Studio day 1 of 2015
I am currently sat at Jackson’s Lane theatre about to start my second day in the studio working on my new show. I thought what better way to start my day than to do a brief summary of my previous days’ events.
Yesterday was my first day back in the studio for a couple of months. It was very up and down (if you think I made that pun intentionally, then I feel insulted to think that you would think that I would do that!). I really do not want to fall into the danger of spending all day brainstorming and doing the writing for the show, and therefore not leaving enough time to practice juggling technique. After all it is a juggling show. So therefore, I have given myself at least 2 hours of each studio day to practice my technical side of juggling so that when the show comes around, I should be in good condition for it.
The first hour of my day was spent doing ball juggling technique. A three ball improvised Sean Mckinney inspired warm up. This involves me putting on some good music, and just jamming it out! I find this really helps me warm myself up and get me into a good mindset ready for practice. I often start my practice with something like this. Then I worked on a more structured system from 4-7 balls.
After this, I worked on a section of my show entitled “Clumsy”. This is a purely spoken piece referring to how unnaturally clumsy jugglers can be outside of juggling. I feel like I finished this piece yesterday, which is probably not true as it only took me an hour. I feel like I need to go through it with a fine tooth comb.
Then it was lunch time! I had a lovely quiche. Yum.
After lunch I moved to Studio 5 for a little afternoon session of helium balloon work. Studio 5 has a low ceiling which is extremely practical when working with helium balloons. My main task for this session was to figure out the track that I will use and the reveal of the balloons in the show. Also, I had to figure out how will I keep them in a static position. To make the balloons all have the same floatability (that’s probably a word right?), I add blue tack too the ribbon to make them all the same weight. I have been using this blue tack method for at least 18 months. In these 18 months I have been racking my brains on a method of attaching the balloons to the floor (there is blue tack on the ribbon) so that they can easily be released from the floor (there is blue tack on the ribbon), and so I can easily move them about and attach them to another point (there is blue tack on the ribbon). I was toying with having them attached to a rope (there is blue tack on the ribbon) with some kind of quick release knot (there is blue tack on the ribbon), and then I could drag the rope around the stage so that the balloons would be in different positions. But then it hit me, THERE IS BLUE TACK ON THE RIBBON!!! It has taken me 18 months of trying to attached these balloons with ribbon and blue tack to the floor, and it turns out, I can just stick the blue tack to the floor. What a complete dork.
*deep breaths* “It’s all part of the process” *deep breaths*.
After this I did my 1 hour of ring juggling practice. Working on 3 ring body rolls and balances, followed by 5 ring pancakes, 5 ring pirouettes, and Russian 6-8 practice.
After my ring session (pardon?!), I worked on writing the intro to helium balloons. For this bit, I talk about risk and the riskiest juggling props and how, really, they are not that risky as you can recover from the drop, but with helium balloons there is no recovery. It is the drop that one cannot recover from. Once it’s gone, it’s gone! Thats the angle I am trying to go from anyways, I’m not too happy about it at the moment and there is definite room for improvement.
I finished the day with a short (15 mins) 5 club session only working on spin technique. Singles, doubles, triples and quads. It was ok. I feel like 15 mins was too short for me to just gallivant into a 5 club session. I didn’t really feel like I could get warm enough to really do it.
That was my day done. Quite successful really. Now to start day 2. I’ll report back.
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Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne, Dorset, England
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"Handsomely suave Jon Udry takes to the stages with witty introductions and lightning skilled juggling leaving you roaring with laughter and awe."
Jackie Le - Production Manager for The Aeronaut & The Four Thieves