Location: Texas

Total posts: 28
Posted:Being new, I realize that this question may have been posed before, but I'd like to hear from all that are interested as a way to get to know you:

Why do you do what you do?

Why do you juggle, spin, breath/eat fire, dance, etc??

Do you do it for Fame? Money? Prestige? Out of Boredom?

I'll be fair and answer my own question first...

I perform in all the realms that I do for one very simple reason...

It IS who I am.

It's really that simple...I would not know what to do if I were to lose my hands...I would be lost. Since I was 7 years old I've been a performer...From the moment I received my first set of JuggleBug juggling balls and plastic Charlie MacCarthy vent doll I've been 'ON'...

Juggling is no longer something I 'do'...

It's who I am...I AM a juggler...I am a Ventriloquist...etc...

Sure, I've made a lot of money over the years...I've performed for hundreds of thousands of folks (3 years in Vegas will certainly boost one's audience numbers)...

But that's not the point...Not at ALL...I haven't made a living off of performing in almost 4 years (been attending college)...But that hasn't kept me from juggling or working with the puppets or spinning or eating/blowing, etc...

I do the things I do because I love them and because they are as natural to me as breathing...

And as essential as well...

So why do YOU do the things YOU do?

Call me curious, just don't call me late for supper....


Arcane're going to blow WHAT out of your mouth???????

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BRONZE Member since Dec 2000


the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Arcane, as a fellow performer this question comes up alot, in interviews with the press, meeting new people, etc. and truthfully it is hard to know what to say without sounding like a psycho! lol

I have always loved to perform. I started singing and dancing when I was young, but I always wanted to be a magician or a side show performer. Someone who made people not just stop and see or listen but stop and think as well. I tried magic and found my dexterity was not really all that good, and coming from a small country town terrfied of anything different, I was encouraged to teach instead. I ended up doing that, and acting in Interactive Improv step closer to insanity really. It is a tremendous forum in so many ways. Yet, at Ren Faire, street/stage actors find it hard to make ends meet. I was watching a show one day that had a fire breather in it, and I mentioned to my friend that I could do better...and it was this strange realization...I KNEW that I could. There was no question, no doubt, no hesitation. It was that little pilot light that was ignited by this passion that had been dormant for so long. When I expressed this to friends the encouraged and supported me....and I did it.

Since then I tranferred much of my performing over from street at Ren Faires to having my own stage shows. I still act, and sing and dance...and now I do other things as well.

-If it is a spinning tool, I use it, or am trying to.
-I am learning to juggle. I just took up standard and have done contact for a bit.
-I LOVE devil stix but have problems with diabolo's, but I am learning.
-I like balancing things, and am getting better at it.
-I dance with my snake in the old traditions of the "Snake Charmer"
-I am pretty decent with a bullwhip, needing to work on my throwing knife skills to get them back up (I was once good) and wanting to one day add a lasso into my routines
-I do Bola's (spanish style, not the entanglement weapon) and jump ropes and hoops.....
-I am now working small magic into my act.
-I will be learning tight rope, stilts and unicycle...and am looking very forward to it.
-I used to work on sword was an interesting dilemma.
-I have done the bed of nails, and wish it were more portable.

(Oh, and my son learned how to spin plates today!!! *beaming with pride*)

And as to why I continue my studies of these arts? I love the "Side Show" skills, I adore the circus, and illusion and I love being able to do these things instead of sitting on the sidelines watching, which is grand but I am so proactive about my life I simply can't just watch. I have so much passion for these arts. They have such a rich history, such beauty and grace of their own. They enriches my life. I was complimented recently in a way that struck me very personally. I was told that I do not teach the motions of how to do "something", I teach that "something"...from ground up. I believe that having the histories and an intimate knowledge of my arts allows me to have a greater connection with them. I can then present them with more passion and honesty than if I only knew the actions to carry out. I can also pass on that knowledge to others, and let the arts live on that way. In some humble, obscure way I feel like I am giving back to the many who paved the way for me to do these things I truly LOVE SO DEEPLY, and that I help keep some of these arts alive in the smallest way, because they are truly slowly fading away.
Besides, keeps me fit. Helps me work out aggression. The money isn't bad, when the season is right (north east living, gotta love it). I meet some of THE most interesting people. Love the costumes. And the toys are just cool to have.
What's not to like?

Thanks for asking Arcane! I love to hear this stuff as well!

Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


BRONZE Member since Jun 2001


Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 3989
Posted:quote: Do you do it for Fame? Money? Prestige? Out of Boredom? All of the above.

Basically, I've always loved making people smile and being liked, so the more 'neat' things I can do, the faster people start smiling.

I only became an entertainer with circus arts because people I knew started offering to pay me for what I thought back then was just a hobby.

Since then I haven't looked back.

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Toreador Vamp
BRONZE Member since Mar 2003

Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 70
Posted:Why do I do what I do. Becasue I can.

