How do you do it?

Search posts
Forum index


Roflcopter -

How do you do it?
im not gonna try and correct my misspellings due to my shit keyboard so yoi may have to do a few double takes.
so I auditioned and made the cut for a talent show and have the act and song all together and even bought some knives for heending act. but lately i'm wondering "what was I thinking?" so I'm looking for help or just like what do those of you that perform do when preparing for a show?
When: all of a sudden tricksthat you can doand hve always done are extremely difficultand make you look dumb because you cant dothem to music or infront of someone?
theres no place to practice because there's horrid weather or slanted cielings.

when your out there busting your fingers apart and breaking your brand new stuff trying to snag the pesky part of the routine.
idk. tips on practicing a routine. have at it.

Roflcopter - - Parent

helpful information:
I've been preparing for the act for half a month now.
there is no talking in my act.
itshowcases: 3-4 balls 3-4 rings 3 clubs 3 knives on rola bola

Owen Greenaway - - Parent

I'm a keen juggler but I'm not a prolific performer. Anyway, here's my advice:

If you're performing to knowledgeable jugglers (maybe in a convention renegade/open show) then I feel you can get away with harder tricks as long as it looks like you are relaxed and it looks like you are having fun. They will be able to appreciate the tricks you are performing.

If you are performing to non-jugglers then I would focus on KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Remove all of the hard tricks. Remove all of the "pesky part". You know what you can achieve in practise and so your routine should be boring to you. The audience don't see you practise. They don't know these tricks are easy. They just enjoy your routine because you SELL the routine to them. Add expressions, mime and pauses to make the tricks look bigger, faster, harder and more impressive.

I think I've posted this on this site before but when performing to non-jugglers they will find it hard to tell tricks apart so make sure all your tricks are very different. E.g. do a high throw, followed by small tricks, followed by one body throw. Do things that the audience can immediately tell is a "trick" and immediately tell that it's difficult. You've seen each move a million times and so they are boring but your audience may have never seen the move before live and so will love it.

Use your current routine, with some harder tricks thrown in, to make an epic juggling video and then make a KISS routine for performing.

By keeping the routine really simple I believe you can focus on actually performing an entertaining routine instead of having to focus on the physical act of juggling.

thegoheads - - Parent

I'm probably not qualified to answer this, but I will suggest that if you're entertaining a general audience (i.e. an audience of non-jugglers) the difficulty and even the amount of juggling doesn't matter nearly as much as character and stage presence. You can easily fill a few minutes of a routine with only a couple actual tricks, by adding a lot of fancy walking/dancing around inbetween tricks, picking up 1 ball at a time in creative ways rather than just running out on stage and blasting off right into a pattern. Audience engagement is important too. Be sure to smile and try to interact with the audience in some way, even if it's as simple as looking at them and smiling.

In other words, avoid just stringing together a bunch of juggling. In my experience 99% of people get bored of that in less than a minute.

I suspect you might not have been asking for advice on preparing a routine, moreso looking for advice about getting amped up to perform the routine you already have, but it's hard to tell with you sometimes :P Why not just proofread your posts and make one quick round of corrections? I find that beyond fixing typos, this will often help me gather my thoughts and express myself more clearly.

Anyway, the top paragraph is important because if stuff you used to be able to do easily is now very difficult, that stuff should NOT be in a routine. Audiences notice drops, but they don't notice when all you're doing is super-duper easy stuff and frolicking around. They leave saying "that guy was really good at juggling".

Roflcopter - - Parent

it's a general audience, and I've tried to keep it simple.
I wanted to talk to the crowed and be engaging and sell it like you both have said. but after showing that to friends/family/crew they really just thought it was stupid. They insisted that I just let the juggling speak for itself. Actually how about I just post my routine?

peterbone - - Parent

I'm not a performer at all but I'm pretty sure that engaging with the audience doesn't have to include talking. By all means shows us your performance in a video so that we can give more specific critique.

Roflcopter - - Parent

I will make a video and see how I can post it some where.

Robotic juggle - - Parent

post it on i know your on their (hes a ginger)
p.s. im on there too but the videos are almost a year old and as ive only been juggling for a year and a half their baaaaddd

Roflcopter - - Parent

my lovely assistant hands me three balls

3b behind back multiplex
right shower
left shower
crossing columns
three in one hand
one up 360 x3 (this needs a little more work)
behind back x4
under leg x4
reverse mills mess
pause for applause

4 balls
async fountain to sync then back again

i throw one up high and then a three ball multiplex underneath that x3
4 ball shower (needs work)

3 rings
finger spins (maybe)
grind under leg
they clap

4 rings
aync to sync and back
i take one ring and put it between my legs and switch back and forth like that.
all on the head (i can do it but not more than 5 times in a row)

3 clubs
circus doubles into
column variation
behind back
under leg
club balance
reverse mills
scissor catch

bring out the knives
cut a potato in half
step up on the rola bola
juggle and make judges piss themselves

thegoheads - - Parent

Hey that seems pretty good! If your friends/family think you need to put in more difficult tricks to better impress the judges, it's your call if you want to do that. But I think the judges will be better impressed by attitude and stage presence. Keeping it simple avoids drops though.

