pass juggling while idling is beyond me. . .

I once saw a little quote that said Wheel Walking is beyond me. . . and, for the time being, idling on a uni and juggling is beyond me. :thinking: well my friend and I both have a 20" uni and for our school’s talent show (in March) We were hoping to ride our unis and juggle. But neither of us can ride and juggle really, much less idle and juggle or pass juggle (killer) so I was wondering if any one had any tips on any of these subjects: Idling and juglling, or pass juggling between two idling riders.

   As I think about it, most of this stuff is way beyond us. My friend can juglle rings, clubs, whatever, I can juggle bags and balls just fine ( I learned from scratch in about two weeks), I am a Level 3 uni rider almost 4, he's level 2.  So, basically, there's almost no way we could ever get this stuff ready by the end of March, but if there is a way, I was wondering if anyone had ANY suggesstions on any of this stuff.  (and no sarcasm please: I know it's practically impossible)

dont feel bad, I also have a school talent show in march, and my plan was to juggle four balls and maybe jumping rope (two friends spinning it, although if I could spin it myself that would be sweet). I just got my uni for christmas, and I am still working on tight turns, so what I would like to do is also tough. Lets just hope that we dont go to the same school without knowing it.

Perhaps the skill is beyond you at the moment, but that can easily change.

1: Learn how to idle effortlessly and smoothly
2: Learn how to pass clubs effortlessly and smoothly
3: Learn how to juggle while riding forward on a unicycle
4: Learn how to juggle while idling on a unicycle
5: Learn how to pass clubs while idling on a unicycle.

The key to this is you have to be very comfortable with both idling, and
club passing. You don’t have to know a lot of tricks – you just have to
be very smooth and steady.

I learned how to juggle before I learned to unicycle, so I only had
to work on getting the unicycling skills smooth before I could
combine the two.

When I was first learning how to ride, whenever I thought it possible, I
would keep my hands by my side, or cross them. Once I could do this any
time I wanted, I was ready to try juggling.

Idling was a greater challenge. Even after I could idle well, it took a
while to smooth it out. The arms crossed exercise works. Also, be aware
that when you idle, the wheel tends to move in a small arc, and not a
straight line. You want to make it into a straight line. I worked on
idling on a stair for some definite feedback if I did not follow that line
(try at your own risk).

And of course, in the end, just practice. Even before I was completely
ready, I was practicing juggling on the unicycle… I dropped a lot, but
continued to improve.

It took me maybe a week to learn to juggle clubs while riding forwards (I
think I’d been unicycling for almost a month when I did this). It took me
a little over a month (I was not working on this constantly) to be able to
juggle clubs while idling (I started working on this maybe 6 after I
started unicycling). I learned to juggle while idling in an area with no
other jugglers. When I found someone to pass with, it took about a day
before I could pass clubs while idling (this was maybe a month after I’d
gotten idling while juggling solo down).

Also worth noting, when you’re comfortable idling one footed, try juggling
while doing that. Any trick you can do very smoothly, (with your hands
free, of course) you can juggle during. Currently, I can juggle while
wheel walking for about 10 seconds. I’m sure if I spent time working on
this, I could improve that drastically.

jeff lutkus

> I once saw a little quote that said Wheel Walking is beyond me. . . and,
> for the time being, idling on a uni and juggling is beyond
> me. :thinking: well my friend and I both have a 20" uni and for our
> school’s talent show (in March) We were hoping to ride our unis and
> juggle. But neither of us can ride and juggle really, much less idle
> and juggle or pass juggle (killer) so I was wondering if any one had
> any tips on any of these subjects: Idling and juglling, or pass
> juggling between two idling riders.
>
> As I think about it, most of this stuff is way beyond us. My
> friend can juglle rings, clubs, whatever, I can juggle bags and
> balls just fine ( I learned from scratch in about two weeks), I
> am a Level 3 uni rider almost 4, he’s level 2. So, basically,
> there’s almost no way we could ever get this stuff ready by the
> end of March, but if there is a way, I was wondering if anyone
> had ANY suggesstions on any of this stuff. (and no sarcasm
> please: I know it’s practically impossible)
>
>
>
>
> –
> JonnyD Posted via the Unicyclist Community -
> http://unicyclist.com/forums
>
_________________________________________________________________________-
__
> rec.sport.unicycling mailing list -
> www.unicycling.org/mailman/listinfo/rsu

Sent via the Unicyclist Community - http://Unicyclist.com

I don’t know why, but this reminds me of a show I saw last year. It was
just an opener for the big juggling show at Cornell. Jake Abernthy came
out on stage, did a hilarious juggling routine. On stage with him, he had
his giant prop box, and unicycle nearby. At the end of the act, he picked
up the unicycle, looked at the audience, thanked them for coming, and
walked off stage without ever riding it.

