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This past weekend I was in Bergamo, Italy for the Rastelli Festival 2017. I made a video. Enjoy!
I just got back from Bungay 18. On the journey up, the A12 was closed for resurfacing. After a slow single lane stretch myself & the six cars between me & a very distinctive lorry all followed the diversion signs which led us in a neat circle back into the slow single lane stretch which was somewhat irritating. Then I arrived on site, stress immediately dissipated & it all went a bit Bungay.
In no particular order then…
We enjoyed glorious sunshine for the whole week aside from a brief ~20 minute rainy spell. 4 of us stood just inside the entrance of the main tent looking out at the rain. Then in silence & led by Avril we all just stepped outside to enjoy the cooling effect which was a lovely moment. Some people get wet, others feel the rain.
On my first night I broke into a bottle of Becherovka that I acquired over Christmas & enjoyed sharing it with others. It's an interesting drink; I describe it as a liquid mince pie. I think slightly more people enjoyed it than didn't. This may have been a contributing factor to Richard, Ewan, Sam & I rigorously debating the precise nature of Kelis' milkshake & her yard well into the next day.
I woke up the next morning almost as drunk as I was when I went to bed.
Bungay is all about the board games for me. This year I added a copy of Kingdomino to my games collection. A very simple domino themed deck building game that I heartily recommend to everyone.
I played several 3+ hour games over the week: Caverna with Kat, Susannah, Adam & Andy, Castles of Mad King Ludvig with Andy, Ron & Richard, Small Worlds with Dom, Ernest, Jude & Anna (which saw some poor decisions based on some very suspect counting I thought), & Say Goodbye to the Villains; a card game that simulates a battle in feudal Japan, after which I felt I had genuinely been in a physical fight. Shockingly the annual Power Grid session was not one of them which we managed to race through in an unprecedented 2 hours.
All this was nothing to the game of croquet featuring myself, Ewan, Mandy, Ash & Greg. I wisely kitted myself out with my tea-towel headgear to protect my neck from the relentless sun. I would not have been able to survive the game without it. This earned me the nickname Orinoco of Arabia from spectators. Earlier in the week Kat was chatting to a friend who plays croquet competitively. It turns out that at Bungay we play a mixture of American rules & English rules, & our posting rule that sends a player back to the beginning is something we have just made up & is not played anywhere else. Apparently the friend was horrified when they found out about our rule, "That would make a game last for hours!" Yes, yes it does. All 5 of the players were posted twice, Mandy was posted 3 times. I was agonisingly one hoop away from invincibility just before both of my postings. For the long range posting attempts we employed the 'post or buttercups' technique, which is where you line up the shot to send your opponent into the post, but take a golf swing so that if you miss the force of the shot sends them out of bounds & deep into the field. When I posted Greg I was momentarily worried that I cracked the post. Incidentally in non-Bungay croquet if your ball is sent out of bounds you are supposed to bring your ball back & drop it just inside the boundary. We circumvent this rule by not having any boundaries. This allowed Ewan to tie up Ash for 3 turns by sending his ball into someone's tiny popup tent. 5 hours into the game concentration, stamina & will to live were all waning severely. The only thing that held in all players was sheer bloody-mindedness. When Ash made it through the last gate it looked like it was going to be all over, but he missed a shot allowing Greg to get through the last gate too, then he pulled off a splendidly executed 8 shot sequence to clinch the game. Not bad for only his 2nd ever match.
I discovered one of the caterers, Greg, was Romanian which allowed me to try out some of my Romanian language skills. Unfortunately for him my Romanian is entirely focused on flirting with a beautiful lady friend who I go dancing with, but I think he handled it pretty well.
Heckmeck Barbecue is a game involving gambling on the rolls of 8 die. I was pretty good at quickly calculating the odds, but the thing about probabilities is even the unlikely outcomes happen occasionally. Kat rolling 4 1s when almost anything except a 1 would do was amusing, me rolling 4 worms, then 2 5s, then another 2 5s to bust less so. Void's yes/no game complete with the oh so satisfying reception bell turned very rowdy very quickly. Farmer Paul's attempt at the game was hilarious. Only he could ramble for 3 minutes on the simple question, "Do you have a favourite actress?"
Dominique particularly enjoyed Andy & I relentlessly spit roasting Richard during Robo Rally. This was another long gaming session that was interrupted for a brief argument involving everyone in the cafe over the correct pronunciation of 'scone'.
I had a look at Dee's notebook that included detailed analysis of the copious amount of gin flowing on site. I thought my notes were hard to follow but at least I don't jump my sentences back & forth over several lines. The joyously incoherent Chilli had quite clearly been involved in the tasting process.
I enjoyed talking to Dr Helen, I find the life of a working doctor incredible & fascinating.
On the far side of the camping area there was a minor campfire incident, fortunately I had a saucepan of washing up water in my hand when I heard the call. I don't think it would have turned into anything serious.
Eddy Bacon's contact juggling was superb in the show. I also very much enjoyed Karen's belly dance, Avril's song describing Bungay from the point of view of an alien & Duncan's juggling bird impressions.
I did a couple of short handstand sessions & about 5 minutes of club juggling over the course of the week. I think my transition to social juggler is complete.
" It turns out that at Bungay we play a mixture of American rules & English rules, & our posting rule that sends a player back to the beginning is something we have just made up & is not played anywhere else."
This explains a lot.
The Bungay rules of croquet are based on my hazy recollections of how I played at home as a kid. Since I first introduced the current set to Bungay (and large parts of it survive even though I've replaced quite a lot via eBay) I think it's perfectly fitting that we stick to them...even introduce them to others in an attempt to shake up the croquet world!
