I did not actually take contemporary notes at all, so this is a mixture of sleep-deprived truth and inadvertent fiction. Much of it took place, of that I am certain.
Saturday 3rd: Helen and I did not volunteer for any site set-up, so did not arrive on site until Saturday afternoon, as a pair of normal punters. The drive in took around 90 minutes. It was much the same as the drive to Bungay except we got to stop ever so much sooner.
Collected wristband, map, and leaflet (very nice full colour glossy) after not too long in the queue. Found Leeds jugglers' arbour, or possibly boudoir, and camped next to it. Much ferrying of boxes into the site, tent put up, spare tent put up (neither Helen nor I have ever managed to travel light, and for this EJC it was car camping which made things worse. So about 50% of our stuff went in the spare tent this trip.)
Wandered around site. Noticed that there is a long queue at the info point. This will be a recurring theme. Joined long queue to register on the cash system and exchange real money for fake money, then joined medium sized queue to give the bar staff fake money in exchange for beer. The process strikes me as excessively complicated.
Joined long queue for open stage, turned away some minutes later because tent is full. Learning quickly from experience, I don't try again.
Sunday 4th: was the Big Day Out in Newark. Despite growing up down the river in Nottingham, I believe this is the first time I've ever visited. It's a pleasant market town, making a good deal of its Civil War history. And why not? A nasty, safely dead king was overthrown and eventually decapitated by a nasty, safely dead, genocidal theocrat who died in bed, and it's all good clean fun for the kids.
Immediately after getting off the bus, we nipped into the supermarket for food and ice-cream. After that, enjoyed pottering around the castle, admired the parade from the sidelines. Highlights included the big and little elephants at the front, the band, and various small children all being unspeakably cute.
Newark market square was astonishingly crowded after the parade finished. We spent a few minutes there and then slipped away to get more food and explore. After walking more or less clockwise round the centre, we came back out on a canal lock, and then past the fire stage in a park. Walked back across the Trent and found the Fox and Crown and had a pleasant half-pint - this is a Castle Rock pub and gets me one further to ticking them all off. (I've been working on this for at least 20 years. It is not a high priority project.)
From behind the church we walked back to the square and watched Hotel Paradiso, by Lost in Translation, on the front steps and facade of the Buttermarket. It is perfectly splendid. There is a plot, and waiters popping out of windows on ropes, and mad chefs climbing Chinese poles, and lawyers being thrown through the air. Sadly the rain comes in just 5 minutes too early and brings the show to a halt before the triumphant climax.
The rain does not stop. We decide to skip the fire show and get back to site. The buses are on time and there are plenty of them, but we are, nonetheless, extremely wet.
The next show is Jonglissimo (8 pm showing). This is a very episodic show making a very great deal of back projection onto a scrim along with programmable LED props, and I enjoyed it. Much of the back projection is live mirroring, distortion, or prop tracking and there are some very nice effects, as well as good clean passing and juggling going on. As far as tech heavy, light-and-sound effects heavy shows go, difficult to see it being done any better.
The rain has stopped! For today, anyway.
Food happens, I assume. I don't recall for sure. The food court was noticeably thin today with several stalls shut when we get back from Newark - it gets better later in the week.
Renegade in the Magpie tent, hosted by Steve and Rosie. Very strong on keeping it moving and keeping it fun.
Monday 5th: I don't recall anything about Monday except the show - I saw Gibbon in the gala tent. I don't even remember if it was the first or second run. Enjoyed this. If the Gandini project can be regarded as crossing juggling and manipulation with other theatrical and musical genres (and why not), then this show strikes me as involving repetition, frustration, physical farce, and repetition to the extent that it's practically Beckettian. Plus they are pretty good jugglers.
Did I do some whip cracking today?
Tuesday 6th: Some time right about now, we drove back into Newark to go to the supermarket and buy beer (also peaches, pea pods, and pananas). We also give Cornish Hazel a lift to do the same. After we get back, I volunteer for some litter picking while Helen goes to the BJC meeting. BJC 2020 will be in Perth! Poor Avril.
We watch the Bullzini Family high wire show at 5 pm. Blimey. It's cut a little short because of wind but even so, is remarkably impressive, as are the high Victorian bloomers with spangles.
Later on, I watch the Alternative Games in the Play tent. No injuries that I saw, despite much exuberance. I do not remind anyone that Alt Games put four stitches in my face a few years ago. Wouldn't want to scare them...
Wednesday 7th: EJA General Assembly lasts, by my reckoning, approximately one geological era. Not Ron's fault as the country voting is fast enough but there's quite a lot of countries, then the site selection for next year comes to a contested vote. We walk out by matched pairs until it is obvious that Finland wins! Madrid is then voted in for 2021.
