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  #1  
Old 03-22-2006, 06:01 PM
One amoung many One amoung many is offline
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There is juggling..then there is this..

http://www.gkko.com/videos/2414/amazing-juggling-act

Simply amazing. I'm very impressed.
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  #2  
Old 03-22-2006, 06:15 PM
Ruffian Ruffian is offline
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Okay, that is just insane. And cool. Call it...insanely cool.

At the beginning of last school year, we had a motivational speaker come rally the teachers and staff in a sort of whoo hoo! let's do this teaching thing! presentation. He was a one-armed juggler who was quite skilled (and studied), and his theme was basically overcoming obstacles to do not just what others can do, but better and beyond anyone's expectations.

Great message...until he committed suicide a few months later. We also learned in the article about his death that he'd lost his arm in a previous suicide attempt when he'd stepped in front of a train. Kind of takes the gloss off his message.
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  #3  
Old 03-22-2006, 06:58 PM
ThisSpaceForRent ThisSpaceForRent is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruffian
Okay, that is just insane. And cool. Call it...insanely cool.

At the beginning of last school year, we had a motivational speaker come rally the teachers and staff in a sort of whoo hoo! let's do this teaching thing! presentation. He was a one-armed juggler who was quite skilled (and studied), and his theme was basically overcoming obstacles to do not just what others can do, but better and beyond anyone's expectations.

Great message...until he committed suicide a few months later. We also learned in the article about his death that he'd lost his arm in a previous suicide attempt when he'd stepped in front of a train. Kind of takes the gloss off his message.

Ruff...what a buzz kill....whats your point?

One amoung many sweet....thanks!

tsfr
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  #4  
Old 03-22-2006, 07:06 PM
Regallag_The_Axe Regallag_The_Axe is offline
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That is impressive. I may actually go so far as to say it's 1mpressive.
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  #5  
Old 03-22-2006, 08:14 PM
Nic2004 Nic2004 is offline
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Very cool. Thanks for showing us this.
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  #6  
Old 03-22-2006, 08:25 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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The guy looks like Henry Winkler with a Ted Danson hairdo. Great act!
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  #7  
Old 03-22-2006, 08:50 PM
Spatial Rift 47 Spatial Rift 47 is offline
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Holy BLAP! Coolest juggling act ever. What really made it work was the way he got into the music and the performance, especially his facial expressions. The juggling stopped being a neat trick and started being a representation of the music - now that's cool.
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  #8  
Old 03-22-2006, 09:21 PM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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I have seen some very cool juggling in the past, and I've seen cool juggling set to music. But, until now, I've never seen someone with such good timing and showmanship that it looks like they are actually conducting the music. That was just awesome.
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  #9  
Old 03-22-2006, 09:27 PM
Rysdad Rysdad is offline
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That was the neatest juggling I've ever seen. The dude was into it.

Thanks.
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  #10  
Old 03-22-2006, 09:35 PM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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Ho Lee Shit!
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  #11  
Old 03-22-2006, 09:35 PM
ultrafilter ultrafilter is offline
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That was impressive. Have any of you seen Cirque du Soleil's Dralion?
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  #12  
Old 03-22-2006, 09:36 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spatial Rift 47
Holy BLAP! Coolest juggling act ever. What really made it work was the way he got into the music and the performance, especially his facial expressions. The juggling stopped being a neat trick and started being a representation of the music - now that's cool.
Great choreography. I had to watch it twice, because I simply didn't believe it the first time.
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  #13  
Old 03-22-2006, 09:49 PM
Nars Glinley Nars Glinley is offline
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This guy makes the guy who juggles on the giant keyboard look like crap.
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  #14  
Old 03-22-2006, 09:52 PM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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Diss Chris Bliss: http://www.jasongarfield.com/pennradio.html
Jason Garfield (one of the best jugglers in the world) rants about the popularity of the Chris Bliss video. Then parodies it. Except, with 5 balls.

