Where Math Meets Art: New Frontiers in the Mathematics of Juggling

Dominic Klyve – professor of mathematics at Central Washington University – recently published a paper titled “A Zeta Function of Juggling Sequences” in the Journal of Combinatorics and Number Theory. When we found out about this publication, we all got very excited and made high-pitched squealing noises, then we emailed him about writing a piece for us at eJuggle. Previously …

Could a Juggling Superhero Exist?

“Look, up in the sky, it’s the Super Juggler,” is something you have never heard for two reasons. One, a juggling superhero would not fly; it makes no sense. His super skill would be throwing and catching and object manipulation, or some combination thereof. Theoretically he could be in the sky if dropped from a blimp, but that could not …

Animal Juggling Acts

Many American movie goers remember watching Steve Martin juggle three (fake) cats in the 1979 move The Jerk. While the scene was absurd, the idea of animals being involved in juggling acts certainly isn’t. In fact, there is a long history, especially in circuses, of such acts. Perhaps the first act to combine juggling with animals was performed by John …

The Language of Juggling

As noted by celebrated juggling essayist Jonathan Hermann, there is a link between juggling and jazz, both of which use various techniques to communicate to the audience. A key part of jazz musiciany, as it is technically called, is developing a language of licks and phrases that speak to those enraptured ear holes sitting round the round tables, drinking gin …

Have An Edge

One time I was performing for an audience that was half British and half German. I call this “picking your poison”. To many performing neophytes, the very notion that one must decide which segment of the audience you’re going to go after is anathema. “You must please the entire audience” they protest. No, you don’t. In fact, you can’t. More to …

Notes and queries and a case full of clubs: Style Notes

One word which is often bandied about in discussions and descriptions of jugglers and juggling is “style”. Some have it, some don’t. Someone juggles in a particular style, or has their own distinctive and defining style. But what does it really mean to have style, and how can we develop it in our own juggling? Let us start with our …

Juggling Related Injuries And Deaths

If you’ve been juggling for any reasonable length of time, you’ve probably had an injury or two as a result. Club juggling can result in bruises, black eyes, and bloody lips. Rings are notorious for cracked fingernails, bloody fingers, and cut webbing between the thumb and first finger. Diabolo string can give rope burn if you’re not careful. However, there …

Juggling and Jazz

The Juggler sees patterns like Miles Davis saw melodies. Both are merely the bones that outline expectation. People watch a pattern and see where it’s going. People hear a melody and assume it will repeat itself. And in those expectations, boredom emerges. Which is why The Juggler, as did Miles, understands that to keep the audience engaged, to keep the …

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Be Funnier with Scotty Meltzer: How to Steal a Joke

In last month’s column, Thou Shalt Not Steal, I wrote about an ethical way to steal jokes I called “switching to the bone.” The steps were: Step 1) Write down the joke you want to steal. Step 2) Write down the essence of what makes that joke funny. This could be the structure, the conflict, the type of ambiguity, the …