Theory and Practice of Juggling

Theory and Practice of Juggling

I bought 3 juggling balls from I think it was the Innovations catalogue many years ago. Juggling was described as being a reliever of stress. This was back in the days of yuppie flu, when everyone was carrying filofaxes and saying ‘lunch is for wimps’ etc. The instructions were printed on a little piece of paper with little diagrams showing the basic cascade. It was something that looked real easy on paper, a little harder in reality.

Even doing a basic cascade proved difficult. My weaker hand, the left, always seemed to throw the ball out at odd angles, making my right catching hand dart out from its usual position. Of course I practiced standing against my bed so that when I did miss a catch I didn’t have very far to pick them up. I was not very good at all the balls would collide in mid-air because I had thrown two, more or less, at the same time. The cascade would get smaller and smaller and higher and higher as I tried to make all the catches. I did somehow manage a reverse cascade and juggling two balls in one hand but that was about it. The more I practiced the less I improved and the more irritated I became with it all. I was still buying juggling balls and have them dotted around my flat but they are unused.

A few months ago I was listening to Penn Jillette’s podcast. Yes, that’s right the big guy from Penn & Teller. He was talking about Chris Bliss, an American comedian unknown on these shores, who had done some comedy juggling. This routine is supposed to be the most watched video in internet history. Everyone was apparently raving about this routine saying how great it was. Penn said that Jason Garfield had put together his routine… but with more balls. This is aptly know as the Chris Bliss Diss video.

So, having an interest in juggling I checked out Jason’s website. Which is where I found this book for sale. In fact it seems to be the only place you can buy the book on the internet.

Now Jason is a sport juggler so don’t expect him to juggle and eat an apple. He is dedicated to juggling in the same way that Bruce Lee was dedicated to martial arts. He practices juggling, he has built his body for juggling and fuels it to make him a better juggler.

The book, as you can imagine, covers all aspects from beginning to tips for juggling competitions. I’m not going to list out what is in the book, if you’ve read this far then you’ve probably made up your mind about purchasing it. What I will say is that the techniques that Jason describes make a lot of sense. You do read through it thinking, “Why couldn’t I have thought of that?”. You do think that the juggling practice that you’ve done so far has just been a waste of time. He does encourage the use of a video camera to record yourself as you juggle so that you can spot flaws in your technique. With digital still cameras having some form of video capability this isn’t as expensive as it sounds and will no doubt improve your juggling.

If you have any interest in juggling then this book is a good start considering that it is written by one of the worlds best jugglers. Don’t just take my word for it watch some videos of Jason juggling on YouTube.

Penn Jillette - Juggler:

But remember, no matter how closely you follow this book, no matter how hard you work, no matter how good you get, juggling still won’t get you laid. You might be better off getting a book on how to play guitar.