(Read his rant, and read the text on the page that the video is actually hosted on, too, but definitely watch the video!)
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  #15  
Old 03-22-2006, 09:56 PM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrafilter
That was impressive. Have any of you seen Cirque du Soleil's Dralion?
Mmmmm... Viktor Kee *insert Homer Simpsonesque drooling here*

Sorry, I'm a juggling nerd & groupie. I can't help it. Hell I even met my boyfriend at a juggling convention.
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  #16  
Old 03-22-2006, 10:08 PM
DanBlather DanBlather is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpalCat
Diss Chris Bliss: http://www.jasongarfield.com/pennradio.html
Jason Garfield (one of the best jugglers in the world) rants about the popularity of the Chris Bliss video. Then parodies it. Except, with 5 balls.

(Read his rant, and read the text on the page that the video is actually hosted on, too, but definitely watch the video!)
That is truly awesome juggling, but I don't think he got into the music as much as Bliss.
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  #17  
Old 03-22-2006, 10:10 PM
Spatial Rift 47 Spatial Rift 47 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpalCat
Diss Chris Bliss: http://www.jasongarfield.com/pennradio.html
Jason Garfield (one of the best jugglers in the world) rants about the popularity of the Chris Bliss video. Then parodies it. Except, with 5 balls.

(Read his rant, and read the text on the page that the video is actually hosted on, too, but definitely watch the video!)
Cute. I definitely see Garfield's point, but as DanBlather said, Garfield lacks Bliss's showmanship. This is particularly evident in this case because Garfield made it clear he was mocking Bliss, as though the entire act was somehow beneath him - yes, even his 5-ball version - and so he fails to present the coherence of narrative that Bliss does so well.
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  #18  
Old 03-22-2006, 10:12 PM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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Jason Garfield pretty much does think that it is beneath him. He is all about technical juggling and thinks that showmanship is for weenies. At least that is the impression I've gotten of him.
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  #19  
Old 03-22-2006, 10:40 PM
TubaDiva TubaDiva is offline
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It's amazing how Garfield can show contempt and technique at the same time.

TubaDiva
Juggling: Gravity's way of making you bend over. A lot.
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  #20  
Old 03-22-2006, 11:08 PM
commasense commasense is offline
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I think Jason's critique is spot on. The most impressive thing about Bliss is that he goes on for a long time without dropping. The patterns are simple and boring and although it was well choreographed to the music, it didn't hold my interest. I think most of the power of the act came from the great music.

That said, Jason's act, while technically far superior, lacks the polish of Chris' act. Presumably because he hasn't worked on it as long. But it's clear he's a much better juggler. (It was also a bit cheap that he used the audio track from Bliss' act that included applause for Bliss, not him.)

And I pit the both of their video directors for using too many tight shots that didn't show the full trajectories of the balls. Particularly the Bliss video. Very annoying.
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  #21  
Old 03-22-2006, 11:19 PM
PBear42 PBear42 is offline
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Great routine. Apropos of Garfield, I forwarded the link to a couple friends before reading the thread. My message was, "A juggling video. Not cutting edge difficulty-wise (as professional juggling goes), but way cool." In other words, I agree with the view expressed by most folks here, and on the download site (scroll down below the "video screen"), that Bliss' is just plain the better show.

My biggest gripe with the Garfield video, btw, was the lighting. A great technical performance and I feel like I missed half of it.
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  #22  
Old 03-22-2006, 11:46 PM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commasense
And I pit the both of their video directors for using too many tight shots that didn't show the full trajectories of the balls. Particularly the Bliss video. Very annoying.
This is a common flaw in juggling video footage. I'm sure that the instances of this in Jason's bit were intended to poke fun at the same in Bliss's video. The Bliss video was probably just shot by someone not used to videoing jugglers.
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  #23  
Old 03-23-2006, 04:28 AM
Tomcat Tomcat is offline
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Bliss was OK, but, I see better 11 year old jugglers round these parts. There was a kid from Slovakia that used to come to the juggling groups here in Prague. He'd do a routine on a round raised platform about 1m (3ft) across. He started with 3 balls then moved up to 7, juggling them up in the air and then bouncing them off the round platform. Up and down, up and down, all while tap dancing to music. I've tried to find a video, but failed...It was awe inspiring that this kid was that talented.