Well, maybe you had to be there, but it was very funny the way he did it.

(Incidently, he can ride, and earlier that day, I’d passed clubs with him
on his unicycle, and me on mine.)

Oh yeah, one more tip on the juggling on a unicycle thing I didn’t
mention. You end up sort of synchronizing your feet and hands. This makes
it easier (for most people) to juggle on a 20" unicycle, because the
idling motion is about as fast as the juggling motion. If I throw a
double, or something that takes longer to land, I tend to do a quick
standstill, or try to make the idling much slower for that moment. If
you’re uber-smooth with both, you probably won’t have to worry about this,
but until then, it will happen.

Jeff Lutkus

> dont feel bad, I also have a school talent show in march, and my plan
> was to juggle four balls and maybe jumping rope (two friends spinning
> it, although if I could spin it myself that would be sweet). I just got
> my uni for christmas, and I am still working on tight turns, so what I
> would like to do is also tough. Lets just hope that we dont go to the
> same school without knowing it.
>
>
>
>
> –
> tel Posted via the Unicyclist Community - http://unicyclist.com/forums
>
_________________________________________________________________________-
__
> rec.sport.unicycling mailing list -
> www.unicycling.org/mailman/listinfo/rsu

Sent via the Unicyclist Community - http://Unicyclist.com

Like you guys, I was planning to uni and juggle at my school’s talent show, which was in december. First let me address your concerns. I have been juggling since I was 10, and pretty seroiusly for the last two years. I’m turning 17 in a couple of days*. Anyhoo, Juggling on a uni is a lot harder than doing either one alone. I actually find that clubs are easier to juggle on a uni than balls or rings. Clubs keep a better rhythm. Unless you are VERY dedicated, I dont think that you will be able to pass on the unis, especially if you are not passing clubs. I find that with balls and rings, the partners fall out of sync easier.
I wanted to use either fire or knives in the show, but the school would not allow it. I knew that if i just used regular props, I would be thought of as a clown and not a performer, so I didn’t end up doing the show. Maybe next time I just wont tell the school, and surprise everyone. Any one have ideas on how I could get my school to change their mind, if not about the fire, at least the knives?
-David Kaplan

I’m going to have to veto your “I don’t think you’ll be able to do this on
unis”… though, for the show deadlines people mentioned, you’re right,
it’s probably not very reasonable.

As for what people think, well, you certainly have to decide how you want
to be seen. Personally, when it comes to performing (I’ve only been on
stage twice so far) I keep unicycling and juggling seperate. Yeah, I’ve
got a few cool tricks I can do while juggling on a unicycle, but I can do
many more unicycling tricks if I’m not juggling, and lots more juggling
stuff if I’m not riding.

(That being said, I think I will end up passing clubs on a unicycle to
someone else on a walking globe for my club’s show this Feb. I think with
good planning and writing of acts, the clown aspects will be minor.)

As for policy, that’s a hard one. Fire, you might want to talk to the
local fire marshal about taking necessary safety precautions. Knives, um,
perhaps demonstrating that they’re not actually sharp. Be sure you have a
plan where damage to stage, or injury is almost completely impossible, no
matter how badly you mess up. If you can explain this logically to those
in charge, you might have some chance.

jl

> Like you guys, I was planning to uni and juggle at my school’s talent
> show, which was in december. First let me address your concerns. I have
> been juggling since I was 10, and pretty seroiusly for the last two
> years. I’m turning 17 in a couple of days*. Anyhoo, Juggling on a uni is
> a lot harder than doing either one alone. I actually find that clubs are
> easier to juggle on a uni than balls or rings. Clubs keep a better
> rhythm. Unless you are VERY dedicated, I dont think that you will be
> able to pass on the unis, especially if you are not passing clubs. I
> find that with balls and rings, the partners fall out of sync easier. I
> wanted to use either fire or knives in the show, but the school would
> not allow it. I knew that if i just used regular props, I would be
> thought of as a clown and not a performer, so I didn’t end up doing the
> show. Maybe next time I just wont tell the school, and surprise
> everyone. Any one have ideas on how I could get my school to change
> their mind, if not about the fire, at least the knives? -David Kaplan

Sent via the Unicyclist Community - http://Unicyclist.com

> I’m turning 17 in a couple of days*.

