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Forums > Help! > skill levels for paid performers?

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tracetheface
BRONZE Member since Oct 2012

tracetheface

angry turtle
Location: Another haunted factory.

Total posts: 101
Posted:hello friends.

i'm looking (see: hoping) to be able to do juggling/poi performances as a modest part time gig in the next year or so. this is mainly to give me motivation/rewards for practice as well as to have them be self-sustaining hobbies in the expenditures department.

anyone have any input on what levels of ability would be advisable for such? i just discovered i'll have more time on my hands for the next few months and i want to make my practice time effective and focused.

while recognizing that much of a performance is the performer's presentation and not simply the technical aspects, even vague or ethereal standards like "be able to juggle at least six balls" or "when you can watch your own recorded spin and find it interesting" would be much appreciated as i try to flesh out my practice directions.

thanks!


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willworkforfoodjnr
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

willworkforfoodjnr

Hunting robot foxes
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Total posts: 1046
Posted:Unfortunately a completely impossible question to answer! In order to get gigs performing you need to be able to be entertaining on demand. This can be pure skill (so you'd better be good!), a danger element (real or percieved), patter/communications skills or even just costuming.

My actual advise would be to get out and actually start performing. Stand on a street, put a hat down and go for it. Don't expect to make any money, thats not what its for at this point, instead you will learn what you are good and bad at. How do you react when you drop? How will you deal with people messing with you? Can you act confidently? You'll learn none of these things in ten years practicing on your own.

You'll find it painful at first - I used to sweat, shake and become unable to talk! But you will start to love it really fast (I hope!) These days I can mess up really badly and still be entertaining for those watching me.

This way your technical skills will get better WITH your other skills and you won't be one of the thousands of 'object manipulatiors' who can put out amazing practise videos but can't last 20 seconds on stage without messing up (and obviously getting wound up because of it)

Next, learn the business side, because getting from non-paid to paid performer is really quite tricky! (But thats for later smile )


Working hard to be a wandering hippie layabout. Ten years down, five to go!

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tracetheface
BRONZE Member since Oct 2012

tracetheface

angry turtle
Location: Another haunted factory.

Total posts: 101
Posted:big thanks! your answer is actually a lot more helpful than what i was hoping for at first. i'll have to start getting myself out of the juggling lair more often and see what happens.

thanks for the advice!


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willworkforfoodjnr
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

willworkforfoodjnr

Hunting robot foxes
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Total posts: 1046
Posted:No worries, let me know how it goes smile

Things I've learnt about my performing:
- I can't talk on stage
- Once you've dropped your prop a few times (hopefully not in the same minute!) you stop caring so much
- Making people laugh is fun, so perform for children, they laugh at anything!
- I like performing for other circusy types most
- The paid gigs are often the least fun

EDITED_BY: willworkforfoodjnr (1355305930)


Working hard to be a wandering hippie layabout. Ten years down, five to go!

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:Try putting together an act first, or make a video and post it asking for feedback. Think about the space you'll need to fit in or fill for the type of work your looking for. Find a novel twist if possible, to single you out, and its better to be tight and clean than complicated and messy.

Get organised, plan what you'll need and lay it out ready. Nothing worse than mid actfaffing.


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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Jen_Lindley
BRONZE Member since Jan 2013

stranger
Location: Preston, UK

Total posts: 3
Posted:Somebody told me once if you can do 15 rounds/ catches without tangling/ dropping you can perform that trick. Seems silly but I think that's a good enough measure of weather or not I say I can do a trick. Weather that trick is impressive enough to perform is totally subjective.

Personally I wouldn't feel comfortable performing as a juggler until I can do clubs endlessly without dropping and throw in at least one trick. My first Poi performance (was not actually meant to be a performance, practicing in a busy park and got an audience!) they loved me just doing 3 beat backwards and forwards weave with some cheap ass long tailed poi while spinning around until I fell over. Also I'm terrified of fire but being so good at poi I get roped into fire performance a lot, nobody seems to notice my fear cuts my skills by a quarter and i'm shaking in my boots.

Just goes to show how easily impressed the general public are. Just get out there, start small, see what reception you get. Remember that people love to be entertained and kids are your most honest critics!