I thought they were based on how Simon taught me, and others, when we played at his house. Anyway, Bungay rules rock. And 4 hour games are just fine. (But 5+ is pushing it.)
OK. Maybe it's a combination....in any case, our rules is right and their rules is wrong.
Absolutely, I think I'd find anything other than Bungay rules croquet to be boring.
Funny thing is I've been having conversations about croquet with muggles for years about what a savage & vindictive game croquet is. Now I know that they've only played croquet lite.
I think the Bungay rules need to be written up for the Bungay website.
I think you might need to ask a Squirrel whether the correct spelling of "Greg" might, in some circumstances, be "Bogdan".
Oh, and it's definitely pronounced "scone".
It might indeed, I just took the first syllable from the first of his somewhat excessive amount of names from the full name on his FB profile!
& don't you go trying to provoke another pronunciation war. We are a tolerant & peaceful community here on the Edge where all 3 possible pronunciations are acceptable.
'Twas my first one for about six years, so I made up for it by attending twice ... and it would've been three times had I stopped over on Monday night as well.
Bungay tings :-
Anyhow, it'll probably be back again next year, but you really shouldn't come, you wouldn't like it.
8...for those of you who couldn't make it: There was an informal gathering in the tent on Sunday afternoon over tea & cake, where we shared memories of Gary (some were written down for posterity) and some people made woven paracord shapes, which was a favourite of his.
We will not forget. It is a testament to the strength of our community - and of some particular members of it - that after such a terrible shock last year we continue to come together and share such joy.
Arrived Saturday lunchtime with Sam, having caught the train from London Liverpool St together. Met by Void at Halesworth Station. Some confusion as to if we needed to wait for Sarah, but she was arriving into Bungay so no need. Stopped off in the co-op before making our way to site.
Erected tent just to the edge of the family camping area and then went for a wander. This didn't prove to be the potential disaster that it could have been. It turns out that while most noises wake me up at night, apparently I can sleep right through children crying!
Off site adventures during my stay included: 1 trip to Co-op with Andy; 1 trip to Southwold (Tuesday); 1 trip to river swimming (Thursday); 1 walk to the brewery and back (Sunday - but I was back onsite before the brewery opened).
Mostly I was very lazy, in particular on the second Saturday, when my silk sleeping bag liner saw some good use on the couch [I was completely done in by the heat and sinus medication]. I read lots of books, juggled some on Sunday morning, encouraged Ash more (well done on the progression from 10 to over 100 catches of three clubs in a week and hence winning £5) and generally took the chance to catch up with people. Watched the Monaco Grand Prix in Monte's van.
Some cunning plans formed for EJC2019, including introducing "Bungay rules" croquet to the masses and a mini-golf course. Of course only time, resources and space on the Newark site will see if these can actually come into fruition (so no holding breath on these).
Gin tasting notes to follow. Participants in this gin tasting session were me, LP, Ewan, Becky, Helen and later joined by Robbie. So, Orin, I'm afraid that your speculation about Chilli being involved were wide of the mark. My notes were hampered by my resolution to keep all the notes about each gin on a different page - one gin in particular had rather extensive comments.
Left site at midday on Monday, dropped by David to Halesworth Station to begin my rather epic public transport journey back to Bristol, the first stage (to Ipswich) accompanied by Greg and Karen.
Your sleeping bag liner made for a very effective camouflage against the sofa you were sleeping on. A couple of people took a detour to an alternative seat when they got close enough to realise.
Don't forget the Blankety blank theme tune for your playlist!
Wow, that was a wonderful 10 days.
Notwithstanding our house being demolished around us, so we have no idea where anything is, and our car needing replacement the day before the festival (I bought another car, which initially had no MOT, faster than I've ever bought one before), we weren't going to miss this year at any price.
Highlights included some of the warmest and sunniest weather for years, meaning we spent a lot of time at the seaside and the river. Smoked mackerel bought directly from the fisherman at Aldeburgh eaten on the beach with our fingers. Brave women swimming in the North Sea at Southwold while all the men except equally brave Russell looked on, followed by a hilarious group effort to preserve Anna's modesty with a tent of towels as she changed (Europeans you probably won't understand this bit). What seemed like endless lazy days in the buttercup field watching kites fly, children run about and croquet played. Later sat in a wood-fired hot tub at 2 in the morning watching the International Space Station cross the sky.
The Bungay show was well....the most Bungay ever. We had a novice and friendly compere, belly dancing, two songs, a group kids act (which my daughter punctuated with a sudden spectacular nosebleed), 3-ball bird impressions, that trick again, pole spinning and Eddy Bacon's flawless contact. It felt like a village talent show, in a good way. Afterwards a few people wanted to learn 'that trick' and I spent some time teaching ball spinning. We also played a lot of volleyclub with quite a few beginners learning the ropes (and the Bungay rules, which can best be described as 'don't be *too* evil'). We even had a Fight Night - I finished fourth after folding in the final stages, partly due to being intimidated by those who take it seriously.
Cafe Chameleon cooked tasty grub (seriously, if you're involved in a UK event you should book them, they're lovely) all week including a couple of Sunday roasts using meat from the farm itself. St Peters Brewery had its annual spike in sales of Badly Labelled Beer. In between jugglers' generosity manifested itself as crisps, chocolate, cake and beverages were shared. Lots of games were played apparently, including the ones which cover an entire table with cardboard bits and take far too long to complete. Endless conversations about subjects both serious and silly (I remember: Victorian rainwater collection systems, boat welding and 'beating the boundary').