The first weather warning from Jane Randall to the meeting. Mental note to put up guy lines on Thursday evening.
Helen and I wait for the ceilidh at 6 pm. It does not appear. Many other UK and Ireland jugglers are also waiting. Eventually, rumours permeate that the band might turn up at 8, or possibly 9. Still, there's always beer. Once the band does arrive we both dance with enthusiasm and vigour and in Helen's case skill.
Thursday 8th: Mostly a social day. No shows at all, a little bit of peeking at the fire space. The Leeds boudoir has been taken down, and we take down our sun tarps and guy out the tents a bit more efficiently. No more pleasantly cool lie-ins in the morning.
Today we also spot white mildew inside the tent, thanks to the combination of damp ground (although the drainage has been, as promised, excellent), very warm days, and plenty of cow and sheep shit from agricultural shows. Fuck. We do not burn the tent to the ground. Instead, I clean off the groundsheet and our luggage the best we can, and rearrange things for improved airflow. *Under* the groundsheet will have to wait until we get home.
After checking the tent over I watch a bit of the unicycle trials finals. The course is impressively large and varied and the jumps and grinds are suitably dramatic. The commentator is not particularly audible, being loud but too fast and not clear. Maybe it's better on the recording than over the speakers?
There is much rain from about midnight, but the ground is well drained and there's virtually no mud!
Friday 9th: We miss every single show. I go to a CPR workshop run by the wonderful Dr Helen. As well as the refresher in CPR, I also get to be a body for three different people to be moved into the recovery position. It's nice to lie down and have a nap.
I also spend a bit of time with a rope lasso today.
The wind is definitely picking up, but there is a renegade in Marybelle. An excellent club juggling routine from Men in Slacks, and overall one of the better renegades of the week, I thought. I'm pleased to see there is less pointless nudity than some years and more emphasis on the unusual, skilful, just plain daft.
By Friday evening, the call is made to move the gala shows out of the gala tent and into the main hall. There was an astonishing group volunteer effort over Friday and Saturday to make this happen.
Saturday 10th: It is noticeably noisy in the tent in the morning but neither of the tents looks at risk at all. There is a bit of rubbish and litters blowing around the site by now though.
By now, we are both sleep-deprived. Some things definitely happened during the day, probably. When it's not blowing a gale, it's a very warm day. Helen tells me the show ground permanent cafes have more veggie food options in today. Seems a little late. She also watches the indoor games, which go well, and has a medium long run in the hula gladiators.
I chat to Dr Helen and somehow end up volunteering to manage volunteers on Sunday, for the start of clean up and takedown. Bother.
Helen and I take our chairs into the evening gala show. Trying to find clean sightlines is a bit of a pain but there is an enormous amount of goodwill in the hall. It's a fantastic show! Tiff is dropless, Swing Circus is a joy to watch, everyone is excellent. We're next to Ian Deady so I manage to chat a little, haven't seen him for a couple of years.
(At least two of the acts are linked to Leeds, meaning that pro-rata we are punching way, way above our weight. You should come to Hullabaloo and see what makes it so special! First time's free, tea and biscuits are always free...)
Sunday 11th: We assemble at 10 am to do our best. About 50% of the people who signed up for Sunday volunteering turn up over the morning; several more who didn't sign up also volunteer. The main skills for herding volunteers are being confident in a loud voice which we can both do, and we are pretty sure we manage to send people to the right areas of the site. I take a few breaks from the desk to take down lighting and poles around the team camping. Helen takes a few breaks to get food and water. I get a dehydration headache. Silly me. Helen is very excited to find the scissor brooms for the main hall!
(We are both very grateful to all the volunteers who turn up. Thank you!)
Finally, about 5 pm we call it a day and hand the volunteer management back to the core team. Hugs and we're off. There is more traffic than the previous weekend and it slightly longer than 90 minutes.
A week later, Monday 19th: Tents and tarps are clean and dry. The groundsheets have been scrubbed, spot cleaned with isopropyl alchohol, and scrubbed again. Many piles of laundry have been laundered.
I didn't play enough games, hug enough jugglers, or do enough club passing. We did have a lovely time. Massive thanks to the whole org team and especially to Jane Randall.
I still think the cashless system was shit.
H: Bullzini Family! And too many to mention.
L: Dehydration headache on the last Sunday. Idiot. Drink more water!
G: Not really. Managed some OK ball on club balancing, I guess?
C: Helen. Duh.
B: Fucking mildew.
.. see you in Finland?
