The juggling world has lost one of it’s most colorful characters. Cotton McAloon passed away on April 10th, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. He was born November 6, 1965 in California (USA) to a mathematician father and artist mother. The family moved to France when Cotton was young. He spoke five European languages and was known for his high energy performances, hard-living and anti-establishment bohemian lifestyle, and creative juggling. He was living in Germany at the time of his death. Besides juggling, he also loved freestyle frisbee / disc and was ranked number 88 in the world at the time of his death. He was also an avid nature photographer, pinball player, and guitarist.
Cotton left home at the age of 15 to study at Annie Fratelliini’s circus school in Paris. He left the school in 1982 and quickly made a name for himself as one of the top European street performers. He was a very talented juggler, working mainly with 3 balls, 3 to 5 clubs, yo-yo, and frisbee. Combined with his technical expertise was a quick wit, resulting in a comedy juggling act that he took around the world.
You can see several videos showcasing his talent below.
Below you can see his famous 4 club routine.
The next video highlights his yo-yo work, including his heavy metal yo-yo routine.
Cotton McAloon was the winner of the coveted “Clown d’Oro” award presented by RAI Uno, the Italian TV station, the proud bearer of the title “Street Entertainer of the Year” (sponsored by Time Out, the London arts magazine), and winner of London’s 1986 Covent Garden Street Performer’s Championship.
In the early 1990s, Cotton moved to Berlin, Germany, where he was at the forefront of the revival of variety theater there. He specialized in recent years in dinner theater shows and gala events.
Cotton was an inspiration to many jugglers around the world. He was comfortable performing on a street, in a circus, on television, or on a stage and could perform his act in multiple languages.
Cotton was a force of nature and will not be soon forgotten. Our condolences go out to all of his friends and family.