There were some new additions to the family: first-timer adults declaring they were *definitely* coming back again next time and tiny kids discovering how to stay up late and run around in the buttercups. Our two raided Bungay's extensive charity shops for slightly battered toys & books and the youngest became slightly obsessed with origami (when he wasn't involved in the ongoing Nerf Ninja war fought valiantly between tents and from behind old sofas and chairs).
The world's shortest and most relaxed 'business meeting' concluded that a) wasn't it good b) let's do it again c) let's not change much at all. Bungay will be back next year.
Poker data updated: http://tlmb.net/misc/BBUPokerTournamentsBunagyBallsUp.txt
My pics are up (Some IG repetition) at http://tlmb.net/galleries/BBU18/ No re-uploads, please.
The epic splendour of BBU Fight Night can be seen here:
Completing my collection of The Catch.
Lost Cities, Chess, Chessss And Ladders, The Game, The Yes-No game, Spyfall, The Oxford Word game, Robots both ricochet and Micro, boiled head Kuub, Table Tennis. That 5-in-a-row tile game I don't know the name of.
The BBU backcross challenge, and other silliness at the top of the field.
Nut roasts and halloumi at Chameleon Cafe.
The horrible weather.
Charlie taking the quiz win, after 2nd place last year. Monte & Nat in the final too.
Being rubbish at the BBU trick in the show. I'm blaming borrowed equipment.
Undefeated at Scrabble, Croquet and Chessss And Ladders.
The sky full of stars, kites, satellites, and planets.
Filming kendama tricks.
Forgetting the grudge match and substitute poker trophies.
Finally getting to hold the poker trophy, a year after winning it... But only by making a new one.
Handing out ice creams, and getting the karma back a few days later.
Charging phone and ipod exclusively from solar all week.
Observing the progress of Monte's van.
Wood pigeons nesting above the sink.
Supercool people being nonetheless cancer-seeking stench-ridden junkies.
Getting Paul's missing 50th answer in his bird quiz.
Dave's plaintiff "But I've already come second!" a couple of hands before condemning Andy into his 4th runner-up spot.
Post-show diabolo session with Sean_ and Susannah.
Fight Night turning out to be quite fun, even though beforehand I was very unenthused about running it. Plus... points!
- "I've had enough of feeling stupid for tonight."
- "See you in the morning!"
Avril's BBU song.
No trebuchet! (It was a fallow year.)
Turning £2 into £25.50 over 4 cash games. (only 4! I was starting to think Bungay might be broken).
Building my new kitchen instead of repairing last years Trebuchet.....mixed feelings about this.
Being persecuted by Charlie in the 15 to 1 final because he saw me as the greatest threat.....
Having some great games of whiff waff with the riff raff (having a winning total against everyone except Mandy)
Actually spending some time juggling (well you have to do something while you wait for the ping pong table to become free)
New faces this year was a great thing.
Helping Clare and Chilli in the cafe with contributions such as venison pie, spinach and cream cheese crepes and pineapple upside down cake.
Winning the grudge match trophy off Ewan with a str8 on the flop.
All this and some great weather made for one of the best Bungays yet.
If you haven't been to BBU yet, why the hell not it's great.......
sorry to persecute but I had to win after last year's Mastermind second place. Would have preferred to face Void again this year but I suppose someone had to run the quiz...at least that was his excuse!
I just recently joined the forum and I have few questions about record logging.
Hope you can help me :)
So the thing I'm confused with, is order of throws in siteswap notation.
Lets say I want to record 56 throws of 12345 (we all know this trick, and there is no questions that it is called 12345)
So I record 56 3b 12345.
My actual throws started with 3. Like 3451234512... So why do I record 12345 instead of 34512 then ?
12345 and 34512 considered different tricks by site engine, but they actually are the same one.
And how would I record this trick with additional 6 throw ? Is it 1234560 or 0123456 ?
Do we have any rules of resolving situations like this ?
Also, do you count 2 and 0 as a catch ?
And is there a way to tag people in posts ?
The convention among jugglers is to typically write down or say a siteswap starting with the highest value. Sure, you might get into the pattern with different throws, or start the loop at a different place, but for clear and easy communication, it's nice if everyone sticks to the same order for the same pattern.
This means 97531 is always easy to recognise, rather than each time the reader having to decode that 31975 and 19753 and 75319 are all the same pattern.
In your case, you are wrong that there is no question that your pattern is called 12345, as you yourself then explain. The convention is to call it 51234.
As for counting catches, with running a siteswap pattern it's often easier to count the cycles of the pattern. For example, here is a video of the b97531 record. Catches aren't mentioned, but "151 rounds" is:
I've never heard of this convention. 51234 sounds strange. Why not start a siteswap at its easiest point of entry? If it is a ground state siteswap, it's always obvious. 45123 makes much more sense to me than 51234. Obviously it's going to be 97531 and not 19753
Besides, how do you solve for siteswaps with recurring high numbers? 777171 could be written in 4 correct ways then?
I'm not an expert on states, but the excited state pattern 891 doesn't start with the highest number either. I believe that the easiest entry is 778, wheras the easiest entry for 918 is 7788?
"and there is no questions that it is called 12345" I think siteswap wise it should be called 45123, but 12345 is the obvious style choice. Which indeed makes counting tricky. You could link 45123 to the 12345 trick in the record section, claim that your version is the correct one and ask the current record holders for clarification of their counting method.
For myself I would also count cycles, not catches, but I understand that in the record section that doesn't work... I'm sure someone who uses the record section actively can comment on this?
The convention is actually to write the siteswap in numerical order. So 777171 would be the only correct way to write it. I assume that the reason is that it was convenient for early siteswap generators to write them in that format without having to work out the states. Writing them with highest values first is most likely to result in a low state start, unless you work out the states.
