Bridging the Gap from Vaudeville to the Internet: Mark Nizer

This marks the first in what will hopefully be a semi-regular series on jugglers in the 40’s-late 50’s age group. The internet had not yet exploded, and while there were some books out there,  jugglers in this age range learned and developed with the mentorship of others. In the cases here, these men and women bridge the gap between the vaudeville greats and the internet explosion. Our first subject in 1990 IJA Champion Mark Nizer.

Q: Where are you from? Where’s are you based out of now?

A: Concord, Mass, now living in Charlottesville, Virginia


Q: When did you learn to juggle? How?

A: 12 years old at an adult educaton class from a clown named Hemlock.


Q: Favorite juggling prop?

A: It changes from time to time. I love 3 + 4 clubs.


Q: First convention?

A: 1979 Amherst, MA


Q: Favorite juggler?

A: Francis Brunn


Q: Who do you consider your mentors?

A: Francis Brunn, Barrett Felker, Peter Davison, Michael Chirrick


Q: What’s the “Big” piece of advice they imparted to you?

A: Anything is possible.



Q: Do you have any jugglers you consider your proteges?

A: Ivan Pecel, Bryson Lang and a few others I have tried to inspire


Q:  What advice would you give to the jugglers today who can find nearly any technical trick online?

A: Learn a couple awesome moves and don’t get to obsessed with stuff that last only a short while but requires a butt load of practice. Don’t work so hard to learn 9 balls, when you could have used that time to be the best in the world at doing kick ups.

Q: If you could “pull” a vaudeville juggler forward to today, who would it be?

A: It would be fun to party with W.C. Fields and Trixie when she was at her prime.


Eric "Propfessor" Shibuya works as Professor of Strategic Studies, Marine Corps University and has been juggling for over 35 years. He was one of the guest editors for the 50th anniversary edition of Jugglers World and currently serves on the IJA Board of Directors. He's a frequent attendee of regional juggling and flow festivals. He lives in Virginia.

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