Day 2. R+D
Today was a day of prop experimentation with the unconventional props (not a ball, a ring or a club) that I have chosen to use for the show.
Firstly, I started working with the boomwhackers. For the benefit of the reader who doesn’t know what boomwhackers are (and lets face it, why would you?!), they are plastic pipes cut to specific lengths so that when they are hit (or in my case, caught), they produce a musical note. Here is a link for more info: http://boomwhackers.com. As I also come from a musical background, I assumed that I could use these props as clubs and make some very interesting material. I wasn’t the first to come up with this idea of using boomwhackers for juggling. I know that Gandini Juggling and Peter Åberg made some great material with them. I really thought I could take these props in a different direction, but after day one, it didn’t seem too promising. I found that I could make rhythms quite easily, but nothing that I would class as very interesting to watch or listen to. Also, they are just awful to juggle! Still, only day one with the wretched things! Onwards and upwards.
I already have a routine with a tea cup and a tea bag which was inspired by the late and forever missed, Luke Wilson. I wanted to expand on this routine and make a whole tea section of my show. This proved quite promising today as I have a few different ways that I am going to achieve this using rhythm, spoons, water and a sugar cube. More to come!
I have bought a quadcopter and it’s an absolute beaut! If you like things that fly and you like fun, I highly recommend getting one. It is the best £35 I have ever spent! Here’s a link just incase you’re interested:
With regards to using it in the show, before it arrived I had a few great ideas. On my first flight of “Quady” (open to better name suggestions), I soon realised that achieving those ideas were A LOT more difficult than I first anticipated. It is very difficult to control, especially for the plans that I had for it. So at this stage I am just giving myself small challenges such as; fly across the room and back and land safely, fly onto the table, land in this space etc. Here is a short video of my greatest achievement with Quady today. Not much of a spectacle, but its definitely a start.
My final unconventional prop research for the day was with poppers (no not those ones). For clarification, here is an agonisingly slow video of someone using one. It’s the only good video I could find!
My research with these today seemed very promising. What I realised when setting multiple poppers, is that the manufacturer wouldn’t be that bothered with the “poppabilty” of each popper! So I found that certain colours of popper would take a long time to pop and others would pop almost instantly. Also, I found that, like humans, they really have to warm up and stretch before they work at their best. On top of all of this, the temperature of each popper really makes a drastic difference to its individual “poppabilty”. However, I feel like this variables could very much work in my favour in the type of routine that I hope to make with them. I think this is one of the strangest paragraphs I have ever written. Playing with things like this is my job! Bonkers.
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Ice Arena Wales, Cardiff
Prison Cells, The Island, Bristol, UK
Acorn Theatre, Penzance, Cornwall
Lighthouse Theatre, Poole, UK
"Jon was a resounding favourite of the night with the audience. He has a natural comedic flair, rocking the audience with laughter with his ad libbing alone, and is an excellent, highly skilled juggler to boot. I recommend him to you unreservedly."
Sarah Shanson, Organiser of The Shaftesbury Tavern Cabaret.