Ok, some juggling news. I’ve been injured recently, so my juggling practice has been cut down a lot. However, I felt I needed more pure juggling material in my full length show so worked on a new routine.
The routine needed to tick these boxes:
- I can do it without bending my back or legs too much.
- uses a prop I already take with me, so no extra weight.
- contains skills I can already do.
- looks interesting to non-jugglers.
- lasts about 4 minutes, but can be extended with an introduction if needed.
- involves comedy.
- fits into the story of my show (fake biographical).
I chose rings as the prop, as I always take 7 with me, and only ever do 40 seconds of juggling with them in the show. They are colour changing rings, red and white, so wanted that to be the main focus. I start with three rings, and do about 45 seconds of tricks, but cleverly (a certain level of cleverness, at least) make sure they only ever see them as white. Then I make them turn red, and everyone goes “Aaaaahhh…”
I then do a load more 3 ring tricks. Then 4, then 5. All good. Then I get the technician to press pause as I set up 7 rings. This includes holding a ring in my mouth, launching 6, grabbing the 7th, juggling for between 11 and 15 throws, then gathering them all in my left hand. I explain the trick before juggling it, but for a lot of the explanation I have a ring in my mouth, so nobody can understand what I’m saying.
This, if you don’t know, is called comedy. No, really, people laugh. I’ve done the 7 ring piece in shows before, and it always gets a good reaction.
So I put the entire routine together and performed it on my last cruise ship gig. I only dropped once, and the audience really enjoyed it. Of course, my 3 ball and video routine is the one that everyone always raves about afterward, but when I asked about the rings everyone said it was good. And when I mentioned it was new material, everyone said they couldn’t tell. That could be good: I’m good enough at putting together new material that I can get new routines right on the first attempt. It could be good: the rest of my show also looks like new material. I think I’ll go with the first option.
I have another routine in the works, which uses one to three clubs, video and a specially written soundtrack. The 3 ball piece works so well, I want something like it to close my show if I don’t feel like juggling knives on a rolabola. I’ll post more about it as it develops.