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anthonygatto
Forum Admin


USA
4280 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2005 :  13:17:52  Show Profile  Visit anthonygatto's Homepage Send anthonygatto a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Have you ever wondered if there is a correct format to practice your juggling? Let's talk about it.

adennis
Level 4



USA
1367 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2005 :  01:11:59  Show Profile Send adennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mr. Gatto,

You mentioned in your F.A.Q. that you were starting work on new props. I'd like to know how you approach learning a new prop and how that format compares to the way you approach adding on skills to the props you've been working on for a while.

Adam
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anthonygatto
Forum Admin



USA
4280 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2005 :  02:40:32  Show Profile  Visit anthonygatto's Homepage Send anthonygatto a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, when I say new prop it's actually a prop that I have used as my warm up all my life and that is a soccer ball. I don't really try and touch really new props or juggling equipment. The reason for this is the type of juggling that I do and the duration in the runs that I obtain require an enormous amount of time spent on those particular feats. Many people don't realize the kind of effort that I put forth to be able to do these things on a daily basis.

Don't get me wrong though, what I post on the internet isn't all I do. I have many creative and unique tricks that I do in practice and on stage but in this world we live in today nothing is sacred and I don't want everyone doing the same feats that I do and this is why I keep them to myself. I feel that I may have strayed from the question a little bit but I have picked up such props as ball and stick and was able to apply the same gradual progression that I did with every prop and was able to do some nice things with it. Nothing compared to the real legends like Francis Brunn or Michael Chirrick. Also when my father wanted me to learn bounce juggling(which I hated doing) I was up to an eight flash in just a couple of days, so I feel that I had a sort of transfer of knowledge there.
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Ivanpecel
Level 2

USA
251 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2005 :  02:47:18  Show Profile  Visit Ivanpecel's Homepage  Send Ivanpecel an AOL message  Send Ivanpecel a Yahoo! Message Send Ivanpecel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think that there is surely a correct format to practice juggling. Normally I start my practice by doing headroll. This helps me loosen up and stretch out a little. Then I proceed with juggling with a balance and juggling with a ball bounce. Then normally I will start my practice out with balls, then rings, then clubs. I find that if I start with clubs or rings, I get much more tired than I do starting with balls. Also, I think the difficulty of each prop gets harder in that order: Balls... clubs... rings... so for me it is helpful to practice in that order.
I will start each prop out by doing 5 in a row of what I call "key" tricks. Meaning, let's say I start with rings. I will start with juggling 5 rings for 250 catches to warm up. Then I will do 5 - 5 up pirouettes in a row, followed by 5 - 5 up half turns. Then I will do some combos, half turn right into pirouette, etc. Then I will do half shower throws for 25 catches out of the right hand 5 times in a row. Then I will work on my "ring kick trick" where I throw a ring behind myself and kick it back up over my head. I will do this 4 to 10 times in a row. After I complete these "key" tricks I can go on to harder things. 2 stage pirouettes, reverse cascades, pancakes, overheads, etc. I run my practice like this for each prop and I find that it is very disciplined and quite effective.
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anthonygatto
Forum Admin



USA
4280 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2005 :  12:23:17  Show Profile  Visit anthonygatto's Homepage Send anthonygatto a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, you have it down. That is a great way of going about a practice session. It is quite similar in structure to my own. That's a good theory to start with the balls first. For my practice I would jump to rings next then clubs since they do take a lot of energy. As for the tricks I have a mixed way touching base on them let's take balls as an example, for the lower numbers i.e 5-7 I will go through all of my tricks first, then I will make my 1 - 2 minute runs after. Now, for 8-9 balls I practice the runs first because working on tricks with high numbers takes energy and I would not be able to make my normal run of at least 200 catches. After this I will make attempts at tricks. The great thing about juggling is there is no right or wrong way to practice you just have to find out what works with you by trial and error. My practice routine wasn't like this from day one but it has evolved.
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Ivanpecel
Level 2

