Message from the Chairman, February, 2015

Some of you that follow online juggling videos may have noticed news of a rather interesting new video making waves online: The Devil Stick Video by Wes Peden and Tony Pezzo. Like many people, when I first heard of this video, I wondered if it was some sort of joke, or at the very least an ironic title to what was no doubt an amazing toss juggling video. Well, I can assure you that this is, in fact, the real deal; a bona-fide devil sticking video made by two of the most charismatic young jugglers on the scene today. Peden and Pezzo attack the prop with their highly technical and creative break-down-walls signature style that they are known for. The result is an innovative and unique look at the devil stick, all packaged in an entertaining and well edited video. Did I mention that right now the video is free to watch for IJA members? Check it out!

On the subject of video, there is an area I would like to address; that being our 2015 Music Policy for the Stage Championships. This policy was implemented last fall, and the gist of the new policy was that all competitors had to use either royalty-free music or that they had a license to use in video.

This policy is no more. We received feedback from members stating their dissatisfaction with the new policy, so the board voted to rescind the new policy and revert back to our previous policy, which does not restrict competitors so strictly on their musical selections. You spoke, and we listened!

Our reasoning behind the policy that is now rescinded was simple: it would allow us to leave all routines’ audio intact for the DVD release, as well as allow us to post and promote the routines online, exactly as they were recorded. As much as we would love to do this in any event, the fact of the matter is that we are unable to do anything with videos that contain audio tracks that we do not have the video rights to. This is not organizational policy, rather it is a matter of copyright law. We very much acknowledge that much of a juggling performance is the live element, and we do not want to limit creative output.

With our previous music policy now reinstated, royalty-free music and music we are licensed to use in video will be left intact in the festival videos. All other music will be either silenced or overdubbed in the videos. In any event, competitors can use what music they see fit and do not have to feel inhibited by musical limitations.

Speaking of the IJA festival, things are heating up! We’ve got a couple new special guests lined up! Club juggling phenom Svetlana Zueva is going to be at the festival. Zueva was scheduled to be at our festival in Bowling Green, OH, in 2013, but was prevented from attending at the last minute due to logistic issues, so we are thrilled to finally have her in 2015! In the realm of diversity, we also have the two person staff manipulation and antipodism group Solstix confirmed for the festival! This adds to an already jam-packed line up of performers, with even more on the way!

We have plenty of more news coming up, expect lots of great announcements in the coming months! In particular, we expect to open fest registration around April 1.

Juggle on,

Nathan Wakefield
IJA Chairman

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Nathan is a juggler from Southeast Michigan. He first learned to juggle in college, and has written for the website He previously served as Chairman of the IJA and also held various officer positions. When he is not frantically trying to learn new manipulation skills, he enjoys producing music, acting, and watching horror films.

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