Happy birthday but “*”?

xADF

> everyone. Any one have ideas on how I could get my school to change
> their mind, if not about the fire, at least the knives? -David Kaplan

Yes, buy them a real expensive rider to their liability insurance policy.
Real expensive. Schools are very uptight about fire, and it is extremely
rare for them to even allow professional performers to use it (American
public schools anyway).

There are three main reasons not to let a student/amateur performer use
fire or knives in a school show:

  1. You are not a professional performer. If you were it would indicate you
    have done this before, in front of audiences, successfully (and that
    you have your own fire extinguisher with you).

  2. You are a student in the school. If you do it, it implies in a
    small way that it’s okay for students to do stuff with fire and
    knives in school.

  3. You set an example of playing with fire or sharp objects, which if
    imitated by someone less careful can lead to serious injury our
    burnt-down buildings.

This is how a person paying for insurance must think. Based on all
that, imagine how likely it is they will let you juggle fire or knives
in your school.

As a performer with the National Circus Project from 1984-1995, we found
it unnecessary to use those props (not that we could if we wanted). Since
the majority of our performing venues were schools and camps, we only used
fire rarely, and even then only in shows that weren’t school-related.
Since our shows were mostly educational-based, it was a plus anyway. By
juggling more “everyday” objects, we put the focus on the skill, not the
danger. But the key thing to being a good juggler is being a good
entertainer. Some of the best juggling performers I’ve ever seen did not
do real hard tricks, or only did a few. It’s how they got to those tricks
that mattered. [Not that I don’t appreciate a performance by Anthony
Gatto, who we saw at Circus Circus in Reno on New Year’s Eve!]

If you want to entertain your audience and you don’t have really
high-level skills, make them laugh. If you’re worried about being
perceived as a clown, and it’s a show in your school, you may want to
think about doing something other than unicycling or juggling :slight_smile: Or,
dress like a rocker and play some really loud heavy metal music. That
should work too, as long as you can do your act.

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone jfoss@unicycling.com
www.unicycling.com

“455 newsgroup messages in a year is only 1.24 per day…” - John Foss,
trying to explain to his wife

> everyone. Any one have ideas on how I could get my school to change
> their mind, if not about the fire, at least the knives? -David Kaplan

Yes, buy them a real expensive rider to their liability insurance policy.
Real expensive. Schools are very uptight about fire, and it is extremely
rare for them to even allow professional performers to use it (American
public schools anyway).

There are three main reasons not to let a student/amateur performer use
fire or knives in a school show:

  1. You are not a professional performer. If you were it would indicate you
    have done this before, in front of audiences, successfully (and that
    you have your own fire extinguisher with you).

  2. You are a student in the school. If you do it, it implies in a
    small way that it’s okay for students to do stuff with fire and
    knives in school.

  3. You set an example of playing with fire or sharp objects, which if
    imitated by someone less careful can lead to serious injury our
    burnt-down buildings.

This is how a person paying for insurance must think. Based on all
that, imagine how likely it is they will let you juggle fire or knives
in your school.

As a performer with the National Circus Project from 1984-1995, we found
it unnecessary to use those props (not that we could if we wanted). Since
the majority of our performing venues were schools and camps, we only used
fire rarely, and even then only in shows that weren’t school-related.
Since our shows were mostly educational-based, it was a plus anyway. By
juggling more “everyday” objects, we put the focus on the skill, not the
danger. But the key thing to being a good juggler is being a good
entertainer. Some of the best juggling performers I’ve ever seen did not
do real hard tricks, or only did a few. It’s how they got to those tricks
that mattered. [Not that I don’t appreciate a performance by Anthony
Gatto, who we saw at Circus Circus in Reno on New Year’s Eve!]

If you want to entertain your audience and you don’t have really
high-level skills, make them laugh. If you’re worried about being
perceived as a clown, and it’s a show in your school, you may want to
think about doing something other than unicycling or juggling :slight_smile: Or,
dress like a rocker and play some really loud heavy metal music. That
should work too, as long as you can do your act.

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone jfoss@unicycling.com
www.unicycling.com

“455 newsgroup messages in a year is only 1.24 per day…” - John Foss,
trying to explain to his wife

The * after the birthday thing was supposed to have a note at the bottom of the messagesaying something like I could really use a Muni or a new set of clubs, and I am expecting all of you to chip in… But needless to say, I forgot to write the little note
-David Kaplan

> school’s talent show (in March) We were hoping to ride our unis and
> juggle. But neither of us can ride and juggle really, much less idle and
> juggle or pass juggle (killer)

Definitely work on the skills, as described in the many helpful posts. If
you aim for passing and it’s not ready by show time, you can still do
something a little more solid, like juggling while riding.