Well, Peter already answered this. It's the highest numerical value if converted into a single number. 777171 starts with 777 which is higher than 771, 717, 171 or 717.
As for this: "I'm not an expert on states, but the excited state pattern 891 doesn't start with the highest number either. I believe that the easiest entry is 778, wheras the easiest entry for 918 is 7788?"
Let's write those down.
Into 891 is 778? So that's 778891891891...
Into 918 is 7788? So that's 778891891891...
Yeah, you've just come up with the same thing!
Of course they're both the same thing! But that still doesn't tell you whether you should write 891 or 918, right? And my generator & jugglewiki do call it 891, not 918...
I've never heard of that convention either. I've only ever heard 12345 called 12345. Searching for 12345 vs the other permutations on rec.juggling & the Edge (both the forum & the records section), 12345 is by far the most prevalent.
If two siteswap records are entered into the Edge records system that are a rotation of each other & provided you have built up enough 'experience' by entering records you will have the option to merge those two tricks together. Once merged you can enter the trick whichever way you like but they will be listed & compared together.
At present no-one has entered a permutation of 12345 to link to.
I have heard of that convention, and I would certainly write any 4-handed siteswaps that way (I believe that most of the passers do that).
When logging my juggling practice, however, I usually write ground-state siteswaps in the order I do them, so 51234 would be written as 45123, since that way I can say that I did 4 rounds and back to cascade or something like that. (While if I wrote it as 12345 or 51234, the same number of actual throws and catches would only contain 3 rounds and the first and last throws would count as transition throws...).
I don't log siteswap records so it doesn't matter in that case, but if I did, I'd feel that doing for example ...3333345123451234512333333.... would be 15 catches of 45123, but only 13 catches of 12345. (If I do active 2s, otherwise I would not count them.)
Someone might also have noticed that I sometimes log both 55050 and 50505 in the same practice session... Or 552 and 525. In that case, it's just different starts and has little to do with how to write siteswaps and more to do with me wanting to see in my log entry that I actually did two different starts, but being too lazy to use a lot of words. (55050 would be starting with one club in one hand and two in the other, and throwing from the hand with one club first. 50505 would be starting with 3 in the same hand.)
Same here .. heard of that convention and use it for logging records, but in a given context write them as then makes more sense.
I've heard of that convention and yet also commonly heard patterns referred to in ascending order, eg 12345. (Also the convention for writing multiplex throws also follows the "highest possible number" convention. eg , not . I learned that from Sean Gandini.)
In the single case of the pattern 12345, yes, that order is the most common by far. It feels like the natural way of saying it. However, it's in a class of patterns where throw values increase by one until it drops to the first number again, and in most other cases, the higher number is said first. Examples:
423 not 234
534 not 345
645 not 456
It's only because it feels natural to say the number 1 first that people do so! And it *is* so satisfying to say it that way! In conversation, I've no problem with saying 12345. I think it's more important to have clear communication between two people than to follow strict rules.
But in the case of making a list or database entry, I think it's best to stick with the convention. And if there's any confusion, explain the convention, not make exceptions for something that just happens to scratch a weird cognitive itch.
What if others (like me) find it easier to start it with the 3 ? i.e. 34512
There are many patterns that people don't start the same way, so the easy way for you isn't necessarily the easy way for others, hence the need for the convention as discussed by Peter and Luke to help everyone recognise a given siteswap from all it's possible cycles.
Yes, this is the whole point. When ordering lists, the person reading it should know where to look, and also not think they are missing anything, and also not worrying that two things in different places are duplicates. This is why bookshops and libraries have settled on (within sections) ordering books by the author's second name, and then the first name, and then by book title/series title and number. If you went into a bookshop, and some books were ordered by the title, and some by the author name, and some by the colour of the spine, everyone would be super annoyed.
In the case of siteswaps in a list, or in a database like the records section, the obvious thing to do is order them by A: object number and then by B: numerical value.
This is important because, just looking at the siteswap out of context, it's impossible for most people to know the state of the pattern, or how they would transition into it from the cascade or fountain, or any number of other things.
And it's really important not to have 777171, 771717, 717177, 171777, 717771 an 177717 ALL listed in different places, or else the list would be unmanageable! You'd also have to have 441, 414 and 144 listed. And every other iteration of every other pattern, just in case another juggler liked starting on a different beat or had a different transition into the patter,
If someone is confused, it's much better to explain the convention to that person (eg. "in the book shop we order by author surname") than it is to accommodate their preference at the expense of making the system more complicated and confusing for everyone else.
With regards to counting numbers. Don't count 0s, & only count 2s if they are active (thrown); if you are just holding the prop don't count it as a catch.
There currently isn't a way to tag people in a post, I don't think traffic is really high enough to warrant the feature? If you just type someone's name in all capitals I'm sure they'll get the message.
Thank you, Orinoco.
Not counting 0 makes and passive 2's makes sense. I just realized than I counted number of cycles and multiplied it by number of digits in siteswap. But it turned out to be wrong.
Taging people look nice. As I see it. Just Highlighted name makes it clear to random reader that message has direct recipient. It also would allow to send emails to tagged people if they want it, for example. I don't think everyone read forum from end to end. But it is minor.
I'm much more interested in resolving my siteswap issue.
You mentioned an option to merge two tricks together. I have not found info about it anywhere, could you please comment on it ?
If there is a possibility to merge tricks and make two different entries behave like one trick would really solve it.
But also may be i't is possible to pre process siteswaps programmatically to make all versions of one trick recorded with same string. (like if you enter 315 it is still shows up as 531)
I'm not sure if it is a right way.
Go to any trick in the records section and look at the bottom of the page for "Is this trick the same as another? Link them together". However, based on what Orin said earlier it may not be available unless you've added a lot of records.
