Ministry of Manipulation in Berlin

I’m subscribed to the Ministry of Manipulation blog, a really great place to find new and/or obscure juggling videos, with an obvious bend towards contact juggling and manipulation. From the crew I know Drew and Ryan the best, have performed and hung out with Jeanine and Ed, and know Moon and Colin by reputation/video.

Anyway, this week they are teaching a five day workshop at the Katakomben (minus Drew and Ryan, plus Kelvin and Meghan). There are about 45 students, so it’s almost become a mini-convention. The weather has been good so I’ve been hanging out with other jugglers in the park between my home and the Katakomben in the afternoons (mainly working on my laptop away from the distracting wifi internet connection), and this week the numbers swell impressively during the lunch break and in the evening once it finishes.

Today I needed to buy two juggling beanbags, so I went along to the juggling shop in the Katakomben. I popped into the main workshop spaces to say hi. Declan said “We’re all going to take a trip down to the Holocaust Memorial… are you coming?”

It sounds like a weird thing to do, but the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (as it’s officially named), is a weird place to visit.


There are 2,711 massive concrete blocks set in a massive grid, perfect for getting lost and disconnecting from the outside world. It’s also a perfect place to drop 50 jugglers with balls balanced on their heads. It might seem disrespectful, but the architect intended it to be a place to experience life, not just standing about looking quiet and solemn. It’s almost an adventure playground for kids in the summer.

Did I want to visit with all the workshop participants? Of course! I had other things to do, like pack for my trip tomorrow, but that could wait. The cat herding began and the group set off. I had nothing to do with the workshop or the trip, I was just tagging alone, but as a Berlin resident I seemed to become a point of information and advice. At one point, while waiting at the S-Bahn station, too many people started looking at me to lead the group, so I made point of shrugging and pointing elsewhere.

I didn’t have a camera, but as the non-workshopee I volunteered to take some group photos at the Brandenburger Tor. There was a bit of an issue with the security guards when we reached the memorial itself, but soon the entire group was in the midst of it. A dedicated videographer was on hand to document the entire experience, so I look forward to seeing that in the next few days/weeks.

Not much more to say about it really. It was just an unexpected fun little trip out in Berlin… and one of many reasons I love living in this city!

Next trip starts tomorrow.

Mediterranean Sea, April 2009

Mediterranean Sea, April 2009

Tomorrow I’m leaving for a weekend gig in the Mediterranean. I’m joining a ship in Turkey, and hope to visit Ephesus, a ruined Roman city that’s full of interesting buildings. I normally get a lift directly from the airport to the ship, but this time I’m going to see if I can get to Ephesus on the way. It probably won’t happen, but I can try.

Next stop is Santorini, a Greek volcanic caldera island chain type thing. I’ve been there before so I know what to expect. There’s a place to go diving to see a wreck, and a place to see hot springs and volcano type stuff, and a fun donkey ride up a cliff… I really haven’t made any plans. All I know is that there’s a 50/50 chance of me having to perform that night, so I might not have time to do anything but a walk through Thira, a town perched on top of a cliff.

After a day at see I’ll arrive in Malta. This is my first visit to Malta, so I hope to get a chance to see Valletta for a few hours. The ship will probably arrive at 9am, and my flight isn’t until 2.30pm, so I should have enough time for a quick touristy walk in the morning.

Then I fly home. And the flights are just a few hours each way, unlike the 15 hours to and from South America.

I have no big plans for what I’m going to achieve on this trip, it’s not like I have a lot of time to fill. I’ll probably catch up on some reading or finish the continuity edit on Monster Story (working title).

My most viewed video.

Youtube is a fantastic service. Everyone loves it. Except copyright holders whose intellectual property is uploaded by third parties.

This happened to me, but I don’t really care. The only thing that annoys me is that, out off all the videos of mine on Youtube, luke burrage jungler amazing has the most views, and it was uploaded by someone else.

Instead of complaining to Youtube, getting the video removed, and uploading the same video again, I decided to upload two new versions of the same act to my own account. I recorded them on my last cruise ship gig.

People often say “I like your 3 ball and video routine, but it only works for jugglers, right?”

Wrong! I do this routine for rich retired Americans all the time, and judging from comments afterward it is everyone’s favourite part of my show. Of course, I need to ease them into it gently, so I added a four minute introduction explaining where all the words come from.

That said, jugglers clap in different places, and usually a lot louder at the end.

The first video is just the juggling section. The second video has the introduction, and then a different performance of the same juggling routine (with no drop, but a stupid mistake).

Stuff done.

I just remembered I kept track of what I did on my trip in a text file:

Day by day:

20th – continuity edited chapters 1, 2, 3, 4 while on plane
21st – photo video of bears, shot and edited. Continuity edited chapters 5, 6, 7, 8.
22nd – continuity edit on chapters 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.
23rd – compiled feedback on edward novel, spilt and reordered some scenes and chapters.
24th – many edits on edward novel. all except two chapters.
25th – finished major edits, started voice edits on chapters 1 through 7
26th – two shows. voice edits on chapter 8
27th – recorded podcast, did video editing, climbed to glacier
28th – video editing, posted on blog and sfbrp, voice edit chapter 9, 10
29th – voice edit on chapters 11 through 27.
30th – chatted a lot, failed on starting anything.
31st – spelling edit on novel, chapters 1, 2, 3.
1st – video editing, horse riding
2nd – packing, mostly. finished reading Ventus. Made some notes.