Viewing all threads involving peterbone
https://www.wired.com/story/the-physicsand-physicalityof-extreme-juggling/ - links to the Edge. The video is nice, too.
Nice. I wouldn't like to question Alex Barron's abilities, but I wonder if that 25 near the end was meant to be a 15? Perhaps not, I dunno!
Jack Kalvan's original paper stated the average was 16 & the highest was 24 so Alex's 25 seems legit.
I actually misquoted myself in my post that's linked to in the article. The original quote in the IJDB article is "Finally, Peter agrees with Ben Beever in his belief that someone will flash 14 balls someday but not 15."
I've always been careful to not say that I think that 15 is impossible, but made one lapse which happens to have been picked up in the Wired article.
I have nothing to lose - I can say it, so here we go:
15 balls is im-poss-si-ble.
Juggling Club Drop Simulation
Using this Pygame tutorial, I created a club drop simulation. In the simulation, I successfully dropped and balanced a club several times:
There are an infinite amount of ways to drop a club and have it bounce back up and balance on it's end. A club is most likely to bounce back up into a balance if it has enough energy to rotate backwards (1) 180° or forwards 180° (2).
It happened to me once, too. Dropped while juggling 4 clubs, reached for a club that bounced but noticed that it was almost standing still on the end, waited and it stayed there. I have no proof, though, I was the only one who saw it.
so.. it's doable... I mean, it can be trained.. right?
would look soooo good to do it while juggling
I don't know, I have never heard of anyone being able to do it on purpose. I mean, with a reasonable success rate. I have heard of people trying for hours without getting it though... On the other hand, it might be that nobody actually tried to learn it. Maybe Stephen's simulations says something about how well mathched the clubs speed, rotation and angle while hitting the floor has to be for it to work. My guess would be that it's too many parameters that has to be just right. Also, what kind of floor you are standing on might affect the bounce...
I've seen people at the BJC sitting in a circle trying to bounce the club into a balance on the floor. At least some of them got it. I've seen at least one video, but can't find it now.
precisely my point!
once I saw a documentary about varietes in the US in the 50's. it showed this guy, a "hat, kane & cigar juggler" (don't know any better way to put it) he said that everything is trainable. and he actually got a number where he threw a matchbox, with a match and a cigar on it, from his foot, in the air the match lights itself against the box, and he catches the cigar in his mouth and the match falls on balance on the tip of the cigar, and then he actually lights up the cigar and smokes!!
so... yeah.. with enough time to spend, you can probably get an acceptable succes rate, but... how's the balance between the hours of practice and the reward? (says the guy who's been obsessing with the 7 balls for the past 3 months... :) )
Jon said to introduce myself to you all, so here I am.
I've been juggling for a while now - I first taught myself a 3b Cascade back in August 2016, and I think I caught the bug shortly thereafter! I've been going to sessions with Fever in Loughborough so some of you know me from there. I'm currently working on 5b cascade (something I've been telling people for at least 6 months now...), but I'm also looking to get my club work a bit more comfortable and learn a couple more 3b and 4b tricks along the way!
To say a little about myself;
I'm Leicester born&bred and work in engineering (packaging processing).
In my free time if I'm not sitting around enjoying the greenery at home then I'm often out camping/hiking (usually Derbyshire)
I'm a big fan of pens and writing equipment, usually more technical/design-work styles rather than arty or creative ones (German > Japanese). Personal favourites (that I own) are a 1970s Kaweco V16 (14c nib version) and a 1967 Parker 51. Favourite (that I don't have yet) is the black Rotring 600 FP - but they're getting increasingly difficult/costly to get hold of. If anyone's having trouble sleeping, I can tell you all about tine alignment and nock mechanisms and you'll be away in no time.
I spend a fair amount of time playing video games but not really anything beyond 6th gen consoles (GC, PS2 etc) - my PB for MKDD All Cup Tour is about 39-40 minutes (i-g t) at the moment.
I'll be at Lestival in a couple of weeks and Catch in July so if anyone wants to say hello in person, please do!
Welcome. You seem similar to me in a number of ways including your name. I'm hoping to get to Catch festival too.
Hi PeterBn. Rotring fineliners are cool, .. you can do fine drawings in a quality of steel engravings or chalcography with them. Do you also use or only collect them and admire their engineered make?
I don't think I could own a pen I couldn't use! Even the more expensive ones get filled and used fairly often!
I don't do an awful lot of drawing, and I don't write for fun or anything, but I write a lot of notes at work and it's always better with a nice pen to do it with!
Rotrings tend to be really nicely built in my experience, and you can tell there's a lot of thought gone into their functionality. I've got a number of Isographs and Rapidographs in my boxes but unfortunately they don't see much use with CAD! I might have to dig them out and do some TD soon...
Have we met? Are you coming to Lestival!? Yes! Yes you are!! Do come and introduce yourself, I'm also known as Jay Linn but all the orgs there will be able to point me out.
I live near Leicester. Any time you fancy restarting the Leicester juggling club just let me know and I'll provide equipment and possibly a little funding for you. What I don't possess is the time to do it myself, but I'd love it if we had a juggling club again.
I don't believe we have met - not yet at least!
I'll keep an eye out for you and try to say hello at Lestival
A Leicester group would be good, I have a couple of friends who don't drive (so can't really get out to any other groups easily) but live in the city and may be interested.
BJC2018 – A review
This review is my personal thoughts of the last few days and may be idiosyncratic.
We arrived in two cars as my car had two walking globes init as well as part of an aerial rig and therefore only the front two seats were useable. By the time we had set up the caravan and oldest sons tent (which he pitched about as far from us as was possible), it was time to eat. Then I played the yearly game of find the water point (why is it never marked on the maps?). Eventually we were all sorted and we looked around the site, chatting to friends as we went. At some point we went to the gym and Peter did an hours practice (added a time waster move with two globes) which like many of the practices at BJC had Peter struggle with the 1 up 180 with 3 balls, whilst stood on two globes. He could run it fine when not running the whole act. As soon as the music started and he tried it two minutes in to the routine it became much harder. After that we did a bit more chatting before an early night.
After breakfast we did another hour practice with Peter(changed 4 ball on one globe with an under the leg throw to 3 ball, 2 globe and under the leg throw). After that I went to add a workshop to the board (walking globe, naturally) and the fire alarm went off. No idea what set that off but at least it was a one off. At some point during the day Jamie Fletcher appeared with my new toy, a red and yellow Salerno ring. I haven’t had a lot of success with it as yet but should have plenty of practice time and space in the near future to improve. Spoke briefly to Clare about BYJOTY to learn that only 3 had entered to that point. Spoke shortly afterwards to Christopher and suggest that he practice the act that he had performed the month before and then enter BYJOTY. He is one of the students at Concrete Circus and whilst it is an act in development, the experience and feedback from BYJOTY would be good for him.Various chatting and food happened until the start of the Spinning@ show.
For me the first half was basically filler. Whilst there was some good technical skill most of the acts were too long or too repetitive. The best of them was the rope dart but that act could have been shortened and maybe some of the tricks could have gone above the audiences head. Of the other acts,the only comment I’m going to make is since when has clearing up after yourself been an act?
Our friends the Kelsalls arrived during the interval which pleased my daughter particularly (and us as well as we then didn’t have to explain the compere to her) and they got to see a really good second half. Starting with Ben Cornish. Ben was having a bad time with one trick but his performing experience showed through. We also had a really nice Bar Flair routine by Sam, a pleasing, smooth and aesthetic hoop routine by Alice, a very competent (and much improved since I last saw it) hulahoop act from Lisa and Callum and for me the stand out act in the show the cigar box routine by Luke? Cigar box routines are rare anyway but to show great skills with 3, 4 and 5 boxes made it much better. The final part of the act was a standard made better by music that worked well (even though the music was for the next act, which didn’t help them I’m sure).