As for showmanship, I have always loved Michael Moschen. His 3 ball act to music is sampled here. Here is a video with him not juggling to music, but making the beat with the balls. Heck, check out all of the video clips.
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  #24  
Old 03-23-2006, 05:39 AM
Richard Pearse Richard Pearse is offline
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OK, I challenge someone to go and make a music visualizer that looks like that guy juggling!
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  #25  
Old 03-23-2006, 07:30 AM
hawthorne hawthorne is offline
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Garfield doesn't understand that he's a basketweaver. He's the Yes fan complaining that the Ramones don't have as many solos in phrygian mode.
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  #26  
Old 03-23-2006, 08:10 AM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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I didn't watch it with the music and just thought it was okay. Maybe I'll watch again when I'm not at work.

The thing that impressed me the most was the guy never sweats. TV lights are hot. He's wearing a long sleeved shirt. He's moving frantically for about five minutes... yet does not perspire. I perspire just thinking about it.
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  #27  
Old 03-23-2006, 08:32 AM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
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FTR, I watched without sound...

I agree with Garfield that the juggling tricks he did were pedestrian. He took simple throws and catches, swings his head and hands in such a way as to make them seem more difficult.

After a half minute I was wondering when he was going to dispense with the warmup and go to the tough stuff. Couple that showmanship with legitimately difficult tricks and you have something big.
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  #28  
Old 03-23-2006, 08:41 AM
js_africanus js_africanus is offline
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I actually stopped the video about a minute in because I was getting so bored. He very, very, very, very good; however, the routine was boring to me. Of course, I don't know juggling, so I can't tell sublime expertise (for lack of a better term) from mere showmanship. Juggling three balls with one hand certainly impressed me!

I have a short video of Masaki Hirano juggling that just about made me crap my pants first time I saw it. I saved it from the site that had it and...c'mon Google!...this should be it. The video quality ain't so hot, but still worth watching, IMO. To me it's almost like there's a real absence of showmanship, which I like. When the bendy arms get going, I'm speechless.

Granted, the OP's video is outstanding, maybe not my cup of tea. Insulting it reminds me of people who insulted Anna Kournakova's tennis ability when she was only ranked in the top fifty tennis players. (Or something like that.) Yeah, there's fourty-nine whole people better than her, so she sucks!

Thanks for the vid, One amoung many.
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  #29  
Old 03-23-2006, 09:39 AM
Archergal Archergal is offline
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The first time I saw the video mentioned in the OP, I thought "Cool -- interpretive juggling."
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  #30  
Old 03-23-2006, 10:19 AM
Ruffian Ruffian is offline
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ThisSpaceForRent...point? Point?? Is this not Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share? Because...yeah. I had no point. Sheer stream of consciousness.

Anyway...

Just showed the video to DeathLlama, and we were freakin' impressed all over again. I can barely walk and chew gum at the same time as it is.

BTW, DL, a Beatles fan, did not recognize the song. Anyone out there help us on that?
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  #31  
Old 03-23-2006, 10:32 AM
Nars Glinley Nars Glinley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruffian
BTW, DL, a Beatles fan, did not recognize the song. Anyone out there help us on that?
4 songs from Abbey Road:
She Came in Through the Bathroom Window
Golden Slumbers
Carry That Weight
End
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  #32  
Old 03-23-2006, 10:51 AM
Hal Briston Hal Briston is offline
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I understand Garfield's dissing, but I have to wonder about something -- did he have any drops during his routine? After all, it was shot from multiple cameras with the soundtrack dubbed in afterward. For all we know, this was two hours worth of footage spliced together just to show up Bliss.

I'll not argue that about who the better technical juggler is, but I wonder if Garfield could pull that routine off in front of a live audience?
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  #33  
Old 03-23-2006, 11:11 AM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by js_africanus
He very, very, very, very good;[/b].
No. No, he's not. He's good, but he's merely good. He's only good compared to the general population. Compared to other jugglers, he's ok. He would never even pass the screening to get IN to a competition at a big juggling festival, for example. You should see the shows and competitions at one of the juggling festivals I've been to... they ALL perform to music. They're ALL more impressive than this guy. Garfield has no showmanship, but that's sort of his schtick. There are a ton of jugglers out there with amazing performance abilities who are also amazingly good jugglers. The Chris Bliss video is good entertainment. It's not incredible juggling, though, in either skill or showmanship.

