Juggler's World: Vol. 38, No. 3
Tips and Tricks
Ideas for your act
(from a list by Dave Castle)
The following juggling ideas were collected during years in different phases
of show business. Some are old, some new, some changed and some will suggest
other novel effects to you. I hope you can find at least a couple that you
Three Ball Tricks
- Cross hands and cascade balls.
- To open, have three balls in one hand, toss them over your shoulder
and let them bounce on the floor in front to begin cascade.
- Bounce ball off the floor with reverse English,
catch it with your hand cupped outward by your side.
- Throw three balls down hard on the floor in front,
pirouette to catch them and resume juggling.
- One ball is thrown high, reach up and catch it at the top of its flight,
then bring it back into the pattern slowly while you do two in the other hand.
You can wave your fingers at the audience while hand is high.
- Close a three ball routine with three in one hand.
- Hit and bounce a ball with your elbow or back of the other hand.
- Let a ball drop to floor and bounce several times. Slap it with
the bottom of your foot, bouncing it back into the air and your pattern.
- Juggle three magic store light bulbs that illuminate.
- Juggle three throwing knives
and throw them at balloons on a wood target in front of you.
- Blow soap bubbles in the air and steal three or four clear plastic balls
from your pockets to juggle among the bubbles.
- Replace dolls' feet with wood handles to "juggle small children."
- Juggle three flashlights turned on with the stage darkened.
- Before you juggle and eat an apple,
put a rubber worm in it to surprise the audience.
- If you balance a ball on a mouthstick,
use a flute instead and end the routine with a tune.
- Juggle a napkin, doughnut and dark empty pop bottle.
Eat the doughnut, wipe your mouth with the napkin
and act like you wash it down with a drink from the bottle.
- Do a cigar box routine with three square bird cages containing toy birds.
- Vent jugglers can paint a face on one hand
and then give running commentary as the other hand juggles balls.
- To comment on "how time flies," juggle three watches.
Dress and Decoration
- Cut circles or diamond shaped pieces of foil
and glue to your rings for more color and flash.
- Buy a jacket from a uniform supply company
and sew sequins to the lapels and hems to make a flashy costume coat.
- Make a waist sash from a five-inch wide piece of satin
that fastens with sewed-in hooks.
- Laundry carts make excellent props holders.
They have wheels and fold flat for packing.
Decorate with red velvet or corduroy and sequins.
- Use different hats for different tricks.
A fez for torches, clown hat for three balls,
Mexican hat for devil's sticks, top hat for clubs, a turban for knives.
- Paint your spinning plates white to look like fragile ceramic
or pottery instead of metal.
- Plate spinners can also use arrows instead of plain sticks.
- Big old socks stretched over clubs protect them and keep them clean.
- Dip three dime store balls in glue and cover with glitter.
It wears off, but looks great for a while.
- Pin or tack dollar bills on your suit and prop table
to get attention and comments. People like seeing real money!
- Variety stores sell broom clips
that hold clubs on the outside of a prop stand.
Six Ball Juggling
Most people trying to do six balls would initially try three in each hand,
as a logical extension of four ball juggling. However, a crossing pattern
where balls are thrown almost simultaneously might be easier.
Dan Bennett uses
it in IJA numbers competition. Edward Jackman, who reported on the pattern in
1977 in an IJA Newsletter, said he learned this pattern up to 24 throws before
he could do three in his left hand.
Start with three balls in each hand. Raise one hand slightly above the
other so throws don't collide and then make the crossing throws in unison. All
throws pass in front of your nose, which makes them easier to see. Eight balls
can be done in the same manner.
Mathematical Daydreams: Exploring Mixed Passing
by Phyllis Chinn and Danny Sleator
At a mathematics meeting in Kyoto, Japan, we began exploring the
mathematics of passing three balls and three clubs on an "every other"
count. We noted that the progression of who had various numbers of balls and
clubs seemed to depend on the starting configuration. We analyzed the
possibilities theoretically, then checked our predictions by juggling.
Let us think of the pattern of six objects as forming a circle, with
objects moving around the circle clockwise as they are passed. With three
balls and three clubs, there are only four basic distributions of the objects.
With every other passing, in the first three configurations each juggler
always has two clubs and a ball or two balls and a club. In pattern A, the
number of each type changes with each exchange. In B and C each juggler has
two of one type for three exchanges in a row, then switches to an excess of
the other for three exchanges. In D, each juggler goes through as regular
pattern of -- 3 clubs, 2 clubs, 1 club, 0 clubs, 1 club, 2 clubs, and back to
Throwing a right-to-right double in the pattern causes similarly
interesting results. Given the following configuration of objects:
| 2 | 2 | 2 | 2 |
| @ | @ | @ | @ |
| | | | |
| 1 O O 3 | 1 @ O 3 | 1 O @ 3 | 1 @ @ 3 |
| | | | |
| 6 @ @ 4 | 6 O O 4 | 6 O O 4 | 6 O O 4 |
| | | | |
| O | @ | @ | O |
| A. 5 | B. 5 | C. 5 | D. 5 |
The following table can be constructed showing the resulting patterns of a
right-to-right double given the starting pattern indicated:
1 2 3 4 5 6
A A A A A A A
B B D C C D B
C D B B D C C
D C C D B B D
(down the side are listed pattern type)
By the way, at two math meetings where we juggled, in Kyoto and Hakone,
many Japanese people gathered around, interested in watching and anxious to
learn. We're sure they look forward to their next juggling encounter!
Dr. Dropo's Comic Dictionary
by Bruce Fife
- abuse -- What to try when an argument fails.
- acrobat -- The only person who can do what everybody else would like to do,
pat himself on the back.
- actor -- One who plays when he works and works when he plays.
- B.A. -- A degree which means that the holder has mastered the first two
letters of the alphabet.
- exercise -- 1. When you feel like exercising, just lie down till the feeling
goes away. 2. The only exercise some people get is when their nose runs.
- guillotine -- The first real cure for dandruff.
- hobby -- See "nudist."
- joker -- A jesternut.
- juggler -- People who juggle for a hobby seldom go crazy, but those who have
to live with them do.
- Mason & Dixon's line -- The boundary between "Ya'll" and "Youse guys."
- medicine -- The art of fooling the patient while nature cures the illness.
- misery -- See "diet."
- nudist -- 1. A person you can't pin anything on. 2. A person wrapped up only
in himself. 3. Nudists must be right. They have millions of followers --
- poodle -- What you step in when it rains cats and dogs.
- skeleton -- A lot of bones with the people scraped off.
- tip -- The wages we pay other people's hired help.
- wheel -- The part of the car which causes the most accidents is the nut that
holds the wheel.
Tips and Tricks /
Index, Vol. 38, No. 3 /
© 1996 Juggling Information Service. All Rights Reserved.