Passing on unicycles will take a good bit of practice to get solid enough
for a one-time show. You want it to work. Because you’re on unicycles,
it’s harder to pick up your props if you drop them (unless it’s part of
your act, see below). You really want it to work. For this to be true, you
should be able to do whatever your main “big” skill is, at least three
times in a row, flawlessly. For a professional act that number would be
ten, but three is okay for this type of situation. Less than three? You’re
going to mess up in the show.

Doing your skills without mistakes is a lot to hope for because of two
things, the timeframe between now and the show, and the fact that (I’m
assuming) you’re not used to being in front of an audience. Before I was
used to being onstage, my adrenaline level in shows would be much higher,
to the point where I had less control over my fine motor skills. Lots of
power, but less control. Considering that and other factors, assume that
you will be “under duress” in the actual show and keep that in mind.

So unless you can do your passing routine three times out of three, I
would leave it out. Unless the audience is on your side. If they’re
having fun watching you ride and juggle, including drops and dismounts
(laughing with you but not at you), You can get away with anything. But
this can be hard to achieve, especially in a school show with your own
fellow students. For many people, watching a juggler is like watching auto
racing. You’re not necessarily there to see a crash, but somewhere in the
back of your mind you know it would be interesting to watch. A
non-sympathetic audience member watching a juggling act is waiting for you
to drop. So you have to either be perfect, or get past the drops.

In the shows I used to do with the National Circus Project, some or all
members of our audience were going to be learning to juggle later, so this
was built into the show. We would often start off by showing somebody
trying to juggle for the first time, thinking nobody was watching. Lots of
drops and “wrong” patterns, and laughs. The idea being to tell our
audiences that it’s okay to drop, and getting them used to the idea. Much
of our performing was based on a concept that ‘In life we try to do
amazing things, but they don’t work every time,’ echoing what happens
every day to kids in school. You try and you sometimes fail, but you have
to keep on trying.

As for me, I only did the “main” juggling in a show if I was the
only one in
it. I consider my juggling to be at a bare “survival level” for
performing. But somehow I would often fool my audiences by starting
off with the basics and working my way up.

For you in your show, consider comedy. People like to see unicyclists
falling off, or jugglers dropping. But do it when you want, not when
they want. Build it into the act and you can have a lot of fun. Have some
interaction between the two of you where you don’t necessarily agree on
what you’re supposed to be doing, which can lead to props into the side of
the head, etc.

One thing we often did in shows was what we called the “Flying Zucchini
Brothers” act. Two performers are introduced as amazing unicyclists.
Fast-paced music starts up. The two performers enter, from opposite sides
of the stage (a backstage area is required for this). They either circle
around once, or preferably, ride straight toward each other, with one hand
reaching out like they’re going to grab on and spin around. Remember most
people don’t understand how you can ride a unicycle, let alone turn one.
So they expect you to grab hands and go around. But you miss. As you pass
each other, look astonished and surprised. Your one hand is still sticking
out in front of you. Look back, forward, back, and ride thru the curtain
off the side of the stage. Back there, you have a bunch of folding chairs
or other noisy objects, that you knock down or crash into each other,
making as much noise as possible.

Greg Milstein did this act in our shows in Singapore, riding off into a
tiny curtained area at each end of our outdoor stage and dropping big
cookpots full of broken pieces of china. Loud crashes! We actually did
this at two points in the show (worse noises the second time), until we
finally linked up the third time, which turned into a little two-man
intro to my unicycle act. Easy and fun. You can combine stuff like this
with your skills, which will make the audience more amazed that you can
do anything.

Above I mentioned drops from the unicycle. If you can pick up your
props while riding, you should definitely include it because it amazes
audiences. Again, the drops can be built into the act, with a
discusion about why it’s on the floor and, if you were passing, who’s
fault it was, etc.

Have fun, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone jfoss@unicycling.com
www.unicycling.com

“455 newsgroup messages in a year is only 1.24 per day…” - John Foss,
trying to explain to his wife

> school’s talent show (in March) We were hoping to ride our unis and
> juggle. But neither of us can ride and juggle really, much less idle and
> juggle or pass juggle (killer)

Definitely work on the skills, as described in the many helpful posts. If
you aim for passing and it’s not ready by show time, you can still do
something a little more solid, like juggling while riding.

Passing on unicycles will take a good bit of practice to get solid enough
for a one-time show. You want it to work. Because you’re on unicycles,
it’s harder to pick up your props if you drop them (unless it’s part of
your act, see below). You really want it to work. For this to be true, you
should be able to do whatever your main “big” skill is, at least three
times in a row, flawlessly. For a professional act that number would be
ten, but three is okay for this type of situation. Less than three? You’re
going to mess up in the show.