After the show chatting happened and then I retrieved my juggling case from the sports hall, where it had sat for a day. I did some passing with my sons, including some feeding and switching who was feeding.Considering that Peter hadn’t done two count club passing before that evening,that was a great improvement.
Again we started with an hour practice with Peter (changed the skipping part to have two jumps rather than one). After that some more chatting happened before I attended Euaun’s combat workshop. That was good fun and the only workshop I attended other than the walking globe workshop that happened immediately afterwards. I was impressed with the turn out to the workshop as there must have been about 25 who attended. I worked with the beginners, many of whom learnt to walk on the globe, whilst Peter worked with those who were more advanced. Nobody was killed or seriously injured which counts as a result in my books and actually quite a few people came up to thank me afterwards and it wouldn’t surprise me if Lancaster University juggling group buys a globe.
At some point in the afternoon I played the one game I played all convention. I don’t remember its name.
The show in the evening was the Open Stage. Devil Stick Peet compered and did a small act between each act which meant he now dominates the show in my head. Other acts that impressed were (in no particular order) Antonia and Keith with their passing poi (I liked the characterisation), The odd ball juggling person (Daniel?), the professional looking poi double act and the duo acrobalance. There were other acts and none of them were bad, I just can’t remember them at this time.
I did a bit more juggling and passing afterwards and thus this became the convention I have done most juggling at for a few years.
Up early again for another practice session with Peter(added 5 ball multiplex on 2 globes). After that I generally chatted although I did meet up with Barbara at some point to discuss aerial rig bags. We had the debate of going on the bus or driving to Margate and went for the bus. Arriving at Dreamland (so called because that is where dreams go to die?) we hung around and watched some of the games. I took part in the balloon dog making one although felt hampered because I felt obliged to pick up the pump and then it got in the way when I was blowing up the balloon with my mouth. David did creditably well in the unicycle gladiators before being taken off his unicycle by someone hugging him and then suiciding. Shortly after that we left Dreamland(with its hall with more hole than roof) and went across the road to the beach and promenade. We stopped for a while at a large set of steps where David proved that he can bunny hop and Olivia Kelsall showed that she is an up and coming artist. We chatted to one of the local families and tried to convince them to watch the show later. Our evening meal was pizza at a sea front restaurant. The door to the place was particularly difficult to open and as we sat outside the restaurant eating we gained much amusement as other people(including staff) struggled to get in and out. After eating and walking closer to the show venue we also had an ice cream and eventually reached the venue before the vast majority of jugglers but only just. This did allow us to have seats in the centre of the theatre.
For me the show felt very safe. By which I mean that most of the acts were well known and had appeared in the BJC gala show before. Jon Udry was slick and his dry humour works for me. Ben had an interesting and novel act, perhaps not quite enough juggling for me but still enough to keep it interesting. Jan Himself was very professional in an almost predictably weird way. Paul Zenon’s magic routine had a lot of standard tricks which were all well presented. The end of his routine I thought was a somewhat bizarre staged event at first but apparently that wasn’t the case and one of the stage hands took it upon herself to interrupt his act. I hope someone apologised to Paul afterwards. The second half was equally skilled. Loz because performed a routine which was both well choreographed and well programmed, I always think that glow props take a little bit away from the performer and their skills but Loz was visible enough that we could see much of her tricks. Helena Berry has an act that isn’t very forgiving and the drops grew more towards the end but this didn’t take away from the act which was original and skilful. The Berlin Passing Girls did a great choreographed act and probably inspired the girls in the audience into believing they should juggle more. Steve Rawlings has been in at least 3 other BJC gala shows and is always a crowd favourite. For me the highlight of his act was the bit that I haven’t seen before with the mouth stick bottle and balloon. Matthew Tiffany as compere did a great job as compere and introduced a song that is fairly hard to sing if you have all the words written out in front of you.
On the way back from the show I learned that if Steve Rawlings does his knife gag in a show and you are 3 then you will still remember it 9.5 years later.
Guess what, we started the day with another practice session(changed the skipping so there was a slick turn before the second jump). After that I had a long conversation with Jonathan the Jester and probably chatted with others. After lunch I visited the traders with my daughter who needed anew peddle for her unicycle. Roger managed to sell her an upgraded set of peddles (pink) but not a new tyre (also pink) just because she had a pink unicycle stem and was wearing a pink cardigan doesn’t mean that she is obsessed with the colour. 2pm was tech rehearsal for BYJOTY so we all went over there. Originally there were going to be 8 acts but one of them was clearly not ready and will probably do a better job next year. After watching the tech run I thought that it would be very close indeed between 3 acts, the two twenty year olds and my 14 year old son. It turned out that I was correct. If you congratulated Peter and he didn’t say anything back to you it wasn’t because of you. For someone who is happy to stand up in front of people performing he isn’t great at conversation. After that we treated Peter to a meal of his choice, so we ended up going to Pizza Hut.
We didn’t do an hour of walking globe practice. Instead we slowly packed away and said our goodbyes. Peter bought some balls from Oddballs with his voucher forgetting a silver medal. Eventually we left for the journey home. Around about J30 my car engine started making funny noises and got gradually worse so I pulled over just before J28. Fortunately one of the Milton Keynes jugglers saw us and took Peter home (the other 3 were in the other car). I got to play the very slow game of waiting for Mr AA Man and eventually got home some 9.5 hours later. A sad end to an otherwise great BJC.
I noticed that in this review I forgot to thank all the people who made BJC happen. You are all wonderful people and I enjoy spending time with you each year.
I enjoyed the act. I generally enjoy acts that have characterisation and have been thought through and yours met both those criteria.
I have to say how Impressed I was with BYJOTY, esp the astounding walking globe. I have not been that gobsmacked since Sam Goodburn wheel walked his uni. Very very good stuff. As always it was great to catch up with Nigel.
Nice review Nigel!
Pssssst Orinoco... you aren't waiting for me really, are you? Mine is going to be a good few days yet at least...
I also went to the BJC in Canterbury and wrote about my experiences!
Check out all of the action here: https://www.juggle.org/british-juggling-convention-2018-review/
p.s I enjoy reading other peoples reviews and experiences, add to the discussion with your own mini reviews!
Interesting that you tried to attend the preventing injury workshop. Frederique and myself were the only ones there unfortunately. Ben did it anyway and we found it useful and informative.
I am very surprised that so few people went along.
Fortunately (or unfortunately...) any injuries I recieve which prevent me from juggling are normally due to things outside of juggling (cycling accidents, mis-handling of tools etc...) or avoidable impacts from juggling combat.
I was very interested to hear what Ben said and would definately go if the chance came up again. It just didn't work out for me this time.
Ejuggle appears to be down at the moment :(
I'm hoping to finish my effort this evening (probably late evening).
Thanks Jon, as always I really enjoyed that.
Very interesting to see how you always have a completely different juggling experience to me: a rare attendant to shows or workshops and a frequent attendant at the lazy juggler bar!
My main thoughts / feedback / witty or non witty repartee in no particular order or coherency are as follows:
- Margate had excellent fish and chips away from the main strip. We skipped dreamland and the games completely and played adventure golf (curse you Andy Fraser for taking my title) and really enjoyed our day out and nearby Fish.
- I really enjoyed the gala show but thought too many of the acts were a little similar. It was probably the least balanced gala show I had seen for a while. I love Tiff, Jon and Steve, but all in one show with a talking magician and a talking Ben was a lot of wordy performances. Helena was really quite good though.
- Was the stage hand who interrupted Paul Zenon really not a poor acting planned part of the act? we couldn't tell
- Monte food = excellent. Much better when he has a full kitchen and helpers to work with. Rarely needed to leave site for sustenance other than drinkable water
- Lack of flushable toilets...at one point I think there were only 2 working on site. Thank goodness the portaloos turned up
- Waffles are not an acceptable breakfast. Why can we not get decent coffee anywhere ever at a BJC?
