Well hello, festival season! Good to be back in you.
This last weekend marked my first time back in Arcata, California in two years. Last year, I was booked during the Humboldt Juggling Festival for the first time in six years; that makes this year my sixth HJF in seven years. I could be biased because it was my first juggling festival away from home, but Humboldt has consistently been one of my favorite juggling events every year. Maybe it’s because pieces of my entire west coast circus tribe attend; maybe it’s because the California redwoods on the water remind me of home; maybe it’s because it’s usually the first or second each year. But there’s a reason–many reasons–that people from all over the West Coast tell all their friends to attend the Humboldt Juggling Festival even though we all have to drive five hours or longer to get there.
Time for this year’s first round of the classic juggler’s game, High Low Goal Bane Crush Surprise: 2015 HJF Edition!
• An all-around great gala show. Favorite act had to be Justincredible (full disclosure: homeboy), who opened the show so damn strongly and earned the trust of the audience instantly. Combined with the fact that the HJF gala crowd is always super warm anyway, it really locked down
• OK my other favorite act had to be the Johnston Brothers. Yes, they are brothers. Yes, it is how they juggle so well together like that.
• Willow’s poi tosses workshop changed my life. Particularly in that I’m a better poi spinner now.
• I similarly gained a lot of confidence in the contact staff workshop with Randy of Flow Factory. Ready to spin more staff this season!
• Post-Renegade show hangover took a big bite out of my Saturday. Still, with dedicated hydration and a moderate pace I managed to make it through.
• Get my trick at the Renegade show (fly a two high, ball on head, five-ball qualify): success!
• Qualify five-ball box: success!
• Play with all the props: failure. Didn’t touch my clubs or my mini hoop all weekend.
• No Jordan Daniels at Humboldt?!?! I’m gonna mean mug this kid so hard at Flow Show SF next week.
• Gym renegade. Wasn’t that bad, all things considered. Wasn’t that great either, though.
• Intro to Contact class during the first workshop slot on Saturday while everybody was in bed!
• Everybody is gonna say ((somebody good I can’t talk about on the internet)) but I already crushed her at Fall MOPS, so there!
• A-Rod, my social justice buddy from the internet. If you’re reading this, Ms, I hope you wind up at SFSU so we can watch anime and rage out about the news sometime k?
• Rain! In California! Yesssss!
• Just… so many excellent people I didn’t expect to see. To be honest, there’s not a lot I’m surprised by at HJF after attending for six years now; I feel like I’d only be surprised if the fest wasn’t a stunner.
Can’t wait for the season to ramp up! Next month, the UCSCJC (UC Santa Cruz Juggling Convention) returns with a vengeance!! After that, FireDrums (feat. Wes Peden!!) and then maybe, for me, IgNight (by way of a virtual stop at the Spin Summit). And I especially can’t wait for the OCF/IJA/EJC/Fringe circuit… here we goooo!