Lake Norman Jugglers is closed until further notice. Thank you to Bill and Irl for keeping the club going for all these years. #lakenormanjugglers
Always sad to hear of another club closing.
ObJugglingEdge: There doesn't seem to be a way of searching for a club by its name, rather than its location. For example, if I knew of a club called Altern8, but didn't know which part of the world it was in, how do I find it within jugglingedge.com?
Hello all. I can do juggle two balls, but have never managed to do three for more than a catch or two, hence the user name. But I do like watching other people do it..
Living in Newark meant I saw a couple of bits of the EJC 2019. Sadly, I was coming back from an event I help organise on the Sunday, so I missed the parade.
The Sunday evening fire show was ok - the issues with the sound did not help. Some of the acts didn't make me gasp either. A poi.. on fire! A staff.. with a firework on the end!! Or both ends!!! But it was often visually great.
Before it started, I could see someone practice with their equipment not on fire (the pair of staffs on fire on both ends?) behind the stage and they had rather a lot of drops, but performed it fine on stage.
I had the opportunity to see something midweek, but again other things got in the way. Grrr.
I did get to see the Gala as a guest and have been looking for something that had the line up - I can find some names, but not all of them: is that published anywhere?
I liked the afternoon show so much I went home, got a different lens for the camera (I'd brought one for being 'big top' away from the action to the afternoon), and came back to see the evening one.
Compere, ??: fine.
First act, Matthew Tiffany: I'll be surprised if he's not normally a street performer. It was fine, but I would also be surprised if a chunk of the audience couldn't do everything he did.
Second act, Florence Huet: balancing the rings as she moved around is presumably rather harder than she made it look? Very elegant.
Third act, ??: I really liked the science + juggling material, but I suspect you needed to be closer to the stage - and interested in the science side - to fully appreciate it. My partner didn't, but by the end I was reminded about how a fuel cell works. By jugglers!
Fourth act, ??: the main bit was the big ring, with some balancing and dancing thrown in. I thought was ok, my partner liked them much more.
Fifth act. Masayuki Furuya: some of the best plate work I've ever seen, with some lovely stage presence. He got easily the best reaction from the audience, which I happily joined in with, but interestingly my partner wasn't that impressed.
Sixth act, Sylvia Rosat and Bobby Scala: crack, crack, crack goes the whip, but there's a reason she's dressed like that - it's not otherwise a visual act. Especially with the lighting in the evening.
Seventh act, ??: the bar routine was fine, but none of it made me gasp. I did like the 'the bottle and glass stay stationary, but the hands holding them change, by the end rapidly' bit.
Eighth act, Thom Wall: the lens change meant I could see how impressive some of his balancing was. Interestingly, he failed to pull off one bit in the afternoon - the move of the ball from something balanced on his chin to one balanced on his forehead - and didn't retry it, whereas everyone else did a (single) repeat of their drops. I do have a shot of the final routine when it went wrong (both balloons bursting) in the evening - not mentioned in the "The trick worked both times" bit of his blog! - and he did repeat that.
There was an interesting difference in the atmosphere between the two shows. The lighting didn't make much difference in the afternoon (natural light swamped it) and should been better in the particular places in the evening. I was also near to someone who spent much of their time being rude about the quality of the acts in the evening, although they did shut up during the plates and the final act...
So it was great, and I wish I could have seen more of it.
I am aware that not everyone thought so - in the evening, I was standing next to someone who was making derogatory comments about nearly all of the acts. They did shut up during Masayuki Furuya and Thom Wall's acts though!
I wrote them down with delusions of being like Jon Peat:
Florence Huet (Hoops)
Ben and Fred (Science-related act)
Swing Circus (dancey, cyr wheel, hand balancing)
Masa (spinning plates)
Synthia (rapid whips)
Shake down (flair bartending, mixed with hand balancing)
Thom Wall (balancing, and did a two health bars finish with the balloon pop.)
MC: Dan Holzman
You're right! I totally biffed the balance transfer trick in the first show. When the winds picked up and they decided to move the gala show to the main hall, the ball I normally use for that trick was lost in the shuffle somehow... I had to borrow one of Tiff's balls last minute! His ball was a little smaller in diameter than the one I normally use... I trained the trick a few times before the show (all super last minute) and it seemed to work well -- but when I got on stage... muscle memory took over. As you can imagine, it's a super delicate trick to pull off, and a slight change in diameter of the ball can throw everything off. Between shows, I spent about an hour breaking down the technique and re-learning it with a smaller ball. Didn't want to waste everyone's time with me missing it a second time (or third. or fourth) in the first show. Such is life and live performance!
And, yeah... totally screwed up the double balloon in the second show on that first attempt. That's a really young trick for me (EJC was literally the first time I've put it on stage!) -- that was an error in preparation on my part... dragged the balloon along the edge of the knife when setting it up! Ah well. Still a beautiful trick, and I'm really pleased that I was able to execute the trick on the second attempt!
Glad to know Masa and I were spared by the hecklers during the show! Phew!
Matthew Tiffany: I'll be surprised if he's not normally a street performer. It was fine, but I would also be surprised if a chunk of the audience couldn't do everything he did.
You should be doubly surprised then!! He's one of very few people in the world who can do most of those tricks
Welcome aboard - hopefully we'll see you around more now that you've had a taste of juggling fests
To save you the turmoil of reading this forum here are all the links posted during August 2019:
I want to get new clubs because the one I have at the moment are my brother's old broken ones. dose anyone have any advice on which ones to get.
Get yourself some good ones, they will last a lifetime and make juggling much more fun!
Are you based in Europe? Then any club from Henrys (I recommend loop or pirouette) or Play (px3) will do! Any other brand is likely to disappoint you at some point...
