Hello all. I can do juggle two balls, but have never managed to do three for more than a catch or two, hence the user name. But I do like watching other people do it..
Living in Newark meant I saw a couple of bits of the EJC 2019. Sadly, I was coming back from an event I help organise on the Sunday, so I missed the parade.
The Sunday evening fire show was ok - the issues with the sound did not help. Some of the acts didn't make me gasp either. A poi.. on fire! A staff.. with a firework on the end!! Or both ends!!! But it was often visually great.
Before it started, I could see someone practice with their equipment not on fire (the pair of staffs on fire on both ends?) behind the stage and they had rather a lot of drops, but performed it fine on stage.
I had the opportunity to see something midweek, but again other things got in the way. Grrr.
I did get to see the Gala as a guest and have been looking for something that had the line up - I can find some names, but not all of them: is that published anywhere?
I liked the afternoon show so much I went home, got a different lens for the camera (I'd brought one for being 'big top' away from the action to the afternoon), and came back to see the evening one.
Compere, ??: fine.
First act, Matthew Tiffany: I'll be surprised if he's not normally a street performer. It was fine, but I would also be surprised if a chunk of the audience couldn't do everything he did.
Second act, Florence Huet: balancing the rings as she moved around is presumably rather harder than she made it look? Very elegant.
Third act, ??: I really liked the science + juggling material, but I suspect you needed to be closer to the stage - and interested in the science side - to fully appreciate it. My partner didn't, but by the end I was reminded about how a fuel cell works. By jugglers!
Fourth act, ??: the main bit was the big ring, with some balancing and dancing thrown in. I thought was ok, my partner liked them much more.
Fifth act. Masayuki Furuya: some of the best plate work I've ever seen, with some lovely stage presence. He got easily the best reaction from the audience, which I happily joined in with, but interestingly my partner wasn't that impressed.
Sixth act, Sylvia Rosat and Bobby Scala: crack, crack, crack goes the whip, but there's a reason she's dressed like that - it's not otherwise a visual act. Especially with the lighting in the evening.
Seventh act, ??: the bar routine was fine, but none of it made me gasp. I did like the 'the bottle and glass stay stationary, but the hands holding them change, by the end rapidly' bit.
Eighth act, Thom Wall: the lens change meant I could see how impressive some of his balancing was. Interestingly, he failed to pull off one bit in the afternoon - the move of the ball from something balanced on his chin to one balanced on his forehead - and didn't retry it, whereas everyone else did a (single) repeat of their drops. I do have a shot of the final routine when it went wrong (both balloons bursting) in the evening - not mentioned in the "The trick worked both times" bit of his blog! - and he did repeat that.
There was an interesting difference in the atmosphere between the two shows. The lighting didn't make much difference in the afternoon (natural light swamped it) and should been better in the particular places in the evening. I was also near to someone who spent much of their time being rude about the quality of the acts in the evening, although they did shut up during the plates and the final act...
So it was great, and I wish I could have seen more of it.
I am aware that not everyone thought so - in the evening, I was standing next to someone who was making derogatory comments about nearly all of the acts. They did shut up during Masayuki Furuya and Thom Wall's acts though!
I wrote them down with delusions of being like Jon Peat:
Florence Huet (Hoops)
Ben and Fred (Science-related act)
Swing Circus (dancey, cyr wheel, hand balancing)
Masa (spinning plates)
Synthia (rapid whips)
Shake down (flair bartending, mixed with hand balancing)
Thom Wall (balancing, and did a two health bars finish with the balloon pop.)
MC: Dan Holzman
You're right! I totally biffed the balance transfer trick in the first show. When the winds picked up and they decided to move the gala show to the main hall, the ball I normally use for that trick was lost in the shuffle somehow... I had to borrow one of Tiff's balls last minute! His ball was a little smaller in diameter than the one I normally use... I trained the trick a few times before the show (all super last minute) and it seemed to work well -- but when I got on stage... muscle memory took over. As you can imagine, it's a super delicate trick to pull off, and a slight change in diameter of the ball can throw everything off. Between shows, I spent about an hour breaking down the technique and re-learning it with a smaller ball. Didn't want to waste everyone's time with me missing it a second time (or third. or fourth) in the first show. Such is life and live performance!
And, yeah... totally screwed up the double balloon in the second show on that first attempt. That's a really young trick for me (EJC was literally the first time I've put it on stage!) -- that was an error in preparation on my part... dragged the balloon along the edge of the knife when setting it up! Ah well. Still a beautiful trick, and I'm really pleased that I was able to execute the trick on the second attempt!
Glad to know Masa and I were spared by the hecklers during the show! Phew!
Matthew Tiffany: I'll be surprised if he's not normally a street performer. It was fine, but I would also be surprised if a chunk of the audience couldn't do everything he did.
You should be doubly surprised then!! He's one of very few people in the world who can do most of those tricks
Welcome aboard - hopefully we'll see you around more now that you've had a taste of juggling fests
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