think could exist in one space (much less one inhabited by lots of folks), it was, as ever, a great time. Highlights for me included:
  • Passing 7 clubs with Della, 7 club popcorn with Justin, 7 club ultimates with Tall Matt, and 9 clubs with Lebn.
  • Seeing good friends and picking up like we never left off.
  • 6(!) flavors of homemade, hand-cranked ice cream (and being a part of the process).
  • While serving said ice cream, being recognized as the lion juggler from Vaudevillingham so long ago*.
  • The best party around, but with tons of juggling everywhere.
  • The second annual Epic Footrace between Shane and me*
  • Helping prove just because you've got a baby strapped to your back doesn't mean you can't pass clubs (or throw back-crosses* or do pirouettes).
  • Awesome jugglers juggling just for fun.

Tuesday September 21 2010File under: juggling

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World Juggling Day 2010

Last Saturday was World Juggling Day, a holiday* to "help spread the fun of juggling and to bring jugglers together all over the world". The idea is to celebrate by, well, juggling.

Outside of a juggling festival, Chautauqua is about the highest concentration of jugglers I've ever been around. Eighty percent of the band juggles, many of the truck drivers juggle, and lord knows the cook juggles. So in a brief moment before we packed up the trucks to head to our big show, I ran around camp announcing a big group juggle. This is what came out. I'd say we did World Juggling Day proud.
Friday June 25 2010File under: juggling, circus

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Vancouver and Its Mad Skillz


VANCOUVER MAD SKILLZ
JUGGLING/ETC. FESTIVAL

VANCOUVER MAD SKILLZ
JUGGLING/ETC. FESTIVAL

I went to Vacouver this weekend to check out the first annual Mad Skillz juggling/etc.* festival. Let me tell you, it was good times. Copious juggling, a mad hunt for ice cream, a nude beach, a new knot trick, and ever so wonderful company made for a day that's already got me looking forward to next year. Good times!!
Sunday June 13 2010File under: juggling

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Worlds Fastest Knot

So as anyone who has crossed paths with me for more than 10 minutes in the past 3 years probably already knows, I'm big into so-called flying knots. I find them a great diversion for my ever fidgeting hands and they occasionally impress people to boot*. Occasionally, when I am practicing my knot tricks, someone gets inspired enough to want to learn. There isn't a whole lot of material out there to point them to and many of the tricks take more instruction than can be given in a brief 5-minute interaction.

The excitement people get when they do learn one of the tricks got me thinking about wanting to find a way to share these tricks with people in a more effective manner. Since I dabble in comic drawing, I thought maybe doing a little diagram/instructional thing might be a fun exercise. It turns out it was! So if you want to learn how to tie the world's fastest knot, check this out.

Hopefully I will put together a few more of these, maybe enough to fill a small educational pamphlet. Then everywhere I go, people will be throwing flying knots and giggling with glee. That way I won't be the only giggling knot thrower out there. Tee hee.
Wednesday September 30 2009File under: misc, juggling

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Home Churned and Hand Pressed

Another [near-]equinox weekend means another Lopez JuggleFest. As with the years past, the weekend was wonderful. This was the first year I got to head out early to help with the prep, and with that came additional organizational tasks, which I accepted with pleasure. So in between as much juggling as I could fit in, a shift in the bakery, and general set-up, I helped head up the cider press and the ice cream making.

The cider press is a hand crank jobber (both the masticating and the pressing). If you add a few willing volunteers, it makes for quick work*. This year, we pressed maybe 30 gallons of delicious cider. I drank probably a gallon of it by myself*. (Oh, and it probably goes without saying, but all the apples for the cider came from on island if not from the property itself.)

Organizing the ice cream took a little more doing. Amiel and I were handed the ice cream torch due to the absence of the usual ice cream guru. We learned the recipes, bought/picked the ingredients, gathered supplies, facilitated the crankers, quality controlled, and helped to serve up the bounty. Everyone* agreed that the results were spectacular. The flavors were kiwi*, blackberry*, peach/nectarine, vanilla, and coffee. Yum.

If it wouldn't blow my strict word limit out of the water, I would go on about all the other great food there was (not to mention all the camping, creativity, campfire, juggling, marimba band, community goodness), but I guess that will have to wait for next year. Ah next year's JuggleFest - another yearly traditional I love having to look forward to.
Monday September 21 2009File under: juggling, food

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On Stage

I'm a hobby juggler—meaning I'm not the kind of juggler that likes to perform. That is a hard concept for a lot of people to understand. Often in their minds, juggling and performing go hand in hand. While often times they do, there are tons of jugglers out there that juggle for the sake of juggling: for the social aspect, for the exercise, for the zen of it all. I consider myself firmly in that camp.

But while I don't really like performing, I want to like it. I like the concept of being able to entertain people*. I like the concept of getting good enough at something that you can feel confident in showing it to people. And let's be honest, I like the concept of the positive attention it often garners.

So in a step outside my comfort zone, I took the stage with my friend Amiel at this month's Vaudvillingham* with a short juggling act. Besides a slight miscommunication with the emcee and some lighting issues, I would say it went alright for a semi-rehearsed act: not flawlessly, but not a disaster either. The sizeable* crowd was patient and appreciative, and I think they probably even enjoyed it*.

Overall, the experience was a good one and I'm glad I did it. I hope to get back up on stage in the near-ish future and try my hand at a solo performance. Stepping outside one's comfort zone every once and a while, while hard, is a good thing.
Monday May 18 2009File under: juggling

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