Doing your skills without mistakes is a lot to hope for because of two
things, the timeframe between now and the show, and the fact that (I’m
assuming) you’re not used to being in front of an audience. Before I was
used to being onstage, my adrenaline level in shows would be much higher,
to the point where I had less control over my fine motor skills. Lots of
power, but less control. Considering that and other factors, assume that
you will be “under duress” in the actual show and keep that in mind.

So unless you can do your passing routine three times out of three, I
would leave it out. Unless the audience is on your side. If they’re
having fun watching you ride and juggle, including drops and dismounts
(laughing with you but not at you), You can get away with anything. But
this can be hard to achieve, especially in a school show with your own
fellow students. For many people, watching a juggler is like watching auto
racing. You’re not necessarily there to see a crash, but somewhere in the
back of your mind you know it would be interesting to watch. A
non-sympathetic audience member watching a juggling act is waiting for you
to drop. So you have to either be perfect, or get past the drops.

In the shows I used to do with the National Circus Project, some or all
members of our audience were going to be learning to juggle later, so this
was built into the show. We would often start off by showing somebody
trying to juggle for the first time, thinking nobody was watching. Lots of
drops and “wrong” patterns, and laughs. The idea being to tell our
audiences that it’s okay to drop, and getting them used to the idea. Much
of our performing was based on a concept that ‘In life we try to do
amazing things, but they don’t work every time,’ echoing what happens
every day to kids in school. You try and you sometimes fail, but you have
to keep on trying.

As for me, I only did the “main” juggling in a show if I was the
only one in
it. I consider my juggling to be at a bare “survival level” for
performing. But somehow I would often fool my audiences by starting
off with the basics and working my way up.

For you in your show, consider comedy. People like to see unicyclists
falling off, or jugglers dropping. But do it when you want, not when
they want. Build it into the act and you can have a lot of fun. Have some
interaction between the two of you where you don’t necessarily agree on
what you’re supposed to be doing, which can lead to props into the side of
the head, etc.

One thing we often did in shows was what we called the “Flying Zucchini
Brothers” act. Two performers are introduced as amazing unicyclists.
Fast-paced music starts up. The two performers enter, from opposite sides
of the stage (a backstage area is required for this). They either circle
around once, or preferably, ride straight toward each other, with one hand
reaching out like they’re going to grab on and spin around. Remember most
people don’t understand how you can ride a unicycle, let alone turn one.
So they expect you to grab hands and go around. But you miss. As you pass
each other, look astonished and surprised. Your one hand is still sticking
out in front of you. Look back, forward, back, and ride thru the curtain
off the side of the stage. Back there, you have a bunch of folding chairs
or other noisy objects, that you knock down or crash into each other,
making as much noise as possible.

Greg Milstein did this act in our shows in Singapore, riding off into a
tiny curtained area at each end of our outdoor stage and dropping big
cookpots full of broken pieces of china. Loud crashes! We actually did
this at two points in the show (worse noises the second time), until we
finally linked up the third time, which turned into a little two-man
intro to my unicycle act. Easy and fun. You can combine stuff like this
with your skills, which will make the audience more amazed that you can
do anything.

Above I mentioned drops from the unicycle. If you can pick up your
props while riding, you should definitely include it because it amazes
audiences. Again, the drops can be built into the act, with a
discusion about why it’s on the floor and, if you were passing, who’s
fault it was, etc.

Have fun, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone jfoss@unicycling.com
www.unicycling.com

“455 newsgroup messages in a year is only 1.24 per day…” - John Foss,
trying to explain to his wife

> school’s talent show (in March) We were hoping to ride our unis and
> juggle. But neither of us can ride and juggle really, much less idle and
> juggle or pass juggle (killer)

Definitely work on the skills, as described in the many helpful posts. If
you aim for passing and it’s not ready by show time, you can still do
something a little more solid, like juggling while riding.

Passing on unicycles will take a good bit of practice to get solid enough
for a one-time show. You want it to work. Because you’re on unicycles,
it’s harder to pick up your props if you drop them (unless it’s part of
your act, see below). You really want it to work. For this to be true, you
should be able to do whatever your main “big” skill is, at least three
times in a row, flawlessly. For a professional act that number would be
ten, but three is okay for this type of situation. Less than three? You’re
going to mess up in the show.

Doing your skills without mistakes is a lot to hope for because of two
things, the timeframe between now and the show, and the fact that (I’m
assuming) you’re not used to being in front of an audience. Before I was
used to being onstage, my adrenaline level in shows would be much higher,
to the point where I had less control over my fine motor skills. Lots of
power, but less control. Considering that and other factors, assume that
you will be “under duress” in the actual show and keep that in mind.