Jon's previous reviews inspired me to give it a try. Oddly enough, his 2016 review is one of the most informative EJC resources online, and was a great help in my preparation this year!
I find it interesting to see that our weeks began similarly, and diverged after ~Monday.
Getting ready for EJC was a little bit troublesome. We tried to rent tents from the ZIP, but by the time we did, they were completely out of tents. It was kind of last minute, but it didn’t cross my mind that they could run out of tents – the price of rental was about the cost of a tent (i.e. I’m paying for the convenience of their delivery and setup) so I’d figured ZIP would have bought more.
This led me to a brief panic where I asked around on the Facebook group if there were any alternatives to the rented tents. None of the alternatives that came up in the first few hours were reliable enough for my satisfaction (“Just come, someone’ll have a spare!”), so I wound up booking a hotel. I'm trying to plan and keep things organised…somewhat against the advice of some EJC veterans on Facebook.
Plane was delayed by about an hour and a half. We learned this well before we had left for the airport. Despite that, Emily was particularly keen on getting to the airport as quickly as possible, which resulted in us arriving about four hours early. No checking luggage yet! We spent about 20 minutes juggling (no breakthroughs there), about 40 minutes Skyping with my family, and then it was finally time to check her bags.
We breezed through the security, spending a total of about 5 minutes in line and at kiosks. We spent some time looking at the EJC overall and workshop schedule and plotting out some particularly high priority events or workshops we wanted to attend. I was somewhat surprised by the lack of advanced ball juggling workshops, but hopefully I'll find and some skilled jugglers that will be happy to teach me things. Our flight wound up boarding early (for being late), so it was nice that we were nearby. I slept well on the plane, only waking up at the very moment when I needed to eat my surprisingly nice airline food.
After ~1 hour on the Underground, a 20-minute delay on the LNER, and then ~1 hour on the LNER train, we concluded the trip with a riveting 20-minute walk with luggage to arrive at our hotel. We settled in and went out to see what Newark-on-Trent had to offer.
The town was small and nice. There were a couple grocery stores nearby that stocked our hotel room with vegetables for the next while. More interesting restaurants than we would be able to enjoy, given that most of our meals would be at the showgrounds. We found ourselves having burritos at Holy Moly Newark due to its high Google rating. The service and wait time were both mediocre, but the food was fantastic. Highly recommend, especially at an off-peak time.
Good heavens, a full English breakfast is included in the hotel’s free morning meal! Along with fruit, cereal, etc. Emily and I were feeling like the decision to stay in a hotel was a good one. We went into the fest at about 9:30, hitching a ride with my juggling student and his parents. We took a walk around the showgrounds to get oriented and enjoyed its atmosphere. Seemed like there was going to be some great juggling happening that week!
We were just a few minutes from getting into a whip cracking workshop, which was disappointing. Ah well, we checked out the main juggling hall and made sure to get back to the whip cracking before the start time this round.
Whip cracking turned out to be a lot of fun! The instructor broke down the form nicely. After some feedback, the motion felt intuitive and I was able to get consistent cracks with either hand. For whatever reason, my left hand had an easier time. This workshop only lasted 20 minutes instead of the scheduled hour, so I made a note to get back to the Western Arts Area later in the week. Here’s a clip from near the end of the workshop: https://youtu.be/2ZMEghpUIHI
We hitched a ride into town with my student’s family for the parade and shows. The scale of the parade was impressive (https://youtu.be/aaozDoYibI4). Jugglers filled a huge park, showing everything you’d imagine at a parade of jugglers plus a life-sized, walkabout wire elephant. The pacing of the parade was a little confused, resulting in us being a bit densely-packed to juggle. Nonetheless, the crowd seemed happy and I was happy to have been a part of it.
We went off to a pub to get Emily some authentic English food (she’d been warned) and enjoyed our fish and chips and Yorkshire pudding. We caught only the second of the in-town show, which was a nicely choreographed story about hotel employees trying to keep their place of work from being bought out. The audience was left in suspense when the rain caused the show to finish prematurely. Were the tips by the pool enough to save the day??
We caught the Jonglissimo show that night, which was well worth seeing. The show had a narrative thread of a woman doing a homework assignment to think about the future. Certain aspects of the future (space, cloning, teleportation, etc.) had acts built around them, featuring loads of interesting projections and augmented reality effects. Certainly a high-level, marketable act! It was different enough from things I’d seen that I felt like I was enjoying it more as a member of the general public, rather than a juggler.
Woke up too late for the hotel breakfast. Ah well.