A Ukrainian boxer called Lomachenko is fighting this weekend (I think). I watched a few of his fights, he's truly amazing. His opponents literally give up. Apparently he's the best pound for pound boxer in the world. Incredible speed and timing but it's his footwork that separates him from the rest. He was taken out of boxing by his father to study Ukrainian traditional dancing. He's known as 'The Matrix' because he seems to disappear around his opponent and then instantly reappear in a different position. Anyway, I just noticed that juggling is part of his training. Four balls, overheads and his favorite trick.. of course.. Box.
Hi, I'm new here. I'm trying to get five balls but my 4th and 5th throws I do as 4s any advice?
Hi there, Frankie. We should find out why you get fountain throws - do you do 4b fountain a lot, for example? Are you hasting the last throws after a too low launch, or alike? And, are those maybe rather straight up columns than inside-->outside fountain throws, kind 'a getting up rid of those two last balls, just to have them done (without aiming at all)?
Try throwing the first five throws but don't catch them. When you don't have to worry about catching you can concentrate more on the throws.
I am also working on 5 balls.
If you do unintentional fountain throws, it's probably because your hand is already moving outwards to catch the ball that's coming down. So... Either you need to release the ball a bit earlier, or you need more time before the catch, or you are moving your hand outwards earlier than you have to.
Things you could try would be: Throw higher to get more time, focus on an even throwing rhythm (make sure you don't have to rush the last throws), do the exercise that Cedric suggested, focus on the throws. I also found that sometimes shifting the main focus from the peaks of the orbits (where I usually focus) to a rather low crossing point helps me get the balls to cross.
Hi. My name is Scott Vranesh-Fallin and I am an amatuer juggler in Las Vegas, Nevada.
I first learned to juggle three balls by way of "Juggling for the Complete Klutz". I have been away from juggling for several years and have recently returned to it. I am working on the basic 3-ball cascade again, with bean bags, over the bed.
I look forward to learning from you all. Thanks for having me!
Hi all! See below for recent facebook post about BJC
Are you ready for a SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT?
🏴We are delighted, firstly, to confirm that BJC 2020 will be held in PERTH! That’s right, we’re going back to the BELLS SPORTS CENTRE, a fantastic venue that we’ve been to not once, but TWICE before! If you’ve never been there, don’t worry, we’ll probably talk about it quite a lot in the coming months😉
The dates are slightly different this time around, occurring in Summer from the 28th July to the 2nd of August. We think this is going to be great! Not only does this include ALL UK Summer Holidays, it also finishes right as the Edinburgh Fringe starts! Perfect for a wee extended trip to Scotland
That’s all for now, but we hope you are as excited about this as we are, and that you like our shiny new sporty look! (We ARE returning to the Bells after four years, it’s kind of like the Olympics, right?)
Love, BJC2020 x
I don't hang out here enough to be effective telling people BJC related news - ideally I'd like interesting things (like pre-reg opening, act announcements) to appear here as soon as they do on facebook, so if anyone is willing to do that on a semi-regular basis that would be great. You could call yourself one of the BJC 'social media marketers' if you like (you don't have to though!)
I'm helping to volunteer wrangle this year, so if you have other skillz to offer, let me know!
Oh no! That means BJC 2020 clashes with the middle of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics! Did the BJC organisers not think to check with the IOC‽ This means several olympic athletes will not be able to attend both events.
While this response is clearly taking the piss, I'd love this to be a real problem some day in the future.
Gentle parody perhaps, rather than taking the piss, no offence intended.
Although there are probably a few of the UK Olympic Team who can juggle I don't imagine any might give up a once in a lifetime chance to compete at the Olympics.
When the 2012 Olympics clashed with EJC in Lublin, some UK jugglers went to the Olympics rather than EJC (both to watch or working there), so an Olympics clash can have a small effect.
I did not actually take contemporary notes at all, so this is a mixture of sleep-deprived truth and inadvertent fiction. Much of it took place, of that I am certain.
Saturday 3rd: Helen and I did not volunteer for any site set-up, so did not arrive on site until Saturday afternoon, as a pair of normal punters. The drive in took around 90 minutes. It was much the same as the drive to Bungay except we got to stop ever so much sooner.
Collected wristband, map, and leaflet (very nice full colour glossy) after not too long in the queue. Found Leeds jugglers' arbour, or possibly boudoir, and camped next to it. Much ferrying of boxes into the site, tent put up, spare tent put up (neither Helen nor I have ever managed to travel light, and for this EJC it was car camping which made things worse. So about 50% of our stuff went in the spare tent this trip.)
Wandered around site. Noticed that there is a long queue at the info point. This will be a recurring theme. Joined long queue to register on the cash system and exchange real money for fake money, then joined medium sized queue to give the bar staff fake money in exchange for beer. The process strikes me as excessively complicated.
Joined long queue for open stage, turned away some minutes later because tent is full. Learning quickly from experience, I don't try again.
Sunday 4th: was the Big Day Out in Newark. Despite growing up down the river in Nottingham, I believe this is the first time I've ever visited. It's a pleasant market town, making a good deal of its Civil War history. And why not? A nasty, safely dead king was overthrown and eventually decapitated by a nasty, safely dead, genocidal theocrat who died in bed, and it's all good clean fun for the kids.
Immediately after getting off the bus, we nipped into the supermarket for food and ice-cream. After that, enjoyed pottering around the castle, admired the parade from the sidelines. Highlights included the big and little elephants at the front, the band, and various small children all being unspeakably cute.
Newark market square was astonishingly crowded after the parade finished. We spent a few minutes there and then slipped away to get more food and explore. After walking more or less clockwise round the centre, we came back out on a canal lock, and then past the fire stage in a park. Walked back across the Trent and found the Fox and Crown and had a pleasant half-pint - this is a Castle Rock pub and gets me one further to ticking them all off. (I've been working on this for at least 20 years. It is not a high priority project.)