So unless you can do your passing routine three times out of three, I
would leave it out. Unless the audience is on your side. If they’re
having fun watching you ride and juggle, including drops and dismounts
(laughing with you but not at you), You can get away with anything. But
this can be hard to achieve, especially in a school show with your own
fellow students. For many people, watching a juggler is like watching auto
racing. You’re not necessarily there to see a crash, but somewhere in the
back of your mind you know it would be interesting to watch. A
non-sympathetic audience member watching a juggling act is waiting for you
to drop. So you have to either be perfect, or get past the drops.

In the shows I used to do with the National Circus Project, some or all
members of our audience were going to be learning to juggle later, so this
was built into the show. We would often start off by showing somebody
trying to juggle for the first time, thinking nobody was watching. Lots of
drops and “wrong” patterns, and laughs. The idea being to tell our
audiences that it’s okay to drop, and getting them used to the idea. Much
of our performing was based on a concept that ‘In life we try to do
amazing things, but they don’t work every time,’ echoing what happens
every day to kids in school. You try and you sometimes fail, but you have
to keep on trying.

As for me, I only did the “main” juggling in a show if I was the
only one in
it. I consider my juggling to be at a bare “survival level” for
performing. But somehow I would often fool my audiences by starting
off with the basics and working my way up.

For you in your show, consider comedy. People like to see unicyclists
falling off, or jugglers dropping. But do it when you want, not when
they want. Build it into the act and you can have a lot of fun. Have some
interaction between the two of you where you don’t necessarily agree on
what you’re supposed to be doing, which can lead to props into the side of
the head, etc.

One thing we often did in shows was what we called the “Flying Zucchini
Brothers” act. Two performers are introduced as amazing unicyclists.
Fast-paced music starts up. The two performers enter, from opposite sides
of the stage (a backstage area is required for this). They either circle
around once, or preferably, ride straight toward each other, with one hand
reaching out like they’re going to grab on and spin around. Remember most
people don’t understand how you can ride a unicycle, let alone turn one.
So they expect you to grab hands and go around. But you miss. As you pass
each other, look astonished and surprised. Your one hand is still sticking
out in front of you. Look back, forward, back, and ride thru the curtain
off the side of the stage. Back there, you have a bunch of folding chairs
or other noisy objects, that you knock down or crash into each other,
making as much noise as possible.

Greg Milstein did this act in our shows in Singapore, riding off into a
tiny curtained area at each end of our outdoor stage and dropping big
cookpots full of broken pieces of china. Loud crashes! We actually did
this at two points in the show (worse noises the second time), until we
finally linked up the third time, which turned into a little two-man
intro to my unicycle act. Easy and fun. You can combine stuff like this
with your skills, which will make the audience more amazed that you can
do anything.

Above I mentioned drops from the unicycle. If you can pick up your
props while riding, you should definitely include it because it amazes
audiences. Again, the drops can be built into the act, with a
discusion about why it’s on the floor and, if you were passing, who’s
fault it was, etc.

Have fun, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone jfoss@unicycling.com
www.unicycling.com

“455 newsgroup messages in a year is only 1.24 per day…” - John Foss,
trying to explain to his wife

> school’s talent show (in March) We were hoping to ride our unis and
> juggle. But neither of us can ride and juggle really, much less idle and
> juggle or pass juggle (killer)

Definitely work on the skills, as described in the many helpful posts. If
you aim for passing and it’s not ready by show time, you can still do
something a little more solid, like juggling while riding.

Passing on unicycles will take a good bit of practice to get solid enough
for a one-time show. You want it to work. Because you’re on unicycles,
it’s harder to pick up your props if you drop them (unless it’s part of
your act, see below). You really want it to work. For this to be true, you
should be able to do whatever your main “big” skill is, at least three
times in a row, flawlessly. For a professional act that number would be
ten, but three is okay for this type of situation. Less than three? You’re
going to mess up in the show.

Doing your skills without mistakes is a lot to hope for because of two
things, the timeframe between now and the show, and the fact that (I’m
assuming) you’re not used to being in front of an audience. Before I was
used to being onstage, my adrenaline level in shows would be much higher,
to the point where I had less control over my fine motor skills. Lots of
power, but less control. Considering that and other factors, assume that
you will be “under duress” in the actual show and keep that in mind.

