The first thing we have to be clear about as street jugglers is that we are working and that we have chosen it (not everyone is so lucky). As in every job, we have a goal and it is not money, but to offer a good service.
For example, the goal of a cook is to prepare tasty and healthy food for his customers. Our goal is to entertain and brighten up the day. I say spectators and not customers because the people we work for are not obliged to pay to see our show, however good it may be.
This makes our work special and great because if a viewer decides to pay us it is because we have done a good job. But it doesn’t stop there, besides paying for our service, they thank us, tell us how much fun they had, that they find what we do incredible, smiles, hugs, admiration and many kind words.
Being told “Thank you for making my day” fills you with happiness. How many jobs do you know that are as grateful as this one? If you have a taste for working as a street juggler, go ahead and enjoy it.
As in every job, we must look good: clean hands, hair, clothes and juggling. It can also make the difference between a professional artist and a newcomer. Similarly, it is not good to see a street artist smoking and/or drinking alcohol. Afterwards, everyone will do what they want with the money they have earned, but let’s not forget that we are working.
It is also very important to be in a good mood, with energy, with spark since our work is based on the transmission of good feelings (a number without transmitting anything of the best juggler in the world is worse than a newcomer who transmits sympathy, sincerity and honesty).
As street jugglers we can work in several ways
- For drivers and passengers of vehicles stopped at a traffic light.
- To form a circle of spectators in a square, park, pedestrian street, very wide sidewalk, maritime avenue,… any exclusive area for pedestrians, to perform our rehearsed show.
- Start training or improvising in a pedestrian area with an object in front of us that can be used to leave money.
- Like statues that after receiving the money we activate ourselves and perform a series of tricks.
- In front of a market for people to buy food from us.
- What else can you think of?
Now I am going to give you some advice based on my experience and according to my philosophy of life, with which, there will be those who do not agree. You should listen to the different opinions and decide on your own how you want to act. But let’s never forget that our work serves to make people feel good, never uncomfortable.
Advice on training in a pedestrian area
If we don’t feel like having the energy or the courage to form a circle, then we look for a place, place our object to receive the generosity of people and train as we please. As they pour out, we give thanks. Soon we will have warmed up and our spirits will grow.
Then, if someone stops to look at what we are doing, we take advantage of it; we greet them, we explain what we are going to do next and we do it with a confident voice and a high tone, so that everyone can hear us. In this way, the others will feel confident to stand next to the first one.
Little by little we will be forming a circle without hardly any effort. In case there are too few people or we don’t feel like doing a chorus, we continue training and we will win something.
Tips for working as juggling statues
- What people expect from a statue is that it doesn’t move an inch. But from a juggling statue they expect to see you juggling, so we don’t need to be on the same level as a professional statue.
- Holding sledgehammers with your arms up is very tiring. Keep that in mind.
- It’s important to be elevated. There are many options for this, find the one that best suits you.
- It’s very important to work on a good suit; to show that we are statues and artists.
- We need some easily identifiable and visible object where to deposit the money.
Advice regarding police officers
- If we know that in the city where we are allowed to work as a street performer and no permission is required, we take the opportunity to dress up in our show costume.
- If any police officer interrupts us and asks for explanations, we will always show serenity and kindness. If not, we will be fined.
- We must not forget that the policemen are doing their job; there will be competent policemen and others not so competent. Let us accept the situation, let us be respectful and understandable.
- If they take note of our details once, we will leave it in that city, since the second time it will no longer be a warning and they will give us a piece of paper (read “fine”) and a guided tour (read “escorted”) of the police station.
- We must answer all questions calmly and honestly, as we know that we are not doing anything wrong.
- We explain that what we are doing does not endanger anyone, that people have fun with us and that we never ask for money, since this action is illegal in practically all places.
- When we say goodbye, we thank you for being so kind and understanding (if you have been, of course, if not, well…). In this way we will avoid that later in the office you will reconsider and a surprise will come to our home.
- If we are in the middle of a long show, already with the full crowd, we ask you to let us finish this show and then we pick up and leave. Never direct the audience against you; if a spectator says something to the police, we stop him.
If you are getting ready to work as a street juggler, you will soon be able to read other interesting articles of mine: about street juggling shows and about working as a traffic light juggler.