It was a splendid day on both juggling and social fronts! It seems that my juggling had gotten some notice across the pond, at least among those who are interested in 3/4b juggling. I was grateful for all the people who approached me with pattern requests. I’ve come away with several patterns to work on that I adore! It was also lovely to be asked about how to learn certain patterns. I feel like my critiquing/coaching is getting stronger these days. Sometimes people’s mistakes make me reconsider degrees of freedom I’d been taking for granted and open up new patterns. Thank you to everyone who did these things! A few favourites were T-box (box with columns stacked, 2x goes along the top), Lucas Adverse’s old pattern (jellyfish), and 94453 in dots. I should’ve written down the names of the people who taught/suggested these to me, sorry!
I met Lewis Kennedy today! It was wonderful talking with him and interesting to learn that we started juggling at roughly the same time. We reminisced about the Youtube days, team Shreddy Crunch, and other ~2008-2012 trends. That man has some serious social skills!
I went to a workshop hosted by Sean Gandini, where we tried some polyrhythmic juggling. The warm-ups/proofs of concept were well-paced, and it built to some nice 4 ball fountain patterns where one hand went at a quicker tempo than the other. This kind of juggling tickles me in a particular way, and if I'm not careful it's going to be the next thing that I think a few months into. Perhaps the next time I get mildly injured.
Uriel sent a message saying that he had “organized” up a ball combat game. Nothing gets the blood pumping like running jumping and smacking forearms while playing ball combat with a bunch of awfully skilled Israeli jugglers.
There was a rule they had against attacking from behind. When we play combat in Ontario, or the States have played in, attacking from the back is the best strategy. This limited the utility of my typical style (focused on mobility and quick 180s) and forced me to broaden my skills. Very fun and worthwhile.
The open stage tent was full by the time I’d approached, so no open stage for me tonight. I'll have to go more than 15 minutes early in the future. I'm still not used to the idea of show venues being so much smaller than the number of participants. With everybody packed in, the total capacity was probably something like 600 people, compared to the roughly 4000 people who showed up at some point that week.
Learned a few more patterns today. Lauge helped me to understand some of his more basic carry siteswap patterns. I mostly learned jellyfish with the other side. I also thought of a variation of T-box where the columns rotate in the plane of the juggling one over top of the other. This trick by itself almost makes a video on morphing boxes worthwhile. I also met Iver which was a lot of fun. It's so cool to meet lots of jugglers that I've only seen or talked to online before. Eivind Dragon is also great!
I tried out the juggling infinity bean bags, the new kids on the block of juggling bean bags. There are a couple things that I'm interested about them. First, their plastic filling seems denser than typical polypropylene. I wonder what kind of material it is. Apparently it's much finer than one would expect, but that shouldn’t affect the bulk density (unless there’s also some diversity in particle shape? Hmmm).
I’m skeptical about the utility of the lifetime warranty. Its rare that falls break before becoming unusably saggy, or have multiple break at once. It would be very annoying to have a 2-year-old set where half of them had broken and half of them had been repaired or replaced. Finally, there's no guarantee that the business is going to stay alive for the next 10 years, so I'd be a little worried about that, too. It seems good at a glance, but I don't think it's useful. Nonetheless, they seem like very functional beanbags!
I went to two shows tonight. The open stage was generally strong. Dave Kelly’s juggling of Russian juggling balls on tennis rackets seemed completely impossible. The backcross variations and 6b between 4 racquets were fantastic. The second stand-our act was Sagi’s act with laundry hampers. There was an astounding amount of imagination that went into that act which was joined by gorgeous execution. It will be difficult to explain to others how he made so many interesting scenarios using these set of laundry hampers.
After the open stage was the IRC. I was curious with how well that would go, given the European scene doesn't seem as open competition in juggling as the North American one. Turns out, it was fantastically. The first two places practically redefined their craft.
Emily and I managed to get a spot front and centre by being quick to sit on the grass. The show started very strongly with Alexis Levillon doing his diabolo act. This included double vortex, and single vertax with one horax (probably a better name for this, but you get the idea). His character was well established and interesting throughout. His closing vertax combination with one diabolo was very strong and about as creative as vertax can be (link: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1QAv4EjoHf/). Alexis placed second.
Next up was a spectacularly interesting act involving staff fishtails while doing bounce juggling by Sebastian Berger from Austria. It was well presented with occasional (but effective) commentary of things like “things people can do” and “things nobody can do” etc. His finale pattern was four ball bounce while maintaining dual fishtails. Sebastian placed first!
Third place went to Ariane Oechsner, an antipodist who had a well-choreographed, solid act. Artfully tangled limbs, and lots of multiplexes with some thrown onto her feet (sample: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1UH-YRDzd3/). Luca Pderdmenges had a fun (and tough) club act, and Helena Berry made a surprising number of balls appear from under her baggy shirt. A list of all of the finalists is here: https://www.juggle.org/programs/irc-europe-finalists
After the IRC we went back to the gym where I played with a Craig Quat prop for a little while and then went back to the hotel. No problems getting a taxi tonight.