...& that link will appear if you've logged more than 10 records. This is just an arbitrary threshold so that linking is only handled by people who are at least a little familiar with the records system. I couldn't remember what the threshold was when I posted earlier so just had to look up the code!
Does anyone know anything about Annual Juggling Convention Ltd? It was the company that the cheques (remember them?) were made payable to for the BJCs in 1993, 1994 & 1995. This was a bit before my time in the community.
The company was created 1992-11-09 & dissolved 1998-12-01 according to Companies house (can't deep link so company number is 02763385). When I first saw the dissolution date I thought it might've been related to the 1997 festival making a financial loss, but it turns out the company was not used for that event.
With the regular clamour for a persistent company to run the BJC through I think it's interesting that it has already been done for a limited time & wondered if there is any story behind it.
If you Google the company number you can find out a lot more (there are various services that give you more free info than Companies House, I often use these to check out if my company's clients are real or chancers or both): https://companycheck.co.uk/company/02763385/THE-ANNUAL-JUGGLING-CONVENTION-LIMITED/companies-house-data . I recognise a few of these names: Ken (Pretentious) Farquhar who is Norwich-based, Winston of the Curious Eyebrows (was Manchester) and Will Chamberlain who went on to run Belfast Community Circus. You can also see that the company itself was incorporated in 1970 which may seem odd but it may be a 'shelf' company created specifically to be used (and renamed) in the future via an incorporation service (or it could just be a date record issue, 1st Jan 1970 being zero in some date numbering systems). This seems to agree with the timings of the BJCs in 1994 (Manchester) and 1995 (Norwich). You could ask them if you ever meet them (Ken has been known to drop into Bungay occasionally) but I'd guess someone created a company for a BJC and passed it on to the next organisers for a couple of years before whoever organised the next one decided they wanted their own, for whatever reason.
AFAIK the rationale for *not* having a continued company structure is that if BJC X makes a massive loss then it can go bankrupt without passing on the debt to BJC X+1. Not great for any suppliers of course, but then that's between them and the organisers of BJC X, and it's nothing to do with the organisers of BJC X+1 assuming they're a completely different bunch of people. Having never been foolish/brave enough to organise a BJC I don't really know!
That argument for not having a company seems reasonable, but why not keep a company until it makes a loss? Having a company that you need to shut down after 5 years sounds better than having to create a company every year. But then again, I don't have a clue how these things work in the UK.
In the Netherlands we've had our own foundation company since 20 years now, and that seems to work fine...
In the case of the French Juggling Convention losing money one year and going bankrupt, the following year had problems setting up a new company with the same product and many of the same people. Their problem was that the convention returned to the same city regularly (Toulouse) and it was hard for them to pretend the new convention company had nothing to do with the previous one that lost money.
For the BJC and EJC where a new team, country or city is in charge each year it's less of a problem setting up a short term company. If a BJC company operates nationally for years and many different cities, it's hard to pretend that a new company set up to do the same thing after the old one lost money isn't the same thing.
...& as the history builds up over time keeping up the 'pretense' is only going to get harder. There are now 3 sites that the BJC has visited more than once. However, I'm not sure whether a history of short term companies is a bad thing these days, or has ever been a bad thing for that matter. The BJC is certainly not unique in this practice, the film industry for example seems to set up new companies on a per film basis too. Where I work we often have fun trying to match the sometimes cryptic company name to a film currently in production.
I have come to the conclusion, I'm not a choreographer.
I have been juggling for quite some time now... But I would consider myself as a sports juggler. I feel that it's time to take my skill, make it into something more entertaining and engaging for myself and others.
Long story short... I want to be more of a performer.
So, this is where I stand
3b Many tricks very smooth and consistent, including: Box, 3up 360 pirouette, Factory, Mill's-Mess, and eyes closed.
4b Many tricks smooth and consistent, including: Full Shower, Wide Columns, 534 and 7531.
5b Few tricks smooth and consistent, including: 1up-4up, (6x,4)*, 3up 360 pirouette, and Half Shower
6b Fountain consistent 24+ catches
3c Few tricks smooth and consistent, including: Mill's-Mess, Flats, Flair with both hands, and Kick-up into 4c
4c Few tricks smooth and consistent, including: 53, 534, Sync, A-Sync, Singles and Tripples.
I juggle to music every time I practice, I have the feel of what tricks I can do and when I should do them depending on the song that's playing... But I find I just improvise every time. If I drop, I leave the song play on, then I join in with the music when I feel like it. There is absolutely no structure with what I do.
So, the thing is that I have a song that I wish to perform to, it has a changing tempo, is just over three minutes long, and it's very catchy... But I am hopeless at choreographing what I want to do. I write down the tricks that I think I should include. I try to perform what I have written, execute the first trick then immediately forget the list and start improvising again. I then take a glance at my list, and then realise that almost half of the song has passed already, and I'm flapping around like a chicken.
The other thing is, I believe that I should include a few little breaks in the middle of the act to either give the audience a time to reflect and appreciate what I have just completed, or give me time to change props, but I have no idea when I should have them: After a big trick? After a series of little tricks? A different fancy finish every time?
So basically, I'm asking for any advice from you performers out there. How can I develop my routine, how can I make a show out of what I can do?
Much love to you all,
Who do you want to be performing for? That will affect what direction you need to go in. If you are performing for other jugglers your approach needs to be very different to if you are performing for non-jugglers.
I've seen every trick you've listed before & can do most of them myself. What makes you unique? What can you do that makes your 3b box different from everybody else's 3b box? If the answer's nothing then I'm probably not going to be interested. The only one trick that jumps out at me on your list is 4b wide columns. How wide? If it's more than 'one step' I'm interested!
