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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Yes, I've Seen the Juggling Video (Rant)

In fact, I've seen the actual juggler LIVE at Zanies comedy club some years back. All told, I've been aware of Chris Bliss since my teens when I saw an experimental video of him on our local PBS show, Image Union.

I'm a juggler. Jugglers tend to hear about other jugglers, especially if they are more famous than ourselves. Jugglers are the ONLY people who know the names of other jugglers. I'm very happy that the internet has provided Mr. Bliss some much needed publicity and made you non juggler people take notice and remember his name.

I truly appreciate that you thought of me. Many thanks.

Now please stop sending me any one of the many links to his multiplex juggling finale backed with Beatles music (Multiplex is the technical term for what he's doing there.). Do I enjoy his work? Yes. Do I end up feeling considerably more inadequate every time someone so easily impressed sends me this link? YES! Thanks for sharing.

I know you aren't doing this intentionally, but here's what you are actually doing when you send this video to another professional comedian or juggler. You are essentially telling your friend, the one you wouldn't pay to see anywhere, "THIS GUY IS AMAZING! Why aren't YOU like this? I mean, you're good, but THIS GUY? WHOA!"

I know you're just trying to be nice, but really...stop're killing me here. Send the video to people you know that like juggling but aren't professional entertainers. Then your gift will not hurt so much.

Nobody is sending any info about me anywhere. I have no representation, no Beatles finale, and no money. I've got a slew of videos up at Stickam that you could be sending out if you found them interesting enough (Check out all of them in the Gallery. There's 4 pages of videos for you to ignore and hate.). You could certainly pass along my info to people in your address book if you wanted to, but you won't. Why? Because you KNOW me. Someone you know can't possibly be as good as someone you've never heard of before.

If you must send this video or that of any other professional in the same field as your friend (in this case, me), ask yourself these questions first.

  • Have I ever sent any videos of my friend to anyone? He's kind of impressive and he needs the work. Maybe I should help out my friend first.
  • Whoa. This Chris Bliss guy has been on the Tonight Show. He must be way better than my friend, the professional entertainer who hasn't been on The Tonight Show. Do I want to ruin my friend's day by sending this video to him?
  • Hmmm...have I even seen my friend work anywhere before? Sure I begged him to get me tickets the weekend he opened up for George Carlin, but have I ever paid to see him headlining at a club somewhere? Heck, have I even bothered to go to some of his free shows before?
  • Have I even told any of my other friends to go see my friend the entertainer?
  • Come to think of it, have I ever paid to see ANY juggler anywhere before much less sent this guy's video to everyone in my address book?

Since you all can't get enough of Chris Bliss (A guy who I do like, by the way. A talented guy), here's some things you don't know about the guy who's talents have impressed you so.

He was on The Tonight Show. Did you watch then? Do you remember any of his routine? Did you even remember his name?

Even when he was doing versions of this juggling act as an opening act for the likes of Eric Clapton and Michael Jackson, he found that he couldn't really make a good living as a juggler. There's no "high end" of the juggling biz so he started taking on more bookings as a comedian where there is a high end and potentially a multimillion dollar payoff. The act seen so many times online is the last three minutes of his stand-up routine and it is the only juggling he does in the whole show. If he comes to your town are you going to go see the juggler in the video? Yes. Will you be upset that you have to wait 50 minutes to see the juggling? That depends on you. His stand-up is pretty good, but you may not like it. Just don't act surprised.

Since you're all so impressed with the juggling, but likely not impressed enough to see him live or check out his website, I may as well tell you that the even cooler thing about him is his involvement with a movement to get a plaque featuring the Bill of Rights installed next to ANY public governmental display of the Ten Commandments. That's freakin' cool. But you don't notice any of that cuz you're sooooo impressed with his juggling you feel it necessary to humiliate all your juggler friends with his video.

Maybe it is just other people juggling that you like (After all, I am a juggler and nobody cares.). Since you are so impressed with juggling check out another juggler,Jason Garfield. He was so angry that people were bombing his own e-mail inbox, impressed with Chris Bliss and his three-ball madness, he decided to do the same routine with five balls. Be sure to send the link to everyone you know, especially if that person juggles.

While we're at it, you should try and listen to the Penn Jillette Radio show. I wouldn't know about any of the Bill of Rights stuff nor Jason Garfield were it not for Penn & his co-host, Michael Goudeau.

All of the aforementioned jugglers, Penn Jillette, Michael Goudeau, Jason Garfield, and of course, Chris Bliss, are much better jugglers than myself. I love a good juggling act. I admire all of these guys and even went to the same old Clown College as a couple of these folks. I like juggling. I just don't like 50 of the same e-mail.

I am not jealous of any of their talents, but I'm certainly jealous of all their attention, their money, their great gigs, and the fact that everyone I know is so impressed with other performers, people that they don't know, so impressed that my inbox is flooded with other people's work while I am stuck begging for spare change on a free blog.

I used to be a very good juggler. I gave up circus style juggling long ago when I found out that the majority of the work I have to do is for 45-minute programs. I've forgotten more tricks than I remember and whenever I work somewhere and other jugglers are in the crowd, they get pissed at me because I'm not a "real" juggler to them since I don't do high-skill performance anymore. However I'm damn funny and an otherwise excellent performer.

Now if you want to send me video clips of juggling and other things that may interest me, why not send me more things like THIS?


Blogger overactive-imagination said...

Wow Andy, tell us how you really feel. :o)
Hope you have fun in Vegas.

10:55 PM

Blogger Bud said...

I get just a little bit of that feeling when somebody tells me about a great show they saw. I understand where you're coming from perfectly but choose to interpret it positively. As if the Google are saying, I'd like that show because that guy is also good. Like me. There is negative pay out interpreting it any other way. This is a game of wits and I'm using mine to stay afloat. There are already quite enough hazards to sink me. I navigate around them with positive thinking. It's not the same as a president who calls an attach on environmental laws "The Clean Air Act" or an illegal, unnecessary war "The war on Terrorism." Because there are no victims.

4:51 AM

Blogger Andy Land said...

LOL @ Dawn. I really must get better at expressing my feelings.

When i get one or two e-mails about some other performer I take the positive spin, Bud. When I get 50 or so I choose to take offense. I know there are millions of other performers out there, but I don't need to hear about the same one many MANY times.

Like the little bit of snark coming from you today, Bud. Could this be a sneak peek at the Bud Buckley we'll be seeing as my guest blogger? TUNE IN TO FIND OUT!

(My word verification word for this comment = czaBUD)

8:01 AM

Blogger golfwidow said...

That was an interesting video. Putting the "jugs" into juggling.

Neither Chris Bliss nor Jason Garfield has ever been seen juggling mustard, so I figure their respective skills are missing a facet.

11:26 AM

Blogger Andy Land said...

I'm much more into the plate spinning act myself. But it is all good video to watch. I wonder if I could get a job at that circus. Bud sent me that link. Isn't he sweet?


Of course those other guys don't juggle mustard. They don't have to. They've got better paying gigs and people sending their videos around God's creation, creating buzz implying they're the greatest performers on Earth. I NEED the Mustard gig. My supply of mustard in the home is very low!

12:42 PM

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2:23 AM

Blogger Laura said...

My only exposure to Chris Bliss was nearly 20 years ago-- he opened for JULIAN Lennon (remember him?) when they hit my town. All I remember is that I thought 1)his act was too long, 2)he's chosen a regrettable stage name, and 3)did I really pay this much to see Julian-freakin-Lennon???

But I guess the name thing worked, because 2 decades later I still remember it...

11:22 AM


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