Entries tagged with “IJA”.

Today was the last day of the International Jugglers Association Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It was awesome. If you juggle you HAVE to go to an IJA festival. It’s just amazing. The Saturday night public show may have been the best show I’ve ever seen. Check out Get The Shoe, they totally stole the show. After saying my goodbyes to my friends I headed up to Elkin to visit my Uncle Bill. He lives way out of town in a nice log home that he built when he retired, and in the basement he has a giant train set that he is building. It’s awesome.

It has two gauges of track so he can run the two different size trains that met up in a town in Colorado back at the end of the steam locomotive era. Uncle Bill showed me a bunch of the things he’s working on, and I even got to drive a train. The last time I was here none of the trains were running yet, so it was great to see them in action. He even has digital trains that you can run with a wireless remote control, and they have sound! I was worried that the sound might be dumb, but was actually really high quality and added a lot. I can’t wait until the next time I get to come here.

I think I am now mostly recovered from the Portland IJA festival. It was a lot of fun, and there was just enough craziness and stupidity to generate some good stories. In other words, Crash was there. My last Portland festival memory was Crash’s foot bleeding all over the pool deck after a failed attempt at a backflip with a pool chair off the poolside railing. Good times. (Don’t worry, he’s fine.)

I’m home this week, I have a gig on Satruday, and then I’m gone for two weeks. This is the last big trip for the year, and I’m really glad about it. I’m ready to be home for a while.

The IJA festival is going great as expected. In addition to seeing some great juggling, and doing a little myself, I decided that this is a good time to learn to whistle the loud way. You know, the kind where you put your fingers in your mouth and deafen everyone around you. It’s pretty funny. Just like with any other skill, you have to practice to be able to do a good finger whistle.  More specifically, you have to spend a lot of time getting spit all over the place and not making any noise before you can do a good finger whistle.  I think I’ve finally got it though. It’s still not 100% but it’s getting pretty good. Of course you have to have the right technique, but I’ve discovered that the real secret is just to blow really hard. The juggling festival is a great place to learn since there are so many shows and the crowd of jugglers is both so much more relaxed (ie: tolerant), and more responsive than your average audience.

The location for the late-night, open-mic Renegade Show is especially good this year. We’re out on a 6th floor balcony of the hotel I’m staying in. Aside from the great convenience, it’s really nice to have the show outside. It’s been warm here the last couple of days so we usually have a nice warm breeze blowing on us for the show. The fact that a breeze could be warm has kind of freaked out the Canadians, but we’re all enjoying it. Since we’re so high up, and it’s so late, there is very little city noise and the open roof and enclosed sides give us really nice sound quality.

Tonight I am the MC for the Cascade of Stars Public Show. There are only two acts, so it should be fairly easy, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the show myself. Also, today at 2:00 all the top spinners are getting together for a “breakout” which is always a great time. Tops are awesome.