Today was a bit more relaxing. After breakfast we went back to sleep for another hour. I got the 12:00 bus into Newark Showground, and Emily came a little later.
I got myself some tea and went to the EJA assembly. It was somewhat interesting to see the difference between how they conduct their meetings compared to how the IJA conducts theirs. Something that stood out to me was that 2 years ago, in Lublin, the organisation turned a profit of roughly £95,000. The year after, in Azores, the prophet was about £15,000. I don't know where that money goes, because it doesn't seem like the EJA has crazy money on hand (i.e. it seems to have enough, but not a dramatically increasing sum). A question for the treasurer, if I can find her later.
There was a vote for which location was going to take the next EJC. Finland and Madrid both applied. Personally, I thought Finland had a slightly stronger bid, with the exception and the fatal exception of schedule and it during IJA. When someone else asked about this, it was clear that the IJA had not been a consideration for the Finnish organizers. It was further disappointing to hear several people (including some executives of the EJA) vocally dismissing North American attendance (“Who cares, for all two or three people who come!”). Also somewhat surprising, considering 2/9 acts in the EJC’s gala show are regular attendees of the IJA (Thom Wall, Dan Holzman). And Matt Hall running 10 workshops through the week, and David Cain doing his juggling history show. Really a shame, because I would have considered going next year in Finland. The Finns did wind-up winning the bid, so unfortunately, no EJC for us next year.
After the meeting I wound up doing a little juggling and went to find my write-in “learn inverted box” workshop. It turned out to have been in a somewhat hidden location, but no big deal, people got there eventually. 45 minutes seemed to be about right for the workshop, and people seems to make a lot of progress in that time. As usual, there was a very wide range of skill levels at an inverted box workshop, including people who could not really do box yet. I hope everyone managed to get something out of it.
I ate a large dinner consisting of a meat with meat with meat with falafel sandwich, and a tuna and cucumber sandwich. Again, following not very much juggling, we lined up for the open stage on the rumour that Toby Walker was going to be in it.
Well, it turns out Toby Walker was not actually in that open stage. There were a few pretty good acts, including an interesting hand balance rola bola act. It was novel and I’m curious with how it will progress. The other standout was the closer Eyal Bor, who did a very well put together ball juggling act.
Feeling a little bit sore after trying some as Lauge's carry tricks and some rapid crossing-arms shower that I learnt in line at the open stage. Hoping that feels better today or tomorrow.
The (inverted) box variations workshop went relatively well. Due to some confusion about starting times, a parade of jugglers came out all about 15 minutes into the workshop. Bennett graciously stepped up to teach inverted box to those who didn't know it. Everyone seemed to make a lot of progress! Many of jugglers in the advanced group managed some high-low inverted boxes, some in line 3, and some cross-columned inverted box. I really wish I’d had a 3-ball juggler to teach me earlier on in my juggling career.
Below were “choreography” notes for my renegade act. I thought I’d leave them here in case someone was interested:
Inverted box + Mura transition to cross columned inverted + inverted dome box + high low inverted dome box, STOP
Box + popped up Luke's shuffle + popped up inverted box + levels + descending inverted box, STOP
Orbits + extended + cross-columned extended + high low cross-columned inverted box, STOP
Inverted box + fork catch and point to dots in left hand + inline 3 + high low inline 3, STOP
The Scandinavian Renegade was amazing. There were lots of very strong acts and whacky tricks. The setup was also interesting: after a performer finished, the crowd was asked if they…
deserved a beer. If yes, do they also…
deserve a shot? If yes, do they also…
deserve to become THE KING OF NORWAY? (comes with a crown, scepter, and as much alcohol as you wish until you’re dethroned)
The crowd was kind enough to vote me into the monarchy! Knowing the clock was ticking on my rule, I had absinth for the first time, and found myself quite enjoying it. I was dethroned two or three performers later, happy for the experience.
There were lots of notable performances that night, including Lauge, Tarorin, Thom Wall, and many more. I bowed out at about 1:30 am, but apparently the show didn’t finish until about 6:00 am!
My dots workshop was happening at noon, and it’s rapidly becoming my favourite. First, pretty much everybody approaches it as a novice of dots. Second, the technique is non-obvious, and the benefits of knowing that technique are dramatic. I’ve run it a few times, and it seems like the progression works very well for most people. Maybe it’s time to make a worksheet.