Good luck, let us know how it turns out :)

Robotic juggle - - Parent

in my experience with crowds (especially with talent shows) no one in the crowd, bar a few, really know what their looking at and some tricks that you find to be arbitrary boggle their minds. im preparing for a talent show as well and i could pull out 5 balls and do the hardest tricks in my repituior (excuse my poor french spelling) i find that if i stick with three balls, and do mills mess and a 720 or something most people will be very impressed. in short i agree with the other guy who said take the tricky parts out just juggling the knives would be impressive enough. in short keep it simple and play to the audience. also non jugglers view drops as a sign of terrible dissaster versus a mistake thats made by the best so hard moves that get messed up can ruin the apeal of the whole show.

ldlux - - Parent

Yeah. I was doing an incredibly informal talent dealie awhile back. No routine or anything, just improv to music, really. Nothing hard, but I started with pseudorandom sequences of heights and inside/outside throws with 3 balls. At some point, I remembered what I was doing and broke into a basic cascade. That was what got the best response. A cascade. Way easier than what I had been doing just prior. Granted, it was a pretty tight cascade, and, as it was synched to the music, it was fairly low; but the improv was synched too, just not to every beat.

I shouldn't have started with the improv, but there I was, and had to work with it. If I hadn't, I probably wouldn't have seen that phenomenon in such relief. The usual progression is from easier to harder. Or maybe it had nothing to do with the patterns and was just because it was the first obvious transition between them. I can guess all day.

Anyway, this is just to confirm/emphasize the thing about general audiences reacting to trick difficulty in ways other than we might expect.

emilyw - - Parent

There's another explanation for the phenomenon you're describing, which is that the cascade formed an "applause point" at which the audience felt able to let loose all the applause they had been storing up during the earlier section.

Building tension and then releasing it causes applause; maybe the improv section was the build and the cascade was the release.

Little Paul - - Parent

Yeah, this.

If someone is busily doing lots of complex stuff running one trick into the next on and on on stage... The audience is left waiting for a gap they can applaud in. So give them a gap!

ldlux - - Parent

Good point. I will have to bear this (and other things) in mind if I do any more performing.

Daniel Simu - - Parent

I build upon everything that has already been said.

For most of the tricks you listed: It does not matter what you do, but how you do it.
Don't talk, it is a skill on itself and looks silly when done wrong. Better have music to cover up for you!
All the things I suggest are: Suggestions! I recommend you change a couple things, but the possible solutions are endless!

You end with reverse mills mess? That is not going to give you a big applause. End with something visual. High throw one up pirouette, catch while landing on your knees!

You do both right and left shower? Why? Is it because you are moving around in different directions on the stage while you do the showers, or just to show off? If its just to show off, cut the left shower and find a way to make the right shower more interesting (walking around, playing with your face, one up or a single high low shower)

One up 360 3x? why 3 times? The third time is not going to be as impressive as the first one..

My suggested new order:

Cascade! For a long time, and walk around a bit
Collumns & crossing
Cascade again shortly, move around
Under the leg, make it as big as possible, throw the last one under the leg too far so you have to chase it
Relax again, easy mills mess or reverse or whatever
spectacular backcrosses and your amazing finally
the 1 up 360! Open yourself up for applause!

If 3 in one hand is not stable (I assumed since you didn't list 5b) don't do it.

Same goes for all the other routines:
Start relaxed, do a variation, move around, big trick, relax again, impressive trick, even more impressive finish that gives a clear moment to applaud!

Little Paul - - Parent

This. Reduce the complexity of the trucks, and add in some movement around the stage. Own the space, fill the space, pause in the cascade after the "big" tricks to give the audience space to react

Keep it simple, keep it short. Don't feel you have to use the whole length of your music. If it's a 6 minute track and you've only got 2 minutes of juggling, cut the music short instead of padding the routine.

Leave them wishing you'd done more, not wishing you'd done less.

Little Paul - - Parent

Not too self, when posting from your phone, proof teas twice

Robotic juggle - - Parent

he is right stage presence is huge regardless of what your doing (make that stage your !@%$#) its just the only way. you can be the best juggler ever but if you cant own the stage its useless to preform stick to teaching or construction idk.

Orinoco - - Parent

In terms of the tricks you list this is excellent advice. Definitely drop all the things you wrote 'needs work' or 'maybe' against.

