At Paramount Studios in Hollywood, with a very talented cast of Cirque du Soleil alumni, Jack & Jeri performed for the “extraordinary” launch of the 2012 Toyota Camry. The performance was seen via video-link in numerous cities around the globe.
On Aug. 20 at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Jack & Jeri wowed an audience of Hollywood’s top stuntmen and stuntwomen before the Emmy nominations for Best Stunt Coordinator. We did our acrobatic juggling act as “The World’s Oldest Circus Performers”, with grey wigs, walkers, and plenty of gags.
We performed our stage act on the field at the Oakland A’s Stadium. Our audience was the team, the owners, their families, and a few other VIP’s. We were a hit! (to use a lame baseball reference). You could even say we knocked it out of the park (…yup, even lamer.)
We only got to do it for a couple of days but it was a blast. The Diamond Jubilee Revue featured Jack and Jeri, ventriloquist Steve & Jack, 11-year-old singing sensation Avonlee, and Valentine’s Performing Pigs! What more entertainment could you want.
On July 22 at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, MN, Jack produced the XJuggling Best Trick Competition of the International Jugglers’ Association. (Jack also hand-made the medals.)
This was the 6th year in a row Jack has produced this event, with some of the best jugglers in the world competing, and it was the most successful event yet.
Here’s a clip on YouTube.
Oz Kalvan is now 2 1/2 and already has an impressive resume of modeling jobs. He’s currently a favorite of the popular children’s clothing line “Janie and Jack” (no relation).
Photos by Brian Van de Wetering:
It’s great to be acknowledged by one’s peers. In June we were invited to be the special guests at the Boulder Juggling Festival (Colorado, not juggling boulders) where we performed for an audience that included over 100 jugglers.
We’ve given our website a new look. After great time and expense last year, it was hard to admit the old website sucked. Well, maybe it didn’t suck, but I didn’t like it. Now it has been redesigned and it doesn’t suck any more. …Or does it? Check it out.
An amazing spectacle of colored light. Using video projection, Jack fills a wall up to 15 feet high by 20 feet wide with a dazzling light show. This totally unique combination of light-up juggling, feedback, fractals, and chaos will ROCK future stage shows. (video coming soon)
Jeri’s three TV appearances as older women coincided with the debut of our new stage act: “The World’s Oldest Circus Performers.” These feisty and funny old folks show they still got it, performing acrobatics and juggling like they did back in the day. .
In May, Jeri appeared twice on the Tonight show with Jay Leno, and once on the Conan show! And you can view all three appearances online:
The first appearance was as Helen Mirren, getting in a fight with Queen Elizabeth.
(click here to see clip)
The next appearance, Jeri actually played the Queen after her historic visit to the Guinness factory.
(click here to see clip)
And the third stunt was as a little old lady being tackled by a pro football player.
(click here to see clip)
On April 22, “Water for Elephants” opened in theaters everywhere. Starring Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz, the movie takes place in a circus in the 1930’s so they brought in Hollywood’s favorite jugglers, Jack & Jeri.
Here are some photos on the set:
Here’s a movie clip with us in the background:
This year, we invested in the Mediastar audio controller which allows us to remotely run all our sound cues ourselves. No more will we depend on an inexperienced sound operator to get it right. (It took a couple of disasters to learn this lesson.) We are very happy with the new system which has been reliable and efficient.
Jack juggles five torches – just for fun. (note: I rarely get to perform with fire anymore due to strict fire regulations in most venues. The weird thing is when I was working on cruise ships, I juggled fire all the time. They never had a problem with it.)
Jack & Jeri’s children Max and Oz enjoy getting in on the act.
5-year-old Max continues to pick up circus skills. He loves walking on his stilts.
Jeri trains hand-to-hand with acro friend Dave Floyd.
Last month we received rave reviews during our week at the Magic Castle. If you missed it, this should be an excellent opportunity to see us live. The stage at ACME is much bigger and we’ll be able to do much more.
Two shows: Thursday Nov. 11 @ 9pm and Saturday Nov. 13 @ 7:30pm
At the famous ACME Comedy Theatre
135 N. La Brea Avenue; Los Angeles, CA 90036.
We’ll be doing 30 minutes, and there are two other acts in each show.
Tickets are $10 online or $15 at the door.