From behind the church we walked back to the square and watched Hotel Paradiso, by Lost in Translation, on the front steps and facade of the Buttermarket. It is perfectly splendid. There is a plot, and waiters popping out of windows on ropes, and mad chefs climbing Chinese poles, and lawyers being thrown through the air. Sadly the rain comes in just 5 minutes too early and brings the show to a halt before the triumphant climax.
The rain does not stop. We decide to skip the fire show and get back to site. The buses are on time and there are plenty of them, but we are, nonetheless, extremely wet.
The next show is Jonglissimo (8 pm showing). This is a very episodic show making a very great deal of back projection onto a scrim along with programmable LED props, and I enjoyed it. Much of the back projection is live mirroring, distortion, or prop tracking and there are some very nice effects, as well as good clean passing and juggling going on. As far as tech heavy, light-and-sound effects heavy shows go, difficult to see it being done any better.
The rain has stopped! For today, anyway.
Food happens, I assume. I don't recall for sure. The food court was noticeably thin today with several stalls shut when we get back from Newark - it gets better later in the week.
Renegade in the Magpie tent, hosted by Steve and Rosie. Very strong on keeping it moving and keeping it fun.
Monday 5th: I don't recall anything about Monday except the show - I saw Gibbon in the gala tent. I don't even remember if it was the first or second run. Enjoyed this. If the Gandini project can be regarded as crossing juggling and manipulation with other theatrical and musical genres (and why not), then this show strikes me as involving repetition, frustration, physical farce, and repetition to the extent that it's practically Beckettian. Plus they are pretty good jugglers.
Did I do some whip cracking today?
Tuesday 6th: Some time right about now, we drove back into Newark to go to the supermarket and buy beer (also peaches, pea pods, and pananas). We also give Cornish Hazel a lift to do the same. After we get back, I volunteer for some litter picking while Helen goes to the BJC meeting. BJC 2020 will be in Perth! Poor Avril.
We watch the Bullzini Family high wire show at 5 pm. Blimey. It's cut a little short because of wind but even so, is remarkably impressive, as are the high Victorian bloomers with spangles.
Later on, I watch the Alternative Games in the Play tent. No injuries that I saw, despite much exuberance. I do not remind anyone that Alt Games put four stitches in my face a few years ago. Wouldn't want to scare them...
Wednesday 7th: EJA General Assembly lasts, by my reckoning, approximately one geological era. Not Ron's fault as the country voting is fast enough but there's quite a lot of countries, then the site selection for next year comes to a contested vote. We walk out by matched pairs until it is obvious that Finland wins! Madrid is then voted in for 2021.
The first weather warning from Jane Randall to the meeting. Mental note to put up guy lines on Thursday evening.
Helen and I wait for the ceilidh at 6 pm. It does not appear. Many other UK and Ireland jugglers are also waiting. Eventually, rumours permeate that the band might turn up at 8, or possibly 9. Still, there's always beer. Once the band does arrive we both dance with enthusiasm and vigour and in Helen's case skill.
Thursday 8th: Mostly a social day. No shows at all, a little bit of peeking at the fire space. The Leeds boudoir has been taken down, and we take down our sun tarps and guy out the tents a bit more efficiently. No more pleasantly cool lie-ins in the morning.
Today we also spot white mildew inside the tent, thanks to the combination of damp ground (although the drainage has been, as promised, excellent), very warm days, and plenty of cow and sheep shit from agricultural shows. Fuck. We do not burn the tent to the ground. Instead, I clean off the groundsheet and our luggage the best we can, and rearrange things for improved airflow. *Under* the groundsheet will have to wait until we get home.
After checking the tent over I watch a bit of the unicycle trials finals. The course is impressively large and varied and the jumps and grinds are suitably dramatic. The commentator is not particularly audible, being loud but too fast and not clear. Maybe it's better on the recording than over the speakers?
There is much rain from about midnight, but the ground is well drained and there's virtually no mud!
Friday 9th: We miss every single show. I go to a CPR workshop run by the wonderful Dr Helen. As well as the refresher in CPR, I also get to be a body for three different people to be moved into the recovery position. It's nice to lie down and have a nap.
I also spend a bit of time with a rope lasso today.
The wind is definitely picking up, but there is a renegade in Marybelle. An excellent club juggling routine from Men in Slacks, and overall one of the better renegades of the week, I thought. I'm pleased to see there is less pointless nudity than some years and more emphasis on the unusual, skilful, just plain daft.
By Friday evening, the call is made to move the gala shows out of the gala tent and into the main hall. There was an astonishing group volunteer effort over Friday and Saturday to make this happen.
Saturday 10th: It is noticeably noisy in the tent in the morning but neither of the tents looks at risk at all. There is a bit of rubbish and litters blowing around the site by now though.
By now, we are both sleep-deprived. Some things definitely happened during the day, probably. When it's not blowing a gale, it's a very warm day. Helen tells me the show ground permanent cafes have more veggie food options in today. Seems a little late. She also watches the indoor games, which go well, and has a medium long run in the hula gladiators.
I chat to Dr Helen and somehow end up volunteering to manage volunteers on Sunday, for the start of clean up and takedown. Bother.
Helen and I take our chairs into the evening gala show. Trying to find clean sightlines is a bit of a pain but there is an enormous amount of goodwill in the hall. It's a fantastic show! Tiff is dropless, Swing Circus is a joy to watch, everyone is excellent. We're next to Ian Deady so I manage to chat a little, haven't seen him for a couple of years.
(At least two of the acts are linked to Leeds, meaning that pro-rata we are punching way, way above our weight. You should come to Hullabaloo and see what makes it so special! First time's free, tea and biscuits are always free...)
Sunday 11th: We assemble at 10 am to do our best. About 50% of the people who signed up for Sunday volunteering turn up over the morning; several more who didn't sign up also volunteer. The main skills for herding volunteers are being confident in a loud voice which we can both do, and we are pretty sure we manage to send people to the right areas of the site. I take a few breaks from the desk to take down lighting and poles around the team camping. Helen takes a few breaks to get food and water. I get a dehydration headache. Silly me. Helen is very excited to find the scissor brooms for the main hall!