For serious impressive, check out the Flying Karamazov Brothers, who not only juggle TO music, but they often play the music as they go.

Most people's exposure to juggling is some stuff at the circus, the occasional street performer, and the guy in the office who juggles tennis balls on break. Juggling is a lot more than that. I have seen kids my son's age who can juggle 7 things. Having seen Vova and Olga Galchenko perform, I think it's fair to say that watching them would blow you away.
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  #34  
Old 03-23-2006, 11:37 AM
js_africanus js_africanus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpalCat
No. No, he's not.
Ahem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by js_africanus
Of course, I don't know juggling, so I can't tell sublime expertise (for lack of a better term) from mere showmanship.
I was proud of that caveat!
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  #35  
Old 03-23-2006, 12:12 PM
PBear42 PBear42 is offline
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Hal Briston: did he have any drops during his routine?
FWIW, to my eye, there were a few spots where the edit jumped in a way that suggested multiple takes. I don't really hold that against Garfield, though. This was a rant, not something he was putting out there as defining his art. Thrown together quickly and therefore, not surprisingly, not perfect. But, there is something to what you say on Bliss' side (which, remember, I consider the better show). Performing live in front of a large audience, there's only so much risk that it's prudent to take.
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  #36  
Old 03-23-2006, 12:21 PM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by js_africanus
I have a short video of Masaki Hirano juggling that just about made me crap my pants first time I saw it. I saved it from the site that had it and...c'mon Google!...this should be it. The video quality ain't so hot, but still worth watching, IMO. To me it's almost like there's a real absence of showmanship, which I like. When the bendy arms get going, I'm speechless.[/b].
I just watched that video. I didn't recognize the name but I recognize the guy. He was at the IJA festival in Davenport, Iowa last summer. He's good, for sure! That bendy arm thing... that's crazy. It's like Mills Mess with an extra (impossible!!!) twist every throw. Scary stuff Last year at the IJA festival there were a ton of Asian competitors and they sort of... took over the festival. There were even jokes being made that the J in IJA (International Jugglers Association) should stand for Japan. There are some amazing Japanese jugglers out there right now.
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  #37  
Old 03-23-2006, 01:25 PM
js_africanus js_africanus is offline
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Originally Posted by OpalCat
That bendy arm thing... that's crazy.


Yeah, it freaks me out. It's like that bendy pencil thing where you shake it and it looks rubber. That guy's arms just like they shouldn't be able to bend that way, and I can't even begin to understand which hand is throwing which ball.

I'm glad you liked it!
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  #38  
Old 03-23-2006, 02:07 PM
Nars Glinley Nars Glinley is offline
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Originally Posted by js_africanus


Yeah, it freaks me out. It's like that bendy pencil thing where you shake it and it looks rubber. That guy's arms just like they shouldn't be able to bend that way, and I can't even begin to understand which hand is throwing which ball.

I'm glad you liked it!
My elbows hurt.
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  #39  
Old 03-23-2006, 02:28 PM
Ogre Ogre is offline
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Originally Posted by hawthorne
Garfield doesn't understand that he's a basketweaver. He's the Yes fan complaining that the Ramones don't have as many solos in phrygian mode.
IMO, this is precisely correct. I even came in here to say the same thing (although I was going to say Yngwie Malmsteen.)