- Played two long games of Suburbia and Stone age with Brook, Cameron and Danny. Stone age seemed to be more popular. Also played a bit of seven wonders duel with various people. This is my latest favorite two player game of choice. Also Danny needs banning from all board games on account of being too good.
- Generally the organisation was a little lax. The volunteer board didn't seem to exist and on inquiring how I could help I was told 'go and see if anyone is on badge control now and you can fill in'. Well I did and a couple of hours later I was lucky to be replaced as the person after me had no relief after 2 hours. A simple printed schedule people can sign up to is so much easier.
- Sebs workshop on 3 in one hand scissor manipulations was great
- I felt really sorry for the unicycle hockey guys for pushing my patience. The Scheduling as you mentioned was awful but it wasn't their fault and I was temporarily very angry until I thought about this
- Love being able to drive to BJCs and bring my double duvet to camp with. Feel like a big southern pansy, but no regrets!
- I need to pass more with different people. I did no > 2 person passing other than 'Spider' and mostly passed with the same people. Made some progress on Funky 9 though. Also amazed at the number of people who can now acceptably run Holy Grail. A few years back this was a pipe dream and now it seems almost common. Need to regress a few years, quit my job and move to Cambridge to keep up.
"- Waffles are not an acceptable breakfast. Why can we not get decent coffee anywhere ever at a BJC?"
From which conjunction I conclude that you think decent coffee is an acceptable breakfast. I agree, but enjoyed a couple of veggie Full Montes in the week too. Seeing Bob Fromcanada around made me miss his great coffee stall that was at EJC.
I have never understood why people for whom coffee is so important cannot bring along the means to provide their own. SMH
I could... but given my campsite was at least 5 minutes walk from the main communal / juggling area, and that I would have to whip out a camp stove, boil my own water and bring my own fancy cafetiere in the first place this seems a rather extravagant means to an end.
Much easier to rant on the internet than self provide a simple practical solution. That being said I am sure there is a commercial opportunity there given the success of EJC ventures.
I could being the Leeds convention filter machine along, but it’s not PATed so insurance mght be an issue...
I do, thanks! Aeropress and hand grinder. But there is a bootstrap problem in that some people - not me, cough cough - need a coffee before they can be organised enough to make coffee.
Should young Circomedia/NCCA/other circus schools are available graduates be allowed to compete in BYJOTY?
This was an interesting question raised in the BJC business meeting. Are they discouraging younger, less experienced performers from getting involved? This came about because this year's BYJOTY competition featured Circomedia graduate Eilidh Sela who picked up the Judge's Choice Award (although not the BYJOTY title decided by popular vote) with a very high quality, very slick & very professional hoop act.
Various suggestions were made to deal with this: excluding graduates, dividing entrants up into categories etc. none of which felt right to me. If it's just about making a fair competition I feel I'm quite capable of deciding who is good for their age/for their length of time juggling/for their level of training so long as I'm given that information.
The main reason I don't want to see young graduates or soon to be graduates excluded is because I think it is a great benefit for young kids to see accomplished performers closer to their own age. I think it is more motivating & exciting to see what they could be like in a couple of years rather than what they could be in 15-20 years. I think young kids are more likely to relate to & interact with another teenager/early 20-something than they are with someone much older. It would be a great shame to take that opportunity away from them.
I was at the meeting when this came up because it was obvious everyone had a strong opinion and a debate would take up the rest of the day so I kept my mouth shut.
Personally, I believe the format is right as it is. There are nowhere near enough entrants to start splitting into categories and you would still end up wanting to award a "british young juggler of the year title" so the problem wouldn't go away. A younger competitor, say 11 or 12 has ten years to keep trying and learning from previous attempts. That should be more than enough time for a keen (very) young juggler to improve there skills.
It sounds a bit harsh but I don't like the idea of BYJOTY turning into "cutest kid" competition because that takes away any serious prestige of the title. I vote on the merit of the act, last year that was Max (?) the young diabolist because his was the combination of the most entertaining and skillful act in my opinion. His age didn't come into the equation and it didn't need to.
A "most improved" award would encourage entrants to keep entering each year but judging it would be a nightmare.
I don't have a problem with graduates participating, if they have dedicated a portion of their life to be better performers then good for them. They will have sacrificed other education paths so an improved chance of winning BYJOTY seems like a reasonable reward.
In my opinion thinking that someone should be excluded through training would be bad. Yes Eilidh had a very nice hoop routine that showed the polish you would expect from someone going through Circomedia training but other Circomedia students have entered in previous years and I don't think that any have yet won. (I could be wrong but my list of previous winners in my head doesn't bring one to mind).
You then have to start asking where do you join the line? Eilidh is 20 and is a 2nd year Circomedia student. She has presumably had some training before that but was it as part of a group or ad hoc? Both Peter who won and Christopher (who did S-Staff) have been part of Concrete Circus for a number of years. As such they are experienced in performing in front of a large audience (they performed at MKJC last year for example). They also have had encouragement from seasoned performers and others and advice on how to improve their acts. In the case of Peter, he has been working on that skill (amongst others) for roughly 7 years.
(2cts:) On many chess tournaments, there's rating prizes, so that many, also not so good players have a chance to win a prize (even though it remains hard). Or also, after a few rounds played in a qualification part, new groups are formed (like group A level and group B level) to seperately play out for the top A level prize and for the lower B level prize; with the same intention of not only the very best winning prizes. So maybe categories of participants for different prize values or different kinds of prizes could help to sort such asymmetry in skills out. (roughly: let there be something for everyone, be it prizes, groups, categories, chances on sth, anything, many consolation prizes \second prizes for girls, for youngest or best among youngest, for furthest journey to the event location, for most original, most skilled, most appealing performance - the top prize and holy grail remaining the BYJOTY) [but I feel highly incompetent on this, just hope to maybe deliver a little mosaique stone to the discussion]
I have no problem with people who've had extensive training entering the competition.
There might be an argument for excluding professional performers and keeping it as an amateur competition, if the goal is to produce new talent?
Perhaps saying that if you make your living from performance, you shouldn't be entering? But I'm not sure if any full-time performers have entered in the past anyway?
As said, if the competition isn't broken, don't fix it. If it looks like it's not achieving its aims, then perhaps tweak it then.
Should young Circomedia/NCCA/other circus schools are available graduates be allowed to compete in BYJOTY?
By which I mean yes.
I just can't read.
Or alternatively, in answer to the question, should they be excluded, please see my previous answer.
I’ve been saying for years that I want to see more training for byjoty entrants, not less.
I want to see acts that have had development, direction, advice from outside the performers head. I want to see acts that have had the cruft cut, I want to see acts that have been practiced, thought about, and refined.
Ok so some people get that st a formal training school, some may get that from people at their local club. There may be more that we as a community can do to help young jugglers be the best that they can be!
At one point, the IJA had a mentoring program for young jugglers preparing an act for the juniors, and that isn’t a terrible idea!
More training less making it up on your own please!
What were the arguments for not allowing them to compete? I've not heard any here. I'm amazed that it was even brought up.
I don't know the guy who raised the issue so I can't be certain of his intention but my understanding was he felt that it wasn't a fair competition because a young kid who hasn't had any formal training doesn't stand a chance against someone who has (although as pretty much everyone has pointed out, this is not the case).
I've never set foot in a boxing ring, I don't think I have any right to think I have a shot at a title belt.
Everyone has the option to put the work in. I think the idea that more training/work/thought/preparation = success is something that needs to be reinforced.
The person who raised it at the BJC meeting was under the impression that BYJotY is a kid's event. Therefore they thought it was not right that those who are not kids/overly trained should take part. Either he or someone else made that point that as a trained engineer, he would feel that it was inappropriate to enter a kid's engineering competition.
