performers.net forums  

Go Back   performers.net forums > THE GREEN ROOM > BLAH, BLAH, BLAH...

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-11-05, 05:20 AM   #1
Aaron Gregg
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Victoria
Posts: 70
Default The Public's Perception

I've seen this poster up in Money Marts (cheque cashing and payday advance place in Canada) for years and finally got a photo of it. I know a lot of people don't think professional juggling is much of a job but it's quite something to see written down, framed, and put up on the wall.

The irony was that I took the photo minutes after depositing a lovely paycheck from a gig. Incidentaly the gig was for a rather surprising client - Revenue Canada (our version of the IRS).

Any thoughts on what people think of professional jugglers?

- Aaron Gregg
(successful person, or at least that's what my mom says when I'm crying)
Aaron Gregg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-05, 10:09 AM   #2
Stretch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
Posts: 611
Default Juggling for $

What a great prop for your show. The book I mean, not the flaming shirt. Make up a book out of foam core or something similar with that title : " Juggling for Dollars" and use it to introduce your show.

Alternative titles: An idiots guide to juggling for $

The dummy's guide
the intelectual's guide
the politician's guide
the used car salesman's guide
The priest's
The Enron Executive's guide

Have fun!
__________________
Walking tall and stretching imaginations!
Bill 'Stretch' Coleman

http://www.stiltwalker.com/

http://www.bubbletower.com/

http://www.youtube.com/stiltpro

http://stiltpro.blogspot.com/
Stretch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-05, 11:16 AM   #3
le pire
Senior Member
 
le pire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,113
Default

Why do you care what people think?
le pire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-05, 07:28 PM   #4
Aaron Gregg
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Victoria
Posts: 70
Default Because

It's not about my self esteem or worth as a person, it's about practical issues. I care what people think for a few reasons.

1. When I worked as an engineer, US immigration was more than happy to let me travel to the US. Having a job that some see as dodgy cost me $400 a few months ago. I'm planning to go to the Damento juggling festival in Sacramento and am pretty damn nervous.

2. Not everyone, but a lot of people become rather insulting when I tell them what I do for a living. Sure it can be funny sometimes but at others it is quite uncomfortable - i.e., when I don't want to get into a debate. Once I had to tell a guy who was raggin on me at a dinner party that I had two university degrees - he seemed shocked and shutup about it.

3. When I was single I was known to occasionally talk to women I didn't know. Professional Juggler was usually not what they wanted to hear. Now you can say "if they don't like your job then they're not someone you want to meet anyway," but frankly I'd often like to meet them.

4. I have a meeting with the new government body that is taking over control of the tourist area in town that includes our only pitch. It's only a guess but I think if they respected our line of work a bit more they might consider us larger stakeholders in the tourism industry. I'm under exactly the same license system as alcoholic guitarists that are occasionally removed from pitches by cops. That's gotta have an impact.

But please Etienne, don't think that I lay awake in the middle of the night wondering what people think - that's never been terribly important to me. It's just that as an engineer the public had such faith in my profession that they let me sign the back of passports (along with ministers, doctors, and principals) and now people think I can't support myself.

Of course it's great meeting someone from a town like Edmonton - where they have very successful street fests - and they say "Wow, I go to the fringe every year, you guys are amazing." When my best friends new girlfriend says "well it's good to do something fun before you get a real job" I have to roll my eyes.

Glad to hear you don't care Etienne,
__________________
Aaron Gregg
Aaron Gregg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-05, 08:05 PM   #5
Stretch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
Posts: 611
Default grin when you say that!

"I'm a juggler!"
"I'm semi retired"
"I'm on an extended sabatical"
"I'm in the fund raising business"
"I'm doing anti - gravity research"
"I'm a full time tourist"

"social lubricant specialist"

"I'm in the tourism entertainment business"
"imagination fabricater"
"I'm a mesmirest"

"I own an entertainment business"

Tell your tourist council that you know someone, that's me, who is making his 2nd trip to the NZ busker fest, and his 3rd trip to OZ to see the buskers. And the kite festival, and other events. On my own
dime. If they want the entertainment equivilant of a StarBucks on every corner, then, sure run the jugglers out of business.