If you are performing to non-jugglers any one of those tricks (even just a 3-ball cascade) could be something they have never seen before making you the most unique juggler they've ever seen. That certainly doesn't mean performing for non-jugglers is easier. Jugglers are quite happy to watch juggling. Non-jugglers want to see entertainment which is not the same thing.
I'm going to try to explain why you should choreograph your routine which is not going to help you to break out of the improvising habit, but might help encourage you to put in the effort required to do so.
If you are improvising & doing something different each time, you have no real way to identify what an audience appreciates. Was it the pattern, the transition into or out of the trick that got that gasp? Think of it like designing a science experiment. Your routine should be almost identical, just make one change at a time. If that change consistently gets a better reaction keep it in.
If you watch a seasoned street performer. That witty one-liner that they used to put down a heckle? The timing, the phrasing, the intonation will almost certainly have been crafted to perfection through many years of repetition. The build up to, the execution, the reaction after that finale trick will have gone through thousands of iterations in front of audience.
You have a list of tricks. Well done, that's more of a start than most people ever make. Memorise it without juggling it, then practise juggling it. Then find an audience & perform it, pay attention to their reactions - did someone try to applaud a trick but gave up because there was no pause in the action? Those audience reactions are the hints that tell you what changes to make.
All that said though, improvisation is a useful skill to have there will always be a situation that you can't account for or something you haven't thought of.
Oh, & a quick note about choreographing to music. One of my first performances was a diabolo routine at a TWJC Christmas show. I had started with some music & a list of tricks just like you have. After the show a chap named Phil came up to me & asked, "How did you choreograph all those tricks to be in time with the music?" I hadn't. Any connection between the timing of my tricks & the music was entirely coincidental but his perception that I had was what mattered!
Thank you very much for the advice!
Yes, I suppose I didn't specify who I was going to be performing for and where. I want to perform mainly for non jugglers, more of a busking role. I have multiple costume ideas, multiple song genres, and multiple prop styles.
So, my next step is going to be reform the list I have drafted up, and I'll memorise the order of the tricks. But what I'll also start to draft up a list of the styles I could use... Whether it is skipping around the stage, over emphasising a "big" trick, or flashing a cheeky wink at someone in the audience.
I understand that patter and wit will take years to master, and I am more than willing to accept that my first performance isn't going to be perfect, but I'm dying to find out.
Drop the music, bin it completely. Busking is all about making a connection with the individuals in the crowd, making them gasp/laugh/react in any way other than walking off. Doing that without talking is *harder* than doing it with words.
Go watch a load of street shows, try not to copy whole bits, but pay attention to and copy the show structure. There are phases to a street show, gathering a crowd, building, filling, final trick, hatting. The structure is there because it works.
That structure makes choreography easier, because it gives you bones to hang the tricks off.
You will suck
Performance is a skill in itself, it has to be learned and practiced. Unfortunately that has to be done infrint of an audience.
You will suck, but every show will have a glimmer of not sucking in it - take that, fan it into a flame, fan that flame into an inferno and you're golden :)
Furthermore busking may not be your thing. It requires a particular mindset to be a busker. You have to build a show around continuously asking for money, to be successful. You can't just have one hat line unless you want to starve. There is a ton of information on the internet about this http://www.buskercentral.com/how_to.php being a good start but there are a load of sites.
There are many other outlets for performing jugglers but very few require just your juggling skills. Professional jugglers are business people first and finding the niche that earns you money is an ongoing task.
Good luck busking! Out of all the performance styles/venues that are available, busking is the one for which actual juggling skills are the least important. It all comes to your ability to sell those 3 tricks that you're going to do. This challenge would teach you to perform for sure
If you do want to juggle, but want to be on the street, I can recommend traffic lights. A clean sequence of tricks works fine here, and as a bonus it is not a requirement to consider sound and costume etc ;)
Someone tried traffic lights in Sweden and got told off by the police, who apparently had never heard of anyone performing at traffic lights before. (It was in the newspaper.)
Is there really time to both perform and collect money before the lights turn green? I think that was the main issue with the one who tried it "here", that he was still collecting money and thus slowing down the cars when it was green.
When I did it, I had a traffic light with a 1.5 minute cycle. I would perform for about 30 seconds, collect for 30 seconds, and then the cars would drive for 30 seconds. However, often I would still be stuck on the road while people started driving, and then someone would have to slow down for me in order for me to make it to the shoulder. That would happen like one out of 5 times or so.
Also, every now and then I would be really lucky and there would be many cars trying to give me money, if those cars were willing to slow down the traffic behind them, yes you'd slow down traffic. But often these cars weren't willing, so if you would reach them too late they would drive anyway.
But sure, you're on the road where you're not supposed to be, you're standing in relatively dangerous positions... If I were a cop and had never seen this practise, I would tell people off too...
The best places to start doing this are places that are already used to beggars or window washers. They have come to "accept" people walking along the traffic light, but then being the juggler you are the fun and original version, not the annoying one. Everybody happy.
I haven't dared to try here in the Netherlands. In Rotterdam I know of one spot where a beggar walks, but I'm still convinced that people would be too baffled to get out money in time. Plus, I find it scarier to pretend I'm the quirky guy when I'm not a non-native/traveler. Being outside your own country gives you some bonus points.
Busking is a good way to learn a lot about performing very fast, but having done it, I'd recommend against anyone spending much time on it, aiming to do it long term or even put the effort into getting good at it. I have never met a more miserable crowd than a group of long time street performing jugglers. It's a creatively deadening form of entertainment mixed with cut-throat competition for pitches, material, and promotion. Know what you are getting yourself in to!