I tried working on a shower variation inspired by the hand positions of Lucas’s jellyfish pattern. There’s no uncertainty now: practicing this pattern a few days ago is what’s caused my left pec to be sore. That’s not bad, though: I did go into this festival with the goal of coming out sore.
The workshop on practice tips was a bit smaller than expected. Thom, Havaard, and Wes were listed as the panelists, but Wes was the only one there at the beginning of the session. Haavard was recovering from the 6:00 am Scandegade, and Thom was in the gala show tech. It turned out to be ok, but mostly stuff that I knew already. It seems the longer one has to practice, the better unstructured practice works. It always makes me jealous hearing that people can consistently have long practice sessions. My lifestyle is much more like Matt Hall’s than Wes’s or Haavard’s, and I’m thrilled if I can get an hour of practice in each day.
The main juggling hall became the gala show site due to high winds, relegating juggling practice to some nearby barns. Josh Mermelstein and I bounced 4b Boston mess ideas off of each other for a while, and came out with some interesting ones that will hit instragram sometime.
The games were a bit rough around the edges. It seemed like the emcee’s first time running games, which led to a few letdowns. There were typical issues, like not knowing what to call for some endurances and Simon Says (with the typical symptom of calling increasing numbers of spins). They tried to sell the idea that each juggler was only allowed to compete in one of 5, 7, and 9 ball endurance, but after enough booing, they backed down from that. That said, I still learned about 3b zombie (not zombie combat), which was fun. Next time I’ll have to be a little more aggressive with getting zombies out of my way.
The Gala show was underwhelming. I’d seen about half of it before (Thom and Dan Holzman many times, Masa twice, Matthew Tiffany and Florence Huet once each), and the other half didn’t have much for me. I did appreciate Thom’s two health bars balloon popping finale. You can see said finale at the bottom of this blog post: https://thomwall.com/ejc-2019/
Emily and I enjoyed one final large breakfast and departed from our lovely hotel. We very narrowly caught our plane (gah! Darn trains.) and had an uneventful trip back.
Good fun all around. I will intend to go to future EJCs, excepting scheduling conflicts.
Thanks for the reviews, guys, here are my disjointed untimelined ramblings.
-Parking spot by the red gate, which was right by the quiet camping, which had quiet people camping in it. (Well, there was one baby....)
-Spotting friends, old, older and new throughout the day and helloing. Hire wire show was good. I caught David Cain's history show (with lights and audio) for the second time - a few new bits. Good stuff.
-My cryptic crosswords for beginners workshop started with 3 people, soon grew to 8, and then suddenly 20. I'd re-written the order of things, and made better example clues, and the group-deconstructing of them seemed to go well. Several "Ahh!" moments from attendees, so I'm pleased with how that went. A few people returning later in the week with the example crossword - "We think it's Gateaux, but we're not sure why?..." (It wasn't gateaux) - Dave D having almost completed it, and some general laid-back solving sessions. All good. (Monthly crossword from me at https://tlmb.net/blog/ / https://twitter.com/TheVoidTLMB )
-Minor queues for loos and showers, and the latter being a temperature gamble. Par for the course, then. At one point I was washing the dishes up, next to two German guys, and we all realised at the same time that we were all uncomfortably tall for the sink height. Worse things happen at sea.
-My beginners kendama workshop had about 15 people, and I worked through the standard Kyu tricks in the hour. Most people got most of the tricks (or at least, well along the way to nailing them), so that's another tick. It was nice to see quite a lot of "unprovoked" kendama play at the EJC this year, and quite a lot of Royal Signatures draped around people's necks. I just about lasted the hour of the scheduled kendama jam. Lunar Hop was (surprisingly) new to me, so nice to hit it in Follow , but only to then miss the Spike. Oh, how these old bones shiverrrr...
-No Donald, no Monte, no poker. A brief frisbee session. Anna and Becky delivering the mail. Bungay flyers doubling as SJC flyers. Pasta or gnocchi on the camping stove.
-I was asked to film someone's act, so met up with Pascal, and arranged details. This meant I ended up watching the Tuesday Open Stage. Actually not bad. One highlight was glancing out of the side of the tent during one act, to see a bunch of ~5 jugglers "joining in" with the act (two girls, manipulating 1 hoop and 1 club, with trickswaps and movement interaction - nicely done), which was quirkily sweet. I packed up my camera quickly and dashed off the the IRC (pronounced "irk!") show, mainly because some guy called Matt was compèring it. During the show I was reminded of Mikey(?) once saying "Its nice to watch an act you know all the words to". The acts were a mixed bag for me, some seeming like throwbacks to classic IJA (junior?) teams routines, others having lovely individual ideas. The three medalists were the ones I would have chosen, but maybe not in that order.