Then the discussion went on for far too long into a back and forth between "I don't really think it's very fair to single out Circomedia students" to "Well, maybe we generally could consider dropping the age limit" whereas I would have preferred a swift "You are entitled to your opinion, but many disagree, and it's up to the organiser of the event"
 my personal opinion (above that what I tried to write above) is that whoever organises such an event should be allowed to run it however they want until such a point as they lose the support of the community (which, for example, would be a reasonable consequence of announcing that noone named David is allowed to compete). It's then up to the previous organiser and the convention organiser to decide if the event will take place, and who/how should organise it/it should be organised.
Seriously? People are questioning whether being young and British is not a satisfactory qualification? Fucking bonkers. If you're gonna run a competition based on excellence in a given field, you should be gleefully embracing that excellence. And if it's really a problem and the poor lickle beggars are being intimidated by the slightly bigger, slightly less younger buggers, then split the competition into British young jugglers and British younger amateur jugglers who haven't been to circus school, although BYAJWHBTCSotY is a bit of a gobfull I'll admit.
The thing about competition is that it is fundamentally elitist, about ranking people on some scale or other, which is why you typically have one winner and many losers. If there is a worry that potential entrants may be frightened off by, you know, talent, then why not just ban talent and start dishing out a plastic gold medal to everyone and be done with it?
Somebody needs to decide whether it's a competition or a parade.
Is the BJC dying a slow death?
I've not been for a few years so I was quite surprised to hear how few are expected to attend this year. Fewer than half the amount of people that used to go about 10 years ago.
Is this a sign of a fall in the numbers of young jugglers taking up the hobby or are there just more events dividing up the pool of likely attendees?
BJC numbers are always down when it's in a "far corner" of the UK. Of course, we're well down from the early 90s heyday, but that's been true for years.
The last 2 with figures for attendance on https://thebritishjugglingconvention.co.uk/wiki/index.php?title=BJC_History (both in Darton) are over 900. That's pretty good. I'm sure Perth will have been well down on that, and I guess it makes sense for Canterbury to budget on a low figure too. We'll see how it goes, I guess....
I wouldn't have called Kent a far flung corner. Not compared with Yorkshire. I suppose I'd need to know more about the concentration of jugglers around the country but I would have assumed London and Bristol to be hotspots.
Anyway I hope you're right because 500 seems a small number to me.
Where are you getting 500 from? *If* it's their budgeting figure, that's presumably a worst case scenario, and therefore it wouldn't be unreasonable to *hope for* 600-700. Dunno, I'm guessing...
From the horse's mouth. Budgeting figure is even lower.
Good to know the last couple were around 900. That's a good number.
When people are deciding between BJC or Catch it can't be a good thing.
There has to be a number where it is no longer viable in its current form.
Mind you, under 500 and we could do it at Hulver farm
British Balls Up anyone?
There are no numbers on that site for attendance for the last 2 (anyone know?). 900s were 2014 & 2015.
Well, here's hoping...
> When people are deciding between BJC or Catch it can't be a good thing.
Why not? I see that it's a risky situation, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong. It seems to me that the BJC does not have a right to be pre-eminent, it needs to earn that status.
I meant it can't be a good thing for the BJC. It might well be a good thing for juggling.
It already seems quite hard to get people to commit to running one, if numbers decline who's going to take the risk of making a big loss?
Maybe both can be successful?
Anyway, come to BJC and eat at Montegriffo's.....
I wouldn't have called Kent a far flung corner. Not compared with Yorkshire
Spoken like a southerner ;-)
I'm currently a southerner, living in Bristol. But I'd still rather travel to Yorkshire rather than Kent! There's this annoying thing called London in the way, which adds stress and considerable time, whatever method of transport you use.
I will make the effort anyway, because I want to go to the BJC. But I can see why anyone in the Midlands or above would think twice.
Canterbury is more than twice as far from the centre of the UK population as Darton is.
Where's the centre of the UK population?
About one in seven live in London, must be getting on for a third of the population are South of Watford.
From a comment on an Ordnance Survey page: "Yes, one of our Twitter followers suggested this too. It’s not something we’ve worked out ourselves, but @MurrayData says that using a population weighted approach centre of GB is approximately 433924E 309573N (Measham Rd Swadlincote Leics.)"
Yeah, erm, Swadlincote's in Derbys not Leics - only just, but Derbys nevertheless. Not a good start, although if I had to guess the GB population centre I'd probably go for somewhere not too far from Swad.
Also, Swad is mostly an unmitigated shithole, but then that probably makes it a good representative of some sort of median of the British population. I have worked a lot in Swad.
These Swad facts brought to you by Cedric Lackpot, who has nothing of value to add to this thread, but knows a damn thing or two about Swadlincote!
The main reason I won’t be returning to the BJC again soon, and the reason why I don’t recommend it to European jugglers when they ask me about it, is the time of year and the accompanying high chances of bad weather.
That’s the reason I’m not going again this year. The better time of year is also the main reason I’m going to the Catch festival this year.
If the BJC was held in July, I’d probably go every year.
That's rather a silly reason not to recommend it, Luke. Yes, some BJCs have had awful weather, but plenty have had good weather, even the ones held in the far flung North. Also, last time I went to the Lakes in the summer we had really quite a lot of rain.
There's no guarantee of good weather at any time of year, although it's likely to be a lot warmer in the summer of course. I'd be more inclined to talk about the shows, workshops, halls and general vibe of the BJC than the weather - if nothing else, to avoid becoming a national stereotype!
Not, it's not a silly reason. It's a major factor for me, and judging from the feedback I get from non-UK jugglers who visit the BJC, it's also the main complaint they have.
In Europe, if a convention is held in the winter, camping isn't expected. It's an indoor sleeping convention, with entire sports halls or other rooms set aside for people to lay out mats and sleeping bags. If the convention is late spring to early autumn, camping becomes an option. The BJC insists that camping is an option, even when the chances of bad weather is worse than good weather.
For example, Berlin held its convention in September last year, due to some date conflicts, and everyone expected the weather to be fine. But it wasn't. It was waaay colder than it is in May or June, the normal date for the event, and it got dark way earlier. So now the convention has moved back to the summer again.
Just so you know, the shows, workshops, halls and vibes at the BJC are no better than other national conventions in Europe. There is nothing to recommend them above conventions at better times of year and with better weather than the BJC. The chances of bad weather in March in Scotland though? Camping on the top of a mountain in Yorkshire in April, with tents being blown away? No thanks!
Rain isn't so much of a problem if the temperature isn't too bad. Just the difference from March to May was enough for it not to be too stressful for us to camp at Bungay. But the BJC that same year? Nope, we got a B&B.
Canterberry in April:
Cumbria in July:
If you are wondering about reduced numbers of people at the BJOC, I think the comparison you want is Perth, Scotland, in March and anywhere in the UK in July.
Perth in March:
Average high 6.4°C
Average low 2.1°C
Canterbury in July:
Average high 22.8°C
Average low 12.9°C
Penrith (closest city to Appleby) in July:
Average high 19.4°C
Average low 10.5°C
Conclusion: if the BJC was in July, anywhere in the UK, I'd probably go and be okay to camp every year.
I may not agree with a whole lot of what Luke has to say - and I'm pretty confident he's perfectly cool to be disagreed with - but I confidently and assertively agree that the climate is not a silly reason.
And it's certainly nowhere near as silly as saying that the British climate is unpredictable at all times of year, and therefore implying that the probability of seasonal or non-seasonal weather is immaterial regardless of the time in question!
There are a number of good reasons to hold BJCs at or around Easter - the weather is not one of them.
I have to agree, the damn weather and having to camp is always a factor that is lurking in the background, taking the edge off my anticipation. I am not the best camper - can't sleep well in a tent, so this year for the first time we have opted for the local Premier Inn. It does feel like a cop out but seeing as my hot water bottle is going to the IJC I couldn't face a week sleeping in a cold tent.