USA
251 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2005 :  16:27:49  Show Profile  Visit Ivanpecel's Homepage  Send Ivanpecel an AOL message  Send Ivanpecel a Yahoo! Message Send Ivanpecel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What about your theory on warming up before a performance? I have found that there is no need to run through everything in your show. I warm up for about 10 min before my show and the things I do are relatively simple in nature but I fell that they give me the range of motion that I need on stage. I start with simply juggling 5 balls with varying heights for about a minute. Next I will do 5 rings for about a minute with varying heights followed by shorter runs of 6 and 7. With clubs, I start with juggling 3 clubs with a balance in doubles. Next I will do fast doubles and high tripples. The next trick I feel is what really helps me warm up the best, which is three club backcrosses. I start by doing 50 - 60 in singles, then move to doubles and then tripples. The range of motion and the movement of the arms is what I feel really helps me get warmed up and ready to go on stage. I will end my warm up with a series of pirouettes with clubs, and I am ready to go. When I am doing an hour long show on cruise ships, I feel that these are the things that will get me ready to go and keep me loose for the entire show. If I was doing a shorter routine, just juggling to music, my warm up would probably change. But for me, this really works.
Also, I think finding a great place to practice really helps. I just moved to Las Vegas from Los Angeles a few months ago and I found a great gym here where I can practice and weight train. There are 3 full size basketball courts and nobody is ever in them. Another practice technique that I try to implement is to practice right under a light in the gym. Some people may think that this won't help, but I feel that if I can do my practice under less than perfect conditions i.e. with a light in my eyes, it will be that much easier on stage when the lights are great... and if the lights suck on stage... then I feel right at home...
On a side note... My Aunt, Lani McCusker, did your costuming when you were in Midnight Fantasy at the Luxor.
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marcobonisimo
Level 1

Netherlands
37 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2005 :  17:22:56  Show Profile  Visit marcobonisimo's Homepage Send marcobonisimo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interresting...
My warming up is always too long, especially when I do shows on stage. May be because the juggling keeps me away from my nerves. On the street I do nearly the same warm-up as you do for your cruise ship shows. But the show is a lot more entertainment than it is hard juggling.
Anyway the best warming up for me would be an easy session of juggling three hours before the show and then I have a twenty minuts call, I repeat the hard tricks and get focussed somehow. But sofar it has never been the same (luckily enough)

My best juggling training format is still to practice a lot of different skills. Especially after my soccer ball workout , which can be though, I really like to jump on a uni or walk the wire. Anyway, although I always repeat my performing routines, the key of my interest for juggling after 12 years is not to hurry anyhow, nor to get upset.

Marco
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anthonygatto
Forum Admin



USA
4280 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2005 :  19:50:42  Show Profile  Visit anthonygatto's Homepage Send anthonygatto a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, my warm is a little different. I have a theory of warming up backwards from the order of your act. What I mean is the format of my act goes balls, clubs, then rings. My warm up will be clubs, then rings, then balls I feel this gets me in touch with the prop that I will be handling first. I do however spend the majority of my warm up with three clubs making doubles and quads to warm up the wrists(they take a long time to get ready when you have carpal tunnel syndrome). Hey, tell you aunt I said hello.
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nickturbo
Level 2



USA
262 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2005 :  19:51:49  Show Profile  Visit nickturbo's Homepage  Send nickturbo a Yahoo! Message Send nickturbo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
hi everyone - first off, thank you anthony for starting up this forum, it is pretty cool to be able to speak with you on here!

my question regards practice for the recreational (non-professional) juggler - how can I get the most "bang for my buck" with my limited practice time, usually less than 5-7 hours per week? - presently I enjoy doing balls, clubs, and passing clubs

my skill level at this point would be classified as "beginner", I have been at this less than two years; my aim is to improve my skills and continue to enjoy my 2-3 times per week juggling sessions

thanks!

tim <nickturbo>
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Ivanpecel
Level 2

USA
251 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2005 :  02:30:37  Show Profile  Visit Ivanpecel's Homepage  Send Ivanpecel an AOL message  Send Ivanpecel a Yahoo! Message Send Ivanpecel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well Tim,

