Repetition

True story.

Some years back I met with a friend, a clown and juggler, who was educated in the French new circus system of the 1980/90s. We talked of a mutual friend from the same background. I asked if this friend was still performing a specific act (in my opinion, one of the greatest and most important pieces of “modern” juggling (or even circus)). “Well”, came the reply, “he doesn’t really do it anymore. I mean, he did it a hundred times or so!”

Just a few days later I visited a magician friend, who was performing his manipulation act in the Apollo Varieté in Düsseldorf, Germany. I told him how much tighter his act was looking compared to when I had seen it last. “Well”, came the reply, “I have done it a hundred times now, so I start to understand it.”

Last night I performed my “new” club juggling act for the 97th time.

5 thoughts on “Repetition”

  1. […] I graduated with the act in 2008, so by 2012 I was no longer getting the same excitement I got when I first performed it. The solo with the silver cups and balls in Beta Testing was based on the feelings I had doing my graduation piece over and over again. To be good at juggling (or anything) requires a massive amount of repetition. Typically this attitude of repetition has been continued into the artistic practices of some of the best jugglers of all time. Many have performed 7-10 minute numbers in cabarets, music halls, variete and circus. Their acts didn’t vary too much, perhaps a change of trick once in a while or a new costume but pretty much set pieces to be performed 100s of times, finding different audiences for each performance. Luke wrote an interesting essay on the subject of repetition which you can find on the Circus Geeks blog here: https://circusgeeks.co.uk/2011/09/04/repetition/ […]

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