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I've been watching a lot of youtube lately. Mostly jugglers and unicyclists, but really, any kind of circusy thing. I've been trying to figure out what makes an act good, and I've come to the conclusion that it's not necessarily skill. For example:



Chris Bliss (comedian)


vs.

David DiMuzio (world champion juggler)


Superficially, their acts are quite similar. However, I have much more fun watching Mr. Bliss even though he is not nearly as skilled as Mr. DiMuzio. I think a part of it is that Mr. Bliss gives it so much heart. He is so into what he's doing that it looks like he completely forgets anyone else is there. Mr. DiMusio is very aware that he is being watched, and he pastes that charming smile on his face and goes through his routine like it's no big deal. If he doesn't see it as a big deal, then neither do I.

Then there are people who are very highly skilled, like:

Steven Ragatz


and

Viktor Kee


It's hard to say which one is a better juggler because they are both very, very good. I'm tempted to say they're about equal in skill, especially because Mr. Ragatz has preformed in Cirque Du Soleil, and if both performers were good enough for Soleil, that must mean that they're both world class. And yet, I am able to choose a favourite. I like Mr. Ragatz more. He's very creative, I love his costume, and he bounces balls off of his head, which is cool. He also does neat things with his hat, and I really like it when people do neat things with their hats. Mr. Kee is very showy, 'lookit what I can do!' while also trying to appeal to the high culture crowd. Don't get me wrong, I really like Mr. Kee's act, but if I had to choose I'd have to go with Mr. Ragatz.

So, what does this all have to do with me? Well, I want to do a juggling act for the winter cabaret. Since I will not be highly skilled by that time, I have to figure out other ways to make the act fun and interesting. Out of all the jugglers I've mentioned today, I think I would have the most success if I copied Mr. Bliss. He's not highly skilled, but is incredibly fun to watch. I need to figure out how to do that. I should also probably learn a couple more juggling patterns. Even the showiest person would probably have trouble making an act out of only two patterns.



So, which juggler do you like best and why?

Here's a few.

Date: 2009-07-05 08:13 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I've always been wishy-washy about this sort of thing, so here's a few of my favourites.

First is a guy named Michael Menes. I first saw him doing this routine in the 1989 IJA competition and damn near wore out my tape constantly rewinding those 4 minutes. I love watching him because his performances seem to bring juggling equipment to life. Here's the routine.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LA5cd9tXGMs

Second is the Raspyni Brothers. I've never seen anyone make juggling more fun to watch. Here's a video of their first appearance on Carson in 1986. There's another good one on TED.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY0Rl6VL_uo&feature=related

Last is a guy I think is the greatest juggler I've ever seen. His name is Francis Brunn, and he does some of the most difficult tricks I've ever seen one after the other with no mistakes in front of a live audience. Here's a clip of him on the Jack Benny Show about 50 years ago.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISstyvZQah4

Hope you enjoy them,

Ed

Re: Here's a few.

Date: 2009-07-06 11:31 pm (UTC)

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