It's great to see a hobbyist that shows interest in practicing correctly and actually wanting to see results. My advise to you is: if you are only able to practice a few hours a week, pick a small amount of tricks and skills to learn and stick with just those until you perfect them. If you practice for let's say 7 hours a week, and you have 50 different tricks that you want to learn... it will be very difficult to learn them since you won't be able to devote that much time to each trick. And if you do learn them, they surely won't be consistant and probably pretty sloppy. Learning new tricks takes some time and a lot of practice. So my advise would be to just pick a few tricks and learn them. Work on the same one's week after week until you feel completely comfortable with them, then move on to different tricks that you want to learn. You will learn 5 tricks much faster than you will learn 50. So take it slow and learn piece by piece. Also be sure to break each trick down into it's individual sections. Example: If you want to learn backcrosses with clubs, you won't start by just attempting to throw every club behind your back and hope to catch them... you will start with one club throwing it behind the back. One throw with the right... then a throw with the left. Do this until you feel comforatble with it... then attempt to throw consistant behind the back throws with just the right hand... then just with the left hand... then eventually you will be able to piece it all together and do backcrosses since you learned each individual part. You can apply this theory to any trick that you are trying to learn. Admittidly, this is not the "most fun" way to practice. It can get very boring and very repetative, but it will produce results much quicker than attempting more than you are capable of over and over... and over... ... and over...

-Ivan-
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marcobonisimo
Level 1

Netherlands
37 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2005 :  02:37:44  Show Profile  Visit marcobonisimo's Homepage Send marcobonisimo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I guess the order would also fit me, but in my stage acts I only use one kind of prop a the time. But I must admit, that the first trick, although it is not that difficult, I try it 3 times in a row, before I go on stage. (which I sofar luckily always succeeded)
Anyway, what is this syndrom, you are talking about. You got that from your juggling? (sorry I'm Dutch, just don't know what it is, although I could guess)

I have another question about being a juggler. May be this is a new topic. Would you call yourself socially disabled being a juggler. Or more in general: Would you call juggling an autistic way of living. This might not be true for you at all, but I'm kind of interested. Although I don't experience it so much myself, people tell me it is hard to get in touch with me. They have a completely different impression when they see me perform.

And yes, I agree with Tim, thanks for setting up this forum.

Marco

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anthonygatto
Forum Admin



USA
4280 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2005 :  11:48:54  Show Profile  Visit anthonygatto's Homepage Send anthonygatto a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hey Guys,

First let me address Tim. Ivan has quite a few good points and I tend to agree with him. Keep in mind when I was first learning to juggle, actually the first 5-6 years I never practiced more than 1 hour per day. Remember, I started just before four years old. An hour per day was sufficient for me as I did not have the broad range of tricks that I do now not to mention my runs were less substantial so it took less time to get through them. Growing up I really never like to practice I really only started to enjoy it over the past five years. I hour per day or even 45 minutes per day every day is better than 2 hours one day then nothing the next couple of days then another 3 hours...if you know what I mean.

As far as the Syndrome is concerned it is called carpal tunnel and people who use there hands excessively get this problem i.e. jugglers, people who type, painters etc. . It make feel as if you hands don't work and sometimes the forearms will cramp and your wrist motion can't work as fast. I am going to therapy for this because I fear the surgery would make things different and I don't want to take the risk as I have a long career ahead of me.

Now if juggling makes me socially disabled I can't say that it does. I feel I am very outgoing as a person but I think you may say this because you never hear anything from me or see me at conventions. I will explain a little bit about that. I have worked my entire life to be who I am. It has not been an easy road at all. Every time I go to a convention it becomes a videotaping extravaganza and my whole system which I worked my entire life for is there on someone cassette machine for the taking. When you go to a magic convention this doesn't happen so why should it be the case at a juggling convention? Here is another senario of what happens to me. I go to a festival and meet someone that I never met before. I say hello talk a few minutes and it's over. Four months goes by and I get an e-mail from someone I don't really remember(meaning the person I met)and he says hey, I am coming to Vegas and would like to practice with you and oh yeah, do you have an extra room that we can stay in. Now, I am an extremely friendly person, I would never snub anybody but don't you think this senario is a little strange? Well, it happens time after time until the point that you just say enough and separate yourself from the situation. It gets creepy if you know what I mean. I am married I have a dog and a normal life outside juggling and I would say we are relatively private people. We don't have a ton of friends but the ones we do have I would trust my life with and I think it's about quality not quantity. Shall I just keep rambling my sorrows and bore everyone...nah. Sorry about that.