I'd like to offer some advice about the stuff that is not your juggling:

When I used to perform on stage I was always really nervous before my turn. My boss often praised my confidence but truth was I was always faking it! I developed a ritual where I would sit down alone out of the way before I was due on & did lots of slow deep breathing to calm myself down while running through the order of my routine in my head. Most of what I'd run through was how to move during the act. I wanted to look like I belonged on the stage, I always went out & greeted the audience as if I was welcoming a good friend into my home.

If you are going to move from one part of the stage to the other, don't walk, stride. Keep your head up & your back straight, use your arms. The stage is a long way away from a lot of the audience so all your movements, including (especially!) just putting one foot in front of the other, need to be big, clear & precise.

Don't shuffle while juggling either, if you can't walk with precise even steps (both rhythm & distance) without stumbling over your own feet or fumbling your props it is better to stop juggling, stride to your new position then resume juggling.

(On this point, does anyone have the necessary Google Fu to find the video of Anthony Gatto, Thomas Dietz & Toby Walker in a squash court, this was in the early days of the WJF & the video ended with Anthony in the middle juggling eight balls while Thomas & Toby juggled seven ball half showers either side, then they threw their balls down & shouted, "Sport my ass!" to the camera. There's a bit in it where they all juggle five clubs while walking in a figure of eight. Watch how Anthony moves compared to the other two.)

Also think about how you stand. When people are nervous they often stand with their feet close together, one foot slightly behind the other & with their weight on one leg (ready for flight) which is very unstable especially when juggling. If you are stationary at any point make sure your feet are firmly planted shoulder width apart with weight evenly distributed between both legs. This will give you a solid base to juggle from & make you look confident. Don't hop from foot to foot (if you find yourself doing this walk to another part of the stage). Also work on confidently getting into the standing position. You've just done a nice confident stride across the stage, you don't want to ruin it by looking down at your feet & doing a nervous little tap dance while you get yourself together. Think economy of movement. Put one foot down at the end of a stride, put the other down firmly in position so that you don't have to twist your feet about to get them closer together or further apart. & don't look down at your feet. You are a juggler. You should be coordinated enough to stand up straight!

Instead of practicing your juggling one night, use an hour or so to practice walking & standing, yes you will feel silly for doing it but it will be the most productive bit of practice you will ever do!

Watch Freddie Mercury or Shirley Bassey with the sound down & watch how they exude confidence through their body language (then watch again with the sound on for full effect).

Orinoco - - Parent

...Forgot to mention the Matt Hall effect!

If people like you, your act will be amazing regardless what you do. Show respect to your audience & they will respect you back.

I remember recently I saw Penn & Teller on TV (Fool Us) did a trick where they took an audience member's pair of glasses which somehow got lost & later reappeared being worn by Teller after they smashed his head out of a comedy concrete block or something similar. What really made me smile was after the trick was done Penn handed the girl her glasses back & then handed her a disposable cleansing wipe from his breast pocket in case there was any dust on her lenses. He probably didn't need to do that, it didn't benefit the trick or the rest of the audience in any way (other than perhaps adding a bit of feel good factor for people like me). I love the level of thoughtfulness & respect for their audience that this showed. This is the sort of attention to detail that makes a great performer.

Little Paul - - Parent

I *think* this link to archive org is the right video, but the download isn't particularly quick so I've only been able to watch the first 20 seconds or so.

It's certainly got the right people in it, and it's shot in a squash court.

If for some reason that link doesn't work, start at*/ and click on one of the circles

Little Paul - - Parent

I'll let our glorious leader work out how to fix that second link ;)

Little Paul - - Parent

My download finished, it's the right video.

I see what you mean about watching how Anthony moves compared to Thomas/Toby. Anthony strides confidently around the space where the others sort of amble. They've all got similar levels of control over the pattern but the easy practiced confidence of the one who has spent his life on stage shows clearly.

Also the "Dietz Shoulder" syndrome is more pronounced than I remember it being.

Orinoco - - Parent

Yep, good find thank you.

& my apologies, you will now spend your life watching how jugglers walk on stage!

pumpkineater23 - - Parent

I've very little experience with performing but I've always found 3b yo yo goes down well with non jugglers.

Adrian G - - Parent

I agree with what others have said about making your routine simple, especially with a talent show as lots of judges on them don't understand juggling and are very harsh with drops, for some it's as bad as them not even considering your act too much if you've dropped a lot. So I'd recommend keeping it to trick you can do easily with no warm up.

One other thing to think about is that your tricks that you know this well will probably be boring to you, that gives you a great excuse to add some movement or actions to keep yourself entertained as well. If you find your routine boring it can be quite obvious when performing it.

Roflcopter - - Parent

wow guys, thanks for all the feedback. I've read all the posts and I like what has been said. I'm really sick today so I wont be able to make a video but hopefully soon I can show you the whole thing on stage.


Subscribe to this forum via RSS
1 article per branch
1 article per post

Forum stats