Humor Abuse Postscript: Juggling Class with Mad John the Juggler

Posted by Amy Krivohlavek, A.C.T. Marketing Writer
Juggling Workshop at A.C.T.
Clockwise from left: Associate Production Manager Amanda J. Haley, Artistic Fellow Kate Goldstein, Winter Field Study Intern Jessie King, Publications & Education Fellow Emily Means, Publications Manager Dan Rubin, Marketing Associate Christine Miller, Web Fellow Aude Ferrachat, Graphics Fellow Brittany Truex, Marketing Writer Amy Krivohlavek, Executive Assistant Caresa Capaz, Senior Graphic Designer Brenden Mendoza, and Mad John the Juggler. Photo by Hilary Davis.
Last week, A.C.T. Publications Manager Dan Rubin posted about his quest to learn to juggle, inspired by his research into San Francisco's Pickle Family Circus for our recent production of Humor Abuse. For the PFC, juggling was a group activity, a chance to come together with a shared goal—trying to keep everything up in the air.
Almost immediately, longtime A.C.T. subscriber John "Mad John the Juggler" Dobleman commented on Dan's blog, generously offering to come teach him—and a few of his lucky colleagues—how to juggle. Mad John claimed he would have us juggling in 20–30 minutes. We had our doubts.
This morning, Mad John visited us at the A.C.T. offices, armed with handfuls of bright pink, yellow, and orange scarves. Dan and I brought together a small group of A.C.T. staff from the Publications, Marketing, and Development departments, including many members of our Fellows program.
We started slowly, beginning with one scarf, then adding another, and then a third. "With two, you're just throwing stuff around. With three, you're juggling," he explained. And we were! After only 30 minutes, we all were! Even Mad John was impressed with our success rate. Once we had the basics down, he showed us a few simple tricks, some useful exercises, and then moved on to the coveted partner tricks. And, as the PFC discovered decades ago, it really did bring us closer together—literally forcing us to be in sync with one another.
Because A.C.T. is a thriving—i.e. busy!—nonprofit theater company, many of us juggle multiple tasks, jobs, and responsibilities across numerous departments. But today, we came together with one shared goal: keeping those bright colors flying through the air. And we're already planning a trip to the fabric store . . .
If you are interested in learning to juggle, you can contact Mad John at 925.679.0454. He has taught juggling to people of all ages (over the age of 11 . . . he has a fascinating explanation for why!), and—for the exceptionally adventurous—he also teaches skydiving. Note: He does not juggle while skydiving. That's dangerous.
In his words, "juggling is catching." We wholeheartedly agree.
Juggling Workshop at A.C.T.
L to R: Publications and Education Fellow Emily Means passes a scarf to Artistic Fellow Kate
Goldstein. Photo by Brenden Mendoza.
Juggling Workshop at A.C.T.
Marketing and Public Relations Associate Christine Miller (in purple dress, center) catches her scarves as Mad John
assists Associate Production Manager Amanda J. Haley. Photo by Brenden Mendoza.
Juggling Workshop at A.C.T.
L to R: Marketing Writer Amy Krivohlavek, Publications Manager Dan Rubin, and Web Fellow
Aude Ferrachat. Photo by Brenden Mendoza.
Juggling Workshop at A.C.T.
Mad John the Juggler (left) ends class with his trademark: the "group throw up." Photo by Dan Rubin.

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