(We are both very grateful to all the volunteers who turn up. Thank you!)
Finally, about 5 pm we call it a day and hand the volunteer management back to the core team. Hugs and we're off. There is more traffic than the previous weekend and it slightly longer than 90 minutes.
A week later, Monday 19th: Tents and tarps are clean and dry. The groundsheets have been scrubbed, spot cleaned with isopropyl alchohol, and scrubbed again. Many piles of laundry have been laundered.
I didn't play enough games, hug enough jugglers, or do enough club passing. We did have a lovely time. Massive thanks to the whole org team and especially to Jane Randall.
I still think the cashless system was shit.
H: Bullzini Family! And too many to mention.
L: Dehydration headache on the last Sunday. Idiot. Drink more water!
G: Not really. Managed some OK ball on club balancing, I guess?
C: Helen. Duh.
B: Fucking mildew.
.. see you in Finland?
Jon's previous reviews inspired me to give it a try. Oddly enough, his 2016 review is one of the most informative EJC resources online, and was a great help in my preparation this year!
I find it interesting to see that our weeks began similarly, and diverged after ~Monday.
Getting ready for EJC was a little bit troublesome. We tried to rent tents from the ZIP, but by the time we did, they were completely out of tents. It was kind of last minute, but it didn’t cross my mind that they could run out of tents – the price of rental was about the cost of a tent (i.e. I’m paying for the convenience of their delivery and setup) so I’d figured ZIP would have bought more.
This led me to a brief panic where I asked around on the Facebook group if there were any alternatives to the rented tents. None of the alternatives that came up in the first few hours were reliable enough for my satisfaction (“Just come, someone’ll have a spare!”), so I wound up booking a hotel. I'm trying to plan and keep things organised…somewhat against the advice of some EJC veterans on Facebook.
Plane was delayed by about an hour and a half. We learned this well before we had left for the airport. Despite that, Emily was particularly keen on getting to the airport as quickly as possible, which resulted in us arriving about four hours early. No checking luggage yet! We spent about 20 minutes juggling (no breakthroughs there), about 40 minutes Skyping with my family, and then it was finally time to check her bags.
We breezed through the security, spending a total of about 5 minutes in line and at kiosks. We spent some time looking at the EJC overall and workshop schedule and plotting out some particularly high priority events or workshops we wanted to attend. I was somewhat surprised by the lack of advanced ball juggling workshops, but hopefully I'll find and some skilled jugglers that will be happy to teach me things. Our flight wound up boarding early (for being late), so it was nice that we were nearby. I slept well on the plane, only waking up at the very moment when I needed to eat my surprisingly nice airline food.
After ~1 hour on the Underground, a 20-minute delay on the LNER, and then ~1 hour on the LNER train, we concluded the trip with a riveting 20-minute walk with luggage to arrive at our hotel. We settled in and went out to see what Newark-on-Trent had to offer.
The town was small and nice. There were a couple grocery stores nearby that stocked our hotel room with vegetables for the next while. More interesting restaurants than we would be able to enjoy, given that most of our meals would be at the showgrounds. We found ourselves having burritos at Holy Moly Newark due to its high Google rating. The service and wait time were both mediocre, but the food was fantastic. Highly recommend, especially at an off-peak time.
Good heavens, a full English breakfast is included in the hotel’s free morning meal! Along with fruit, cereal, etc. Emily and I were feeling like the decision to stay in a hotel was a good one. We went into the fest at about 9:30, hitching a ride with my juggling student and his parents. We took a walk around the showgrounds to get oriented and enjoyed its atmosphere. Seemed like there was going to be some great juggling happening that week!
We were just a few minutes from getting into a whip cracking workshop, which was disappointing. Ah well, we checked out the main juggling hall and made sure to get back to the whip cracking before the start time this round.
Whip cracking turned out to be a lot of fun! The instructor broke down the form nicely. After some feedback, the motion felt intuitive and I was able to get consistent cracks with either hand. For whatever reason, my left hand had an easier time. This workshop only lasted 20 minutes instead of the scheduled hour, so I made a note to get back to the Western Arts Area later in the week. Here’s a clip from near the end of the workshop: https://youtu.be/2ZMEghpUIHI
We hitched a ride into town with my student’s family for the parade and shows. The scale of the parade was impressive (https://youtu.be/aaozDoYibI4). Jugglers filled a huge park, showing everything you’d imagine at a parade of jugglers plus a life-sized, walkabout wire elephant. The pacing of the parade was a little confused, resulting in us being a bit densely-packed to juggle. Nonetheless, the crowd seemed happy and I was happy to have been a part of it.
We went off to a pub to get Emily some authentic English food (she’d been warned) and enjoyed our fish and chips and Yorkshire pudding. We caught only the second of the in-town show, which was a nicely choreographed story about hotel employees trying to keep their place of work from being bought out. The audience was left in suspense when the rain caused the show to finish prematurely. Were the tips by the pool enough to save the day??
We caught the Jonglissimo show that night, which was well worth seeing. The show had a narrative thread of a woman doing a homework assignment to think about the future. Certain aspects of the future (space, cloning, teleportation, etc.) had acts built around them, featuring loads of interesting projections and augmented reality effects. Certainly a high-level, marketable act! It was different enough from things I’d seen that I felt like I was enjoying it more as a member of the general public, rather than a juggler.
Woke up too late for the hotel breakfast. Ah well.