Then there's the ass-kick factor. After watching Bliss, I want to buy him a beer and talk to him about juggling (a subject about which I have no abiding interest.) After watching Garfield's contemptuous ass, I just want to slap the shit out of him.
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  #40  
Old 03-23-2006, 06:15 PM
Gorsnak Gorsnak is offline
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When I watched the video the first time, my initial response was "Heck, I've seen my brother-in-law do all those moves." But as the video went on, I got caught up in how he was managing to express the music through the juggling, even if the juggling wasn't particularly challenging. Complaining that the tricks are rather pedestrian (and they are) is missing the point. It's like complaining that there aren't any quad toe loops in an ice dance competition. Sure, the pairs figure skaters do bigger tricks than the ice dancers, but they're competing in a different event.
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  #41  
Old 03-23-2006, 07:36 PM
Llama Llogophile Llama Llogophile is offline
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This reminds me of the story about Vince McMahon receiving a call from Ted Turner about his having bought into pro wrestling. As McMahon tells it Turner said, "Hey, I just wanted to tell you I'm in the RASSLIN' business now!"

McMahon supposedly said, "That's great Ted. But, I'm in the ENTERTAINMENT business."

I love good juggling, and can appreciate what Garfield does. But by using juggling as tool for entertainment, rather than as just a display, Chris Bliss is in good company. Steve Martin and Bill Irwin come to mind.

The Flying Karamazov Brothers have been mentioned - and they are far less technically proficient than most people realize. But that's not a critique. Rather, it's their strength. Rather than getting bogged down in too much technique, they do what they do very well, and tell a great story with it.

Garfield reminds me of Gob and his magician's alliance on "Arrested Development": WE DEMAND TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY!!!
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  #42  
Old 03-23-2006, 07:47 PM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach Tuck
The Flying Karamazov Brothers have been mentioned - and they are far less technically proficient than most people realize. But that's not a critique. Rather, it's their strength. Rather than getting bogged down in too much technique, they do what they do very well, and tell a great story with it.
The FKBs are not technical jugglers, certainly. If I have my facts straight, of the current four, only Rod was really a juggler to start with. Paul and Howard were self-taught and learned as they went, and Mark was mainly a musician and got into the juggling later. I've taken a juggling workshop with them and consider myself to be friends with Rod and Mark, as well as former FKB Tim Furst--they are really cool people. I highly recommend to anyone if you get a chance to see their show, RUN, DO NOT WALK and get those tickets.

I hope no one gets the wrong idea... I like the Chris Bliss video. I think it's good entertainment. I just think that a lot of people are impressed with it for the wrong reasons...? Does that make sense? People see it and think he's some world-class amazing juggler. He's not. That doesn't mean it's not worth watching, or that it isn't impressive, or anything like that...
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  #43  
Old 03-23-2006, 09:05 PM
Ogre Ogre is offline
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I think it's good entertainment. I just think that a lot of people are impressed with it for the wrong reasons...? Does that make sense? People see it and think he's some world-class amazing juggler. He's not. That doesn't mean it's not worth watching, or that it isn't impressive, or anything like that...
I take your point, but you're making one mistake, IMO. You're viewing it from the perspective of an enthusiast. I'm speaking for myself here, but I think a lot of people might view it this way: I wouldn't know world-class, technical juggling if it crawled up my pants leg and wiggled, nor am I likely to become interested enough in it to know the difference.

What I do know, though, is good entertainment, and that Bliss video is excellent entertainment. He's enthusiastic, he gets into the music , he interprets the music with his juggling. I'd rather watch an hour of that than thirty seconds of a super-technical juggler making fun of him and supposedly "dissing" him.

All Garfield proves in his snide little interpretation is that he does not get it. It's not all about him, and that makes Bliss's video superior.

YMMV.
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  #44  
Old 03-23-2006, 09:52 PM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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Originally Posted by Ogre
All Garfield proves in his snide little interpretation is that he does not get it. It's not all about him, and that makes Bliss's video superior.
I think a lot of people in the juggling community think Garfield is something of an asshole. I've never met the guy, so I don't really feel like I can say.

As for your first point, no you might not know good technical juggling if it bit you, but I'm not just talking about techinical juggling. People like Garfield are the exception in their weird attitude toward showmanship. Most of the really good jugglers are very into performance, choreography, costuming, etc. If you saw one of THOSE people perform, you WOULD see a difference.

Just for example: there was a guy in the juniors competition last year who juggled while playing DDR. (He got an A on the DDR game he played, too!)
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  #45  
Old 03-23-2006, 10:12 PM
Llama Llogophile Llama Llogophile is offline
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I neglected to give an example of a juggler who combines good showmanship with excellent technical skills. IMHO, Mark Nizer is one of the best in this regard.

