Getting back to juggling! WHEEEE!

I used to juggle all the time. I learned when I was 11 and by the time I was out of high school I was pretty good. In HS everyone knew me–if not by name, then at least as “that girl in the top hat and tails coat who juggles at lunch every day”…

But once I was out of high school, I just stopped doing it. I don’t know why.

Periodically in the years since I’ve picked up objects and tried to juggle them, only to be depressed at how rusty I have gotten.

So a couple of months ago I decided to get back into it. I made some juggling balls with rice and balloons, and made some clubs out of newspaper and duct tape. But I didn’t really use them.

So there is a local juggling club, the Fairfax Jugglers, that I have been threatening to attend for at least 6 months…

…and last night I finally got off my duff and went! I am so proud of me! I had a lot of fun. There were only 5 people there–they say there are usually closer to 10–but they were all very friendly and I had a really good time.

I’m going to start going every week [next week they don’t meet] and hopefully I’ll catch up to my old skill and surpass it soon.

I have a couple of movie clips:
3 rings (me) – these were really nice–they’re fat rings that don’t slice your thumbs off when you catch them! One of the other guys let me use them. mills mess (me) – this pattern is coming back to me, slowly but surely. 5 clubs (Scott) --this guy Scott is really good! 7 balls (Scott) – wow! (The most I can do is 4, and I do that very poorly.)

So who else here juggles?

Meeeeeee!!! But I’ve had no one to juggle with in a long time, so I’ve gotten out of practice. Let’s do something about this!

When I was in practice, I could juggle 3 balls, and do a bunch of tricks with them; could juggle 4 balls for up to 50-60 tosses before losing a ball and usually continuing to juggle the remaining 3; could juggle 3 pins for up to about 60 tosses; could do passes (with balls, not pins) back and forth with another juggler.

Haven’t touched pins in 15 years; haven’t had anyone to practice passes with in nearly that long. Can still do the basic stuff OK, though.

I always sucked at passing clubs. I could do balls ok, but I preferred stealing. In HS this guy Peter and I would juggle the same three balls, stealing back and forth constantly, for 20 minutes at a time. We’d constantly be inventing new ways to steal.

It also became the “cool thing to do” at my school for people to come lie down on the ground with their head at my feet and look up while I juggled clubs. I rarely dropped them and when I did I always smacked the falling one out of the way with one of the others before it could hit the person on the ground.

RT: how far is the Springfield Mall from you?

Mr. S and I both do, now and then. He got me started. We can both do the standard cascase pretty well, but he’s better at the variations: two in one hand, throwing to the outside, the one where you grab outward rather than side-to-side. I’ve got him beat at clubs, though. He had a set but hadn’t placticed with them much, but then there was a time when he was working a lot of overtime and I got bored. I spent a lot of evenings outside bruising the hell out of my thumbs, but then got pretty good.

We tried passing, but it always ends up being us just hitting each other with the balls, with no catching whatsoever.

Funny juggling story: The first year we were together, I had the family Christmas in my tiny apartment. A few people had shown up, and I went outside to help bring things in. The future Mr. S was still inside, and decided to entertain himself by playing with my roommate’s set of beanbag juggling penguins. He was doing pretty well, until one of them went into the onion dip. I came back in to find him in the bathroom, scrubbing dip off a penguin with an old toothbrush. Way to impress the family, dear!

I do!! I do!! I learned way back in middle school for a demonstration speech. Haven’t done anything in a while though. :frowning:

Stuff I learned: several 3-ball patterns, one or two 4-ball patterns, basic 3-club stuff, passing (balls, clubs, odd or even numbers, single partners or feeds), and I’m pretty good with devil sticks. I tried working a diablo but those things are tough. The skill that dissolved the worst though was the ball manipulation. Stuff like rolling a ball on the back of your hand or arm. I used to be decent but now…forget it.

One of my favorites is juggling with lacrosse balls. The bouncing stuff you can do with them is mind-boggling *see Michael Moschen.

Keep us updated on your progress.

I used to be able to do a basic cascade pattern bounced off the floor… my current balls are the rice-and-balloon variety though, and they don’t bounce. I can still juggle bouncing off the wall, though… which is actually a little easier than just freely juggling, when you get down to it.

I can do two balls in either hand easily… with three I am decent at cascade, reverse cascade, halvsies, juggler’s tennis, elevators… less so I can do a shower (counter clockwise only) and the basic staggered 4-ball pattern. I can do a five ball flash and let two drop to the floor and only mainain 3… heh. I am getting Mills Mess back, which is the hardest trick I know. Clubs and rings I can only do 3. I want to learn chops, but I’m going to wait until I’ve gotten my proficiency back with the patterns I already know.

I’m psyched though! The improvement I noticed just in the 2 hours I was at the group was amazing! It really does come back pretty fast, it seems.

Raises hand (duh)

Passing torches and pins is the the thing I like and do best. Haven’t done it in a long time though since I moved from my hometown and my torches broke. That Scott guy was amazing in your clips Opal. Good luck on your return to juggling.

