April 15 11:15-11:30 and noon-12:15 – UT’s International Festival on the UC Plaza. Fire will be allowed.
April 15 3:00-3:30 Dogwood Art’s festival children’s stage near Krutch Park downtown – Fire will be allowed.
April 16 5:00-8:30 Zoo-to-do juggling at the Knoxville Zoo. No fire. LED show if darkness comes soon enough.
April 17 4:00-4:30 Dogwood Art’s festival children’s stage near Krutch Park downtown – Fire will be allowed.
April 30 time tbd (event is 8-5) Dogwood Art’s Chalk Wallk walk-around juggling in Market Square and Krutch Park – details still being worked out. Probably a G to PG-13 rated crowd since this will be atmospheric/walk-around the performances will be shorter more adhoc depending on what crowd gathers to watch. Fire will be based upon each location that is density of the crowd, nearness to flammables, etc. You know.. the standard safety considerations.
May 6 5-8:30 Dreamnight at the Zoo with Children’s Hospital – the event is for children with severe ongoing medical concerns and terminal illness. – No fire. LED equipment if darkness comes soon enough.
May 7 10-11:30 (probably more like 10:45-11:30 – event is 10am-2pm and the only slot taken is 11:30-noon when Michael Messing performs magic). The event is Children’s Mental Health Week sponsored by TN Voices for Children and will be near Krutch Park.
If you are interested in joining me on any of these endeavors, just let me know. Obviously most of the events are G-rated but I think we can have a little more fun with the UT students. Note: At this point, none of the performances are likely to be amp’d ie. no microphones or PAs. I currently do not have a passing partner for any of these events. If you want to pass with me or have some solo time at one of these events, please let me know. Don’t sell your skills short. If you learn to pass clubs Monday night, you’re already good enough! Performances are much less about perfect juggling and far more about audience engagement.
That guy is VERY smooth! Quite the inspiration too. The first time you, I or anyone saw contact juggling was in the movie Labyrinth with David Bowie. David Bowie had his hands behind his back and Michael Moschen, a juggler and choreographer, who created contact juggling, did the manipulations while wearing leather gloves. The only special effect used was when the balls floated away.
Michael Moschen taught an apprentice his techniques and that apprentice published the lessons in a famous book titled “Contact Juggling” that just has a black cover and plastic binding like it was made at Kinkos. As the story goes, Moschen was ticked!
The “crystal” balls (acrylic) are actually manufactured for the chemical industry and are used to float on top of vats of chemicals. They are fun to play with! I toy with contact juggling but have not put in the hours that this guy has obviously done in training.
One thing I do to give back to the community is juggling shows. I usually do 3 or 4 a year for organizations such as churches, the Mental Health Association, the homeless shelters, and always Rocky Hill Elementary’s Clown Day! My standard policy has been first come first serve as long as I don’t do more than one show a month and typically I only do one a quarter. After my last juggling show, I decided I wouldn’t do any more juggling shows until I removed some of the chaos from my life and purchased some new equipment. I have also let myself fall into a state of disrepair. I don’t stretch or exercise at all and I want to practice more and refine my show. These shows really take a lot out of me physically.
The chaos remains although it is a more organized chaos than in the past. My equipment still looks like discards from a Ringling Brother’s tour. And I am in pathetic shape. None the less, today I am doing two shows! First I will be juggling for the National Reservists. I feel like Bob Hope! Then I will be juggling for Sacred Heart Catholic Church’s parish picnic. Hopefully they’ll forgive me when I drop. I’m going to hurt tonight. Oh, And I’ve been fighting that cough and cold all week, and my mic hasn’t been repaired, so yelling for three 30-45 minute shows is going to guarantee I won’t be talking at all this coming week! I’ll still have a blast!
Update: Woohoo! My mic is working after a quickie repair! My voice is saved.
Update: The mic died before the first show. Apparently my repair was inadequate. I had a great time at both shows. The heat and noise with the lack of a mic made them a bit more physically demanding than normal. In the end, my voice was gone and my legs were rubbery. I was very happy to see people smile and laugh at my antics. I also have really cool 278th ball cap now! And I think some of my sins are absolved.