So unless you can do your passing routine three times out of three, I
would leave it out. Unless the audience is on your side. If they’re
having fun watching you ride and juggle, including drops and dismounts
(laughing with you but not at you), You can get away with anything. But
this can be hard to achieve, especially in a school show with your own
fellow students. For many people, watching a juggler is like watching auto
racing. You’re not necessarily there to see a crash, but somewhere in the
back of your mind you know it would be interesting to watch. A
non-sympathetic audience member watching a juggling act is waiting for you
to drop. So you have to either be perfect, or get past the drops.

In the shows I used to do with the National Circus Project, some or all
members of our audience were going to be learning to juggle later, so this
was built into the show. We would often start off by showing somebody
trying to juggle for the first time, thinking nobody was watching. Lots of
drops and “wrong” patterns, and laughs. The idea being to tell our
audiences that it’s okay to drop, and getting them used to the idea. Much
of our performing was based on a concept that ‘In life we try to do
amazing things, but they don’t work every time,’ echoing what happens
every day to kids in school. You try and you sometimes fail, but you have
to keep on trying.

As for me, I only did the “main” juggling in a show if I was the
only one in
it. I consider my juggling to be at a bare “survival level” for
performing. But somehow I would often fool my audiences by starting
off with the basics and working my way up.

For you in your show, consider comedy. People like to see unicyclists
falling off, or jugglers dropping. But do it when you want, not when
they want. Build it into the act and you can have a lot of fun. Have some
interaction between the two of you where you don’t necessarily agree on
what you’re supposed to be doing, which can lead to props into the side of
the head, etc.

One thing we often did in shows was what we called the “Flying Zucchini
Brothers” act. Two performers are introduced as amazing unicyclists.
Fast-paced music starts up. The two performers enter, from opposite sides
of the stage (a backstage area is required for this). They either circle
around once, or preferably, ride straight toward each other, with one hand
reaching out like they’re going to grab on and spin around. Remember most
people don’t understand how you can ride a unicycle, let alone turn one.
So they expect you to grab hands and go around. But you miss. As you pass
each other, look astonished and surprised. Your one hand is still sticking
out in front of you. Look back, forward, back, and ride thru the curtain
off the side of the stage. Back there, you have a bunch of folding chairs
or other noisy objects, that you knock down or crash into each other,
making as much noise as possible.

Greg Milstein did this act in our shows in Singapore, riding off into a
tiny curtained area at each end of our outdoor stage and dropping big
cookpots full of broken pieces of china. Loud crashes! We actually did
this at two points in the show (worse noises the second time), until we
finally linked up the third time, which turned into a little two-man
intro to my unicycle act. Easy and fun. You can combine stuff like this
with your skills, which will make the audience more amazed that you can
do anything.

Above I mentioned drops from the unicycle. If you can pick up your
props while riding, you should definitely include it because it amazes
audiences. Again, the drops can be built into the act, with a
discusion about why it’s on the floor and, if you were passing, who’s
fault it was, etc.

Have fun, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone jfoss@unicycling.com
www.unicycling.com

“455 newsgroup messages in a year is only 1.24 per day…” - John Foss,
trying to explain to his wife

Well, thanks for your help first of all, and second, I didn’t think about how seriously hard (not to mention unrealistic) most of the stuff would be, especailly considering the time frame. Thanks to John Foss, I now have some better ideas, mostly involving unicyling anyway. That act with the missed chance at linking arms and then riding off stage and crashing into something would knock-em’- absolutely-dead at my school. I really don’t think my friend or I have or will have the skills by March, but now I think it would be more fun for us to do something a little easier like that, maybe doing some pass juggling off the unicycles, having my friend who’s a lot better at juggling show off his skills, maybe screwing up a couple of times on purpose, i.e. clubs to the side of the head, and then do our unicycling act with me showing off my skills, and maybe some comical crashes. I laugh just thinking about what we could do. Especailly since most of thepeopl at my school at best have seen someone juggle, but would think you were speaking a foreign language when they heard “Unicycle”.

     Thanks a ton--  Jonny D

I don’t know why I’m writing this part, but the main reason we’re going to be in the talent show anyway is that we knew our principle wouldn’t simply let us ride in the Gym for fun, so we said we’d be practicing for the talent show, although we weren’t really planning on it.

> definitely plan out what you’ll do in case of drops and such. Hopefully
> you’ll have practiced together long enough that you can read each other,
> but I wouldn’t count on improvisation working to well then.

In shows where we passed on giraffes, I would always make a point to try
to pick up the dropped club before letting someone else do it. As soon as
a club goes down shout “I’VE GOT IT!” then ride over and start reaching
down. Then you let someone else pick it up.

