David Pavlove Cunsolo is a 15 year-old juggler from Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He is also the IJA 2020 Online Festival Junior’s Champion. David Cain asked David a series of questions following his Junior’s win and the answers can be found below.
1. Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself apart from juggling?
I like to play a variety of sports like basketball, volleyball and curling, but juggling is still what I like to do best. I also like hanging out with my friends and some of them have learned how to juggle a bit. I have one sister and a dog that leaves the room when she sees me pull out my spinning ball. No one else in my family juggles, but my parents have really enjoyed meeting people at juggling festivals.
2. How and when did you learn to juggle?
When I was little I would watch the local juggling club practice (JOUG-Jugglers Of the University of Guelph) and I remember just staring at them. I think I was about 6 or 7. They were so nice and later asked if I wanted to try. Mike Moore is the one who first taught me how to juggle and I am happy I still get to juggle with him today. Our club is always supportive and helpful. Looking back, it was really nice of them to ask a little kid to join.
Mike Moore and a young David Pavlove Cunsolo
3. Can you tell us a bit about your journey as a juggler?
I first started learning from the juggling club (JOUG) and they told me about juggling festivals they went to and encouraged me to go. When I went to my first big juggling festival, I was shocked! It was like nothing I had ever seen before! At the RIT Festival, I took an intro ball spinning workshop with Tuey Wilson and David Cain. I was terrible! But I took what they told me and I got better with practice – lots of practice! Then with time, I started to perform a bit more and kept trying to doing new things and keep pushing my own limits.
4. What are your favorite types of juggling to work on?
I like to work on 3, 4, and 5 ball tricks and practice higher numbers. I also like spinning balls and thinking about creative things you can do with props. Lately I’ve been having fun experimenting with spinning balls on top of spinning plates and added points to clubs so you can spin balls on it and toss them almost like a kendama. I like a balance between trying older tricks and newer juggling styles.
5. You were the Juniors Champion for the IJA 2020 Online Festival. Can you tell us about your preparation for that?
My goal was to try to enter the championships on stage so I was initially disappointed when the festival was cancelled, but I completely understood. Then when it moved online, I thought I would try to adapt the ideas I was already working on. Regardless if it was on stage or online, I wanted to make an act that was technically difficult but also entertaining. I knew I wanted to include the 9 ball flash because I had been working on it for a while as well as some of the difficult spinning ball tricks. With COVID restrictions, I had to find a safe, socially distanced place to practice. I think the act would have been similar to what I wanted to perform on stage but online allowed me to use more space and a little more creativity with the ramp. I could also use a variety of props without worrying how I would have transported them all to a live festival.
6. How do you feel about winning Juniors?
I was excited and proud to win Juniors. There were other great acts so if I didn’t win, I would have been ok with it. It was neat to see that all of the championship entries were from different countries. I see juggling as mostly competing with yourself and trying to improve what you can do. I also got some great advice which was “just being able to compete at that level is the honour.” I wanted to make something that I was proud of and that other jugglers would like so I’m really glad that it happened. Also, spinning balls aren’t a common prop for juniors so I was happy to have it in my act. Even though it wasn’t on stage this year it is kind of neat to maybe be one of very few people (if things can go back to normal) who could win in this format.
7. What would you consider to be your greatest accomplishments as a juggler so far apart from your Junior’s win?
Being interviewed for eJuggle is pretty exciting! I was also proud when I was able to use juggling to raise money for Ronald McDonald House on behalf of a young family friend with a brain tumor. It showed me that juggling can be used to help others. There are also some tricks I am proud of but there is no limit to juggling so maybe they’ll become building blocks. I was also pretty happy with my 7-ball joggling result this year especially when I saw who else is in the Top 10 from previous years.
8. Who are your favorite jugglers from the past and from the present and why?
That is a hard question because I have so many! Our local juggling club and the Ontario juggling community is awesome. They’re a great group of people and the overall level of juggling is really, really high. I’ve met so many amazing people at juggling festivals who are great for so many reasons and who I now consider friends. Juggling is a weird opportunity where you have a chance to meet your idols- who have always been very approachable. For example, I met Matthew Tiffany at the IJA gym. As a ball spinner it’s exciting to know and learn from someone like Matthew Tiffany. He’s fantastic for so many reasons!
Matthew Tiffany and David
I don’t have just one favorite because there’s so many different things to like! I love watching live shows at festivals because I’m always amazed by the talent and variety of tricks and acts. I also love it when you see those same people in the gym later or learn from them at a workshop and see they’re nice people too. I’m also blown away by videos I’ve seen of jugglers from the past and that’s because of David Cain sharing juggling history. I was excited and nervous when I met Bobby Jule but he was so kind and encouraging. I loved hearing his juggling stories. Sorry this isn’t a good answer – I have so many favorites! But I’ve also been lucky because the first person who taught me to juggle, Mike Moore, continues to be an inspiration because he’s always learning, helping, and sharing his ideas with others.
David Pavlove Cunsolo and Bobby Jule
9. What are your current plans for your juggling future?
I want to challenge myself to keep getting better. There are always new trick ideas or new ways to look at things. I like experimenting with new prop ideas and it is a goal to make or do something that other jugglers might like to try. With COVID, our juggling club has to be different and I look forward to meeting again and going to juggling festivals again when the pandemic is over. I also hope to help others with juggling just like how other people helped me.
10. What do you like the best about the juggling community?
The juggling community is great! Yes, I practice and try my best, but I know I would not be the juggler I am today without the help and inspiration of so many other wonderful jugglers. I think that would be the same for all jugglers. It is a community filled with people of different ages, experiences, and skill levels but it doesn’t matter. People support each other and help each other. My experience is that most jugglers are overwhelmingly humble and helpful people. They are always pushing the limits of creativity.
Brian Koenig, David, Rick Robinson, Tuey Wilson, and David Cain