Good luck x


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tracetheface
BRONZE Member since Oct 2012

tracetheface

angry turtle
Location: Another haunted factory.

Total posts: 101
Posted:thanks to all again for the further advice. the rougher weather where i am is finally subsiding and school's out so i'm thinking the park route will be a likely practice/unintentional performance area. we'll see how it all goes down.

if anything interesting happens, i'll be sure to drop another note on here (if my internet doesn't randomly dissapear for again).

thanks again for the feedback!


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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:If juggling I would say can you do the trick 100 Times without dropping? if so then it can go in. You don't want odds like 1 in 15 in your act. 1 in 100 chance of dropping is much better odds.

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:Better yet don't just stick something in because you can do it well if the trick looks rubbish it doesn't matteer how good you are at it if it makes people go "meh"

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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synndarella
PLATINUM Member since Aug 2007

synndarella

member
Location: Somerset

Total posts: 61
Posted:You can make an entertaining routine with very little technical skill. I've seen some hired spinners that weren't that impressive to another spinner but the crowd love them!

For example the crowd doesn't care that you're pulling off a seven-beat weave, to them its just a circle.. they can't really tell what you're doing. Moves like wrist wraps, throws.. those are real crowd pleasers. It's much simpler than you imagine.. of course the better skilled you are the more options you have in a routine, but really people are so impressed with an un-trained eye, you'll be fine I'm sure of it.


Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and in the end, it's only with yourself~

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:Exactly, Synderrella!

If you want to have a show the most important thing is to be entertaining.

You aren't competing on a props skill basis. I could juggle 100 balls on a 75 foot unicycle but if another guy comes. Along with a toothpick and a watermelon and makes the audience laugh more and enjoy themselves more than me then his shoe is 'better'.

Its all about the audience not the performer...


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ABOBer92
SILVER Member since Jan 2013

ABOB - Pois'n'us
Location: Northern Ireland

Total posts: 178
Posted:i agree with the above...though im now trying to figure out a routine using only a toothpick and a watermelon that can beat juggling any number of balls on a 75ft unicycle haha

I dont want to be called 'the greatest' or 'one of the greats'; let other guys claim to be the best. I just want to be known as a clown, to me thats the height of my profession. It means you can do everything-sing, dance, and above all, make people laugh

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willworkforfoodjnr
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

willworkforfoodjnr

Hunting robot foxes
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Total posts: 1046
Posted:I'm also stuck thinking about melon/toothpick routines. Most of them so far have involved pain, entertainment, and a destroyed melon...

Working hard to be a wandering hippie layabout. Ten years down, five to go!

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burningoftheclavey
SILVER Member since Jul 2005

burningoftheclavey

lurking like a ninja with no camouflage..
Location: over yonder

Total posts: 926
Posted:watermelon and toothpick videos posted here please? wink Xx

on spam robots - "Burn the robot! Melt him down, and then we can make lots and lots of money from his shiiiny juices!"

Owned by Brenn smile

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tracetheface
BRONZE Member since Oct 2012

tracetheface

angry turtle
Location: Another haunted factory.

Total posts: 101
Posted:glad i stopped by this thread again after my internet absence.

when will HoP start selling toothpick/watermelon packages?


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Malcolm
SAPPHIRE Member since Nov 2003

Malcolm

HOP admin
Location: HOP

Total posts: 1014
Posted:Still looking for a reliable supplier. Might have to grow our own plants.

"May your balls always burn"

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willworkforfoodjnr
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

willworkforfoodjnr

Hunting robot foxes
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Total posts: 1046
Posted:My watermelony-toothpicky routine wouldn't get past the youtube profanity filter. Also, I need a volunteer to do the actual performing of it (I ain't sticking a toothpick THERE), anyone game? I'll make you famous!

grin


Working hard to be a wandering hippie layabout. Ten years down, five to go!

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tracetheface
BRONZE Member since Oct 2012

tracetheface

angry turtle
Location: Another haunted factory.

Total posts: 101
Posted:Originally Posted By: MalcolmStill looking for a reliable supplier. Might have to grow our own plants.

Your dedication to high quality produce is an inspiration. I'm looking forward to placing my first orders from Home of Watermelon.


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