Check out makai games (to try, click “games” then “sports” then “juggling”) for the hot virtual juggling action. AFAIK, I hold the world record. Curiously, I can’t juggle IRL, or for that matter, pop virtual bubblewrap anywhere fast enough to get a high score. :wink:

Me me.

I haven’t in a while, though. Almost a decade ago, I was part of a five-man troupe called “Three Guys Named Ed”, and I still have my equipment in the closet somewhere. I never managed four-item patterns, but five balls/clubs/torches was surprisingly easy, and seven balls was my last project.

Performing was always fun - especially for the start of flame-based tricks. We’d soak the torches, pat our pockets, pull out a lighter, flick it a few times and be unable to get a flame, toss it aside, and call out to the audience asking if there were any smokers out there.

Someone would invariably toss up a lighter. We’d light the first torch, toss it back, and say “Thanks; you guys are a dying breed.”

Oh, that was the height of humor.

I hate to be the one to break this to ya, but they just wanted an excuse to look up your dress. :stuck_out_tongue:

As for me, I taught myself to juggle 3 balls but from looking at the videos you posted you’re much better than I am.

I was part of a travelling circus/performance co-operative years back, and could manage five balls or three clubs fairly well with only an occasional incident of droppage. I also performed with swinging fire clubs and the diablo, I was better at them but was a reliable juggler if someone needed a partner. Not much cop these days; I can juggle three balls no problem but anything fancier might be a problem. No clue where I’d stand with clubs or passing anything. I’ve recently started playing around with Poi as I thought they’d be a doddle after fire clubs, but it’s actually taken me awhile to figure out how to use them without wrapping them around my head repeatedly. This is why I’m glad I wasn’t so confident as to start off with Fire Poi…

It’s good to have you back among the Jugglers OpalCat!
FYI The Quad Cities Juggling Club is having a Jugglefest Oct. 31-Nov. 2, in Davenport Iowa. Any chance you can make it?

Not a chance. My mom will be in town for Halloween, for one thing, but it’s also pretty far from DC. Sounds fun, though.

Me! In fact, I just wrote about how I got started in the first jobs thread. I was a clown and juggler at Elitch Garden’s in Denver. My speciality at the time was Devil Sticks. I could do 3 balls and pins, but I never practiced as much and didn’t really improve.

Over the past three years I have practiced now and then and can do more tricks. I’m pretty good with 2 balls in one hand (can think of 5 tricks) and have finally learned over-hand juggling. The bane of my juggling existence is the see-saw, though. I have practiced that for YEARS and cannot do it.

I can juggle 4 balls for about 10 throws, then all hell breaks loose.

A great book I’ve found is The Complete Juggler by Dave Finnigan. He succeeds in explaining new tricks well enough that you can actually do a new trick without ever seeing someone else do it. But it still won’t help me with the See-saw.

Here in Prague I saw one of the most amazing jugglers I have ever seen, last year…and he was 9 years old. He did his routine on a large circular platform that looked like a drum on its side. He did these amazing transitions from juggling up to juggling down on the platform and then back up again. 2 through 7 balls using his hands and feet (plus a stop on his head that was pretty impressive) and this was all timed to music. Just incredible. If he is this good now and continues to practice, he’ll give Michael Moschen a run for his money in a few years.

There is also a Raver (he looks cool with tons of tats and piercings) that juggles crystal balls (probably Pyrex, but still…) and can do this amazing Weave with 3 to 5 balls. The balls just seem to go in and out of the main pattern almost at random.

Cool, take care-

With anything near the 95-395-495 interchange, it depends entirely on traffic. Springfield Mall is 45 minutes from my house, and 20 minutes from my office, if there are no traffic problems. OTOH, on a recent Sunday evening, it took me most of an hour just to progress a few miles on the Beltway near Van Dorn.

Gotta second Fredge here! :smiley:

It is a good thing I checked the board before leaving for juggling practice. I am an amature juggler (total earnings: $15 and two cupcakes). I can do a few three ball and four ball tricks. My 5 ball is too weak to show to anyone.

Seattle Jugglers may want to know about the Cascade Jugglers Club, which meets twice a week at the Circus Contraption Space (in the winter) at Sandpoint. I’m not a regular, but show up now and then. Pretty freaking fantastic jugglers threre.

Steve Martin said it best:


And it pains me greatly.

For I have the soul of a clown.

I have a set of 3 balls. I cannot manage even a single throw.

I have a fine set of devil sticks. I can’t work them worth a damn.

I have a unicycle I can’t stay on for more than a second.

When all this came to light, I was kicked out of NYUK (National Yewnion Uf Klowns). In a public ceremony, they confiscated my rubber nose, cut the tips off of my big floppy shoes, and hosed the make up from my face with a special seltzer bottle.

I attempted to join the Jesters’ Guild, only to find I had been blackballed.

Be a clown. Be a clown. (sniff) All the world loves a clown. :frowning:

The “Fairfax Jugglers” meet every Thursday evening from 7:30-10:00pm in Springfield…

Probably acrylic. They’re often used for contact juggling (I have one and have messed with it a little. I may start bringing it to the club and see if I can get anyone to help me. I love contact juggling…)