That being said the British EJC in 2019 will be in August and I am hoping that it will be considerably warmer and with little rain! Newark is only 50 miles from Swad so not far off being pretty central and we really really hope that we can entice as many jugglers, hoopers, diabolists, aerialists etc to it as we can.
As it is in Britain I am hoping to attract not only all the wonderful people from all over the world who come to EJC but all of those Brits that have never been to one before.
I know there is another EJC before it (2018 - Azores) but I am just slipping it in now so it's in your subconscious!!
PS the EJA are looking for a team for 2020, so if you know someone who might be interested in finding out more about organising a huge event like the EJC then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let me ponder my BJC camping history:
2000 - so wet I never pitched my tent, and slept in the car instead.
2001 - some nice weather, but freezing cold one night and as it pouring with rain on the last day, it was the least pleasant final day of a convention ever.
2002 - after two years of terrible weather, I skipped the BJC completely! I went to the Israeli convention instead. The weather was amazing.
2003 - didn't camp, got a room at the university instead. People complained about ice on their tents. This was Brighton, not Scotland, so the location isn't always the most important thing.
2004 - performer, and was provided accommodation.
2005 - performer, and was provided accommodation.
2006 - performer, and was provided accommodation.
2007 - performer, and was provided accommodation.
2008 - performer, and was provided accommodation.
2009 - got myself a B&B, but as this was a summer convention, I would probably have been happy to camp.
2010 - BJC switched back to a winter convention again, and I decided to skip it again.
2011 to 2013 - nope.
2014 - borrowed my parents' camper van.
2015 - camper van not an option, didn't want to camp in the same place where the previous year peoples' tents had blown away.
2016 - nope.
2017 - B&B again.
Ah look, I literally only camped at a BJC once! The only reason I kept going was being either by paying for accommodation myself, or being offered non-camping options for performing various acts in various shows.
Premier Inn is not a cop out, it's the only way sensible adults will keep returning to a camping convention in the winter/early spring!
This seems to be a wall of evidence that you have very little experience of camping at a BJC, but didn't enjoy it one time 7 years ago.
Doesn't seem fair to the British scene to spend so much time and energy discouraging others on that basis Luke.
It's not just the camping. It's the general wet and cold atmosphere. In 2009 the convention was in the summer in Norfolk. I went to the FIRE SHOW. I sat outside and watched the fire show and it wasn't the most miserable moment of my entire year. Do you know how amazing that felt? A BJC fire show which wasn't utterly unbearable to watch. Wow. And in the evenings we were hanging out on the grass between the gyms. The renegade show tent didn't need space heaters. Nobody was wrapped up for winter for no reason at all except the sun had gone down. We could watch the Sharpe brothers do their street show, just outside one day, and it wasn't remarkable that the wind wasn't so bad they couldn't do any diabolo tricks.
Then my next BJC, when hosting the games, I had to make announcements that people's tents were blowing away, and they should go check on them before we left for the gala show.
It's not about my camping experience, it's about having a relaxing time at a convention.
Again, the Berlin convention miscalculated with holding it in September last year, and the very next year it is back to June, based ENTIRELY on the weather and how soon it got dark. How did it take them one year to learn the lesson but the BJC keeps at it?
I hope that after the Catch this year and the EJC next year, people will finally learn, and the BJC can be a summer convention from now on. Or at least a late-May to late-Augst convention.
It is true the BJC fire show is consistently unbearable to watch, but I have never attributed that fact to the weather.
*Tries to donate a fiver to The Edge, for that comment*
*Finds out there's a minimum £10 donation*
It wasn't *that* funny. Cash at BJC do ya?
As others have said, you've hardly ever camped at a BJC so I don't think you're really qualified to comment. I've camped at BJCs since 1993 (Birmingham) with a few gaps and I've never felt particularly cold, been woken up by bad weather or had a leaky tent. It has *been* cold, I agree, but with decent clothing and a good sleeping bag that's not a problem. Yes, it can be cold & wet outside but I've also sat outside on the grass in a T-shirt some years. In fact the one time I've been flooded out was at EJC Ptuj (which was the very definition of wet and cold and miserable).
Of course the BJC could be in the summer. It has been, in Norwich, after plans for the usual time fell through, as you said, and it was lovely and warm. It could be any time from late May (but don't you dare schedule it against Bungay, otherwise I shall be *really* scathing). It could be at Christmas. But someone has to stand up and volunteer to run it at that time and this bid has to be voted through at the business meeting - you know how this works. They'll then have to contend with competing with other festivals (including non-juggling ones), university exams and all the others things that may not have such impact in late March/early April/Easterish, availability of venues not in the Easter holidays and lots of other factors.
There's no point writing 'people will actually learn' in the hope it will happen - it will take someone to stand up and come up with a concrete plan for a summer BJC. As you know, there's no British Juggling Association running BJCs <nails lid firmly back on big can of worms> just whoever stands up and volunteers a year of their life.
I think we have an interesting situation this year with Catch! which is kind of an alternative BJC-ish thing in the summer with great acts in the show. This may well prove that a summer BJC-ish festival could work, in which case I look forward to many more bids of this kind.
No, I think I am qualified to comment. The point of my comment is that the bad weather has been the deciding factor in why I decided not to go to the BJC. And not just once. After York and Cardiff, I didn't go back to the BJC, and went somewhere else instead. Same in 2010. Same in 2015. Same in 2017.
The people who are happy to camp in the ice/snow/wind/rain/etc of the UK in March/April? You don't have to worry about them. But what about all the people whose first BJC was Derby in 2004? How many people didn't bother coming back the next year? Even though I didn't camp, I drove home to Newcastle with two people who did, and the stop in a pub on the way home for dinner, and sitting in front of the fire, was the first time they had felt properly warm and comfortable for the previous five days.
The people who don't go to the BJC are the ones qualified to talk about why they don't go, and are 100% correct about the reasons the numbers might be down... at least for the number they represent.
The people who DO go to the BJC, by the fact they can cope with the stress of bad weather, are not qualified to talk about the reasons the people who don't go aren't going.
I've gone to the BJC once (I think 2015?). I had to sleep inside on the last night, it was a rainy festival.
I'm going again this year, very happy to bring my campervan!
That's a good point, no one likes going anywhere when it's cold and sodden. Why don't they hold the festival mid-summer?
The historic reason for the BJC being at Easter rather than in the summer is that performers are much more likely to not be working at that time. Whether as a performer in the show who charges less than their normal fee or as an attending performer who doesn't want to miss out on the lucrative summer months Easter makes much more sense. Touring circus often runs from after Easter until sometime in Autumn, so the timing would help them to attend. Nowadays BJC does not have as many professional entertainers and so this is not as good an argument as before. It still might mean that it is difficult to get the best professionals, although Rosie seems to be showing that a summer convention with enough funding can do that anyway.
If you get 2,000 people at the convention, you can pay professionals to be there. It’s how the EJC works. There is no reason a BJC in the summer can’t attract 2,000 people.
I wasn't arguing in favour of an Easter BJC. I too enjoyed the summer BJC (although it cost me earnings). I was giving one of the traditional arguments for an Easter BJC. It makes sense for professional entertainers. I'm not sure it makes much sense for the majority of people who now attend the BJC.
Yes, I understand. My first BJC in 2000, it seemed that the main influence on a large portion of the jugglers there was street performers and circus performers. These days the largest influence is other amateur jugglers. Why would anyone have a pair of stilts or a unicycle to take part in a parade? Why does the parade even exist? Does it still exist?
Oh god. Parades. Please make them stop.
I know it's quite often a hook you can dangle towards the local city council to get some money off a venue, or land some other source of funding, but when you promise them a "colourful entertaining parade of jugglers acrobats and circus folk!" they picture an old fashioned circus parade. They picture tumbling acrobats, sequins and clowns. They picture free facepainting for the public, they picture ringmasters and jugglers and absolutely everything you can't deliver.