Unlike the others that have posted here I don't make money out of what I do, I wish I did at times. At heart I am an exhibistionist, I like to entertain. I to have tried many of the "side show" or "circus" skills, added to that I fight in a 14th century reinactment group and work with a jousting group(one i may even get good enough to ride in a show)

A lot of the stuff I do has an aspect of danger to it, but that helps keep me focused.

Maybe one day I will "grow up" and settle down but I hope not. Maybe one day I will get good enough at what I do to make money doing it, or maybe teach others. For the time being I intend to enjoy myself and live life to the fullest.

Having read Pele's Year In Hell piece, and with a few experancies of my own I know that life is too short to let it pass you by, you gotta grab it by the horns and hang on.

If anyone wants to get together and teach or learn drop me a line lol.


Give a man a fire, and he's warm for a day. Set him on fire, and he's warm for the rest of his life
-- Terry Pratchett-Jingo

Reality is what refuses to go away when I stop believing in it.


Trippie Hippie
BRONZE Member since May 2002

Trippie Hippie

old hand
Location: Bewildered state of nothingnes...

Total posts: 733
Posted:Simple, It makes me feel alive

One thing that ALWAYS picks me up when i'm down, is spinning and juggling!!
But above all else, is when i perform, to see the faces of little kids- the amazement, interest and joy, you just can't buy that.
Taking it easy

Last night i met some pixies and we danced around a stone.
High Class Hippy No:1
N.E.W.B. Agent #012
"I Got Soul"
Non-Https Image Link

Trippie Hippie- Monty Dons secret love child

Fly like a mouse, run like a pillow, be the small book case.

"Last night i met some pixies and we danced around a stone".

Because dressing up is fun.




old hand
Location: Nottingham UK

Total posts: 950
Posted:I must admit I do like the attention and notoriety I get from firespinning but that's not why I do it. I used to do it for money and the adoration of the crowd. I don't do it for money anymore and since I had therapy I no longer need the adoration of anyone except myself. Truth is I do it now because it's a big part of who I am and it really turns me on.

Are we nearly there yet?



Location: Texas

Total posts: 28
Posted:I am so glad my suspicions about this site were correct!!!

I've truly MISSED the performing community...the type of people who do what they do for very simple reasons...Because they LOVE it!

No matter if you get payed for what you do in currency or the smiles of those who watch, it's all about the love of the Art!

I've been away from the community for quite a while, deciding that a college education might be a nice thing to have (and it will when I'm able to finish...I was in my LAST semester before obtaining a B.S. in Psychology and a B.F.A. in Sculpture when circumstances forced me to leave school...Drat!)....

It's the passion that I miss and the ingenuity...

Thank you Malcolm (and the others) for providing this resource...I'm hoping to stick around for quite some time....

Another question, are any of you in the Southern Missouri area? My fiancee and I may be moving to the Branson area in a few months to join or build a show there. We are hoping to stage a nice Vaudville'esq type show...So if you live in that area, drop me a line.

Pele, if you have the time and about 3K dollars, the Ringling Bro. Clown College have a summer course that would get you up on stilts/uni and improve your juggling incredibly...I've wanted to go for several years, but haven't been able to...I worked with 6 former Ringling clowns when I lived in Vegas, their skill shows the dedication of those teaching at Ringling....Just a thought....

Thanks again for replying, and accepting me into the group.


Arcane're going to blow WHAT out of your mouth???????


SILVER Member since May 2002


Intrepid Penguin
Location: , Australia

Total posts: 5635
Posted:I told Arcane i was going to answer this, so i suppose i should!

I spin, because it makes me happy
i dont usually perform, i dont need the buzz of a crowd to enjoy what i'm doing (not trying to offend anyone there). I'm just as happy spinning on my driveway as i am in a club or at a spin meet.

i know why i started, because i was bored. And then i kept going because it was something i could do that no one else i knew could do! and then i found HoP and kept going because i was a part of something globally amazing and that was exciting. And then i taught my bro and my flatmates and several of my friends and i keep going to spread the good word that is Poi!

on a bad day, like when its raining and no one turns up to a spin session adn i'm there in the mud by myself... i seriously have a good think about why i still do this! then i go home and i spend a hour spinning by myself and i remember that theres more to life than poi, but DAMN isnt life better WITH poi?

i think so `

Currently on the right side up of the world.



Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

Total posts: 26
Posted:I spin cos i love it....When i first saw it done i fell in love with spinnin then and there, I just had to give it a go so i went home and made myself some poi and i haven't looked back.
I don't make ANY money out of it but have performed for friends at parties etc! - and even my dad got my to perform for his friends one night when they were around!! HEHE!!

Its part of me, who i am - yeah theres more to life than spinning but god damn is it fun spinning!! - and a great stress relief...
I actually sometimes get withdrawal sypmtoms when i haven't spun in a while! CRAZY!

Keep spinning, juggling, breathing fire - doing whateva quite simply - BECAUSE YOU CAN!!

Why be a second rate version of somebody else when you can be a first rate version of yourself!