Strictly speaking they ought to put you on the payroll.
__________________
Walking tall and stretching imaginations!
Bill 'Stretch' Coleman

http://www.stiltwalker.com/

http://www.bubbletower.com/

http://www.youtube.com/stiltpro

http://stiltpro.blogspot.com/
Stretch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-05, 10:52 PM   #6
Evan Young
Senior Member
 
Evan Young's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Mid Atlantic (PA)
Posts: 1,002
Send a message via AIM to Evan Young
Default

"I'm a variety entertainment contractor"
__________________
--EvAN--

ka-pow!
www.globalevan.com
www.showoffshow.com
www.evanshotme.com
Evan Young is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-05, 01:01 AM   #7
le pire
Senior Member
 
le pire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,113
Default

Thanks for the clarity, Aaron.

I know what you mean about crossing borders and watching their face when you explain you're an entertainer. I've got plenty of stories about this, just like everyone else on this forum.

Personally, I don't expect a general public to "respect" what we do and I don't really resent them for their point of view. In fairness, I don't really understand their lives of two kids, football, beer and a 9-5 job.

A few weeks ago I performed a standing ovation show to an audience of about 1200 on a cruise ship. Later that evening I was recognized by a couple of passengers from Denver who had seen the show and wanted to compliment me and all that. Then the husband asked me if I was performing so that I could have a free vacation. He was shocked when I told him I was paid. He then asked how much work I did per week. I told him two shows and he was aghast.

"So you work 90 minutes a week?!!??!"

Now, you and I both know this is not true, more like 90 hours, but I didn't want to explain all this to him. I didn't want his respect, I was going to have some fun. I just said "that's right. I work 90 minutes a week, I have passenger status, a nice cabin with a window to myself, my fiancee is here on the ship with me - free of charge , and I go snorkling and scuba diving and relax in the caribbean while everyone else freezes back in Boston."

"Well I work sixty hours a week," he said defiantely.

"Yeah, well maybe you should have learned to juggle. Have a nice vacation, I hear it's getting cold back in Colorado."

heh heh heh

Generally speaking, unless I get recognized, I simply don't tell people what I do for all the reasons you stated. Or worse, they want you to do a show. Family reunions are great for this (hey, do that trick! do that trick! or you get stuck with all the kids) If I do tell people, I tell them proudly because I am. I'm not going to debate someone about what I do because there is no debate. We are essential contrbutors to society and have been since the dawn of civilisation.

Oh, and I never said I didn't care, I simply asked why you care what people think.



etienne
le pire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-05, 03:58 AM   #8
NYSB_Craig
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Denver
Posts: 65
Default (I met you in Montreal)

le pire is right on the fact that truly, "who the fuck cares" aspect, but, I admire you in the way that the "who the fuck cares" doesn't impact your performance. Hopefully, (and I think that everyone could agree with me) at least one person per performance cares about what we are doing. In fact, that's what makes us $$. People need entertainment in their lives, and, thank your god, that's why we became performers in the first place. Secondly, I don't disagree with Etienne...it is fucking cold here in Colorado.
NYSB_Craig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-05, 07:20 AM   #9
Aaron Gregg
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Victoria
Posts: 70
Default It's hard when you can't hear inflection

I misunderstood you etienne, it's just that when people say "why do you care?" it's often with an insensitive tone. If anyone wants to see just how little I care you can come with me to my old University for 'club's days' where all the university clubs sit behind tables and solicit new members. I've been pressuring our members to post a sign saying "Juggling, no longer the geekiest club on campus - check out the medievil club" but no ones buyin it.

I chose this line of work (which is of course surprising to many non-performers) and take the good stuff with the bad. It must be hard for someone to begin performing if they care a lot about what people think. You always suck when you start and I find you just have to put up with it for a few years, then you only suck every third show.

Oh, and about those flowery terms like social lubricant specialist: whenever I offer something other than juggler they always ask more questions - what does that mean? what kind of entertainer? where do you work? what kind of performing? And like Etienne doesn't have time to explain how many hours a week he works I can't be bothered to answer all the questions so I just cut to the chase.

You are damn right Craig (I remember you very well, which is strange since I was on my 6th beer when we started talking in Arthur), some people in the audience do care about what we're doing and are very appreciative. But as Etienne's cruise ship example so clearly illustrates, the public's respect doesn't come from our performance so much as from what they believe we put into it. Even though the guy on the ship loved the show he still didn't think Etienne was worth paying a lot - because he thought it was only a two-hour a week job.