What they inevitably get is a bunch of people half heartedly walking along juggling 3 clubs or spinning a diabolo while talking to their mates and shuffling down the local high street. At best you might get one or two people wearing balloon hats, or a teenage unicyclist trial riding on every park bench or raised flower bed they can find.
Parades are at their absolute worst when everyone is only there because you made them attend the parade as a side effect of getting the bus into town for the evening show.
Parades are shit. "Because we've always done it" isn't a good enough reason.
EJC parades can still be good fun if the weather is nice. There's often an open air show on a specially build stage at the end of it, and those are usually worth seeing, like Smashed by the Gandinis in Almere (though not like 8 Songs by the Gandinis in Lublin).
Is it the parade which is good, or is it the "show on the open air stage" bit which is good?
Because I would wager that of the two, the open air show is the bit that could stand on it's own. Do that, do more of that. Advertise it locally, get the public in as well, make a big deal of the fact that there's a show in town!
Who is the parade for?
If it's for the locals, then we're doing them a massive disservice (even EJC parades are closer to the atmosphere of a protest march than they are "rio carnival")
If it's for the jugglers, then what's in it for us apart from a show or "the games" at the end of it? If it's a show/games then why do we need to wander round the streets for an hour first? Why can't we be dropped off next to the show and just get on with the good bit?
Want to do something for the locals that actually shows jugglers in a good light? Put on more shows, run a street performing competition, run free-fringe style events in small local venues...
Just please, not a bloody miserable death march through town.
As a young juggler I really enjoyed my first 5 parades or so.. Now after 15 at least it gets a bit unexciting yes..
I've really enjoyed the EJC parades I've been on, simply due to the amount of jugglers taking part - I think there's a critical mass. EJC Almere was particularly fun (especially our Ben occasionally pausing to show the crowd his single diabolo trick and getting rounds of applause - he was 6 at the time) and EJC in Carvin was mad, as it was at night and there was fire (health & safety??). I agree some BJC parades can be damp and disappointing.
I have exactly the opposite logic. BJC is my preferred convention because it's much cooler than in the summer. This means that I can juggle a lot without getting too hot. I don't care much about being outside. At most EJCs I've been to I'm unable to juggle most of the time because of the heat and I don't like to be outside in very hot conditions because of sunburn and other risks. I normally only go to the more northerly EJCs, although Joensuu didn't work out as I expected (40°C).
Also no fun when you have to leave your tent at 8am because the blazing sun is hitting it and roasting you alive. I've camped at every BJC I've been to and the only time I was cold was 2003 in Brighton because of the ice/snow.
You're not a tropical creature like me. Give me the early morning roasting sun anyday. I'd just go and find a nice shady spot and finish my sleep there. Or go to bed earlier. Camping in the snow.. are you quite mad? I went 'wild' camping at Brecon Beacons after the green man festival. It was horrible, damp and miserable.. couldn't wait for it to end. The only enjoying part I remember was when I was sitting in my car with the heating on.
I'm going for the first time from the continent just because it's close to the border! Don't kill my hype :P
You'll have a great time. I've enjoyed every BJC I've been to. I am excited for this one.
You will indeed have an excellent time. Sadly I don't think I can make it this time (due to foreign travel for work the next week) but I'll certainly miss it.
Enjoy - and if you have any questions, I'll probably be at the registration / information desk!
Given I barely saw you out of the kitchen, did BJC feel significantly smaller to you than previously? I understand that total numbers were around 700 but hadn't been properly counted when I heard Anna discuss this with Owen Morse after the business meeting.
Nigel, in your current thread "For several years now I have been suggesting a juggling competition for older…" you wrote "If the BJC doesn't happen next year (or even if it does)". May I ask if there there is any particular reason for suggesting there may not be a BJC next year?
During the Sunday meeting nobody stood up and said that they wanted to run a BJC in 2019. During the BJC I heard on several occasions people saying that there wouldn't be a BJC because EJC was in England next year. I am not strongly optimistic about a BJC next year because I haven't heard any great enthusiasm from anyone although I have now heard rumours about people thinking about it 'up north'.
I know one person who has an excellent venue and good plans for putting a bid together for 2019. They've never run one but assisted, so know what's involved. Just looking to put together a local team I think. Hopefully their initial thoughts and ideas will come through and they'll make themselves known soon.
Another team was interested and had ideas of a venue but nothing firm.
Guinness world records for juggling...
I recently heard that for (some/all?) marathon-style events, GWR permits (accumulating) breaks every hour — for example, a 5-minute break every hour. Since the 3- and 4-ball endurance world records were both awarded by GWR, I was wondering whether anyone knew whether this was also the case for the juggling records?
Call me a purist, but it seems that, as impressive as juggling for 12 hours, with only short breaks in, is — it wouldn't be fair to strictly count time after taking breaks, and it'd be nice to know if this was the case for those records. Anyone know, or have any thoughts?
I'd like to know that as well, I always wondered how a normal human being deals with basic human commodity for 12 hours while juggling!
It's been suggested that an adult diaper might be helpful. Also drinking from a straw and being fed carefully.
Once you sign up for doing an actual entry, you get an email including aaalll of the specifications and rules regarding that particular entry (if one has been set before). So I recommend pretending you're going to set something.
I've done so ages ago for a record, wasn't too complicated.
Ah, that's good advice, thank you! I just sent a general enquiry a moment ago, but if they can't give me the information, I shall do that! I'll report back here when I know more.
Their general enquiry reply was a lot of auto-generated nonsense, so I've submitted a record attempt form. Let's see where that goes...
Doesn't answer your questions, but here's an interview with the record holder that was just published: https://www.juggle.org/interview-david-slick/
From the interview: "No breaks allowed and the throwing must alternate hands."
And then in the promo video posted in the article there is a news caption:
"David Slick goes 12 hours without eating, drinking or bathroom break"
That's much more detailed than anything I managed to find previously, thanks! That seems to support a continuous 12-hour record, which is comforting! (Especially the quotes about training for a long time to be able to do that.)
By "must alternate hands", does that mean you can't set records for synchronous patterns? Or would it still be alright since both hands are used? What about siteswaps with a "0" where you end up throwing with the same hand twice?
I guess for this particular record they want you to throw a cascade, and "must alternate hands" was the way Guinness describes the cascade. Of course one can try and be creative with the rules, but first we must consult the full rule document which Varkor might receive soon.
I think that the records they allow short breaks for are not skill based. For example, longest time spend video gaming.
I managed to get my hands on the rules for the 3-ball juggling record. The details specific to the 3-ball record (as opposed to more general classes of records), are:
1. Three objects are to be juggled. It is recommended that they are balls but other objects can be used, including (but not limited to) clubs, staffs or rings.
2. The objects to be juggled must be pre-approved by GWR.
3. All patterns used must be continuously alternating right-left-right-left (Cascade pattern).
4. No left-left or right-right will be allowed at any time.
5. If any of the objects are dropped, the attempt ends at that moment.
6. No ‘multiplexing’ is allowed for attempts on this record. If two objects are caught in the same hand at the same time, the attempt is ended at that point.
7. Food and drink can be consumed during the attempt but the challenger cannot stop juggling to do this, an assistant can help.
ULTIMATE JUGGLING TRICKS CHALLENGE # 1 – BALLS
The IJA is running a (simplifying pretty heavily here) single round of global JUGGLE. Two parts: the first to set tricks/patterns jugglers think others may not be able to do, and the second for everyone to try to do those tricks/patterns. For this round, only toss juggling with balls is allowed (no endurances). Full rules here: https://www.juggle.org/ultimate-juggling-tricks-challenge-1-balls/
Luke made the very interesting prediction that every trick/pattern will be replicated by at least one other juggler. I'm very interested in this event, and to see if he's right! I'm assuming that there will be about a month allowed to try to replicate others' tricks, but I don't think that's been announced.
Two questions I'm curious about:
Do you think Luke's prediction will hold? If not, which patterns (and by whom) do you think will stand?
