I longed to learn how to do 2 diabolos at once. There weren't many people who could do it at that time. I practiced *every day* and got good at it pretty quickly. By the '89 fest in Baltimore I was beginning to make a name for myself as a diabolo teacher (and sometime performer). Many diaboloists of note today took early lessons from me. Hell, I remember when I was showing Fritz things!
I have concentrated on teaching rather than performing. There should be a diabolo help file at the JIS somewhere. I have some clipart drawings of diabolos that I rendered in a CAD program that look really fabulous, but I can't fit them into my allotment here on the JIS. Look for them in the clipart section of the JIS (if Barry has put them in yet).
I was always attracted to the more bizarre, or "different" props. The diabolo and Devil Stick were first followed soon thereafter by stacking cups, spinning plates, spinning balls and what was to become my all-time favorite, the Bullwhip. With that in mind go to Whip Helpfile for the best instructions anywhere! They were compiled by Andrew Conway from posts by himself, Javier and me.
I never spent much time doing any solo work with balls or clubs (though club passing is a *PASSION* for me). So it actually took me a very long time before I ever tried 5, 6 or 7 balls. I can now do 30-40 catches with 5 balls (with control) and up to 60 (with lots of lucky saves and elbows flying everywhere).
I skipped past 6 after getting 12 catches a couple of times and went straight to 7. I've gotten 10 catches with control and 12 or 13 with frantic abandon. I've also flashed 5 clubs after only one day of trying and feel that if I found the time (I know- it'll take YEARS!), I'd be able to eventually do it.
I've never really concentrated much on performing though I've done my share. I appeared in 18 performances of SUGAR BABIES at a local theater.
In Act One I did a comedy ball spinning act that I am very proud of. I did a 2-ball backwards roll in the show (only missed once) and was able to do a 3-ball roll in practice. Mark Nizer was my inspiration for this trick. The act's finale was a combination trick- while balancing on a Rolla-Bolla, I was spinning a ball on a mouthstick, three plates with my left hand, and propeller spinning a devil stick with streamers with my right. Whoopee!
In Act Two I did my diabolo act followed immediately by my Bullwhip act. I kept the diabolo act short because the audience never quite seemed to "get it". But the Bullwhip act was a huge success. Because I used a lot of audience participation, the act was different every night. It was quite a thrill (especially because I didn't hit my assistant throughout the entire run!).
For the finale I dressed up as Uncle Sam and walked on 24" stilts that I built myself. I only fell once. My right leg skidded on a slippery painted dot on the floor and I fell in a s-l-o-w m-o-t-i-o-n, controlled stretch position. It was actually very funny. Nothing was hurt besides my ego.