Monday, October 29, 2007

Spinning plates at a wedding

Well, things at the wedding weren't quite what I expected. It was outdoors and there was a lot of wind...not ideal conditions for my act, which depends heavily on verbal patter. And most of the time it didn't seem appropriate to start up any juggling. But during a lull in the reception, I did get some items out, especially the spinning plates. My son Ethan actually started us off with some plate spinning; he's getting good at it. I was able to let several kids try it out, and do a few tricks myself, before we all went inside for the toasts.

I expect I'll get a wireless microphone set at some point. It's nice to not worry about speakers and wires and sound systems, but it's limiting in a lot of venues. It's nearly impossible to be heard in a windy outdoor environment without amplification.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Make high-quality homemade juggling clubs

The Texas Juggling Society had a booth at the Maker Faire this past weekend, showing homemade juggling props. Among these were examples of Green Clubs, which are clubs made mostly from recycled materials. Homemade clubs can do a lot to lower the bar to entry for aspiring club jugglers, as you can easily pay $30 per club if you buy professional-style clubs.

The Green Club design has a lot going for it:
  • It's freely available
  • The design has been refined over time
  • It costs only about $2 for the parts you have to buy
  • The construction methods have been refined. For example, the process includes cutting a tennis ball in half. I've heard lots of stories about people hurting themselves trying to cut tennis balls. This procedure includes instructions for how to mark and cut the balls accurately.

When you're done, you don't have a crappy-looking homemade club. You have a nice looking club with professional features:
  • Padded bell for drops
  • An air space in the handle to cushion catches
  • Sized to match commercial clubs
If you're interested in juggling clubs, and feel at all crafty, give this article a look.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Stage show photo

Here's a photo from a stage show in 2005...the Texas Juggling Society's public show.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wedding jitters?

A friend of mine has asked me to possibly perform at her wedding. I've never performed at a wedding before. Since it's happening in two weeks, I'll clearly be performing more or less my existing repertoire, but my usual costume and Grandpa's Trunk frame story might not work.

I love performing for adults and for mixed adult/kid audiences...the adults get more jokes and get them faster than the kids. But I am not sure how to frame my show to work best in the formal setting of a wedding.

I'll have to think about this one. I'm sure there are some fun ideas that can be applied. And I'll bet what my friend is wanting is some entertainment during otherwise dead time at the reception....something I'm sure I can provide. Should be interesting, though. I've done a lot of different venues, but not a wedding.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dice stacking how-to video from YouTube

Some traffic on the Texas Juggling Society mailing list linked to some dice stacking videos. This is a trick I'd seen before, but looking at the video recently made me want to learn how to do it, so I found a video that describes how it's done.

If you've never seen dice stacking, you should really just watch one of the videos on YouTube (here's one); it's a seriously odd idea....using an inverted cup in constant motion to grab and then deposit dice on a table.

I mention it here because at first glance this stuff really seems like magic, but watching a tutorial made it seem doable...with lots of practice.