Now a days people make a career out of being a pro motorcross rider or mountain biker. When if ever do you think people can make a career out of being a pro unicyclist? Yes I know Kris Holm made a career of unicycling but that is a buisness none the less so don’t bring it up!
There are many, like Jamey Mossengren, who make a living doing unicycle performance shows. His is called uniproshow.
Ahh…but my question is: Can I make a living as a crappy unicyclist?
Absolutely. Work it into a comedy act!
Be creative, justonewheel.com
Make brake kits
Make some disc brake kits and sell them all over the world to UNI forum enthusiasts. Call it Mountainuni.com or something
Found a unicycle team in a tiny village in a tiny country, and practice 103 years, make a most simple routine with tall unicycles, impressive enough that the embassy will fly you to canada. But then it helps if team-members wanne go pro to. And you have to keep in mind the costs and wages. So maybe not the best option. But it looks nice anyway:
I used to make a crappy living as a good unicyclist. You might be able to do almost as well as a crappy unicyclist, but it would be more fun to get better.
Wow, that’s what 103 years of practice gets you? But clearly the act works for the audience in that video. So simple! Standard Skill meets ever-taller giraffes. Definitely an Artistic Bicycling influence there…
There’s a current need for that, and you will make those people happy. But that won’t put (enough) food on the table. Hopefully, someday the unicycle business will! BTW, Kris Holm makes his living as a geologist. Unicycling is a source of income, but not his main one.
Making a living as a unicyclist
There’s a really interesting blog by one of the ‘voodoo unicycle’ team on his efforts to do this
If it can be done, certainly won’t be done by many
But if you can find a career that is also your passion makes work life great. But it also makes your passion your job
I guess I’m lucky that I love my job and it gives me time and resources to play at unicycling
Sorryabout the double post but found the blog
Entry on 24/1/2012
Business of unicycling
In fact all round an interesting blog
I think you have to divide “unicycle carreers” into three different groups:
The performers who usually have a great show for non unicyclists but are not showing much off the “sport” part off unicycling. This is the biggest group especially because there are many many circus performers.
The second biggest group are the people living from selling unicycles. This group is also quite big but most people in this businnes have also a second job.
The last and smallest group are the “pro unicyclists”. I dont know for sure but i think right now there is no real “pro unicyclist” (living only from competitions, sponsors).
Right now i am living from sponsors (non unicycling sponsors) and media appereance. I really enjoy it but i dont think i can live this way for longer then a few years and i also dont plan on doing so because i also have a nearly finished degree.
Unicycles are a wonderful hobby. A person with a job can afford to buy almost anything sold in the unicycling world because, really, the stuff is not that expensive. Summary…have a job, get nice equipment with the money you make, and enjoy unicycling as a wonderful hobby.
Except that part And also, there is ‘‘traditionnal’’ circus unicyclist (what we see 99% of the time), and ‘‘modern’’ circus unicyclists.
You don’t even need a particularly good job to afford unicycles, so the trick is surely to get something which involves working as few hours as possible - though I suppose it then depends if you want to be able to afford to travel places to ride.
Currently I’m living the dream spending my redundancy money (unis are even cheap enough that I can still afford them when I’m supposed to be cutting back my spending ). I have a day’s contracting lined up, and wondering whether I can justify just blowing the money on uni stuff!
I suppose all of this is relative to one’s situation.
I work full time, albeit for not too good a wage. But with a family to support, I still struggle to afford what is essentially a relatively cheap hobby.
Yes off course there are different circus acts.
But i think the big difference between performing (circus) and doing sport is that the performers try to show hard looking tricks instead off pushing there personal limits to the max. I havent seen a different performer so far, but i think it would not work because it would look strange if a performer trys to do the same trick over and over again and never land it.
Appealing to people that do not ride is the toughest thing! When doing public shows you have to be pretty creative and do what looks good to others. Lutz you have mastered that one!
To make a 100% living from extreme unicycling would be tough I think. Injuries set you back and they are tough to avoid when trying to push the limits. I know some bike sponsors pay for health insurance, but these are the big companies like Levi jeans and etc. Ultimately I think it would be extremely rare to make a 100% living from unicycling. Getting a mainstream sponsor that helps pay for things like clothes, food, gas and travel is possible I think. Lutz has showed that it can be done and so have a couple other riders.
I’m not sure what the difference is, especially as you live in the home city of Cirque du Soleil. How would you describe the difference?
The experienced performer knows something many beginning performers are not willing to accept. The show is supposed to be for them, not for you. Making audiences happy usually leads to more money, so the experienced performers figure this out if they’re really trying to make a living at it. But then you see a lot of the same stuff all the time; stuff audiences like but is not interesting to us unicyclists.
It is possible to do a mix of audience-friendly and rider-friendly material in a good performance, but if you go too heavy on the rider-friendly stuff, you’re going to lose the audience. Coasting is boring to them, and a 720 unispin looks about the same as a 180. And the 180 is easy to do consistently so why risk the 720?
Back when I was doing shows all the time, I would include a Freestyle performance to music. It was a variation of the (1st place) one I used at the 1985 USA convention. I got really good at doing that 3 minutes, though I couldn’t ride it flawlessly every time. Also I learned to make it much more audience-friendly by working on the rest of my body; the part that wasn’t just moving the unicycle. I was able to apply this to my later Freestyle competition routines, with good success.
In 1987 I used that same 1985 routine, slightly modified, at Unicon III in Tokyo I added a couple of odd tricks that I can’t even remember at the moment (odd in that they were unusual but not real hard). That performance also won. I continued to use that same framework, from the 1985 USA convention, up through 2002, when I promised to never perform it again (with same old music) in front of an audience of unicyclists. By that time it had been parodied by several other unicyclists, in front of unicycling audiences.
In variety entertainment, a general rule seems to hold pretty consistently. If you miss it three times, DO NOT TRY IT AGAIN in that performance. Many performers will have a hard trick they will miss on purpose one or two times, to build up the tension (and the audience’s appreciation of the difficulty). But whatever that trick is, you have to be very confident that you can hit it on that final try. I used to do something like that with freemounting the giraffe in most shows; something most pro performers never learn to do.
Not really, but it requires you to suppress your unicyclist instincts and try to think like an audience.
Yes, the sport still isn’t there yet. Even the professional BMX performers I have appeared with mostly only do the job seasonally. Making it work year-round is much harder. The big challenge for extreme unicycling is selling it; people don’t know what you’re talking about if they’ve never seen it. They don’t even know to ask for it. The same was true for Freestyle-type unicycle acts in my day. Almost nobody does that kind of stuff.
It’s always kind of difficult to connect with the audience. I do some juggling (not for audience, but i have this video) but it’s quite different watching amazing juggling tricks on youtube that are made for jugglers and juggling acts (from a tv show for example). Simple tricks, with the right music, outfit, act etc. can be much more “impressive” than the really really hard trick with out all the buffo around it.
This was the club mentioned before by UCI boardmember and former chairman of the royal Dutch bicycling union (and currently “half-minister” of infrastructure) Joop Atsma: unicycle activity already going on in the national bicycling union - so not really a conflict for the union to embrase IUF activities as well.
In 2009 this artistic cycling club had it 100 years anniversary.
From the video it seems they make their own unicycles.
I’m amazed that I never met any current or former member of this club, or even anyone who knows one!