It was a splendid day on both juggling and social fronts! It seems that my juggling had gotten some notice across the pond, at least among those who are interested in 3/4b juggling. I was grateful for all the people who approached me with pattern requests. I’ve come away with several patterns to work on that I adore! It was also lovely to be asked about how to learn certain patterns. I feel like my critiquing/coaching is getting stronger these days. Sometimes people’s mistakes make me reconsider degrees of freedom I’d been taking for granted and open up new patterns. Thank you to everyone who did these things! A few favourites were T-box (box with columns stacked, 2x goes along the top), Lucas Adverse’s old pattern (jellyfish), and 94453 in dots. I should’ve written down the names of the people who taught/suggested these to me, sorry!
I met Lewis Kennedy today! It was wonderful talking with him and interesting to learn that we started juggling at roughly the same time. We reminisced about the Youtube days, team Shreddy Crunch, and other ~2008-2012 trends. That man has some serious social skills!
I went to a workshop hosted by Sean Gandini, where we tried some polyrhythmic juggling. The warm-ups/proofs of concept were well-paced, and it built to some nice 4 ball fountain patterns where one hand went at a quicker tempo than the other. This kind of juggling tickles me in a particular way, and if I'm not careful it's going to be the next thing that I think a few months into. Perhaps the next time I get mildly injured.
Uriel sent a message saying that he had “organized” up a ball combat game. Nothing gets the blood pumping like running jumping and smacking forearms while playing ball combat with a bunch of awfully skilled Israeli jugglers.
There was a rule they had against attacking from behind. When we play combat in Ontario, or the States have played in, attacking from the back is the best strategy. This limited the utility of my typical style (focused on mobility and quick 180s) and forced me to broaden my skills. Very fun and worthwhile.
The open stage tent was full by the time I’d approached, so no open stage for me tonight. I'll have to go more than 15 minutes early in the future. I'm still not used to the idea of show venues being so much smaller than the number of participants. With everybody packed in, the total capacity was probably something like 600 people, compared to the roughly 4000 people who showed up at some point that week.
Learned a few more patterns today. Lauge helped me to understand some of his more basic carry siteswap patterns. I mostly learned jellyfish with the other side. I also thought of a variation of T-box where the columns rotate in the plane of the juggling one over top of the other. This trick by itself almost makes a video on morphing boxes worthwhile. I also met Iver which was a lot of fun. It's so cool to meet lots of jugglers that I've only seen or talked to online before. Eivind Dragon is also great!
I tried out the juggling infinity bean bags, the new kids on the block of juggling bean bags. There are a couple things that I'm interested about them. First, their plastic filling seems denser than typical polypropylene. I wonder what kind of material it is. Apparently it's much finer than one would expect, but that shouldn’t affect the bulk density (unless there’s also some diversity in particle shape? Hmmm).
I’m skeptical about the utility of the lifetime warranty. Its rare that falls break before becoming unusably saggy, or have multiple break at once. It would be very annoying to have a 2-year-old set where half of them had broken and half of them had been repaired or replaced. Finally, there's no guarantee that the business is going to stay alive for the next 10 years, so I'd be a little worried about that, too. It seems good at a glance, but I don't think it's useful. Nonetheless, they seem like very functional beanbags!
I went to two shows tonight. The open stage was generally strong. Dave Kelly’s juggling of Russian juggling balls on tennis rackets seemed completely impossible. The backcross variations and 6b between 4 racquets were fantastic. The second stand-our act was Sagi’s act with laundry hampers. There was an astounding amount of imagination that went into that act which was joined by gorgeous execution. It will be difficult to explain to others how he made so many interesting scenarios using these set of laundry hampers.
After the open stage was the IRC. I was curious with how well that would go, given the European scene doesn't seem as open competition in juggling as the North American one. Turns out, it was fantastically. The first two places practically redefined their craft.
Emily and I managed to get a spot front and centre by being quick to sit on the grass. The show started very strongly with Alexis Levillon doing his diabolo act. This included double vortex, and single vertax with one horax (probably a better name for this, but you get the idea). His character was well established and interesting throughout. His closing vertax combination with one diabolo was very strong and about as creative as vertax can be (link: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1QAv4EjoHf/). Alexis placed second.
Next up was a spectacularly interesting act involving staff fishtails while doing bounce juggling by Sebastian Berger from Austria. It was well presented with occasional (but effective) commentary of things like “things people can do” and “things nobody can do” etc. His finale pattern was four ball bounce while maintaining dual fishtails. Sebastian placed first!
Third place went to Ariane Oechsner, an antipodist who had a well-choreographed, solid act. Artfully tangled limbs, and lots of multiplexes with some thrown onto her feet (sample: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1UH-YRDzd3/). Luca Pderdmenges had a fun (and tough) club act, and Helena Berry made a surprising number of balls appear from under her baggy shirt. A list of all of the finalists is here: https://www.juggle.org/programs/irc-europe-finalists
After the IRC we went back to the gym where I played with a Craig Quat prop for a little while and then went back to the hotel. No problems getting a taxi tonight.
Today was a bit more relaxing. After breakfast we went back to sleep for another hour. I got the 12:00 bus into Newark Showground, and Emily came a little later.
I got myself some tea and went to the EJA assembly. It was somewhat interesting to see the difference between how they conduct their meetings compared to how the IJA conducts theirs. Something that stood out to me was that 2 years ago, in Lublin, the organisation turned a profit of roughly £95,000. The year after, in Azores, the prophet was about £15,000. I don't know where that money goes, because it doesn't seem like the EJA has crazy money on hand (i.e. it seems to have enough, but not a dramatically increasing sum). A question for the treasurer, if I can find her later.
There was a vote for which location was going to take the next EJC. Finland and Madrid both applied. Personally, I thought Finland had a slightly stronger bid, with the exception and the fatal exception of schedule and it during IJA. When someone else asked about this, it was clear that the IJA had not been a consideration for the Finnish organizers. It was further disappointing to hear several people (including some executives of the EJA) vocally dismissing North American attendance (“Who cares, for all two or three people who come!”). Also somewhat surprising, considering 2/9 acts in the EJC’s gala show are regular attendees of the IJA (Thom Wall, Dan Holzman). And Matt Hall running 10 workshops through the week, and David Cain doing his juggling history show. Really a shame, because I would have considered going next year in Finland. The Finns did wind-up winning the bid, so unfortunately, no EJC for us next year.
