Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Joe Showers

1. How old are you, and for how long have you been juggling?
20, juggling two years and some change.

2. At what point did you know that juggling was what you wanted to do, and would make up a critical part of your life?
After the guy who taught me to juggle (John Haffner) was driving me back from the RIT juggling festival and all we talked about was juggling from then on. The next day I discovered that I watched juggling videos for an hour every day. I'm over that, but it answers your question.

3. To date, what is the most unusual thing or set of things that you have juggled?
Golf clubs.

4. What has your juggling career entailed so far?
Making a few videos, MCing the RIT show and performing once at a renegade show. I'm in the learning stage right now.

5. What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Finding a group of people that I can truley relax with, be myself and all the friends I've made along the way.

6. How many of each type of props do you juggle?
5 clubs, 6 rings, 7 balls

7. Do you specialize in any auxiliary props or non juggling circus arts?
I like juggling volleyballs, because it's like learning 531 or 633 all over again. I'm still working on bouncing a golf ball off the face of a pitching wedge.

8. Generally speaking, do you wear socks while you juggle?
Yup, shoes too. I got mad blisters when I wore sandals once, so that's not happening again.

9. At what types of venues do you usually perform?
The kind where you sign up half an hour before you go on.

10. Anything amusing or unique ever happen at one of these shows?
Someone told me to juggle apples, I threw a prop at him, he threw it back and I started juggling five balls. Crowd went nuts.

11. Are you a clown?
Are you with National Enquirer?

12. What makes up a standard juggling practice for you?
I have long term goals that I work toward every practice. I work hard at club backcrosses (for the famous five club backcrosses), seven ball endurance and other technical stuff. All that makes up about 70% of my practice. If I'm not doing that, I'm putting together routines, rehearsing my one and only routine so far, and seeing if mixed prop stuff is worth practicing.

13. What is it that will make you want to pick up your props tomorrow and keep juggling?
The addiction to improving. I always feel like I hit a plateau, but I know if I just keep pushing, I'll be through it soon. Currently, my plateau is consistant five up 360's, consistant four club backcrosses and some other stuff, but I know if I just keep practicing, I'll be through it in a few weeks. Then I get some satisfaction out of it and onto the next goal.

14. What goals are you currently working towards?
Six club fountian flashes consistantly, eight ball flashes consistantly, seven ring qualifies consistantly, four/five volleyball siteswaps, constant three club three up pirouettes and a lot of technical stuff.

15. Which prop is your favorite to juggle? Any specific reasoning?
Clubs. I think in terms of dimensions. Balls are a single point in space, one dimension, rings have a height and a width so they have two dimensions. Clubs are three dimensional and that means more possibilities for manipulation as well as straight juggling. When I'm not in a gym, I'm usually in my room making up one or two club manipulations.

16. Are there any specific jugglers that inspire you?
The cliche group (Dietz, Wanvik, Gilligan etc.) but also my friends. Almost all my style comes from the people I talk to, watch and juggle with most often. Wes, Norbi, Spock, Brian, both the Billings, Brett and John.

17. Do you have any “claims to fame” in the juggling community?
I made a few videos with Wes. Basically my middle name is Joe "Riding Coattails" Showers. Make no bones about it.

18. Where do you see yourself in terms of juggling in a month, a year, 10 years?
One month, in a gym shooting myself over a six club flash. A year, still killing myself over whatever new goal I have, but slightly better at juggling. 10 years, definantly better at juggling, and finally confident enough to perform and not think people are going to boo me off stage.

19. Art or Sport?
Whatever makes you happy. I had the time of my life at WJF, not only competing against, but meeting such great people. No matter who came out on top, everyone was happy for them. It was a good time. On the art side, coming up with orignal tricks and routines is so much fun to do and seeing performances from great jugglers like Jay Gilligan and Sean Blue is at very least breathtaking.

20. Balls, Beanbags, or Russians?
Russians all the way. Cheap, fun to make and they juggle like you're cheating.

21. If there is one thing you would like the juggling community to know about you, what would it be?
I'm not that good at juggling, but when I do it, I enjoy myself. For this reason, I always have props within reach.

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