Do you like this event?
I would love to see more juggling challenges, so thank you David for organizing this one!
I've suggested a couple to juggleshare, and since he seems to have disappeared I might run some myself at some point.
This particular challenge, I'm not sure about yet. For one, I might not want to encourage other jugglers to try out my coolest hardest most original tricks. Secondly I think that the incentive to try and beat a trick is relatively low. I might even try a trick that I like, manage to do it, but there is little to gain except for some exposure to then record it on camera. I don't mean that there should be better prizes or something like that, I believe that submitting to a challenge should be inherently interesting. But sure, if people feel like there is a big honor in submitting, it will work!
I do hope that there will be many participants, and I do hope this event sparks of more challenges in the future.
Here is the list of challenges I suggested earlier, anyone is free to take from these directly or as inspiration of course!
"Secondly I think that the incentive to try and beat a trick is relatively low."
While true, if there are any entries near my bailiwick, I'm going after them!
Out of my repertoire of patterns that I feel would be hard to replicate...I feel like they're all poking Haavard into participating. I haven't thought of any that I don't think he could do pretty quickly.
Alex Barron could just flash 13 balls (not too difficult for him) and no-one else would replicate it. There are others who can do things that no-one else is close to (long runs of 7 balls backcrosses for example). The question is if any of those people will enter.
Considering endurances are off limits, what are some other tricks/patterns you think are unique to certain jugglers?
I had forgotten that endurance is off limits. However, if Ty Tojo did something like a 7 up from backcrosses that would probably do it. Another off the top of my head would be one of Ofek's crazy multi pirouettes with 7 balls. Another possible way to go about this challenge would be to memorise and juggle a long prime siteswap for one cycle, as probably no-one else would bother to try.
Submitted. In the process, twice I landed my trick without the camera working (once I didn't start it properly by mistake, and once it ran out of memory 30 seconds before I landed it), and in submitting I discovered to my shame that what I thought was an 8 turned out to be a 7 :/ Interested to see if there are any interesting tricks submitted!
Oo, I'm excited to see what you've done!
I was all psyched to get 32 catches of my trick (four rounds)...then I got sick. 16 catches it is (though I got one take of 24 catches).
Disappointed because I think there's a real plateau after 16 catches that I'd like people to struggle with!
"Luke made the very interesting prediction that every trick/pattern will be replicated by at least one other juggler. I'm very interested in this event, and to see if he's right!"
The reason I think all these tricks will be replicated is that I have history in copying other people's tricks. Check out this project:
There were a few tricks that defeated me, a few that I only ever intended to joke-copy, and a few where I used video editing tricks. But otherwise I managed to copy many, many tricks which I presumed would be beyond me. For example, Alex Barron doing 999333 with the second 3 behind the head? I'd never tried anything like that before! And I got it after about 30 minutes trying. Brook and I got the 8 club double pirouette in one juggling session, even though I'd never done that kind of thing while passing. Loads of stuff I tried for the first time... and usually got what I wanted. On top of that I had to act like the jugglers too.
And I'm not even that good of a juggler compared to many other jugglers who could attempt to copy the tricks of others.
Oh, I'm very aware of this project, it is one of my favourite juggling projects ever done! The suspense, the execution...that was a masterpiece of top 40.
I wonder if people are going to pull out things deeper in their niches for this competition than they usually do. That's what I tried to do for it, anyway. I'm excited to see what was submitted, and who can replicate what.
What ever happened to ... ?
So, I found myself thinking about Jouni Temonen, a fabulous juggler from Finland who I met maybe a dozen or so years ago, and he's one of those really great jugglers who seems to have dropped completely off the radar. And I started wondering whether it's because he's doing better, more professional things, or perhaps he's got a proper job/life/baby or whatever and doesn't really inhabit the juggling world so much any more.
And then that got me thinking about Joost Dessing, and wondering what on earth he's up to now. And the more you think about it, the more gifted talents you will remember that seem to have disappeared off the scene for one reason or another.
So who do you recall, who was infuriatingly talented but has since moved on with their lives?
Maybe Michael Falkov. One of the best 3b jugglers ever (IMO, top 3, arguably the very top), but is super off-grid. Not sure if he's juggled in the last ~2 years.
Reuben Cohn-Gordon, Arron Gregg & Anthony Gatto (obviously!) are the names who immediately spring to my mind.
Similarly, is it my imagination or is the 'lifetime' of a juggler getting shorter? For example I feel that the more recent BYJotY competitors have not remained as visible in the scene as the earlier competitors (Norbi, Tiff, Tom Derrick, Arron Sparks, Jon Udry, Matt Pang etc.). Has the increased average skill level & easier access to the 'next big thing' made staying in the community's consciousness harder? Has the top level of juggling reached the point where physical limits are being hit & injury is forcing people out sooner?
Oof, I definitely miss Reuben Cohn-Gordon. I had a brief chat with him May 2014 when I was getting into squeeze catches. At that point he implied that he was still juggling some. Maybe there's hope.
It's an interesting point about youngins not staying on the scene as long these days. I got curious about IJA juniors winners...and I wish I knew if more of them still juggled. Below are some of the winners and whether or not they still juggle (to my knowledge)
Komei Aoki - Yes
Takashi Kikyo - Yes
Tony Pezzo - YES
Billy Watson - ?
Nate Martin - ?
Teruki Okamoto - I think so
Ben Hestness - ?
David Ferman - ?
Jack Levy - ?
Noah Malone - Yes
David Ferman - ?
Lauge Benjaminsen - Yes
David Ferman - ?
Jack Denger - ? (stopped making videos)
Patrick Fraser - Pretty much stopped
Kellin Quinn - YES
Jack Denger - ?
Ashley Ellis - ?
Ashley Ellis - ?
It seems to me that the number of people entering BYJOTY has reduced and that the average skill level is also less. Whether this is because the people attending BJC are getting older (and hence less youngsters are around to compete) or the general skill level is higher and so the good youngsters don't stand out so much or some other reason I couldn't say. Still at least a few of the recent winners are still very much on the scene and in the community consciousness. It was only about 4 years ago that Arthur Hyam won.
As well as other things in life getting in the way, one thing I've noticed based mainly on myself and is that as you get older you tend to seek praise from others less. This is why we make juggling videos of ourselves. As I get older I'm juggling just as much but making far fewer videos. People therefore think I've stopped juggling. I was recently asked to film a section for a video about people who've stopped juggling!
What Joost is up to is very easy to find [he is based in Queen's in Belfast]. His research seems to have veered towards football rather than juggling (probably related to sources of funding).
So it’s the start of 2018 – Happy New Year jugglers!
The start of a new year is always a time to reflect on your life and where you want it to go… or to just completely ignore that and think about juggling, which is what I’ve opted to do:
So I’ve had lots of interesting conversations about how people practice juggling, when they started and how quickly they learnt certain tricks. One topic which often comes up is how Anthony Gatto practices. Obvious he’s pretty decent at juggling, so must have been doing something right when he practiced. I decided to try and emulate his practice.
DISCLAIMER: I think Anthony Gatto has a strong claim to the title of ‘best juggler of all time’ and I in no way think I will ever be anywhere near as good as him. I respect his ability immensely and if I say anything like ‘obviously he’s pretty decent at juggling’ like in the line above, I’m deliberately understating things for comic effect. Hopefully this explanation didn’t spoil that effect too much, but I would hate people to think that I don’t respect his ability or that I’m trying to compare myself to him in any way. I just want to get better at juggling, and tell a few jokes. I also don’t think I’m a particularly good solo juggler either, so any statements I make to the contrary are also jokes.
END OF DISCLAIMER.
After reading https://www.juggling.org/help/essays/gatto.html and watching some of https://youtu.be/gtsaTMdKVTM I think these are the key things I’ve learnt about how he practices:
1) Warm up with some gentle balance exercises.