After the meeting I wound up doing a little juggling and went to find my write-in “learn inverted box” workshop. It turned out to have been in a somewhat hidden location, but no big deal, people got there eventually. 45 minutes seemed to be about right for the workshop, and people seems to make a lot of progress in that time. As usual, there was a very wide range of skill levels at an inverted box workshop, including people who could not really do box yet. I hope everyone managed to get something out of it.
I ate a large dinner consisting of a meat with meat with meat with falafel sandwich, and a tuna and cucumber sandwich. Again, following not very much juggling, we lined up for the open stage on the rumour that Toby Walker was going to be in it.
Well, it turns out Toby Walker was not actually in that open stage. There were a few pretty good acts, including an interesting hand balance rola bola act. It was novel and I’m curious with how it will progress. The other standout was the closer Eyal Bor, who did a very well put together ball juggling act.
Feeling a little bit sore after trying some as Lauge's carry tricks and some rapid crossing-arms shower that I learnt in line at the open stage. Hoping that feels better today or tomorrow.
The (inverted) box variations workshop went relatively well. Due to some confusion about starting times, a parade of jugglers came out all about 15 minutes into the workshop. Bennett graciously stepped up to teach inverted box to those who didn't know it. Everyone seemed to make a lot of progress! Many of jugglers in the advanced group managed some high-low inverted boxes, some in line 3, and some cross-columned inverted box. I really wish I’d had a 3-ball juggler to teach me earlier on in my juggling career.
Below were “choreography” notes for my renegade act. I thought I’d leave them here in case someone was interested:
Inverted box + Mura transition to cross columned inverted + inverted dome box + high low inverted dome box, STOP
Box + popped up Luke's shuffle + popped up inverted box + levels + descending inverted box, STOP
Orbits + extended + cross-columned extended + high low cross-columned inverted box, STOP
Inverted box + fork catch and point to dots in left hand + inline 3 + high low inline 3, STOP
The Scandinavian Renegade was amazing. There were lots of very strong acts and whacky tricks. The setup was also interesting: after a performer finished, the crowd was asked if they…
deserved a beer. If yes, do they also…
deserve a shot? If yes, do they also…
deserve to become THE KING OF NORWAY? (comes with a crown, scepter, and as much alcohol as you wish until you’re dethroned)
The crowd was kind enough to vote me into the monarchy! Knowing the clock was ticking on my rule, I had absinth for the first time, and found myself quite enjoying it. I was dethroned two or three performers later, happy for the experience.
There were lots of notable performances that night, including Lauge, Tarorin, Thom Wall, and many more. I bowed out at about 1:30 am, but apparently the show didn’t finish until about 6:00 am!
My dots workshop was happening at noon, and it’s rapidly becoming my favourite. First, pretty much everybody approaches it as a novice of dots. Second, the technique is non-obvious, and the benefits of knowing that technique are dramatic. I’ve run it a few times, and it seems like the progression works very well for most people. Maybe it’s time to make a worksheet.
I tried working on a shower variation inspired by the hand positions of Lucas’s jellyfish pattern. There’s no uncertainty now: practicing this pattern a few days ago is what’s caused my left pec to be sore. That’s not bad, though: I did go into this festival with the goal of coming out sore.
The workshop on practice tips was a bit smaller than expected. Thom, Havaard, and Wes were listed as the panelists, but Wes was the only one there at the beginning of the session. Haavard was recovering from the 6:00 am Scandegade, and Thom was in the gala show tech. It turned out to be ok, but mostly stuff that I knew already. It seems the longer one has to practice, the better unstructured practice works. It always makes me jealous hearing that people can consistently have long practice sessions. My lifestyle is much more like Matt Hall’s than Wes’s or Haavard’s, and I’m thrilled if I can get an hour of practice in each day.
The main juggling hall became the gala show site due to high winds, relegating juggling practice to some nearby barns. Josh Mermelstein and I bounced 4b Boston mess ideas off of each other for a while, and came out with some interesting ones that will hit instragram sometime.
The games were a bit rough around the edges. It seemed like the emcee’s first time running games, which led to a few letdowns. There were typical issues, like not knowing what to call for some endurances and Simon Says (with the typical symptom of calling increasing numbers of spins). They tried to sell the idea that each juggler was only allowed to compete in one of 5, 7, and 9 ball endurance, but after enough booing, they backed down from that. That said, I still learned about 3b zombie (not zombie combat), which was fun. Next time I’ll have to be a little more aggressive with getting zombies out of my way.
The Gala show was underwhelming. I’d seen about half of it before (Thom and Dan Holzman many times, Masa twice, Matthew Tiffany and Florence Huet once each), and the other half didn’t have much for me. I did appreciate Thom’s two health bars balloon popping finale. You can see said finale at the bottom of this blog post: https://thomwall.com/ejc-2019/
Emily and I enjoyed one final large breakfast and departed from our lovely hotel. We very narrowly caught our plane (gah! Darn trains.) and had an uneventful trip back.
Good fun all around. I will intend to go to future EJCs, excepting scheduling conflicts.
>Something that stood out to me was that 2 years ago, in Lublin, the organisation turned a profit of roughly £95,000. The year after, in Azores, the prophet was about £15,000. I don't know where that money goes, because it doesn't seem like the EJA has crazy money on hand (i.e. it seems to have enough, but not a dramatically increasing sum). A question for the treasurer, if I can find her later.
I am not the treasurer. My understanding is that 50% of any surplus goes to the host organisation (which will be a non-profit company in the local jurisdiction which actually runs the convention). That half is usually spent by the host org on grants and donations to support and develop the circus community in the area, hopefully meaning a strong legacy over the few years after the convention itself.
