The spring before Wall arrived, though, “everybody that was involved with [the juggling club] graduated. So when I came to the school in 2005, I found out that they had put my name on all of the paperwork as president of the club.”
Under Wall, the club grew, and it became known for its festival each fall, attracting people from all over the world. Wall also developed his first show, occasionally traveling with a WashU admissions officer to demonstrate for high school kids.
When Wall graduated, he moved to Boulder and worked as an at-risk youth counselor and performed on the Pearl Street Mall.
“Performance boot camp, that’s basically what the street is,” Wall says. His showmanship began to catch up with his technical skill, and he booked his first job with the Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue, “the greatest show in Hell,” according to Rolling Stone, and discovered he could make it as a full-time juggler.
Wall has performed with operas and ballets, on the National Mall for the Smithsonian Institution, and with the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. “Nobody’s ever upset the juggler showed up,” Wall says. “I’m lucky I didn’t take up the bagpipes. I’m not sure you’d have a bagpiper at your Mardi Gras festival, but you might have a juggler.”
After winning a silver medal at the International Jugglers’ Association Senior stage championships (known in the community as the “world championships” of stage juggling), Wall got a call from Cirque du Soleil. He ended up touring with the world-renowned circus for five years.
“Studying all those languages [at WashU] has helped me in my life as a touring performer,” says Wall, who majored in German but also studied Spanish and Arabic. He taught a juggling class in Arabic and did TV interviews in Spanish.
In 2019, Wall decided to leave Cirque du Soleil. “I was meeting these jugglers from all over the place, and I learned about [other] styles of juggling,” Wall says. “I started researching that, and it led me down all of these other rabbit holes. So in between shows, honestly sometimes in between cues during a show, I’d be reading whatever I could find on JStor.”