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The Karasel of Progress
Sat, Mar 7 2009
"If I" and Stick Bouncing!!??
Mood:  bright

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trust me, folks - this post definitely involves juggling.  But remember, juggling isn't everything.

Some of you may not know this (because I tend not to be too "billboard" about my life) but I moved to a strange little hamlet six months ago called New York City.  After finishing up the Shoebox Tour with Tempei, I was unemployed with no leads.  I figured it was the BEST time (now or never) to move to one of the greatest and most challenging cities in the nation.

What exactly do I do in the city?  Well, I guess you could say I am a bit of a hustler.  Armed with a B.F.A. in Acting, I wait for my big Broadway break while doing odd jobs and gigs in the meantime to acquire green paper which everyone agrees has worth.  I tutor children after school in Math and English on some days.  On other days, I cater children's birthday parties.  In between these two real jobs, I scour job listings for juggling and non-juggling gigs that I find unique, profitable, or in best case scenarios, unique and profitable.

If there's anything I hate, it's the guys in Times Square who constantly ask you if you "like comedy", which actually means, "Can you validate my existence by buying cheap tickets to a bad comedy show tonight that I wish I were in?"  I always POLITELY decline, because I know REJECTION is a daily part of their lives.  Not only are they being rejected in their ACTUAL career (acting, comedy, modeling) but they're being rejected by 90% of passersby.

So you may find it strange that I applied to a promotions gig on Craigslist.  Bothering strangers on the street is not my idea of fun.  However, this posting was unique - it was looking for nerdy white guys to hand out free pens to promote a new Comedy Central show - "Important Things with Demetri Martin".  The nerdy white guy thing explains itself - CHECK!  And the pen thing?  I figured, if I don't need to SELL anything, it'll be easy and I'll have an eased conscience.  "Here, take this free pen!  Watch Demetri Martin tonight at 10:30" for three hours, and take home $75.  Done and done.  Better than a day at the office.

Anyway, since I was going to be promoting Demetri's show, I decided (the night before) to watch a few Demetri videos on YouTube to get a sense of who he was and his style of comedy.  I don't watch cable, so I didn't know he was on the Daily Show and I had never seen his Comedy Central Presents.

Here's where the juggling comes in!

I was lucky enough to stumble upon a BBC video special entitled "If I".  I was expecting stand-up.  I got a lot more, and I'm glad I watched the entire thing for two reasons.  First, I came to really appreciate Demetri Martin.  Second, I found out that Demetri is a juggler (albeit possibly not a very experienced one) as well as a unicyclist.  He was a member of the Yale Anti-Gravity Society!  (If there are any Yale jugglers reading this, care to comment about how active Demetri was in the club?)

For those of you just looking for a quick two minute laugh, click on the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98RECgRc5HA and scan to 5:10.  In this section, Demetri does a clever "Useless Talents" routine in which he demonstrates many of the useless talents he picked up during school boredom.

For those of you looking for a more mentally stimulating experience, grab a beverage of choice and some popcorn and take a stroll through the entire piece of "If I", starting with #1 of 6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKnzPHtf9u4 .   The entire piece is about 48 minutes long.

It's certainly funny but also very rewarding intellectually, falling somewhere in between stand-up, lecture, and self-empowerment.  Jugglers, as a whole, are very intelligent people.  We like puzzles.  We like challenges.  We like hurdles - otherwise why the hell would we do what we do?  Demetri's show is an example of a man who quite willingly fell just a little too far down the rabbit hole  - HE became his own "puzzle", resulting in what he calls a simultaneous "breakthrough/breakdown."

I think I see a chunk of myself in Demetri, which both delights and scares me at the same time.  (Stephen Sondheim so got it with those paired-up conflicting emotional states!)  The unexamined life is not worth living.  At the same time, micro-management and the organization it promises often causes us to miss out on the wonderful spontaneity of life.

For those of you who choose to spend 48 minutes with Demetri, I hope you get something out of it like I did.  If nothing else, it is interesting to take a look into an extremely analytical brain attached to a guy who can make fun of said brain.

P.S. His new show, "Important Things" on Comedy Central?  Eh, it's okay.  But I feel he's so much smarter than how he presents himself on his weekly show.

P.P.S. Did you notice I mentioned "Stick Bouncing" in my blog title!!??  Ready to have your mind blown?  Thanks to Joseph Glen and Juggling Subculture for this gem:  Forget about the act, the costume, and 80% of the act's contents.  He fuckin' bounces sticks! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riuGuIhQ8RI (WTF at 0:37)


Posted by Michael at 6:59 PM EST
Updated: Sat, Mar 7 2009 8:45 PM EST
Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink

Mon, Mar 9 2009 - 3:47 PM EDT

Name: "Luke Wilson"
Home Page: http://www.lukewilson.de/en/bonus.html

How do you relate this statement:
"Some of you may not know this (because I tend not to be too "billboard" about my life) but I moved to a strange little hamlet six months ago called New York City"

With these previous postings?

"Juggle This in NYC (where I live now) was awesome!"

"I do want to give a quick shout-out to fellow NYC juggler..."

"I didn't attend since I now live in NYC"

"...and was interested in hiring me for a gig here in NYC"

"...moved to the center of the universe – New York City"
 
"So now I’m out of school living in the big city (New Yawk!)"
 
Just curious!

Best regards (from Stockholm, actually),
Luke
 

Thu, Apr 30 2009 - 1:59 PM EDT

Name: "Kaan Vural"
Home Page: http://yaleantigravity.org

We didn't even know Demetri Martin was a member until a moth ago! We have a terrible institutional memory.

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