Thursday, April 7, 2011

Why the Circus Has Been Spoiled for Me

This past weekend we went to Mondo Jugglefest up in St. Paul, MN. It's an annual tradition for us. We started going at the insistence of our friend Lon, who has been going almost since the beginning. It used to be in February, right around his birthday, which made for dicey traveling but we always went. About two years ago they moved it to April (thank god) and we find traveling much simpler. It's a great trip filled with great friends.

Our group, not juggling
Mondo is the reason that circus jugglers don't amaze me quite as much. The festival is filled with people trying out new tricks, showing off old tricks, and learning from each other. At any one time there are probably 800 things flying through the air. Not surprisingly, you have to sign a waiver just to be in the auditorium. I've been hit by so many IFOs (identified flying objects) I've lost track. A majority of them have been from my own hand sadly, but you spend some of the time on the look-out for juggling props.

I've seen hundreds of unusual tricks done at Mondo. I've seen people standing on other people's shoulders and passing clubs to each other. I've seen odd object juggling (imagine juggling a feather, a potted plant, and a toaster at the same time). Every year I find something that amazes me. The hard part is that now when I go to circuses or see street jugglers, I'm not quite as impressed. My poor mother tried to point me to a gentleman juggling clubs one evening. All I could think is that unless he's on a unicycle or standing on a balance board, clubs don't really count.

I can currently only juggle three balls and do some basic contact juggling. I would like to learn clubs as well. I don't put in the time to get good at any of them, but each time I go to Mondo I come away inspired. These things are learnable. I've seen them done.


Salt said...

It is rather fun to see, isn't it?

I do worry about wrecking future school events for my children...they sometimes lack the tact to refrain from saying, "My dad can do that."

Cat B said...

It's a great wonderful spectacle. And I love going. Thanks for introducing us (and teaching me how to juggle).

I wouldn't worry too much. The will probably say that "their dad can do that" but if you give them enough time they might be able to say "I can do that". And how cool would that be?