Oh serendipity! This is the closest I have ever been to the International Jugglers’ Association festival! I have video tapes from renegade shows from a couple of decades ago that just look like a blast. Years ago, young and bullheaded, I had attitude toward the IJA as being the evil juggling overloads (for profit) that popularized that horrid 4-4-10 nonsense. In truth, I just wasn’t innovative enough to get myself to one of the festivals. Groundhog Day Juggler’s convention in Atlanta and the one Neil Stammer (Andrew J. Allen) hosted in D.C. were the ones I was able to attend.
Juggling festivals are wonderful. You learn so much. And there’s nothing to really describe the sensation of walking into a gymnasium filled with a few hundred people throwing things at each other. And when you get some really talent passers together, the juggling is like clockwork, everything around you fades away, and you are in a single group mind defying gravity!
I went to the Knoxville Juggler’s Club night last night. It was thrilling but my skills have faded and long since been surpassed by superior jugglers. I never uttered that I was the best juggler in Knoxville; that would be wrong, lacking humility, egotistical, and arrogant. But years ago I heard it, and secretly I didn’t think it was too far off base not because I was talented but because Knoxville just didn’t have that many die-hard jugglers. Of course back then I’d blow off classes to go listen to Jimmy Buffett, The Grateful Dead, reggae, and the occasional acoustic guitar player while juggling barefoot in the grass at the World’s Fair Park. Met one of my best friends and has wife on one of their first dates while skipping class to juggle in that park. I want to keep going to the club and I want my juggling fire back. I doubt I will catch up to these guys. As the has-been juggler, I wonder how I would hold my own at the IJA Festival. I feel a bit like Fast Eddie Felson; there was then and there is now.
Cathy with Amy and Evan, her parents, her sister-in-law with her 3 children, and I went to the Shrine Circus in the newly renovated Thompson Bowling Arena. The renovation looks great! And included everything except signs for the section numbers! You have to guess where your seating is assigned. I am bothered by the gating of the stairs to the upper balcony. Honestly! What is the rationale? Is there anything wrong with wandering up the nosebleed section for a different perspective or camera angle? The renovation included cup holders! Genius! But the seats seem closer to the ones in front of them; I think maybe the actual cushion is larger.
We started the evening off with the children playing in the seats and kicking, hitting, putting feet on, and other wise abusing the nice gentleman in the row in front of us. To give him a break, we took the children down to ride the elephants which also happened to be the first time I rode an elephant. After the ride we returned to our seats to further give the nice family in front of us a thorough pounding. Obnoxiously loud toy guns that speak "Don’t move. Drop your gun. Fire fire fire." were purchased. So at the Shrine Circus, whose mission is to help the children, we have a pretend weapon that encourages blowing away an unarmed person. Granddaddy felt the children could use some sugar for the show so cotton candy was purchased. Of course, the nice white shirt of the guy in front of us was begging to be finger painted by a very blue, stick Evan. Got him cleaned in without any damage to the white shirt. The show begins. And I hold the wild child finally giving in and returning pacifier to mouth. Just to show who is in control, at one point Evan takes his "bop" (pacifier) out and tosses it into the audience hitting the child in front of me smack dab on the head and then it settles on the floor beneath the seats of the people in front of the people in front of me. We replace it with one of Amy’s few remaining ones and he spits it to the floor where it rolls down under the seats in front of us.
Evan wins! To the family in front of us, we had become the family behind us. He is too wacky to remain and I cannot stand to allow the poor family in front of us take anymore abuse. I sacrifice the first half of the show to let Evan walk around the stadium. Of course, he finds a friend who’s dad happens to sell toys at the circus so they have much to do. Prior to that Evan was running me all over Thompson Bowling Arena including quickly moving up and down stairs. With no section numbers listed, it did not take long to get totally turned around. We were lost but the people in front of us weren’t getting kicked.
Eventually Evan got through his zaniness and we were able to return to enjoy the 2nd half of the show. I highly recommend it…at least the 2nd half; seems I didn’t see the first half.
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