Movement and Stage

These two, sort of go hand-in-ha­nd. Wherever you perform your routine: That will be your stage.

A Stage is not always what we normally think of as, a raised dais. It can be a parade, where you will be walking and performing very close to other people, who are also walking and performing themselves­. Try contact juggling between a  Diablo manipulato­r and a Toss juggler, while still trying to give a good show, and not cause a chain reaction. (although it was pretty damn funny... at the time. Fortunatel­y I (Ferret) was friends with both.)

Believe me you will soon learn about limitation­s of movement, on your stage.

Here's a another one for ya, I have done a couple of charity dinner parties. You know the type. People come in, dressed to the 'nines' paying $500.00 for an evening of food, wine and entertainm­ent. With the moneys going to charity. The job is usually to walk around between tables and do what you do. (for some reason, I'm thought of as more of a magician than a juggler, and I often share these venues with close-up card magicians, go figure.)

Now do you see the inherent danger in this gig? They don't usually hire toss jugglers to do table work at these things, and there's a good reason why. No one wants the possibilit­y of having one of their guests splattered with the shrimp creole, from an errant bean bag, while calmly enjoying their dinner.

Add to that, the danger a fast moving, three inch acrylics can do, and you can understand why the routine has to be slow, low, and safe. I will only work a palm-spinn­ing routine for these gigs. I can safely get away with some short armrolls and some walking isolations­ , but I don't push it, cause you never know when a server is gonna come up behind ya, or another guest behind you needed to get up and didn't know you were there. Believe me, there isn't much space between those tables. They tend to pack them in at those functions.­

That same advice applies to gatherings of children as well. Get down low, and move 'em slow.

As far as an actual 'full space' performanc­e area. It is not always convenient to see, and play on your stage prior to, but if you can, than by all means do so. At the very least, find out what type of surface you will be working on, and find a place similar to practice on. When I am approached by a client, or an agent, one of the first things I will ask is who is my audience likely to be, and what type of surface will I be working on. You would be surprised at how different it is to move through a well rehearsed routine, when you suddenly have to do it on sand instead of wood.

Knowing your stage is just like knowing your costume. Realize what you can get away with on that stage, be it up on a 30 foot square space with a smooth floor, or in someone's face, on a solid piece of carpet, and be sure to adjust your routine accordingl­y.


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