Thank god street audiences can't multiply very well.
__________________
Aaron Gregg
Aaron Gregg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-05, 10:05 AM   #10
Stretch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
Posts: 611
Default Re: grin when you say that!

"Oh, and about those flowery terms like social lubricant specialist: whenever I offer something other than juggler they always ask more questions - what does that mean? what kind of entertainer? where do you work? what kind of performing? And like Etienne doesn't have time to explain how many hours a week he works I can't be bothered to answer all the questions so I just cut to the chase."

I'ts all in the delivery. Grin like a banshee, and when they start asking questions, Tell them you don't want to spoil the surprise and invite them to you next show. Or mention the shows you have done in far flung locations.

And remember "you can never be a prophet in your own land".

Also, strictly speaking you are a "business owner". People usually respect that if you present it in that fashion.

And there is nothing wrong in yanking their chain - gently - to expand their creative thinking and imagination.

Clown Leon Mcbride does a fantastic show that he insisits is "nothing". Of course his "nothing" has you falling off your chair in tears.

"So you work 90 minutes a week?" Man, I don't work at all, all I do is play. Work is too much like work! Besides, I'm alergic, etc.

Thats my story and I'm sticking to it!
__________________
Walking tall and stretching imaginations!
Bill 'Stretch' Coleman

http://www.stiltwalker.com/

http://www.bubbletower.com/

http://www.youtube.com/stiltpro

http://stiltpro.blogspot.com/
Stretch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-05, 10:24 AM   #11
jester
Senior Member
 
jester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,083
Jester The Picture

I think the picture Aaron talks about is flattering to jugglers.

The point of the picture is that while some often think anybody could "beg with fire torches" it isn't an easy way to make money.

The guy in the picture is running before he can walk and he is unwittingly setting fire to himself. The premise of the advert is "stick to what you are good at and get an expensive short term loan instead."

The picture confirms what we already know deep down, Fire Juggling is not an easy way of making a quick buck.

So I like the picture and the advert. There are some real twats out there, no insurance, no act, on the street, giving us all a bad name. That's why a lot of us put a lot of thought into the look. A look that says "Actually I'm not surf dude drawing state benefits and begging for dope money." We have a look that says "I'm a proffessional, not drawing state benefits, so stay, watch, enjoy and you'll want to pay me."
__________________
If an artist can't even dream of happy ending what chance have the politicians got of making one?

jester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-05, 05:08 PM   #12
Scot Free
Senior Member
 
Scot Free's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: toronto
Posts: 315
Default just for kicks

you should go back to that Money Mart tell them you are a juggler and ask for one of those "Payday loans".
Scot Free is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-05, 07:38 PM   #13
jester
Senior Member
 
jester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,083
Jester

.
__________________
If an artist can't even dream of happy ending what chance have the politicians got of making one?

jester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-05, 09:15 PM   #14
scot
Senior Member
 
scot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Hollywood
Posts: 1,169
Send a message via AIM to scot
Default

Who cares what people think? What an awesome question.

Maybe if you cared what people thought and you had a good show, you wouldn't have to work 90 hours a week to get stupid gigs.

I care what people think because I want folks to come to my show, I want kids to understand that they too can have a life that doesn't hang waiting for retirement.

there are other reasons, but I've got two gigs I didn't work to attain. bye.
Scot
__________________
scot@jugglegood.com
scot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-05, 09:37 PM   #15
Ivan Bellari
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 88
Love i care

i really do care what people think of the show and to a lesser degree what they think about me....

i take pride in my show ( solo ) and in the AshCircle shows and i like to think that i'm doing something usefull, and fun , and different...

i get really frustrated when people ask me "no really what do you do for a living?" hell i breathe fire.. thats what i do .. and i try my hardest to entertain people...

i've seen ettienne's show, and the NYSB's show and i think that you guys care too.. if you didn't your shows would suck.. and they dont ...

here is what i don't care about.. those nay sayers who think what we do is not legitimate entertainment, and those people who consider street busking to be one step above begging for change... and even worse .. those performers who add credibility to the image of a money grubbing street performer... or those performers who do little to offer great performances...

there are people who are not worth the effort to punt them into hell...

but for the rest of the world..

i care
__________________
yeah ,that's right i look like an albino ape with a gnarly smile... so what!

exsulis

Ivan Bellari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-05, 11:23 PM   #16
Cybele
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Boardinghouse, Maryland
Posts: 126
Lurk No, seriously, I'm not dating a juggler.