2) Practice for one hour, but every day!
3) Work on each trick for no more than 2-3 minutes, take regular breaks.
4) Have a list of about 20 tricks you are working on, if you aren’t enjoying one, swap it out for another one.
I think the idea of this is you make slow progress on lots of tricks at once, and if you do this every day for 20 years you end up being the best juggler of all time or something. Sounds like a plan- anyone want to book 43 year old Cameron for a performance, he’s going to be awesome? (See disclaimer if you think I’m being arrogant…)
This is very different to how I practice. Sometimes I’m super motivated about one trick and work on just that for a whole session, sometimes I rattle through tricks more quickly. Sometimes I have seen someone do something at a convention which I want to try. Sometimes I have a new idea and want to try and come up with some tricks of my own. Sometimes I’m driving to Austria and don’t practice for a day. The point is, it varies- I don’t have a systematic juggling practice routine. I’ve got my juggling to a level I am proud of but I’m not the best of all time like Anthony… probably only like the 7th best of all time or something (see disclaimer).
I wonder how much better I would get if I started practicing like Anthony? That’s what I plan to find out over the next month or so, maybe with a few days off when I’m skiing/moving to Germany. Who knows, I’ll do it when I can though (I know this already doesn’t really fit with what he does given he did it every day but you know I’m doing my best…).
Right, so I’ll warm up with some balance stuff, cycle through tricks really quickly (I think I’ll have a timer running to keep me disciplined) now all I need is a list of 20 or so tricks:
Balance warm up:
Turn round, kneel down, stand up sit down stand up, clap behind balance, do Macarena etc with club in both nose, chin and forehead balance (2 minutes)
3 balls, 441, 4ball sync and async, 5 balls all with balance. Maybe flash 6. (5 minutes)
Ok, now I’m warm ish, maybe mills is also a good warm up for the arm? I want to work on mills anyways so let’s put some of that in:
3 balls, 441, 531 (2 minutes)
4 balls, run, then 531 throwing 5 as under arm and as over arm. Kick up 3 to 4 (3-4 minutes)
5 balls, go for runs, try kick up 4 to 5 (3-4) minutes
I really want to get 5 ball mills looking nice it’s such a cool trick, seems weird only working on it 3-4 minutes but hey, let’s give it a go.
3 balls, 3 ups including linked 3 ups and 2 stage 720s (3-4 minutes)
4 balls, 4 ups out of both hands, 2 stage 720 out of sync? (3-4 minutes)
5 balls, 3 ups starting out of both hands, try and get 2 linked (3 minutes)
5 balls, try and land a 5 up out of both hands (3 minutes)
5 balls, 3 ups out of (6x,4)* ? (3 minutes)
I wonder if I’ll find the pirouette section tiring? Maybe I’ll switch this to being at the end after I try it tomorrow. What am I on now? 33 minutes or so, wow, that’s half my practice gone! Ok better get on with it:
5 ball siteswaps:
744 (1 minute)
645 (1 minute)
633 (1 minute)
94444 (1 minute)
97531 (2 minutes)
(8x,4)(4,4) out of (6x,4)* (2 minutes)
753 (1 minute)
Man that’s another 11 minutes gone, how did Anthony make this work? All I’ve done is balls. Crazy he was efficient enough using this practice to get at least as good as I am at all three props, if not better… (disclaimer).
6 ball practice:
3 in one hand, each way (1 minute)
One handed siteswaps with 3 balls like 432 and 42 each hand (2 minutes)
66661 (1 minute)
Run 6 async (2 minutes)
Run 6 sync (2 minutes)
Transition between sync and async (2 minutes)
Kick up 5 to 6 (1 minute)
Man I’m running out of time fast:
5 ball warm up, continuous 3 ups without spinning. 771. (2 minutes)
Try and get some runs of 7 balls (3 minutes)
It seems mad only trying 7 balls for that short an amount of time- I’m used to practicing it in half an hour stretches. I wonder if this will really help me improve?
5 ball half shower, throwing the odd high throw as a back cross (2 minutes)
6 ball half shower (2 minutes)
Man, that’s over an hour! This is insane, I have some other 3 ball tricks which I would love to get solid for an act in the future, I haven’t done any contortionist stuff, I haven’t practiced any of my shower tricks. There’s so many more ball tricks I can think of I want to work on and just as many club and ring tricks… I guess I’ll have to gradually change what is in my practice over the next 20 years so that I master clubs and rings too. Oh and head bounce. Also might take up cigar boxes. Should probably do some passing at some point too… hmmm.
I’m planning on trying this tomorrow after I’ve done some tutoring, if anyone has any feedback/suggestions of things to add or take out I would love to hear it.
I’ll post an update with how I found the practice tomorrow, and maybe again after 5 days or a week or something. Will definitely post again in 20 years when I’m the best of all time (disclaimer). Hopefully if you've read this far that last disclaimer was unnecessary. Bye x
I always wonder how much this differs from his practice when he started out. This routine of his was perhaps built more to help him maintain the level he had, it could be different to the training he did when he was actively learning new skills!
So if you follow the link from the post (https://www.juggling.org/help/essays/gatto.html) it describes how he tried juggling 4 clubs for the first time. Very different from my experience of learning 4 clubs- I remember putting in lots of hours and ending up with fairly battered forearms. It seems crazy to me that anyone can learn new tricks by spending such a short amount of time on them but I guess the key is doing it every single day. I guess the fact it seems crazy is why I want to try it for myself and see if it works for me :)
Obviously I can't know for certain but as far as I can tell this really is how he learnt new tricks as well as just maintaining ones he could do already.
https://www.juggle.org/anthony-gatto-interview-on-practicing/ the last question:
eJuggle: How has your practice style changed over the years?
Gatto: It has not altered too much. I follow the same structure as I used when I was ten. What I do now more than ever is listen to my body and do not force things to happen.
I used an app called "action timer" for when I had to do a bunch of physio. Basically put in the length of time for each activity, the title and hit the go button. It will tell you what to do when (including rests). If you plan to do the same thing week in week out it might be a good way of getting consistency. I'm sure there are a whole bunch of similar apps which might fit your need if you don't like that one.
I have been using an app I created to structure my juggling training and collect juggling data. The Android app is called Routine Builder. It is available free in the Play store, and by email. Check out my training logs to see what the app can do.
Lets not forget that he also had a coach. Someone who watches closely from a different perspective and gives good feedback is invaluable. It is perhaps what allowed him to get so much out of such short sessions. The question is if the same practice structure is optimal for a juggler without a coach.
Very true, I guess what I'm really testing is whether this 2-3 minutes per trick style of practice works better for me than my normal fewer tricks for a longer amount of time style. It's definitely different from what he did in a number of ways.
A while ago I was working on consistency of patterns. I made a recording of myself saying the name of a pattern I wanted to work on, then put in silence so the total track length was 30 seconds. I think I had something like 6 different tricks, so I duplicated each track 9 times to give me a total of a half hour of audio. I made this a playlist, hit shuffle, and BAM! I practiced in a very focused way for 30 minutes.
I did make a lot of progress during this time, but probably similar progress to when I practiced for the same amount of time by myself without such a rigid structure. Hard to tell.
 - For if you're having trouble understanding what I'm talking about, the session would sound like this:
"Around the head shower, right hand" [~30 seconds of silence]
"Blind behind the head" [~30 seconds of silence]
etc. etc. for 30 minutes.
As far as I understand your routine is a random circuit training, because you 'hit shuffle'.
I think that most people train in a linear way, one trick after another for a certain amount of time in a training session. I like the idea of a circuit training and for some tricks I have made good experience with something like A-B-C-D-A-B-C-D ... or A-B-C-D-B-C-E ... after a warmup and with short breaks in between. The letters are representing different tricks. At the end of a session I have repeated some tricks 2 or 3 times. 2-10 minutes per trick works well for me.
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