In some ways, I enjoyed myself more, and in some ways it was a tough week for me and Lisa. Lisa was the vendor coordinator so she worked her buns off the first day or two dealing with drama galore. Then, we got stuck in a room with little air conditioning during a heat wave. The AC eventually gave out, prompting a move to another room, but not before Lisa took ill. My concern for her and my annoyance at some not-in-character flakiness on the part of a few of the Japanese folks made my last night at Renegade a really poor one--I was just totally crabby. Completely sucking at juggling when called up onstage because the Japanese didn't have their game together was just another cherry on top of the misery sundae that night. Then again, joining in with Faje-san as he messed with Hagiwara's suikawari game was definitely fun and I'm glad that was the last thing I did that night. Much love to Leif, Maria, Iman, and Keith B. for talking me into going down to the room instead of waiting for the flakes to show up. The whole week was like that for me--hot and cold...literally and figuratively. Renegade sucked for me the last night, Ivan and I stank it up singing "Fuck Her Gently" the night before, but on the first night we totally had a blast messing with Adria's condom routine, plus we were treated to top-level comedy chops by Ngaio and his buddy (name?!?). More evidence of the duality of the festival: I got to be on TV Tuesday morning promoting the festival, but got treated like a flunky by the stuffed shirt tool morning news guy. Soon afterward, I emceed the Planting the Seed show, with about 80-90 folks present, and that went well...at least until it was time for me to close the show with my trusty diabolo routine. Basically, the worst I have EVER performed that routine. The only thing that kept me from slitting my wrists was that only 80 non-juggling civilians saw it...oh yeah, and Kumar Pallana. Great. !@#$%^!
Alright, enough moaning and groaning. There were plenty of highs as well. Teaching the six ball workshop with Ivan was very fun. The advanced kendama workshop was probably the best I've ever taught (thanks Joe and Steve for pushing the level with your workshops!). The excalibur workshop was also really fun, despite being surrounded by Japanese and Taiwanese diaboloists who were my superiors in just about every technique. Clinton H. ran a great auction and my diabolos and T-shirt went for good prices--it was fun playing it up and getting a bidding war going. Sky King and Kinetic Juggling's release of the Matt Hall iJuggle T-shirt at the festival gave me a taste of fame, with lots of people asking me to sign their shirts. Emceeing the Planting the Seed show went well, and the Championships MC gig was definitely fun. Only a few screw ups on my part, and the Juggling Trivia quiz went over fairly well. Judging the prop competitions with Dan Holzman was a blast. The best year yet for sure. Watching my boys the Dew Drops kick ass and win the crowd (and essentially a second place tie in Peoples Choice voting) despite having a tough juggling set. Jerome Thomas's show was great. I can see why Jay and Maksim and other former students of his juggle the way they do. I know many people didn't like it, but I dug it. Last and best highlight: hanging out 24/7 with my homeboy Ivan and with Lisa. No contest.
For 2003 IJA-Reno, Nevada photos click here.
For 2004 IJA-Buffalo, New York photos click here.
For 2005 IJA-Davenport, Iowa photos click here.