"I go to other people's parties and help them have fun."

It's satisfying and benevolent, yet hinting at how pitiful the punters are.

By the bye, I'm the sort of woman who would date a juggler....and yet, if a man told me "I'm a juggler," I'm sure I would roll my eyes and laugh at him.

Somebody told me once, "I'm a neuroscientist," and I rolled my eyes and laughed at him.

Jugglers, you're right, get no respect. But from me, NOBODY gets any respect.

Last edited by Cybele; 01-12-05 at 11:54 PM.
Cybele is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-05, 11:25 PM   #17
Aaron Gregg
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Victoria
Posts: 70
Default Ivan is bringing the topic back

Some people seem to be talking about different things. I believe Etienne cares what audiences and industry folks think about him and his show, just not what people think about professional jugglers in general (Is that right?). I imagine we all care about our shows and performances and stuff - I have found it's much more enjoyable if I care more and try to improve my show. When I get complacent I get depressed and it feels more like hard work, rather than an adventure (damn I sound corny).

I wasn't one the cool kids in school and finally got used to the fact that I don't behave in a cool manner and will never be hip. Now that no one beats me up over it I don't care much anymore. Are some of you (like the Scots) ever bothered by the fact that professional juggling is marginalized? And Mr. Nery, are you gonna be at Damento or do you have to do your show?

As far as working 90 hours a week, well I might do that periodically but one reason I do this for a living is so I don't have to work full-time all the time. I like having hobbies, such as writing about silly drivel on bulliten boards.

Trying to be fashionable but failing,

-Aaron

Last edited by Aaron Gregg; 01-12-05 at 11:28 PM.
Aaron Gregg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-05, 06:34 AM   #18
jester
Senior Member
 
jester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,083
Jester

I care what people think too. I hate it when they think I "breathe fire" when actually I juggle it.

I'm astonished at cybelles comments about how sad "the punters" are. In fact the word "punter" says a lot. She makes herself sound like a con artist.

I love my audience and I want them to love me. And if they don't love me, adore me, indulge my self delusion that I'm far more important than I actually am, shower me with small gifts and praise, or recognise me when I go shopping, I get very very upset......
__________________
If an artist can't even dream of happy ending what chance have the politicians got of making one?

jester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-05, 11:44 AM   #19
Busteroo
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Valparaiso, Indiana
Posts: 45
Send a message via ICQ to Busteroo Send a message via AIM to Busteroo
Default

It is one of those odd aspects of mankind that we are not cared about until we cannot be found. People care about what we do for only a short moment of time (the show) and then go on with their mundane lives. Most people do not have any concept of what it takes to do what we do. Not only the work we put in physically but the emotional aspect. People see entertainers as somebody who is just playing around and should "grow up." Yet, when they are in the process of being entertained we become very valuable. That is why we put the effort we do into what we do. So that in the brief moment we are given to make an impact we do so much more deeply that just playing around.
__________________
Busteroo
Busteroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-05, 11:55 AM   #20
jester
Senior Member
 
jester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,083
Jester

I think nobody gives anybody the respect for the emotional input people put into their work.

For some reason, self indulgent attention seeking luvvies (that's us) think that we gave "so much more of ourselves." Yet I think anybody who does their job with pride and puts them self into it has given just as much.

Yet when we go to eat somewhere, while it is essential that the staff treat our food with respect and care (or we die of food poisoning) we treat catering staff like rubbish.

You should hear customers in a fast food outlet. The slightest mistake and they assertively insult the intelligence of the poor sod paying their way through college. "Me big cheapskate, you bloody moron! I asked for fries, not wedges, for F*!* sake can't you do the simplest of orders." Blah blah blah.

Whereas I play for a living, have a laugh with little people and everyone says "I couldn't do your job mate. You're brave." Well I couldn't work in a fast food outlet. I would want to force feed the salads down the middle class, middle spreading, useless complacent mouths that buy that shit.

And while I want the government to spend money on good things for the greater good, I loathe and detest the bastards that collect it for them......

Hmmmmmmmm.
__________________
If an artist can't even dream of happy ending what chance have the politicians got of making one?

jester is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.