The passing of Robert Nelson

My heart has joined the thousand… My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend stopped juggling today. Sadly, it is time to retire IJA Life Member Number 83. Robert Nelson, the Butterfly Man, died on August 27, 2012. His passing leaves a void on stages and pitches around the world. I first met Robert at the 1980 IJA convention …

The Madcap Master….Ladies and Gentlemen…..Woodhead!

To watch Mark “Woody” Keppel on stage today is to see a master of his craft. Woodhead is unpredictable, hilarious, charming and above all exceedingly talented. He throws himself, sometimes literally, with reckless abandon into his character and you would never guess that he froze on stage in his very first public appearance. If you don’t know Woody, stop reading …

A Career of Creativity: Jay Gilligan

Jay Gilligan has accomplished a great deal in the world of juggling, and is a very busy man. Originally a hobby juggler from Ohio, Gilligan now resides in Stockholm, Sweden where he heads the juggling program at the Circus School there. When he is not teaching at the University, releasing juggling videos, and playing big shows all over Europe, he’s …

Circus Pages 2012 Show Review

On June 6th, 2012, touring circus show Circus Pages returned to the Lenawee County fairgrounds in Adrian, MI.  They have been coming to this location to perform for many years.  This year however, marked a little bit of a change up for the show, as instead of performing inside one of the usual fair buildings, they performed entirely outside. The …

FKBs in Israel

The Flying Karamazov Brothers were in town recently for the Israel Festival, and I was fortunate to see this classic troupe of comedy jugglers. For the uninitiated, the FKB’s show is a zany combination of juggling, musical instrument playing, terrible puns, and hilarious physical humor and stunts. The Boston Globe got it right when they called it “The Marx Brothers …

The Original Object, Redux

For jugglers, a sphere can be considered the simplest or most complex of objects.  Two acts recently challenged limits and created beauty with these objects.  Dmitry Chernov, having already won a bronze medal at Cirque de Demain in Paris as a teenager, performed his shaman routine in the Big Apple Circus. Les Objets Volants, a 5-person ensemble that started as …

Shoebox Tour 2012 Review and Interview

On Thursday May 10th 2012, the Shoebox Tour came to Hazel Park, MI to perform at a venue known as TANK.  The touring cast for this year’s U.S. tour is Jay Gilligan and Wes Peden doing a two person juggling act with Erik Nilsson providing musical accompaniment. The venue was a small area that was part of a factory.  It …

Brad Weston’s Stagecraft: Bubbles

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 I sat down with bubble performer Geoff Akins [bubbleshows.com] to find out how he manages to make a living with soap and water. In his show, Geoff not only blows bubbles, he inspires a whole new generation to get out there and be true to their own visions. His program is not only cool to watch, it makes you think about what you can accomplish in your own life.

Perhaps inspired by the topic of bubbles, we met up at a laundromat halfway between our homes. In a couple of hours we managed to make a short movie, get our laundry done, and share some ideas about what it means to be a working artist.

YOU MUST BE AN IJA MEMBER TO READ THE INTERVIEW WITH GEOFF AKINS…

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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.

Brad Weston’s Stagecraft: Mime

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.

Mime: the most hated variety art-form in America. It’s also the least understood and, at this point, one of the rarest. Billy the Mime [http://billythemime.net/] is pushing the boundaries and delivering a solidly entertaining and thought-provoking show. The creator’s name is Steven Banks. I got him on the phone and we spent close to an hour talking about creativity and what it takes to be successful.

When I first contacted Banks to do this interview, all I knew about him was that he was a mime. What I didn't know was that he’s also a musician, an actor, and a writer for television and books. He had his own sitcom on PBS, wrote a New York Times bestselling book, and as head writer for SpongeBob Squarepants, he was nominated for an Emmy.

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.