The other 50% (so around 55,000 euros over the last two years, but very volatile each year) goes to the EJA. In turn, the EJA is a non-profit organisation under Netherlands law. As well as providing multi-country, multi-currency booking for the pre-reg system, the EJA also provides loans to convention org teams (expenses start coming due a long time before ticket income begins to flow, especially when you are booking 2 or more years ahead), and may sometimes provide other financial assistance. So the 55,000 euros will go directly to helping an EJC in 2020, 2021, 2022...
For what it's worth, the IJA festival appears to run a remarkably similar surplus - the last accounts on the website say $34,000 surplus in 2017. And both the IJA and each EJC will always budget to a small percentage surplus, because then the event can cope with a few sudden unexpected costs without sending anyone bankrupt. We hope, anyway.
Thanks for breaking down the EJC profit allocation.
My curiosity comes from the differences between IJA and EJC. The first difference is the one in festival profits. On (a five-year) average, the IJA's festival has turned a profit of 16967 USD. The EJC seems to turn much greater profits - more or less as you'd expect with the greater attendance numbers.
The second difference is where festival profits go. The IJA is not just in charge of its annual festival. It has loads of other projects: IJA Regional Competitions (IRCs), the Youth Juggling Academy, Tricks of the Month, Monthly Tutorials, World Juggling Day, etc. Some of these are revenue neutral, most of them pull from the IJA general fund or from private donations. Historically, the IJA depended on festival profits to subsidize other projects like this. I don't know if the EJA does things like this (I don't think so, but I could be as mistaken as people who think the IJA only runs the festival).
I also don't know how much money the EJA has on hand - if it's still in the position of needing to generate large amounts of revenue to have enough money to front fests/mitigate risks or not. (I couldn't find this on the EJA page, but it's possible I missed it.)
 - Looking into this, I was surprised to see the diversity of types of financial reporting that's appeared on the IJA's financials page over the years. I spoke with our treasurer and we're going to bring this up at the next board meeting.
Some years ago I considered doing a juggle jabber interview with the EJA director, then decided against it as I assumed few people would find it interesting. But now I wonder, maybe I should? I sure am curious how stuff works, even though (or maybe because of) I've been quite involved and have (past) EJC and EJA board members as close friends..!
Would be very much interested in such an interview. I'm a huge fan of this series anyway and try to get other jugglers to watch it 😃
:D thanks, both of you! I'll reconsider, the series needs to be picked up again anyway. At least I can finally foresee that I will have some time again for it, unlike last year!
Another difference (although I'm not sure if it is really significant compared to the festival income) I believe is that the IJA has members with membership fees while the EJA - as far as I understand, please correct me - does not really have any paying members and the income from EJCs is the only income.
BTW I quite enjoyed, that you and some of your countrymen could come to the EJC and I would have preffered a date for the next EJC which does not collide with the IJA festival times. Also I think the EJA board members at least should be more understanding about that. (I was the guy talking to you at Newark train station and was in your dots and inverted box workshops where I clumsyly tried to follow you - sorry my right arm was still not fully functional after it broke five to six weeks prior to the EJC. I'm slowly getting there now but there is still a lot of armspeed missing - tried to flash 5 balls on 7 ball height today, this worked,much better before I broke it.)
Thanks for the reviews, guys, here are my disjointed untimelined ramblings.
-Parking spot by the red gate, which was right by the quiet camping, which had quiet people camping in it. (Well, there was one baby....)
-Spotting friends, old, older and new throughout the day and helloing. Hire wire show was good. I caught David Cain's history show (with lights and audio) for the second time - a few new bits. Good stuff.
-My cryptic crosswords for beginners workshop started with 3 people, soon grew to 8, and then suddenly 20. I'd re-written the order of things, and made better example clues, and the group-deconstructing of them seemed to go well. Several "Ahh!" moments from attendees, so I'm pleased with how that went. A few people returning later in the week with the example crossword - "We think it's Gateaux, but we're not sure why?..." (It wasn't gateaux) - Dave D having almost completed it, and some general laid-back solving sessions. All good. (Monthly crossword from me at https://tlmb.net/blog/ / https://twitter.com/TheVoidTLMB )
-Minor queues for loos and showers, and the latter being a temperature gamble. Par for the course, then. At one point I was washing the dishes up, next to two German guys, and we all realised at the same time that we were all uncomfortably tall for the sink height. Worse things happen at sea.
-My beginners kendama workshop had about 15 people, and I worked through the standard Kyu tricks in the hour. Most people got most of the tricks (or at least, well along the way to nailing them), so that's another tick. It was nice to see quite a lot of "unprovoked" kendama play at the EJC this year, and quite a lot of Royal Signatures draped around people's necks. I just about lasted the hour of the scheduled kendama jam. Lunar Hop was (surprisingly) new to me, so nice to hit it in Follow , but only to then miss the Spike. Oh, how these old bones shiverrrr...
-No Donald, no Monte, no poker. A brief frisbee session. Anna and Becky delivering the mail. Bungay flyers doubling as SJC flyers. Pasta or gnocchi on the camping stove.
-I was asked to film someone's act, so met up with Pascal, and arranged details. This meant I ended up watching the Tuesday Open Stage. Actually not bad. One highlight was glancing out of the side of the tent during one act, to see a bunch of ~5 jugglers "joining in" with the act (two girls, manipulating 1 hoop and 1 club, with trickswaps and movement interaction - nicely done), which was quirkily sweet. I packed up my camera quickly and dashed off the the IRC (pronounced "irk!") show, mainly because some guy called Matt was compèring it. During the show I was reminded of Mikey(?) once saying "Its nice to watch an act you know all the words to". The acts were a mixed bag for me, some seeming like throwbacks to classic IJA (junior?) teams routines, others having lovely individual ideas. The three medalists were the ones I would have chosen, but maybe not in that order.
