Author Topic: Diabolo for a job!  (Read 8704 times)

Matt

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Diabolo for a job!
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2005, 01:25:39 am »
In response to Diabolumberto and Sean,

Here's my brief history:

1997--Started juggling seriously after I bought Charlie Dancey's Encyclopedia of Ball Juggling.  I started diabolo around the same time.  Actually, balls and diabolo were my two first props.  I had a purple piece o crap diabolo, but I loved it.  Later that year I got a job working at a toy store to cover the Christmas sales, but all I ended up doing is juggling in front of the store and greeting customers.  I only made about $10 an hour, but for me I was really stoked to essentially be paid to juggle. It was my first experience of that kind, and I was stoked.  My real job at the time was Public Affairs Officer for the Consulate General of Japan in Chicago.  Nice title, eh?  

1998--performed in my first public show at MadFest.  So, basically, a year later.  And I performed in every public show at every festival I attended after that.  That streak ended last year when I attended Damento festival here in California and didn't perform in the public show.

2000--finished my masters at Stanford and for the summer got a job juggling at Paramount's Great America Amusement Park in San Jose.  Up to that time I had done a birthday party or two, some local gigs for small money, but this was my first "big time" juggling job.  I spent that whole summer walking around the park entertaining the guests and performing warm-up acts before the main attractions.  During my breaks, I just practiced and hung out with the dancers.  It was heaven.  I'd do that type of summer job in a second.  After that summer finished, I started teaching Japanese at Silver Creek High School, where I still teach happily to this day.  

2003--Silver Medal in IJA doing diabolo for half the routine.  Invite to EJC 2003 in Svendborg, where I met the Mad French Posse, Thomas Dietz, and a million other studly Europeans.    

2004--Invite to BJC 2004 in Derby.  Met Norbi for the first time along with Ben Beever, Peter Bone, and Barnesy.  Invite to WJF.  

2005--Invite to Scottish 2005 in Glascow.  I wonder who I'll meet there?   :D

As you can see, I have actually made very little money juggling.  However, I have had a rich juggling life, so to speak, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to travel to all these different places and meet all these great folks.  

Given that Root and Bill and Ivan and Scotty Cavanaugh are all my best friends, I've been surrounded by true professionals for years now.  I've had talks about going pro with Dan Holzman (of the Raspyni Brothers), Rhys Thomas, and Robert (ButterflyMan) Nelson, as well as my homeboys listed above.  Everyone has encouraged me to take that step if that's what I want to do.  I've been tempted, but knowing how hard those guys work and hustle to make their living, I pass.  It's a fun job, but it's still a job.  For me, juggling is a passionate hobby, but still just a hobby.  I'd rather make consistent, okay money teaching Japanese (which I love doing), have full insurance coverage paid for by my school, and then try and get invited to festivals all over the world.  

Moreover, if you're going to make a living juggling, you almost have to have comedy in your act, and I'm not good at that.  I could get better (like anything, comedy is an acquired skill that comes with practice and trial/error), but I would rather spend my time juggling and teaching.  I respect the pros.  I'm an amateur, at least in my own mind.   The true pros work HARD.  Every once in a while, I hear one of Ivan's stories about being on a cruise, Rootberry talking about some gig in Lebanon, or Scotty (who's in Japan this very second) and I think maybe.........

For now, I'm sticking with the teaching.  However, given the state of education in America (under Bush) and in California (under the Terminator), I might go the juggling route!  It's nice to know that path is open if I decide to walk it.  

A bit of a novel, but that's where I stand.  Tony and Ryo are studs.  

Matt
Many Thanks to Sean for all his work and inspiration.  Respect to the MFP!