Recently, I’ve been ramping up my training and the training of others around me. We have made more sales than expected in our first month of business, to the point that I have had to redirect my time from sales to training. The potential entertainers that I have hired have been hit or miss, as some have been eligible to join the team and others have not. I have had much more success recruiting face painters, as there is some level of experience that many artists already have. Since they will be ready soon, I’ve been working on new face painting menu options, to mixed success. Soon I’ll have a completed board that will work for the spring until I have one professionally designed.
Training at the Park
Lately, the weather has been gorgeous and I have been taking my training sessions to a local park. Specifically, I’ve been going to Lindsley Park in Hale, which even has a Yelp review. The best thing about this park in my opinion is that there is a hospital across the street in case I drop my acrylic ball on my face. Jokes aside, I’ve been enjoying the short walk and the families that have stopped to watch me practice. Yesterday I had a few fans: two little girls (3 & 4) came by to ask me what I’m doing and why. One of my favorite things about kids is their inability to understand something they have never seen before. They ask why I juggle, to which I reply: “Do you like it when I juggle?” They usually say yes, and I tell them that that is why I juggle. They usually smile and ask a few more questions, which I’m always happy to answer. I really love the opportunity to spend time outside in a nice area whilst seeing people pass by and enjoy what I’m doing.
Practicing in Public
Training outdoors where others can see me has been very helpful both technically and mentally. I’m obviously no professional yet, but I have made enough progress that people take the time to watch what I’m doing. Particularly with contact juggling, I can feel their eyes on me and know that I have the opportunity to show someone something that they haven’t seen before. I’ve written before that my perception as an entertainer makes it difficult for me to put myself in the shoes of a casual observer. Certain tricks are less impressive to my observers, that much is clear. Seeing someone look away after performing a particular trick really gives me instant feedback on what should and should not be included when I am giving a public display. Additionally, when I know that someone walking by may only be watching me for 20 seconds, I know which tricks are the best ones to use and have had the most success. Practicing in public allows me to accelerate my training process and create a more enjoyable and efficient training environment.