Each year come April, wherever I find myself, I lay down my metaphorical plowshare, and trek my way back to upstate New York and my Alma Mater, to the north coast and the Rochester Institute of Technology.  The inducement for this vernal season migration, is the meritorious RIT SPRING JUGGLE-IN.  The Juggle-In has it's own web site.  Check it out:
www.rit.edu/~jugwww/
If it is the first quarter of the calendar year, there is a good chance that the site pertains to the upcoming festive happening.  Otherwise it reflects last Aprils' froody doings.
    The below essay evolved from one I wrote one year when I was attempting to recruit my coworkers to the excursion.  I failed in that attempt.  Over the years I have labored on many similar quests to bring new souls to the Juggle-In.  And over the years I have repeatedly failed, with a few notable exceptions.
My sincere gratitude to my occasional friend and less frequent juggler, Gregg who has been a Juggle-In booster for years.
And also to Greg and Dave (may the gods forgive me for placing the names within the same sentence prior to the celestial alignment which will foretell the day of reconciliation) who have succumbed to my proddings in recent years.
So for what it's worth, you should actually consider coming out to the next one.
Let me explicitly state that the opinions expressed here are strictly my own, I have no sanction to speak for the dedicated individuals who make the Juggle-In happen each year (thanks guys!) or the hundreds of other juggles who also show up.
 
 
 
THE ART

    To those of you who shall be in attendance at the next annual RIT Spring Juggle-In, permit me to extend a joyous 'Thank-You'.  I am confident that you will find the experience a memorable one.  I am especially grateful to the (current) non-jugglers among you.  I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you a bit about why I'm so pleased that you are coming.
    Juggling is a lamentably misunderstood art form.  An ancient performing art, juggling can be as rich and profound as dance or music.  Such juggling as is usually seen however, is woefully wanting and has been relegated to the roll of opening act or background extra.  Why must such a nobel form of human expression be force to abide such slights?  If your exposure to juggling is limited to the occasional cable variety show and a half-dozen or so street performers, it is as though your exposure to music were limited to only show tunes and movie scores. I'M BEGGING YOU, please don't utter any of the following words, whilst speaking of juggling in my presence:

  • chain-saw
  • bowling-ball
  • knives
  • fire
What is that you say? I have thus exhausted your juggling database?  Well, then perhaps you can appreciate how stereotyped juggling is.  But fear not, for enlightenment is on the way.
   There are two main events at the Juggle-In, and you will want to be sure to see both of them.  During the day, the gym is open to all comers. This is really what the Juggle-In is all about.  There will be hundreds of jugglers doing their thing.  You are free to meander about (please take care to avoid interfering with anyone's juggling), and please don't hesitate to talk to anyone, that's what we're all there for.  Some of the people you will see on the floor will be pros, most will be amateurs, and every year there are a few people who juggle for the very first time that day. HEY! Maybe this year one of those people will be YOU!  No Im not kidding!  All it takes to become a juggler is; you see someone trying to do something, and you say to yourself I bet I could do that, and of course, you actually try it!  When will you have a better opportunity?  Anyway, even if you just sit there, the Juggle-In is still about the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
    While you are at the Juggle-In you will want to secure your tickets for the evening show.  There are only 500 seats and it will sell out.  The show is scheduled to start at 8:00.  It's general admission, and though the cozy venue doesn't have any bad seats, it does have better ones.  Also, groups of seats will be hard to come by if you arrive late, and if you are too late, your seats may be resold.  The Headliner Show is a chance to see the art taken to it's highest level. I am hoping you will have developed a new appreciation after watching us duffers during the day, and will therefore be properly prepared to be dazzled.  If you play an instrument, or engage in any other athletic or performing art, then you know how truly amazing those who devote their lives to the craft become.  Athletes and musicians my play to larger audiences, become household names, make millions of dollars, but I'll stack the best jugglers against any other entertainers.

 

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