eJuggle: Opinion/Theory/History

Juggling and Your Beliefs

I’m amazed at how many people I run across that after seeing me juggle say, “Wow, I could never juggle.” I then think back to all the practice I did, all of those awkward throws that I threw too far away, the chasing the balls after they hit my foot, the figuring out to practice over my bed so I …

Planting Kudzu

Kudzu is a climbing, semi-woody, perennial vine in the pea family. Once kudzu is established, it grows rapidly at a rate of up to a foot a day, and can be almost impossible to remove. When I got back into the juggling community in 2011, it didn’t take long for me to figure out that my juggling was nothing particularly …

Be Funnier with Scotty Meltzer: The Secret of Great Comedy

What is the secret of great comedy…? I’ll give you a hint. It’s not timing. It’s practice. I don’t know how to sit down and write a funny joke. But I do know how to write two dozen jokes and then find out which ones are funny. And this is how every comedy writer that I’ve ever talked to creates …

Celebrating “The Barn”

Anyone who’s known me for more than a minute or two knows I’m a big advocate of the Celebration Barn Theater. “The Barn” is a renowned theater school offering intensive summer workshops for variety and circus performers. I recently had a moment that reminded me why I’m so passionate about my favorite summer destination. Sun-season means different things to different …

Stagecraft: Magic

NOTE: While most articles on eJuggle are free to the public, this exclusive article is for IJA members only. If you're a member, log in on the side to read the full article. If you're not a member, read about the benefits of IJA membership in the About menu at the top of the page and join today!
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This column explores different art-forms and the creatives who work in them. We look at how choreographers approach their work, what an improviser needs in his tool kit to do well, and how a painter sees the world. In each case I will apply the techniques of each specific art-form to juggling and demonstrate ways in which we can apply the creativity of other disciplines to our own.

This month brings us an interview with a modern legendary magician, Arthur Trace. He received international recognition in 2005 by winning 1st place in the stage competition at the International Brotherhood of Magicians stage competition. At the same convention he was also awarded the people’s choice award and the Gold Medal for Excellence in Stage Magic award. To get a sense of what his highly crafted and entertaining show is about, I recommend watching his demo video at http://arthurtracemagic.com/

My conversation with Arthur lasted over an hour and he had so much to say. It was a pleasure to talk with someone who has done so much deep thinking about what it means to be an artist. As difficult as it was to synthesize our talk down to 2,000 words, I think that you will find his approach informative and inspiring.

YOU MUST BE AN IJA MEMBER TO READ THE INTERVIEW WITH ARTHUR TRACE…

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This exclusive article is for IJA members only. Go to http://ezine.juggle.org/membership-options-page/ to join the IJA for this and other benefits.

Notes and queries and a case full of clubs: Object Physical Research

In my last column I wrote at length about the inherent conceptual content of juggling, and so I thought the best way to follow up on that would be by bringing the topic back down to something more tangible: the most tangible and basic thing possible – how we move the objects we use. Something I hold very dear is …

Be Funnier with Scotty Meltzer: Comedy Darwinism

There are two obvious ways to make your show funnier: First, add more laughs. Second, make the laughs you already have bigger. In the next few months, I’m going to use this column to give you some tools to help you do both of these. I hope your feedback and comments help me come up with even more. I’ve talked …

DAVID DEEBLE

A COLUMN IS BORN Jugglers And Fans Of Juggling And The Related Arts – It is not yet clear whether this column will post daily, weekly or monthly. That wil be determined by reader interest, so probably the latter. While it’s difficult to predict at this point exactly what direction it will take, one can reasonably infer that it will …

Stagecraft: Improv

NOTE: While most articles on eJuggle are free to the public, this exclusive article is for IJA members only. If you're a member, log in on the side to read the full article. If you're not a member, read about the benefits of IJA membership in the About menu at the top of the page and join today!
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This month we look at the art of Improvisation. The word ultimately comes from the latin: improvisus, which translates as unforeseen. When an artist is involved in the creative process, they literally can not see the terrain that lays ahead.

The creation of performance pieces and the development of new juggling tricks is a pure act of improvisation. We uncover the unseen and reveal the hidden. Although long and short form comedy improv on the whole stands apart from the variety arts, there are so many similarities that it bears a closer look. What’s more, there are many resources that can be found in print that can help us deal with our own issues, such as creative block, free association, and continuity of theme.

Many of today’s great improvisers such as Mike Meyers and Tina Fey got their start at a school in Chicago called Improv Olympics, a school founded Charna Halpern. She is also the author of a classic improv manual: "Truth in Comedy". Here is an excerpt of an interview we did last week.

YOU MUST BE AN IJA MEMBER TO READ THE INTERVIEW WITH CHARNA HALPERN…

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This exclusive article is for IJA members only. Go to http://ezine.juggle.org/membership-options-page/ to join the IJA for this and other benefits.