I thought that there might be a number here who would find this article interesting.
This is actually a project I think should be fairly doable. Let us set some criteria and we can certainly make this a race. How many birds being the first criteria, 5 like David or should we go for a more tree like structure? I can see that anything behind the balance would be a bugger to hit. Are we restricting size of weapon launcher? Is there any restrictions on weaponry? I was thinking of using nerf bullets as I have a bunch and they should be easy to use and safe for an audience. Anything else?
In my head, I'm making the structure out of PVC plumbing pipe, because it's cheap and easy to work with (and fairly easy to break down for storage/transport)
Details I've not worked out in my head:
* What to make the birds out of - David, I like the look of yours, what are they made from?
* How many to go for - 5 seems like it might be a nice number. 3 doesn't seem like enough, 7 seems like too many, even numbers are invalid
* Size of weapon launcher "don't take the piss" - if it's long enough that the end is only 1" away from the easiest bird that's too long.
In terms of ammunition, I'm not sure. I have access to plenty of nerf darts, but in my head it should be a proper "peashooter" - but then by the same measure it appears to be terribly difficult to obtain a traditional peashooter on amazon/ebay
The nerf solution would be more visual, safer, easier to clear up etc, so is probably more practical.
All in, it looks like a much easier trick to get a handle on than that damn candle trick.
I am looking at 4 ltr milk bottles as a suitable substance for the birds. I did like the ones David had but wasn't sure whether he just artistic or he found something suitable. I'm not sure whether to go for a thinner, wooden construction rather than pipe. I also need to spend a lot more time on a forehead balance as I normally chin balance. I'll see what I can cobble together and where that takes us. I'm thinking either Bath or BJC next year for the results to be shown. I will definitely be at BJC but Bath is dependant on work.
I’m a habitual chin/nose balancer (for everything other than the golf club trick obviously) so I think the forehead thing is going to need work too.
I went to juggling tonight for some forehead balance practice, and I’m so out of shape at the moment my knees started playing up.
It did strike me though, this is the ideal time of year to start working on this trick, what with fake trees being available at reasonably low cost in all the shops at the moment...
Yesterday I went to B&Q and picked up a tree for £4 and some of the cups that furniture coasters sit on (4 for £2.90). I now need to mutilate the tree and do some drilling as well as make some plastic birds. On Wednesday head balance practice was 30 - 60 seconds on my best attempts (as opposed to multiple minutes on a chin balance). So this is definitely a long term project even though it seemed simple in scope.
Last nights juggling session was somewhat diverted by the arrival of a rather splendid book about the history of juggling - so I only got a small amount of practice in.
I too am struggling with the forehead balance (the whole thing is the wrong side of my glasses and out of focus) and my best is also in the 30-60s range.
Its going to take more than one session per week to dial this in.
I have a nerf blowpipe on order...
On Saturday at Leeds convention I let a few people have a go at shooting my practice bird off of a club using a straw launched nerf bullet. The ones with the solid balance unsurprisingly did best. Whilst the straw works it isn't an elegant solution so I will be experimenting with a better launcher soon. Practice tomorrow is going to be all forehead balance although I may work on the tree as well just to see how much difference that makes to just using a club. Fortunately I have a few days before the busy period really kicks in.
Having had another play with club and bird yesterday evening, it was much easier balancing the club on the forehead with the bird's wing sticking forward. In fact it was so much easier I managed to shoot the bird off the club (but lost the balance afterwards) a couple of times. This suggests to me that the top bird should be the last one shot off. Today I plan on building my first tree and hopefully get some more birds made.
I feel the world needs to see two performers facing off on a Renegade stage trying to shoot each others' birds.
Hello Gentlemen. The birds I used were just sketches of birds printed on card stock with one half of a table tennis ball taped to the bottom of each, so that they could perch on their "nests". I truly think the easiest way to do it is to get a golf umbrella, remove the nylon fabric, and use the metal arms as the branches. Print out the birds on card stock, bend them down the middle, and put them on the branches. A nerf blow gun or even cheaper alternative works just fine. If you want me to send you a word document with the bird sketch, just let me know the email address to send it to. I'm glad I've been able to resurrect such a fun and completely silly trick.
Can you please send me that sketch to (my name)AT its him dotcodotuk (no spaces or capitals in there)
Here's a link for anyone to get the bird sketch. I should have just done this in the first place.
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