Here's his web site.

As good a tech juggler as they come, but he doesn't forget to use his skills to entertain. And a super-nice guy, which comes through on stage. Audiences like him for a reason.
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  #46  
Old 03-23-2006, 11:00 PM
kittenblue kittenblue is offline
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I'm so glad you posted this video! I saw that guy in person at Pickwick and Frolic here in Cleveland last year. Can't remember his name...he's a stand-up comedian, and this is what he closes his stand-up act with. I was sitting at the front table, literally at his feet, and it was amazing. I love juggling, but I'm no expert on it. This guy may not be the world's best technician, but he was wonderful. The timing was perfect...the video doesn't do it justice, and you soon felt that the balls were being contolled by the music and just pulling him into the action. Sitting that close you really felt the great concentration and hard work that were going into the act, while at the same time it felt effortless and fluid. His timing with the music was perfect, and since he's such an average guy, not flashy or showy, the facial expressions were great. You really felt the connection....no flash or glitz or patter, just oneness with the balls and the music. Amazing. Thank you so much.
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  #47  
Old 03-23-2006, 11:56 PM
kittenblue kittenblue is offline
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Okay, I guess I should have read all the intervening posts carefully before I posted...sorry. Chris Bliss. I've now read all the posts, gone to the Garfield video, and sent an email to Garfield telling him he's a whiny perfectionist who doesn't understand the difference between juggling as a technical sport and giving a performance that connects with an audience on an emotional level. And that sometimes simpler is better, and more moving. And that Chris bliss never claims to be an incredible, world-class juggler....just a guy making you experience a little magic. He can look down on us ignorant masses all he wants, but until he understands the difference between being technically proficient and giving a great performance, he won't be getting any of my money...but Chris Bliss will.
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  #48  
Old 03-24-2006, 01:01 AM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is online now
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I know how to juggle. Nothing spectacular; a few three-ball tricks and I'm trying to just learn a five-ball cascade. I've juggled while listening to music, and it's fascinating how the juggling will tend to synchornize with the beat.

When I watch the Garfield video, if I concentrate, I can see that he's staying in tempo with the music. He probably feels it more strongly, with the impact of each ball into his hands, but there's a difference between being and just watching. And he's got the tempo, but not the rhythm.

The Bliss video is fantastic. He matches the tempo and the rhythm. And the beats come on his catches; more emphatic catches on stronger beats, which means that it's not just a series of simple patterns. If you have to make each throw a beat-and-a-half before the flamboyant catch, then every single throw has to be choreographed.

My jaw drops watching Garfield, I want to cheer for Bliss.

Tomcat, good call on Michael Moschen. I remember a Great Performances about him on PBS years ago. Does anyone (OpalCat, maybe) know if he still performs? I think he'd be amazing to see in person.
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  #49  
Old 03-24-2006, 03:23 AM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Posts: 19,294
http://www.michaelmoschen.com/
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  #50  
Old 04-17-2006, 10:50 AM
silk1976 silk1976 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittenblue
Okay, I guess I should have read all the intervening posts carefully before I posted...sorry. Chris Bliss. I've now read all the posts, gone to the Garfield video, and sent an email to Garfield telling him he's a whiny perfectionist who doesn't understand the difference between juggling as a technical sport and giving a performance that connects with an audience on an emotional level. And that sometimes simpler is better, and more moving. And that Chris bliss never claims to be an incredible, world-class juggler....just a guy making you experience a little magic. He can look down on us ignorant masses all he wants, but until he understands the difference between being technically proficient and giving a great performance, he won't be getting any of my money...but Chris Bliss will.

Pretty much my thoughts exactly. Garfield seems to be a person who is jealous that someone else has a promotional video out that is getting all the attention.

One would think he'd be happy that Chris's video gets the attention it gets because it brings more attention in general to juggling. But no, he has to whine and do a parody saying 'look at me and how great I am'. Eff-you, Garfield.
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