-Meanwhile, a few nights earlier, Matt Hall had mentioned "Arron and Taylor" were flying in from a circus trip in Afghanistan. I didn't know who Arron was, but cool. The next night I was introduced to Taylor and, briefly, Arron, who I was surprised to find was female. Ok. But fast forward again to the IRC show when Matt introduces Arron, who comes on stage... and turns out to be Erin. (I'd failed to recognise her when we were introduced, 'cos she had a big hat on, it was dark, and, er, I'm stupid.) Later that night I got Matt to read out loud the written-down names "Arron" and "Erin", and sure enough, I could barely tell the difference. Schwa-schwa-a-go-go.
-Site was good, not too big, although my feet ached by the end of the week. The electronic money system was immensely annoying, so I refused to use it. I lived out of Aldi all week, and none of the onsite food outlets got any of my money. (Unless you count someone buying me an ice cream.)
-Lots of fun chatting to various Leftpondians this convention, be it those I'd met before - Matt, David, Scott, Erin, Cate, Greg, Karen -, ones I've "known" for quite a while from the internet - Thom (Thanks for the book! :-) ), Taylor, Mike -, or new acquaintances - Greg *really* likes my hat. On Thursday, I mentioned that I hadn't yet toss-juggled at the convention. Scott offered me the use of "the best juggling clubs in the world" to break my duck with. I pondered what he could mean by that, then asked "are they yellow?". Shortly afterwards I had a 10-minute session with his Dube Americans, which have a lovely spin, but terrible audio. Fun. Apart from that, all I did in the week was a little ken/zingdama, and a brief Rubberwrist diabolo session with Guy and Susannah.
-I saw the Diabolo Battle show. Best one I've seen yet. Marky Jay kept it fun and flowing (apart from interrupting the final at the wrong point, d'oh), and there were a lot of slick skills on display. Can't believe I once had the nerve to enter this. Good to see the ever-evolving trick sessions in the gym.
-After I signed a second kendama, I realised that both of my messages could be read either with or without the punctuation. Delivered my books to a mobile museum. Too skint to pick up more for my own.
-In the EJC meeting, the vote between Finland and Spain clearly went Finland's way. Ron decided to physically split the voters in to the two sides of the tent for a recount. It was clearly in Finland's favour. So Ron decided to pair-off all the voters out of the door until one side had voters left. It was clearly Finland that had most votes. So, Finland then. Hopefully I'll get to go, as I enjoyed 2010 Joensuu, except for the heat.
-Meanwhile, it's back to Scotland for a summer BJC next year. You absolute muppet, Avril. Sorry - typo, I mean "Nice one Avril!". Some nice words about JTV. Spooked a paramedic. I watched someone else do a dead man's routine. Have you really lived if you haven't done that? Bought some balls, which was wrong, because I don't listen to my girlfriend. Correcting that, 'cos Alex is a dude. Haggis doing toothbrush tricks.
-A lot of excitement about a car. Taking possession, eventually, of a hard drive full of videos. Congratulating Erin on her correct pronunciation of "arse", and telling her the Arron-Erin story. Using some of Richard Herring's Emergency Questions to lighten the mood after a friend had had an bad turn - but only being able to remember the filthy ones. Gary Glo seemingly not knowing how old he is, and (unconnectedly) being impressed with the Zingdama's (Thanks Dan!) construction. Taylor's reaction to getting a broad-bean crisp splat in the forehead - [blink, shudder], "What just happened?" Sending postcards to random people, telling them to point their toes. Catching snatches of Rumpel.
-Lots of hanging out and talking various degrees of crap with people around the bar area, which was great until they took the canopies away. Pointed accusingly at Toby Walker one night: "You're a star-belly sneech, you're sucking like a leech!" He was confused. Tried again later with "Kiss ass while you bitch so you can get rich", but he was still lost. THEN DON'T WEAR THE T-SHIRT, DUDE!
-Saw Jon on Saturday morning looking sharp. "You look like..... [thinks]..... You look like someone who's about to give a talk!". Went to his ABC Tour talk, took some notes, chuckled a bit. Went to the games, sat down to wait for them to start. A few minutes later, realising I wasn't in the mood to watch the games, I left. Bonus.
-1,2,3, clap clap clap, pat pat pat, Wanker! (Well if you will use a feeble excuse like "I'm having hip surgery" as an excuse for ducking out of a grading, then that's what you get.)
-I saw the first run of the Gala show. Highlights for me were Masa and Thom, but somehow the overall show didn't cut it for me as an EJC gala. I suppose the late venue change really didn't help. I heard the second show had a better atmosphere. Ah well.
-Jaffa cakes, Parma Violets, BlackJacks, croissants, coffee. An avocado. Ewano's photographic timing. And all the stuff I've forgotten.
-Fresh rip in the bell tent from the wind. Emergency repair by fak. Arriving as 2 people, leaving as 5. General exhaustion, and post-convention cold for the next week.
Thanks for my 17th EJC Jane & crew, & all volunteers. IT WAS FUN. Oops, I didn't mean to type that with caps lock on, but hey, I'll let it stand...
Next stop, Dundee.
''Pointed accusingly at Toby Walker one night: "You're a star-belly sneech, you're sucking like a leech!" He was confused. Tried again later with "Kiss ass while you bitch so you can get rich", but he was still lost. THEN DON'T WEAR THE T-SHIRT, DUDE!''
Perfectly entitled to rip the shirt from his back and set fire to it IMO.
Reminds me of the time David Beckham wore a shirt with a glittery Crass symbol with no idea what it represented.
Pah, kids today...
I'd make him work hard all day with a gun in his back for a bowl of rice a day.
Alexander Graham Bell originally suggested 'ahoy' be adopted as the standard greeting when answering a telephone, before 'hello' (suggested by Thomas Edison) became common.
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