Thank you all, for all of the advice you have been able to provide me.
An additional note:
I am not looking to make juggling a reliable source of income, nor am I looking to make it a full-time major commitment. I am in a position where I work away on a ship for 4 months (With plenty of juggle practice time), then it's followed by 3 months paid leave, so I wouldnt need it to be a great money-maker.
In my three months paid leave I love to travel, I find myself in cities, on beaches, and in places where I barely know the language. So what I am actually looking to do is just create an eye-catching routine that brings smiles to the people around me. I wouldn't need anything in return, I would be doing it purely for the entertainment of others (and myself of course).
Sounds like a good life! I love the idea of not having to do stuff for money, and then not having to follow the normal rules or guidelines in that direction.
If you just want to juggle some nice routines, but aren't asking for money or even perform in a traditional sense, why not just learn the routine of someone else? In doing so you'll learn a lot about choreography from inside someone else's head.
It's a good life for a 23 year old with no family commitments, but it's not for everyone.
I thought the number one unwritten rule of a performer was never to use someone else's performance routine? Or have I got this completely wrong?
i don't mean you should perform someone else's routine, but learn the choreography. Once you get a feel of what kind of things flow together by copying the masters, you'll know much better what you can develop yourself.
Welcome to the world of performing :).
Keep in mind that any (juggling) performance is more than a list of tricks being executed! Other things to consider choreographing:
Position and movement on stage, movement and position of body, music, acting, costume, props, colors, events, jokes, etc.
I've seen enough juggling to not care for a routine of common tricks. But if you have a good/fun/untested idea for one of the things mentioned above, and let that influence your juggling (for example, put on 30 t-shirts as your costume and see what you can still do, or skip around in circles on stage and bring that movement in harmony with your juggling), and you've got yourself an interesting performance.
Now, if you've never performed much, those things may seem hard and it sounds much easier to "hide" behind the juggling you already know... But if you're serious about learnig performing you'll have to accept that the juggling you do in training might not directly be interesting on stage.
Once you've got this extra thing in your act that makes your performance interesting, the tricks will hopefully soon fall into place and order.
My easy way is to collect 3 balls in my left hand one after the other, then pass the lot into my right hand before catching the 4th ball then you can just start (6x,4)* as if starting from cold.
So in siteswap that's 5555 52555 at this point you should have 1 in your left hand, 3 in your right & one in the air heading for your left hand.
The  is a bit arbitrary but I think it looks & feels nicer.
The easiest way is to throw two or more balls from the right hand slightly higher, going into a half shower with synchronous throws. Once you're there, you can switch to (6x,4)* any time you want.
You can throw a 6 out of the Cascade and then just straight up start throwing (6x, 4)*
As Mats1 said, you can do something like 55556x5 1f (6x,4)* . The 1f (or 1x) is a 1 that doesn't cross. Basically a short pause. If you're interested in the theory have a look here.
Is a four ball cascade possible?
If you can answer this in under 20 minutes, you probably aren't thinking about it hard enough.
I enjoyed that! For me a cascade will always be a 2 handed pattern, but I accept your 3 handed variant is the closest match to a 4 ball cascade.
I have put in another 20 minutes of thought though & I've come up with a small nitpick which has led me to something that I'm struggling to visualise.
From your video the rules for a cascade are:
1. There is only one orbit to the pattern
2. All throws are made to an even rhythm
3. Each ball is thrown to the same height
4. No placements, holds, stalls, multiplexes, double bounces etc.
5. Each ball is thrown to the 'other' hand
My issue is with the phrasing of the last rule (which was one of the first rules covered in the video), which for me is not adequate. If left as is then a cascade must be juggled with exactly 2 hands, discounting your 3 handed pattern.
In a 3 hand pattern there are two 'other' hands, if the hands are labelled 1, 2 & 3 you could juggle a 'cascade' with the throwing sequence 12131213...
So to achieve true anal retentive accuracy rule 5 needs to be replaced with 2 rules:
5a. An N ball cascade must be juggled with N-1 hands
5b. An N ball cascade must be juggled with a number of hands (H) where N > H and (N % H) = 1
6. The hands must throw in a circular sequence eg 123...H123...H
If we use 5a then this limits us to non-numbers juggling, a cascade will always be a single 2-ball exchange flowing around a circle of hands like a wave.
Obviously the 5 ball cascade exists though which discounts rule 5a. 5b is the best replacement I've been able to come up with, but I'm having a very hard time visualising if it is correct. If N <= H then we are just holding N balls, if N % H = 0 then we have a fountain like pattern, if N % H > 1 then I'm not sure what we get.
Does anyone else remember a flash based siteswap simulator that appeared online ~10 years ago which could animate patterns for any number of hands that featured little one-eyed, one-handed aliens or am I just making that up?
I don't like to consider these things "rules" or make a hard and fast list. They are features or elements of a cascade. The canonical three ball cascade can fulfill all of them, no problem. However, it's possible to miss one and the pattern still be a three ball cascade. For example, the cascade between one hand and the back of the other hand. Both manipulators are unique, but everything else is cascade enough that nobody would be able to say it isn't a cascade.
So bringing this over to four balls, it comes down to which element of the three ball cascade you are most comfortable with changing. I like the idea of not having to stick with bilateral symmetry and allowing rotational symmetry. Others are fine with hands crossing and props changing side in the pattern, but not changing hands.
I want to avoid defining "cascade" so strictly because in the end you aren't giving a word meaning, you are just describing what comes out of a set of rules. The word is just a shorthand for the rules. But then it isn't helpful for communication unless the person you are talking to already knows and agrees with that set of rules!
