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Ferret is a Professional Cjer working the Medieval Faire circuit in FL. U.S.A. since 1992. His sole purpose in learning this art was to be a performer at those Fairs, and found contact juggling to be a unique avenue to accomplish that goal. But along the way found that he not only loved what he was doing, but also found a fondness for teaching. His style in CJing is Not traditional, but than again neither is his wardrobe. His instructional pages, along with video and stills will be appearing on this site soon. And his insight into the world of Professional performance art involving nothing but Contact Juggling as the visual portion of his show, should not be overlooked! The comedy dialogue that he uses in both his instructional pages and his actual shows are an added plus, and the fact that he wants to teach, and learn from others as well, is what this site is all about.
[ferret1_sm.jpg]

Ferret's History - part 2

page1

When asked by the teacher, "how did you know" his reply was "I could feel it."

This hit me like a 'ton of bricks' and I immediately went outside and tried a practice session with my eyes closed. It made me slow down, it made me think differently about my movements, It made me 'Feel' what I was doing! And my style of CJ literally developed overnight.

The next day I went to the campus where I usually practiced, only this time I took a strip of black cloth. Tied it around my eyes and went to work, after what seemed to me to be about 8-10 mins. the ball hit the ground, and when I lifted up the blindfold to find it, there was about 20+ people not 40 feet away all just standing there, some applauding some giving me the 'thumbs up' some, still hypnotized with their jaws hanging.

Within a week my fluidity came out and I was able to save a move faster and more smoothly by focusing on pressure changes on my hands and arms instead of my sight. This also helped immensely in being able to 'feel' whether or not I was "launching" the ball correctly at the beginning of a trick so it would travel the path that I had intended for it to go.

I also at this time started to move around the ball in an almost Tai chi fashion.

And suddenly it was no longer about getting good enough to work the faire. It was about really getting into what I was doing because it felt.. so.. damn.. good.... to be one with this ball and to tap into one of my senses that I had neglected for so long! My sense of touch, and feeling.

Magic Happened! And every time I can get into "The ZONE" the Magic happens again and the easier it is to get into the next time. It's like a drug.

I worked that first faire 5 months later.

Think I made about $130.00 over a two day period ( passin' the hat ).

But more importantly, I learned in those two days a lot about being a performer, not just being a Cjer, a unique art form which is a big selling point in itself, but how to work a crowd. What tricks look better to them than they did to you as you did them. Which tricks caused quite a stir with the crowd, even though they were easy. And which of your hard tricks didn't even make them blink an eye, because they either didn't understand the difficulty of what you just did, or worse, they didn't really see what you saw from your angle and it was not all that visually spectacular!

I also learned how to make them laugh and made THEM think.

At different portions of my show, I will tell the audience that any one of them can do this. They just have to really Want to!

BUT when you can put yourself in "The Zone" in front of an audience and make them all go away in your mind. Then, they in turn pick up on your joy, peace, intensity, whatever you want to call it. And will walk away feeling glad that they caught that show, and some of them will not even know why.

What Siggy touched on "That Whole Zen Thing" is real and when you find it, your audience will 'feel' the energy that you put forth.

The next year at the faire I had put together an act, I had written comedy dialogue, and I was better.

The year after that I didnít work the faire due to a construction job 100 miles north which ended 3 months before the next one.

When I called up the entertainment coordinator and asked if it was too late to get in. His answer was "Are you kidding? Do you know how many people asked where you were last year? The city is willing to pay you as a feature act." And it has only 'snowballed' from there.

I currently work 7 faires in the state of Florida over the course of 20 weekends. (some last more then one weekend) and I Love every min. I spend there. I will be branching out to others faires throughout the southeastern U.S. soon. After that west as far as Texas, and north as far as PA. 'Pennsic' and all that don't ya know. I am still active in the SCA.

Anyway, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

'Ferret'