For more info see http://www.lacomedyfest.com/
I have now officially been a professional entertainer for over 20 years. Just over 20 years ago I quit my last “real job” as an engineer at IBM Research. What would have happened if I had stayed an engineer? Who knows. Maybe I would have retired by now, or maybe I’d be unemployed and homeless. Maybe I wouldn’t be alive at all. You never know. But I do know I’m happy with my decision and it’s been a good twenty years. I’ve gotten to see the world and make a lot of people happy doing what I love. I’m ready for at least another 20.
We have lots of new routines in the works. Our latest debut is a new piece with fluorescent juggling and acrobatics glowing under black light. It’s a spectacular effect we’re very excited about. Although we’ve already started performing it, the routine and costumes are still evolving. Almost every time we practice, we make some small improvement. Here are some photos from the debut performance a couple of weeks ago. (We’ve already totally redone the costumes from these photos.)
To better stay in touch, and make the world a better place, we’re sending out monthly newsletters.
If you would like to have our newsletters emailed to you, please contact Jack.
You can see the first newsletter here:
The best selling novel by Sara Gruen is being turned into a movie, starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson. The movie takes place in a circus in 1931…and Jeri and I were honored to be chosen as the jugglers! It should be in theaters some time next year.
In the last month I shot two commercials as a unicyclist! One is for Kaiser Permanente, encouraging a more active lifestyle. The other is for the new Ford Fiesta, promoting the car as exciting and cutting-edge. I also saw kids on the street learning to ride unicycles. I can’t remember when the last time I saw that was. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but I think non-traditional activities and recreation are on the rise.
I get about 5 seconds of screen time in Alice in Wonderland. I’m Juggling 3 fire torches at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party until the Jabberwocky comes and ruins the fun.
I was part of a comedy bit. Juggling 5 rings to show what you might be missing if you don’t wear Bausch & Lomb Multi-Focal Contact Lenses.
…that is… To create something successful, you must use “joke structure.” What is joke structure? Every joke has the format: you expect one thing, and then you are pleasantly surprised by something else.
An expectation is created when a pattern has been established. In joke structure, this is called the “set up.”
And then something new and surprising breaks the pattern. This is called the “punch line.”
Sometimes the set up is completely contained inside the joke. Have you heard of the “rule of three” for comedy? There is nothing especially funny about the number three, but it is the simplest way to set up a pattern and then break it: A, A, B.
Sometimes the set up is all from our past experiences. In a joke, this only works if everyone in the audience is very familiar with the experience.
Of course, not everything that breaks a pattern is good. Generally, people enjoy being surprised when they get something that is better than what they thought they were going to get. In a joke, it makes them laugh. In business, it makes them buy your product or service. Surprise your audience with something that’s better than what they expected.
Sometimes better just means different, not the same old thing. People like variety. A hit song is not better than all the songs of the past, but something about it is fresh and surprising. (That is, until you’ve heard it too many times.) Popular music is always changing. Like a successful joke, a successful song has something familiar, and something surprising. People’s expectations of music keep changing, so new things always have to be created to surprise them.
A good joke is simple. The surprise doesn’t last very long and repeated tellings of the joke aren’t as funny as the first time. Good music is more complex and can continue to be surprising even after multiple listenings. Sometimes hearing a song a few times increases one’s appreciation of the “set up,” making the “punch” even stronger. …but I digress.
Successful innovators use ideas from the past that the audience is familiar with (and still likes), and they add a fresh new twist, which can be inspired from something else the audience likes. Innovation isn’t always about creating something totally new. Often it’s combining things people like in a surprising way they haven’t seen before.
Every successful product or service makes people happy by surprising them with something they weren’t expecting. It all really is about entertainment. Surprise your audience. Success really is a joke.
I am working on several new performance ideas, including a balancing act with a laptop computer, and various ideas involving a tennis ball gun. For me, working on original ideas has always been the most exciting part of performing. Also the most frustrating. It’s so hard to come up with something new.
Actually coming up with something new isn’t that hard, but it has to be new and good. That’s the hard part. And it’s rarely good on the first try. The ideas constantly evolve, often ending up totally different from my original concept.
Often I have to make my own props. (I’m actually using my engineering degree!) It turns out nobody makes a tennis ball gun, or at least one that can be safely fired on stage. So I had to design and build my own. …and of course everything always has to be re designed and rebuilt at least three times before it really works like you want it to.
The reward of making something that works… It makes all the frustrating failures worthwhile.