-Meanwhile, a few nights earlier, Matt Hall had mentioned "Arron and Taylor" were flying in from a circus trip in Afghanistan. I didn't know who Arron was, but cool. The next night I was introduced to Taylor and, briefly, Arron, who I was surprised to find was female. Ok. But fast forward again to the IRC show when Matt introduces Arron, who comes on stage... and turns out to be Erin. (I'd failed to recognise her when we were introduced, 'cos she had a big hat on, it was dark, and, er, I'm stupid.) Later that night I got Matt to read out loud the written-down names "Arron" and "Erin", and sure enough, I could barely tell the difference. Schwa-schwa-a-go-go.
-Site was good, not too big, although my feet ached by the end of the week. The electronic money system was immensely annoying, so I refused to use it. I lived out of Aldi all week, and none of the onsite food outlets got any of my money. (Unless you count someone buying me an ice cream.)
-Lots of fun chatting to various Leftpondians this convention, be it those I'd met before - Matt, David, Scott, Erin, Cate, Greg, Karen -, ones I've "known" for quite a while from the internet - Thom (Thanks for the book! :-) ), Taylor, Mike -, or new acquaintances - Greg *really* likes my hat. On Thursday, I mentioned that I hadn't yet toss-juggled at the convention. Scott offered me the use of "the best juggling clubs in the world" to break my duck with. I pondered what he could mean by that, then asked "are they yellow?". Shortly afterwards I had a 10-minute session with his Dube Americans, which have a lovely spin, but terrible audio. Fun. Apart from that, all I did in the week was a little ken/zingdama, and a brief Rubberwrist diabolo session with Guy and Susannah.
-I saw the Diabolo Battle show. Best one I've seen yet. Marky Jay kept it fun and flowing (apart from interrupting the final at the wrong point, d'oh), and there were a lot of slick skills on display. Can't believe I once had the nerve to enter this. Good to see the ever-evolving trick sessions in the gym.
-After I signed a second kendama, I realised that both of my messages could be read either with or without the punctuation. Delivered my books to a mobile museum. Too skint to pick up more for my own.
-In the EJC meeting, the vote between Finland and Spain clearly went Finland's way. Ron decided to physically split the voters in to the two sides of the tent for a recount. It was clearly in Finland's favour. So Ron decided to pair-off all the voters out of the door until one side had voters left. It was clearly Finland that had most votes. So, Finland then. Hopefully I'll get to go, as I enjoyed 2010 Joensuu, except for the heat.
-Meanwhile, it's back to Scotland for a summer BJC next year. You absolute muppet, Avril. Sorry - typo, I mean "Nice one Avril!". Some nice words about JTV. Spooked a paramedic. I watched someone else do a dead man's routine. Have you really lived if you haven't done that? Bought some balls, which was wrong, because I don't listen to my girlfriend. Correcting that, 'cos Alex is a dude. Haggis doing toothbrush tricks.
-A lot of excitement about a car. Taking possession, eventually, of a hard drive full of videos. Congratulating Erin on her correct pronunciation of "arse", and telling her the Arron-Erin story. Using some of Richard Herring's Emergency Questions to lighten the mood after a friend had had an bad turn - but only being able to remember the filthy ones. Gary Glo seemingly not knowing how old he is, and (unconnectedly) being impressed with the Zingdama's (Thanks Dan!) construction. Taylor's reaction to getting a broad-bean crisp splat in the forehead - [blink, shudder], "What just happened?" Sending postcards to random people, telling them to point their toes. Catching snatches of Rumpel.
-Lots of hanging out and talking various degrees of crap with people around the bar area, which was great until they took the canopies away. Pointed accusingly at Toby Walker one night: "You're a star-belly sneech, you're sucking like a leech!" He was confused. Tried again later with "Kiss ass while you bitch so you can get rich", but he was still lost. THEN DON'T WEAR THE T-SHIRT, DUDE!
-Saw Jon on Saturday morning looking sharp. "You look like..... [thinks]..... You look like someone who's about to give a talk!". Went to his ABC Tour talk, took some notes, chuckled a bit. Went to the games, sat down to wait for them to start. A few minutes later, realising I wasn't in the mood to watch the games, I left. Bonus.
-1,2,3, clap clap clap, pat pat pat, Wanker! (Well if you will use a feeble excuse like "I'm having hip surgery" as an excuse for ducking out of a grading, then that's what you get.)
-I saw the first run of the Gala show. Highlights for me were Masa and Thom, but somehow the overall show didn't cut it for me as an EJC gala. I suppose the late venue change really didn't help. I heard the second show had a better atmosphere. Ah well.
