Entries tagged with “festival”.

I was just at the Flatland juggling festival this weekend. It was way more fun than I expected, and I had pretty high expectations.

One of the highlights was the festival t-shirt. It is cool to begin with, but it has a giant top on it. I thought at first that it was my big top “Chubby” but then figured I was just being vain. Then I ran into the guy who made the shirt. He asked me “Did you see Chubby on the shirt?”

It actually IS my top on the shirt! That’s SO awesome. Now it’s my new favorite.


Today went well, but I’m glad it’s over. I’m TIRED.

Everyone should spend an afternoon swapping stories with a couple of cowboys in a barn. I can’t recommend it highly enough. I had a long break in between sets today, and I had already planned on spending it sitting on my butt backstage. It turned out that Bob Hamm: 7 time World and National Champion had some time to kill too, and he is a great story teller. I heard about shooting marbles, sticking up kids for their candy at Boy Scout Camp, shootin’ BB guns, and all kinds of other awesome childhood things today. This guy is a real character, and man can he spin a gun. Yesterday I spent some time hanging out with the lumberjacks, and I REALLY want to throw an axe now. I didn’t think they would want me throwing their axes, and besides, the target was right next to the petting zoo, and that would only lead to disaster.

I did finally manage to get my hands on an reasonably massive amount of chocolate today, so I felt good about that.

After the fair was finished I even got to hang out with some top and yo-yo pals. It was a good ending to the event.

Today I had four shows, and they were only 30 minutes apart. It was exhausting. At least it was a nice sunny day though, so there were lots of people around to watch.

Today’s high points:
– On the way in I saw a car with the liscense plate “BON JOV1” Awesome.
– Buying my SECOND 36 bar case of Limited Edition 100 Grand candy bars. Today I got the peanut case since I already had the one with the coconut bars in it.
– Eating two ears of delicious sweet corn while watching cowboys do rope and gun tricks.

Today’s low points:
– Having to talk over the sound of the speed boat races on the nearby lake.
– After all the work to correct it, the sound quality on the “Diamonds” stage was STILL terrible

If all goes well, tomorrow after the fair I will get to hang out with a couple of top-spinner/yo-yo friends. Then on Tuesday Vader and I will go off to Madison for a day to try to get some stuff ready for the move to Pittsburgh.

Today at ChocolateFest it rained. That was really the major aspect of my day. One of my shows got cancelled as a result, but mostly it just meant there were fewer people around. People were literally running from the park when the rain started. Not a good sign when you are trying to gather a crowd for a show.

In other news, I ate a whole bunch more chocolate today, so that was good.

I’m in Burlington WI today, and for the next three days performing at ChocolateFest. I met a guy from ChocolateFest at one of my gigs last year, and I actually tried really hard to get them to hire me… mostly because I had heard that there were mountains of free chocolate just lying around, waiting to be eaten. So far that has not proven to be the case. Admittedly, it’s only been one day, and while there was free chocolate for the performers, it did not come from a mountain as I was promised.

My first two shows had some mic trouble, but that was nothing when compared to the carousel trouble. It was brutal. Right across the walkway from the stage I was on was an incredibly loud carousel. They were playing the shrillest music I’ve ever heard, and it was as if they were piping it directly into my head. There were times when I could hear the carousel better than I could hear myself. Not ideal. After my show they turned it down bit, so maybe tomorrow will be better.

The Daily Illini Newspaper found me at the Champaign-Urbana Jugglefest

This time my dog and I are Eastward bound. First a stop yesterday in Cleveland to hang out with the illustrious Steve Brown , and today we’re in Leonia NJ staying with Cousin Scott and family. The purpose of this trip is to go to the opening of Lenore’s first solo NY art show tomorrow night in Manhattan. It should be great. We both have a number of friends in the area, so I’m hoping that it will end up to be a little reunion of all our East Coast pals. We’ll see who can make it. Then after the show I get to go to the weekly post-juggling-practice meal with the NY juggling club. Good Chinese food, and always good times.

It’ll be a short visit here; on Friday we’ll take off again back to the good ol’ Midwest. After another stop at Steve Brown’s house, we’ll be home again for a couple of days before heading up to Milwaukee for a gig (in Chicago), and for me to fly out to California for my brother’s wedding. Vader will hang out in his “vacation home” with Lenore’s mother in Milwaukee. After that I’ll be home for a few days, then back up to Milwaukee for the Shorewood juggling festival where I will be MC for the big show.

March is a big month for traveling but April won’t be so bad.

Having just finished another great MadFest juggling convention I have come to a better understanding of why there was such a controversy over the popularity of the Chris Bliss video that swept the internet a while back. (If you haven’t already seen it, check it out here before you read the rest of this article.)

MadFest is the annual regional juggler’s convention that is held each January in Madison Wisconsin. I have helped organize it to one degree or another since it started. For the last six years I have been in charge of the Public Show.

This year, as usual, we had a fantastic show. We had great jugglers like Luke Wilson (Brittish, living in Germany) and the Dew Drop Jugglers (Minneapolis/St. Paul MN) and we had great variety acts like The Rope Warrior (Chicago) and the Flybar Pogo Stick Demo Team (Chicago/Ohio), and sold out our 1300 seat theater once again. It’s always a challenge convincing people to go to the show, but once they go they are usually astonished at how great it was. For the most part, once people have seen the show they make it a family tradition to go every year. Initially it was frustrating to me that people didn’t seem to believe me that the show was going to be good enough to be worth seeing. I eventually got over the fact that not everyone thinks juggling is as cool as I do, although that never seemed like the whole story. This year I think I have seen the light, and my frustration has changed to a slightly different form: I think that American society no longer believes that live entertainment is worth the trouble.


Tomorrow I leave for Madison WI to start the ramp-up to the MadFest Juggling Festival.  I have to go earlier this year than usual because I will be doing a radio interview on Tuesday morning (at 6:30 am… ug) on Z104.  As usual I’m really looking forward to the fest, and a bunch of my favorite people in the whole world are coming, so it should be a blast.

Also, we will once again have the Wisconsin State Yo-yo Contest at MadFest this year.  Unfortunately, this was the year of starting everything later than I should have, so there aren’t many details up about the contest yet, but that should change soon.

This last weekend I was in Ithaca NY to be the MC for the Cornell Juggling Club’s public show at their Big Red JuggleFest. It was a great time. First of all, juggling festivals are always great. If you don’t spend your time hanging out and talking with people, like I usually end up doing, you can just juggle ALL DAY. What a great way to spend a day.

I was hanging out with some of my New York City pals: Sean Blue, Marcus Monroe, Paris, and Sean’s non-juggling buddy Herman, who turned out to be a cool guy despite that fact that he’s not a juggler. Ithaca was really hard to navigate for most of the out of town guests, and we got lost every time we went anywhere. It was not awesome.

The show was on Saturday night, and was really high caliber. It took place in a former top quality theater that has been converted into a lecture hall on the Cornell campus. I understand that a university probably needs a lecture hall more than a theater, but as a performer it was really hard to look at what obviously used to be a great theater, and was now just a shadow of its former self. It still had the orchestra pit, but the new wall was only six inches back from the edge of the pit, and there was no longer a backstage. Strangely, there was a brand new greenroom with a bathroom, but that was it.

My sets in the show went over great, and the show went very smoothly. Thomas Dietz, from Germany, was the headliner and we had a whole slew of other great acts. See more (and download the poster!) here: http://rso.cornell.edu/cjc/festival/performers.htm