5. each ball is thrown to some other hand i.e. not the hand that threw it
or something better worded, but in that vein
there's no mention about orbits crossing though, is that a signature element of the cascade ?
a 55550 could meet the "rules" originally posted (unless that was covered by the "etc" in #4)
just thinking out loud ....
if the balls were bouncy enough, 2 hands and one knee (or foot or head or floor ...) gives you 3 "hands"
By defining the floor as a hand, it would allow something that looks like (but isn't) a 5b3. I think that would be just as valid as defining an elbow/whatnot as a hand, and it still excludes the 5bb3b example.
Slightly related: 5bb3b was a great idea, I quite liked how convincing that looked.
3. Each ball is thrown to the same height should be replaced with 3b: Each ball spends an equal amount of time in the air and is thrown to the same height. Otherwise, you can reach early for catching and warp non-cascade looking patterns into Cascades. Even if 4. Included equal dwell time, it wouldn't prevent moving some balls during that time more or less than others.
Why not be rigid with the Cascade definition and change the rules of geometry instead? There are surely infinite variations in which Cascades are possible for even and odd numbers?
Mr Barron has been doing that juggling thing again.
(14 ball flash)
Without wanting to sound like his press spokesman or anything -- he's been busy again.
This time with a painfully messy run of 12 balls. I'm just really disappointed in him this time.
The pattern's not even extremely high .. a bit higher than twice what he's tall; not much higher than others', practitioners', like 8b patterns, maybe.
I think that's distorted by 2 things. Firstly he's using a wide angle lens which squashes the outer parts of the view and secondly he has the camera on the ground pointing at an upward angle. Remember also that he is tall. Compare his height to me here.
Yes, I saw how tall he is in a video where he and two other jugglers do a fun-endurance with differerent ball numbers, 5b, 7b and him 9b; I might have forgotten about that.
Still then, when comparing mainly to the 14 ball flash, where the camera is - also on the ground - a good lot further away, and comparing to the church behind - from that low camera-angle the 12b pattern should appear even higher as the church as when filmed from far away - but it seems overall much lower, also measured from "what he's tall" in both vids. (but, yeah, it's difficult to tell)
I mean, it's only two balls less, but almost a third less of the 14b flash height, it seems.
Comparing the 12 and 14 ball videos I only see a small difference in height, and that's mainly in the first 2 throws with 14. Difficult to tell though as you say. With longer runs a slightly lower pattern is probably preferred.
It's probably rather unfair that I saw that and thought 'oh had he not done that yet?'
I had a similar reaction when I saw the video title... but when I saw the flash itself, I was surely more impressed than last time :)
I was shown a secret video recently of Alex getting as close as you can possibly get to doing it without actually doing it. But that was sync. I love the fact that he did it async.
I also really didn't expect this to be done as an asynch pattern, if a 14 ball flash was possible at all.
I know that sync numbers is very tough on the abdominals and Alex needed recovery time between sessions. Perhaps this is why he switched. His recent 12 ball record was also async.
Yeah, I know what you mean about the abs. It's also the reason I haven't kept trying 12 balls myself. But then I have trouble launching the first of six balls from my left hand when trying asynch, and I presumed that would be a limiting factor in 14 balls with seven from the left hand (or second hand).
Well done, Alex. Incredible.
If you're reading this: Chance of this being front page featured, if it were uploaded to JTV: 100% :-)
BJC 2018 will be in....
Canterbury, after Easter.
There is an additional event planned for the summer in Cumbria - which is *not* a BJC, but *is* a juggly event, tied in to celebrating the 250th anniversary of "circus" (Astley, etc).
Come to the business meeting if you want a say in it! Come to the business meeting if you want a say in it! :-P
I would, but the BJC is waaay to expensive for a camping convention where the weather is such a coin flip that I've not camped at one since 2001. It's the reason I don't go, and also the reason why I recommend anyone from Europe who asks about it not to go.
We get it Luke, you say this over and over whenever anyone so much as mentions BJC.
Give it a rest for a bit?
(And come to Cumbria in the summer)
Sure sure. I'd be happy to come to Cumbria in the summer, of course. Who wouldn't be?
My best memory of the Canterbury presentation:
The team is led by "Spyro" Mike
We were given detailed pictures and maps of the site, with 1 main hall (~1085m^2 based on my googlemaps-fu), and smaller "show hall" and "aerial hall" (so named as they will be able to rig from it). There are additional classrooms and seating areas.
A whole metric boatload of hard standing area (assuming that one boatload is about 0.4 hectares), Roughly 150 by 250m of camping space (which should be enough 2 or 3 times over).
There is a swimming pool on site, which should be available. And possibly also the observatory.
The show venue is a theatre in town where Mike works, although the name escapes me.
There is a vintage bus organization in Canterbury, which should hopefully provide the transportation to the show.
(Would any squirrels fix any obvious blunders).
A certain person from TWJC who is not familiar with theatre terminology spent a great deal of time searching for a theatre in Canterbury named 'The Round'. Oh how we laughed!
Do you know the exact dates for BJC 2018? Easter is April 1 and that's also the day IJC starts.
The simple answer is no.
The slightly more complicated answer is starting in the week after Easter and continuing to the following week.
Mike didn't have specific dates attached to his bid and had some degree of flexibility. I imagine the dates will firm up rather quickly now that he knows that he is running the convention.
Ellesmere Port's Biggest Juggling Claim to Fame
https://youtu.be/Acj8rRtrXVQ - Back when I was a little whipper snapper this show blew my mind. My brother and I didn't even own ten balls, we didn't think we'd see someone flash them on stage. I haven't seen my school in ten years but that hall is exactly as I remember it.
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