Festival Recap: MOPS, Fall 2014

Well, it looks like the 2014 festival season has finally come to a close for me. It’s been a long season, partially because I’ve transferred from my Oakland community college (which ends early) to the University of California, Santa Cruz (which starts late). Here’s the total list of summer festivals:

Folklife (Seattle)
FireDrums (California)
World Juggling Day (California)
Emergency Circus tour (West Coast – ok, not properly a fest, but it was still all-day-every-day juggling, except for the travel days)
Madskillz Vancouver (Vancouver)
Oregon Country Fair (Oregon)
EJC (Ireland)
Edinburgh Fringe (Scotland)
Burning Man (Nevada)
Pacific Fire Gathering (Oregon)
Spun Out Prop Gathering (Oregon)
Bay Area Circus Arts Festival (California)
Master Ong’s Flow Retreat (California)

That’s thirteen festivals, one of which went for five days (Madskillz), two which went for a week (EJC and Burning Man), and one that went for a month (Edinburgh Fringe). And this last one, like the rest, was a super good time and unique in its embodiment of a lot of current sentiment in my life. So here it goes: this year’s final round of the classic juggler’s game, High Low Goal Bane Crush Surprise, Fall MOPS edition!


• Great classes all weekend. There were really some magic moments and I got a lot of positive feedback from folks who had taken the classes (busking + stage choreo) before.
• What a great gala show! Felt like all the acts were pretty dang superb.


• Post-renegade show hangover.
• Actually, the whole renegade show in general. I felt like I wanted it to be either a lot better or a lot worse. As it was, it wasn’t quite “so bad it’s good” and the small handful of great tricks didn’t quite make up for the waffly boring stuff.
• Not getting to say a proper goodbye to a sweetheart from Detroit who had to leave during my last class. Just a quick “bye, see you next year sometime…”


• 100 catches of headstall + five ball cascade every day… accomplished
• Dropless in gala show… barely accomplished
• Finish and burn an experimental fireball… accomplished, though now I wanna build another one
• Finish and burn new poi and contact staff… fail. Oh well, there’s always the Santa Cruz Lighthouse jam.


• Being late to my Sunday afternoon class (only by five minutes, but still). Can’t remember the last time that’s happened… if ever. Lesson learned about not wearing pants with pockets to hold a timepiece.
• The gala stage! Super small, and not level – I placed all my props in the beginning of the act, and the next time I looked at them they’d all rolled to the center of the stage.


• ((Someone good I can’t talk about on the internet)), the reason I am making this post right now – so I can say it before everybody else goes off about her. Super charming, and she super crushed it at the gala show. Ganz toll Show, lady 🙂
• Olive from Harmonic Hoops, aka my crush from like every fest between EJC and MOPS.


• I didn’t get scheduled for a single manipulation workshop! I didn’t feel bad about it since the contact teachers were super qualified and people ate up my discussion classes about hustling art.
• Chris Murdoch at an LA festival!

See you next year, festival season…