-Jaffa cakes, Parma Violets, BlackJacks, croissants, coffee. An avocado. Ewano's photographic timing. And all the stuff I've forgotten.
-Fresh rip in the bell tent from the wind. Emergency repair by fak. Arriving as 2 people, leaving as 5. General exhaustion, and post-convention cold for the next week.
Thanks for my 17th EJC Jane & crew, & all volunteers. IT WAS FUN. Oops, I didn't mean to type that with caps lock on, but hey, I'll let it stand...
Next stop, Dundee.
''Pointed accusingly at Toby Walker one night: "You're a star-belly sneech, you're sucking like a leech!" He was confused. Tried again later with "Kiss ass while you bitch so you can get rich", but he was still lost. THEN DON'T WEAR THE T-SHIRT, DUDE!''
Perfectly entitled to rip the shirt from his back and set fire to it IMO.
Reminds me of the time David Beckham wore a shirt with a glittery Crass symbol with no idea what it represented.
Pah, kids today...
I'd make him work hard all day with a gun in his back for a bowl of rice a day.
Alexander Graham Bell originally suggested 'ahoy' be adopted as the standard greeting when answering a telephone, before 'hello' (suggested by Thomas Edison) became common.
Manchester Juggling Convention...On Tour!
If I could just take the liberty to remind you all of the upcoming event...it would bee super if you came.
It’s been years since I was active on here..I retired from my entertaining career about 5 years ago..However having just been to the EJC my enthusiasm has certainly been rekindled...Rekindled to the point that I might find a juggling club to go to again..Which clubs are still active in the Manchester or Cheshire area..Cheers chums..
There may be others that haven't caught on and use the Facebook/Social-Media thing exclusively...
But this site's lovely club search gadget suggests:
Hi everyone, fairly new juggler here (but practised a lot this year). Went to the EJC and was blown away. Have been getting some great teaching/tips from those fancy jugglers at the Leeds juggling club also. Amongst other things (7 balls mainly!), I'm currently working on (6,4x) back into 5b cascade by kinda throwing a 7 from the opposite hand to the last 6 thrown and then throwing a 5(ish) from the other hand. Not sure if that's right - it's very messy at the minute. What siteswap is this? I've just found this video https://youtu.be/i1Mw0zVae94 where he does a simple transition. Do you know of any other ways to transition back? I know it changes from synch to asynch so is there a way to notate it? Thanks in advance if anyone can help out with this!
Well done on being a beginner at (6x,4)*, and transitions? it took me a lot of effort to get that far, not many do. I may have misunderstood the question, also I don't really care for the siteswap descriptions of those transitions... probably because of laziness. (there use to be siteswap wiki's for that sort of thing though...)
When I want to exit (6x,4)(4,6x) I just throw the 6 ball higher than usual, then 5 starts easily.
When I want to go into the (6x,4)* pattern I just throw a throw that is a bit higher than normal, but less than a 6x, and start it...
While these may take more than on throw to notate, that's how it feels.
What a siteswap simulator won't easily show you is how you instinctively changed your dwell time to make it all fit by trying to make it flow and feel natural...
just my 2 cents.
When did you realise what kind of performer you were?
For example, when did you realise that getting a laugh was more important than technical skill, or vice versa? Did you discover some other philosophy behind wanting to perform for an audience, or erm, organise conventions?
What is the most vital part of your kick from the performace experience? and can you pinpoint in your mind what was the trigger or link for it?
Ciao, hopefully you get me...
Laurence / RJ
My technical skill is so bad I always get a laugh.
The most vital part of my performance experience is getting paid.
Does a video of EJC 2000 in Karsruhe exist? I have great memories of the event and would be good to re-live it. Bob
I can't remember one. I do recall that there was a year that Alan Plotkin was supposed to be coming over to film, but was ill at the last minute. But that might have been a BJC. Happy to hear more info/otherwise.
One video I'd like to see again is the 1994 Hagen EJC one. IIRC, it was just of the gala show. Anyone got it?
Didn’t Alan upload all his old videos to Vimeo? Might be worth looking there?
Hello fellow jugglers! I moved to Tucson last fall, and it only just crossed my mind moments ago that I should look and see if there is a community of jugglers in this neck of the woods. Lo and behold, here you are! I so look forward to meeting you, socializing, and juggling together!
I have studied American Sign Language (ASL) for many years, and have made a few ASL Music Videos. (This fall, I will be enrolling in the ASL Interpreter Program at Pima Community College.) In two of these ASL Music Videos, I threw in a bit of juggling just for fun. Check it out. https://youtu.be/WblrqkbtGag
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