JF

Guess what? I am THE friend that Jonny D has been talking about for the longest time. I really think that we can do it in our time frame since we are going to be practicing twice a week in the gym and probably more. Jonny is really improving on his Juggling (capitilized for a reason) and I am, I think, improving on my unicycle, since I learn a new trick pretty much every time I get on the it. well, maybe Jonny disagrees with me but, Unicycling and Juggling would be like Japanese in the scale of language. I have total confidence in us and y’know if you have confidence you are halfway there. Except in Unicycling and Juggling you are only one-fourth of the way there. The rest of it you are on your own.
-Jonny W-

If you are going for comedy, tell the audience how good you are at juggling, and tell them that you can juggle eight balls. Then pull out three, eight balls(the kind you play pool with) and start juggling. I find that usually works to get the audience started

Really nice bit of advice, John.

> Passing on unicycles will take a good bit of practice to get solid
> enough for a one-time show. You want it to work. Because you’re on
> unicycles, it’s harder to pick up your props if you drop them (unless
> it’s part of your act, see below). You really want it to work. For this
> to be true, you should be able to do whatever your main “big” skill is,
> at least three times in a row, flawlessly. For a professional act that
> number would be ten, but three is okay for this type of situation. Less
> than three? You’re going to mess up in the show.

I can agree with the 3 and 10 rules. One thing I’d mention also, is how to
deal with drops / mistakes. If you’re the only one on stage, you can
improvise things as you’re up there (I don’t recommend you plan to do so,
but if you mess up, and are quick on your feet, you can recover quite
nicely.) If someone else is also there (like the guy you’re passing to)
definitely plan out what you’ll do in case of drops and such. Hopefully
you’ll have practiced together long enough that you can read each other,
but I wouldn’t count on improvisation working to well then.

> Doing your skills without mistakes is a lot to hope for because of two
> things, the timeframe between now and the show, and the fact that (I’m
> assuming) you’re not used to being in front of an audience. Before I was
> used to being onstage, my adrenaline level in shows would be much
> higher, to the point where I had less control over my fine motor skills.
> Lots of power, but less control. Considering that and other factors,
> assume that you will be “under duress” in the actual show and keep that
> in mind.

oh, but when you’re done, and leaving the stage with the audience clapping
and cheering, man, few things are quite as cool as that. Also, be mindful
of the lighting. Hopefully you can do a dress-rehersal with all lights
exactly as they will be for the show. You’ll maybe be able to see the
first row or two of audience, then black, then blinding lights up above.
Try to get the softest lighting possible from the tech guys. If you’re
juggling, you want to have as few lights right above you as possible
(you’re still going to be blinded). Also good for juggling, if possible,
have just a little bit of light coming from the other side of the stage.
This will help you see your props a little better.

> having fun watching you ride and juggle, including drops and dismounts
> (laughing with you but not at you), You can get away with anything. But
> this can be hard to achieve, especially in a school show with your own

There are so many things about develping a stage presence that I am a long
way from mastering. One thing I’ll recommend is prepare a few extra tricks
in case of a drop or fall. For example, I’m good at the suicide mount. I
didn’t plan it as part of my show, but I used it when I fell off.
(Balancing a unicycle on your chin also gets applause, if you’re good at
that sort of thing). If done properly, when you talk to your friends after
the show, they’ll tell you how cool it was when you pretended to drop, and
you just chuckle to yourself, because you know you weren’t pretending. :slight_smile:

Oh, and one last thing while I’m thinking, always be mindful of which way
you are facing. Think of which angle the trick looks best from, and make
sure you’re facing that way. Whenever possible, make sure the audience
knows what you’re doing. When I was about to ride one footed, I pointed to
the foot I was about to remove from the pedal. On a unicycle, move your
hands as little as possible. When juggling (not on a unicycle) don’t move
your feet (unless you’ve got something planned out).

jeff lutkus

Sent via the Unicyclist Community - http://Unicyclist.com

You may have to go as far as changing schools. As a schoolteacher I know
that most schools will have to abide by local rules and especially
insurance conditions: sending one of the kids home on his unicycle with 8
knife wounds, deep fried and still smoking tends to be frowned on by the
insurance companies, not to mention the parents. Zyllan, a local (NW
England),12 year old lad, did manage to juggle fire at school, they knew
he was a good juggler and actually asked whether he would take in the
torches for a photosession. He went in accompanied by a letter from his
parents to say all would be fine, together with some advice for spectators
and thus ended up on the front page of the school magazine. But his school
was very forward looking and cannot be considered representative. Knives
or fire at most schools will invariably be a no-no. At many they would be
worried by the uni as well.

I find it quite astonishing what some guys can do with three balls. Naomi
Naomi_Sajeri@hotmail.com