So we unfortunately cancelled the #ECMiniFest scheduled for today after getting essentially no response. We did not really try too hard to market it though, since it was really just that I would be passing through Queenstown on my way back to uni in PE around this time.
I actually passed through on Thursday night, so we did something anyway!
Got in in the the late afternoon, and quickly found Gerrit's house. He welcomed my partner and I, and we unloaded the car, which included my 29" off-road unicycle. After messing around with rings in his lounge, we headed out for supper, and his circus' practice space, in the indistrial area. After picking up some takeaways, we got there. Really nice big hall, with a fair-sized stage at one end.
There were a whole bunch of unicycles lying around, along with all sorts of other props. I briefly tried walking on a 44 gallon drum, but it had been abused by the circus kids, and was not round enough to fill me with confidence. Also, the floor looked hard.
I put the 29er together, which he enjoyed trying to get the hang of. Being from the Netherlands, Gerrit is a tall bugger, and I had to move the brake lever to get the seat high enough for him to be comfortable.
We tried doing some basic passing using his pirouettes (which are nice clubs, which spin a bit faster than Delphins). Since I am new to passing, we only worked on a six-club four count. In contrast to my previous brief attempts at club passing, it was actually coming together. Probably because I have a bit more experience just juggling clubs now. I showed off my shiny new led poi, and gave him some basic stuff to teach the kids. I also gave him some ideas for pole balances.
By now it was getting to about 22:30, so we headed back to his place. My partner, being a juggling widow, went to bed. Gerrit and I looked at a few social siteswaps, off Sean Gandini's DVD. We identified a three person pattern that looked tractable for the next day, if his other juggling friend was free. We also did some other juggling. I mentioned 633, which he had not tried before, but quickly had the basic timing in place. I taught him Olas, which is a lovely pattern. He showed me a table pattern (I think it was 0.5p 1.5p 2.5p or similar). We finished with a couple videos and a bit of five ball (flashing in my case, running a bit in his). I think I got to bed at about 2am.
We were up fairly early (around 8) the next morning to do some more. The first attempt at four-count went fabulously, but we peaked early. The rest was ok, and was getting a lot more comfortable. The higher ceilings in the hall meant that 633 was more comfortable, and I worked on it a bit. Conclusion: my 6s are far too inaccurate to be of any earthly use to anyone. Will have to work on that. He showed me a couple of 4 ball things to work on, and I showed him some of my weird claymotionesque patterns, which he liked. We also worked on a couple of Prechac passes, which are really fun! I tried a jump mount and one-foot, one-hand mount for rola bola, which I got quickly enough. He gave me some tips for my unicycling idling, which I think helped, I just need to practice.
By now it was essentially lunch time, so we headed back to his house to pack up and head on home.
It was really great meeting another juggling/circus person in person and geeking out with them, so even though the event did not happen, we will likely try again, if I can drum up some interest here in Port Elizabeth. I also really want another club juggler to start passing with, because that was loads of fun, and I want to try more than just four-count next time.
So yeah, my attempt at a juggling convention report. Even though just meeting another competent juggler is not really a convention, I will take it. ;)
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