2018 in Review

Another big year for the books!  Here’s a recap of 2018.

31 Tricks for a 31 Year Old

My most ambitious birthday project to date!

Will it happen again 2019?  Time will tell.  I haven’t been practicing as much as I should, mostly because I’ve been side-tracked with some very big writing projects (more on that below!)

One of the cool things about this year’s video is that it was covered by the Discovery Channel in Canada, and portions of it were shown in a human-story piece about my juggling.  I found out about the piece a few days after it ran – I performed for 1.3 million people and didn’t even know it!

…a little bit nicer than the montage of juggling “fails” I was included in later this year, which  was viewed 1,000,000 times.  Ha!

37,974 miles traveled

…it might sound like a lot, but it’s actually not as bad as previous years:

46,835 miles in 2017

28,440 miles in 2016

55,782 miles in 2015

65,404 miles in 2014

All I can say is – thank goodness for airport lounges!

377 shows

Relatively speaking, it’s been a light year.

Most were with Totem, but I also had fun shows in St Louis (where I put up 25 minutes of new material – check out the video to the left,) Rhode Island (performing mouthstick for Jay Leno,) and Brooklyn (where our greenroom was a mausoleum.)

392 shows in 2017

461 shows in 2016

151 shows in 2015

I wrote a book!

I’ll save the details for a longer post later on, but here’s a teaser from the back-matter of the book:

Around the world, people have been throwing and catching objects for millennia, as a form of play, ritual, and entertainment. Cirque du Soleil alum and internationally renowned juggler Thom Wall takes readers on an exciting journey through the history of juggling across time and cultures. Academic in its approach without sacrificing readability, Juggling – From Antiquity to the Middle Ages: the forgotten history of throwing and catching is a detailed tour through the development and growth of juggling throughout the world, in cosmopolitan and remote locales and everything in-between. From its earliest traces in Ancient Egypt to fairgrounds in medieval Russia, the history of juggling is explored in this conversational yet thoroughly researched and annotated survey unlike anything written before. Crossing genres of anthropology, history, and the niche field of “circademia,” Wall has created a unique treatise, resulting in a gripping read for circus professionals and laypersons alike.

If you’d like to be the first to know about the book’s release – sign up to the mailing list below!  (And!  Get special access to a pre-sale in February, before the book is available on Amazon!

7 new articles on the blog!

Though it’s been a slow year for writing blog articles, it’s been a big year for the blog with 60,000 unique hits in total!

Of these, the biggest was the Science of Juggling / literature survey I wrote, which came in at just shy of 2,500 downloads since it was published in July. Still nowhere close to the “Everything you need to know about five ball Juggling” article, though, which was accessed more than 13,000 times in 2018 (!!)

40 under 40!

This year, I was named one of Drexel University’s “40 Under 40” for my unique career trajectory and work with arts nonprofits.  (You can read the article here!)

Front-of-house workshops

In 2018, I taught approximately 200 ushers to juggle three balls with confidence in a weekly class I run at the show. One of them has been working with me for the better part of a year – following the show from city to city – and she is getting super good. Last week, two students who’d never picked up a ball in their life managed to qualify three balls in less than two minutes. One of them got ten catches of three in forty-five seconds, I kid you not. Totally insane. I’m lucky to have had such a beautiful (if ever-changing) bunch of front-of-house staff on our show for the past year.

I also had the pleasure of teaching a workshop for Cirque du Monde for a group of teenage Liberian refugees.  They did some dance and some acrobatics and – of course – all learned to juggle.  (This was also my first time teaching a workshop in a patois of English, French, and Arabic!  Finally putting that degree to use!)

A new demo reel

Okay, so this probably seems like a run-of-the-mill bit of business for any variety performer, but my friends in showbiz can certainly attest to what a drain it can be to edit these things.  Watching hours of videos, finding the right bits, putting them all in order… it’s a lot of work.

I’m really pleased with how this reel turned out!  Especially that I finally found a home for a beautiful moment with volunteers at a gig in northern Vermont last year.  (If you watch it, you’ll see what I mean!)

My work has changed a lot over the years, and I think this video shows my strengths – affability and versatility (…and I hope you agree!)

Oh yeah…

…I also accidentally attacked the Canadian Ambassador to France with a lizard puppet.

Sorry about that.

Looking Ahead

In February, I’m moving to Philadelphia!

Chloe and I bought a house there, and are excited to have a new home base, just down the street from Circadium.

…more online coaching!

I started working with folks on juggling technique, act creation, and brand management this year, and have a great cohort of students and mentees.

Interested in juggling better, composing more interesting routines, and getting good press?  Drop me a line!

Booking tours of “The Vino Show” and “On the Topic of Juggling” – my wine and history shows, respectively.

…more articles about juggling technique!

On the docket, we have learning to juggle with a headbounce, pirouette basics, and the ABC method of act creation.

(Have a request?  Drop me a line!)