FINDING THE GAME (in juggling)

 Hi juggling artists!

In Pearls of Juggling there’s a short mention on FINDING THE GAME. This concept actually finds its way throughout the whole book and throughout most of my work.

I’ve just come back from teaching my FLUID JUGGLING lab in north Italy at SPAZIO KABUM. (Great space and great participants, relaxed but at the same time very intense I’ve added a few pics and micro-videos on FB and Instagram).
There I was inspired to go a little more into detail on just what is this “Finding the game”.

This is really fundamental for the whole of juggling
Without it you will quickly lose interest. But how to even start looking for the game? What is it all about?

Like much of what we do we aren’t fully aware of this process and we find “games” in a rather random way.
Once we realise how it works we can use it to our advantage. Great.

The most common game in Juggling is probably the one more prop challenge. Trying for the ever more difficult. We get into this game and get excited about it. Another game is collecting tricks. Nowadays we can also find the game though the multitude of siteswaps and their combinations.

Whenever we learn something new we get stimulated to try more and more. In a certain way the game is competing with ourselves.


We can also obtain a sense of playing and being absorbed while manipulating just one object and not even doing anything particularly difficult. HOW?

Often in our regular rather haphazard way of training we just don’t find the game. Or else we have so much structure in our training that there is just no space for it. Often we find it in moments and then we lose it.

To find the game without the “ever more difficult” try things out in a light-hearted way until you come across something that tickles your fancy. It could be something really simple or a combination that you never thought about before. Then just dive into it and find all the different ways there are of making that one throw and catch (or roll or whatever).

Play with your body too, get it involved. Move with the movement of the object being manipulated or move against it. Try other body positions. Vary your speed and quality. Make it bigger and smaller. You’ll soon find you are playing and questions will start to pop into your head? The what ifs. What if I try it this way or that way. Let it develop into something completely different. Add another object and then another finding ways that aren’t always the most obvious of inserting them.

Basically juggling feels great when it feels like a game.

It could be well worth training in a way where we find ourselves constantly playing and creating new games. New rules for old games and old rules for new ones.
Performances with also gain much from all the original material that comes out.

The possibilities are endless but to find the game we first need to home in on something and let it grow. In a sense its the opposite of pure exploration, explore until you can find something identifiable and expanding on that you find the game!

This is what I mean by keep having fun.

Thanks for reading!

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