Roy Pomerantz, a professional juggler who has been featured in “The New York Times” and appeared on Good Morning America and CBS Nightly News, says that anyone can become skilled at juggling. The secret is practice. Even ten minutes a day can get you on the right track.
He was interested in magic as a kid, but became frustrated when it did not allow him to fully explore his creativity. He turned to juggling after discovering a book that would ultimately change his life, Carlo’s Book of Juggling. He quickly mastered all of the tricks and began moving on to more difficult techniques.
While focused on improving and deepening his understanding of the skill, he chose to attend Columbia College because New York City had a thriving juggling community. He found a community there where he could share and learn alongside other performers.
Mentorship is an important concept in the juggling community, and Pomerantz was thrilled to have been invited to study at the New York School for Circus Artists by the world-renown juggler, Michael Moschen. Moschen emphasized combing dance and juggling, looking at the audience while juggling, and being an innovator.
Roy Pomerantz knows that helping young people learn how to juggle builds self-esteem. By developing acts that are unique and speak clearly to the personality of the performer, juggling transcends mastering tricks.
Juggling is about finding creative ways to showcase discipline, grace, and individuality.
Roy Pomerantz is a professional juggler who became known for his art form through creating a unique and dazzling act that left spectators with something to talk about. But what went on behind the scenes was thousands of hours of rigorous practicing, some of which was done alone, some with a friend and some with a quality coach. Having a coach is the most beneficial of all, as it has been proven numerous times that coaches push the progress of their subject. Below are some ways in which having a coach can be beneficial.
Having Professional Guidance
It is always good to have an extra pair of eyes to evaluate your performance and provide helpful feedback.
Having a Trained Safety Aid
Most coaches have seen the injuries most related to your activity occur, and therefore would be more qualified to provide basic care or even attention until medics arrive. A coach will also help you keep calm during an emergency. Roy Pomerantz has benefitted greatly through practicing with coaches.
Roy Pomerantz helped pay the tuition for his Columbia College education by performing on the streets of New York. He was also featured in an article in Newsday about his juggling shows during the half time at Columbia football and basketball games. Pomerantz was Founder and President of the Columbia University Jugging Club. Additionally, he taught juggling as part of Columbia’s Alternative Education Program. While at Columbia, Pomerantz was one of 50 people from over 5000 applicants to be selected to attend Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. Penn Jillette from Penn & Teller graduated from Clown College in 1974.
Source: Roy Pomerantz
Roy Pomerantz is a professional juggler who has spent countless hours preparing for his act. Below are some performance tips:
- Stretch. Before any type of physical activity, stretching is essential. This will help prevent cramps and improve your accuracy during your routine.
- Dress for occasion. Jugglers know that appearance is critical to the success of your show. By presenting yourself in a way that is consistent with your “character” you are proving yourself to be a performer as well as a tactician.
- Practice, practice, practice. Practice is essential to success in just about anything. In jugging, it is best to warm up with your act before taking it to the stage. Keeping your skills sharp and body parts warm will help you perform once you go on stage.
Roy Pomerantz knows to be ready for anything as an entertainer, which is why practice is so important.
Many jugglers opt to juggle dangerous objects to impress their audience. Examples are hatchets, fire and chain saws. Many juggling purists take offense to this sensationalistic approach to their art form.
Are dancers, musicians, painters and mimes asked to risk their physical well-being in order to entertain their audience? For many in the juggling community, the beauty and skill of manipulating standard objects should be more than sufficient to entertain. For those who want to step down the slippery path of juggling sharp objects keep the following in mind:
- Difficulty. Juggling hatchets is no more difficult than juggling clubs. As most club jugglers know, the risk with catching a club on the wrong end is very small. In the event a club or hatchet is thrown incorrectly, jugglers should be able to detect the mistake immediately and just let the prop fall on the floor. Since the risk of cutting oneself is very small, most hatchets or knives are, in fact, truly sharp. When Roy Pomerantz is done with his hatchet routine, he likes to throw an apple up and slice it mid-air with the hatchet.
- Props. You can go online and research jugging prop makers who sell hatchets. Roy Pomerantz’s hatchets are purchased from Brian Dube. Renegade also sells hatchets and knives.
- Practice. You must be a very, very proficient club juggler BEFORE trying hatchets. You do not want to learn with this prop. You need to be very skilled before you try it.
Roy Pomerantz has always pushed the limits when it comes to juggling. His dedication to the art has led to appearances on popular shows such as Good Morning America & CBS Nightly News. His training regimen reflects the importance of variety in a juggling act. Below are some variables to consider when putting together a juggling act.
Variety of Objects
First and foremost, variety in a juggling act means to be able to juggle different items at once. Instead of juggling four or five balls, you might juggle a bowling pin, a pineapple, a road flare and a ball all at once! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; start with the smaller, safer objects and then work your way up by experimenting with different weights, sizes and shapes to get a feel for those that work for you best. Once you’ve reached that point, then you can start implementing some more unconventional or exotic objects.
Variety of Routine
Footwork is also very important while juggling, and you should be able to move around in a number of ways to dazzle your audience. Some jugglers will go beyond walking and implement a dance routine, or even juggle while riding unicycles or putting some other obstacle under their feet to make the act that much more unique. The options here are just as limited as the amount of floor space you are given to perform, so it is important to be able to do your act within a more confined space if the circumstances work out that way.
Variety of Design
Now that you have the juggling items and the routine set up, you now need to put the finishing touches on your appearance. A creative costume always enhances your act. A costume doesn’t need to be limited to a suit or mask. You can get creative with your makeup, footwear and clothes to create a look that is uniquely yours. Roy Pomerantz has the type of juggling style that is linked to his own name, and it was established through hard work and creativity.
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It looks so easy, you’d think that anyone could do it. But not so fast – juggling is a skill that takes years to perfect. But with patience and practice, even people not blessed with an over-abundance of natural grace can learn the basics of keeping three balls in the air.
One of the keys to successful juggling is the sense of rhythm, coupled with how you throw and how many things that you can notice and do, all at the same time. Still sound easy? It is and it isn’t. Some people have learned the basics of juggling in as little as fifteen minutes, and there are those who say that just about anyone can learn the essentials within about half an hour to an hour.
There is a figure eight pattern to juggling that some teachers say is easier to learn than other patterns, because both hands throw in the same basic manner. In the figure eight, the props are thrown in an inward, circular motion and caught on the outside. “Props,” by the way, is the word that many jugglers use for the objects they juggle. And for beginners, one of the best props to use are three bean bags. A lot of people are inclined to start with balls, like tennis balls or baseballs. They have a good weight and feel familiar in the hand. The trouble with using them is that when you drop one – and when you’re just learning, you will – they are going to bounce and roll away from you, unlike bean bags.
Roy Pomerantz is a veteran juggler who learned to juggle from a book called Carlo’s Book of Juggling when he was a child.
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