A.G.
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Ivanpecel
Level 2

USA
251 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2005 :  12:34:59  Show Profile  Visit Ivanpecel's Homepage  Send Ivanpecel an AOL message  Send Ivanpecel a Yahoo! Message Send Ivanpecel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Anthony, that's funny what you say about having a small group of friends... quality, not quantity. Do you find that most of your "close" friends are involved in show business in one way or another? I ask this because over the years out of all the friends that I have made in college and elsewhere, most of my "true" friends seem to be performance related in one way or another. I have friends that lived 20 minutes away in LA and I never saw or talked to them... yet Bill Berry and Jon Root live in FL and I talk to them a few times a week. I'm getting married in 3 weeks and most of my friends that are invited to the wedding are involved in performace.
As far as juggling making you socially inept... I think it will only do that if you let it. If you are one of the people that are going to juggle in the airport and you wear strange hippy tie-die clothes... then yes... that will probably make you a little inept and people, rightfully so, will be a little standoffish. Juggling is what you want it to be for you. Juggling is a huge part of my life. It's my career and it's my love... however... I just bought a house, I am getting married in a few weeks, I have other hobbies... Basically I have a "real" life. Juggling can be an "autistic" way of living as you put it... but it doesn't have to be. When it boils down to it, I am who I am whether I juggle or not. If I were to break both my arms and could no longer juggle... my lifestyle wouldn't change. The decorations in my house wouldn't change. I wouldn't redo the carpet or anything to fit my new lifestyle. I say take who you are as a person... and add that to your juggling. Don't let the juggling make you who you are.
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nickturbo
Level 2



USA
262 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2005 :  13:50:26  Show Profile  Visit nickturbo's Homepage  Send nickturbo a Yahoo! Message Send nickturbo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
wow - thanks for the advice guys.....I think that I probably WAS trying to do way too much instead of concentrating on just a few tricks and trying to get them solid - our local group practices tonight, so I will spend some time as you suggested and break what I am working on down into smaller parts of the whole (by coincidence, backcrosses ARE one of the things I have been trying) and I will also try to get in some daily practice time as Anthony suggested

Ivan - I saw you at Oswego, New York last fall, you helped myself and a friend with a few things in the gym there, and we stayed to see you perform in the show that evening (which was great!) also, best of luck with your upcoming wedding!

Anthony - feel free to ramble; after all it is YOUR site...I am just disappointed that I will not be able to crash on your couch next time I visit vegas....haha - you are absolutely right though, stuff like that is pretty creepy, but I guess it is just something that comes with "celebrity status"??

tim <nickturbo>

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marcobonisimo
Level 1

Netherlands
37 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2005 :  15:49:07  Show Profile  Visit marcobonisimo's Homepage Send marcobonisimo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Folks

First of all, good luck with the therapy. I'm often a little scared that these kind of things will happen to me. I think a friend of mine has the same. He gave up practicing more or less, which to me seems a real pitty.
Second, I didn't want to push you to go to conventions Anthony. I'm only a beginner, if I compare my juggling skills with yours, but I know what you mean. It is kind of funny the first time it happens to you, but it can be very annoying as well, to be in a gym, where everybody was practicing when you entered, but you suddenly realise there is no more dropping and everybody is staring at you.
What I meant with autistic is more or less what Ivan describes. But I'm happy with my live, my girl friend and pets. And I shurely love juggling. I just don't like to hang out in bars if I don't have to work there. And I hate to do social things like going to family, while the only thing they want to or can talk about is if I make enough money.
Off coarse my carpet will not change when I break my arms, because I can't get it out of my house then, but what I really mean is that juggling (or circus in general) is such an important part of my life, that I can't figure me without (with or without arms).

Another topic, or question.. I want to learn like lots of jugglers, 5 club backcrosses. Sometimes I can flash them easily, but I have big trouble with my second backcross, which seems to be to high, or at least to much spin. What kind of practice did help you to get this nasty basterd. The same trouble with my reverse cascade (over the top). As if I have to hurry with my left hand to stay in the rhytm.

By the way, thanks again for this forum. Sofar I like it a lot, Marco

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Arron S
Level 2

United Kingdom
125 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2005 :  16:56:31  Show Profile  Visit Arron S's Homepage  Send Arron S an AOL message  Click to see Arron S's MSN Messenger address Send Arron S a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi

Nice to see people giving constructive help....

What is (if any) your advice on learning/practice technique to headbounce with a juggle (bearing in mind Anthony said he hated it :S )? Is it best to start with balls, clubs, rings? 5 balls over 3 (natural height might make it easier to watch in proipherial vision?) etc?

I'm currently using a Rythmic Gymnastic ball (smaller size).

Many thanks

Arron
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