I have been juggling for 20 years, and since the beginning, I have always been trying to make props by myself.
In this article, I will share 2 important things that I always try to be conscious about when I make juggling props.
Firstly, go outside and discover interesting things offline. This might sound nothing special, but as a matter of fact, this is very critical if you want to do something different, especially in the Internet era where everyone can access to an amount of information at home. Go outside and walk around, see the real materials with your eyes and feel them. That makes it clear what is possible to make and what is not, and you sometimes get inspired by something you didn’t even thought about. It is very important to consciously visit places that other people don’t go usually, and collect your own primary information by yourself.
Secondly, brush up props with others. When I show a prototype, people often give me totally unexpected and effective advise. Sometimes it makes me realize how narrow my vision was, sometimes it encourages me to proceed the project further. It also enriches the project as a story when other people get involved. As a result, the background of the prop making becomes unique to me as well.
What these points above have in common is contingency. In this wide world, I assume the percentage of your idea to be one and only is close to zero. However, if you then embrace contingency and be brave enough to try changing your idea to a good direction, it develops the idea further and makes it more exciting.
It is always nice to see the final result being way better than as I first imagined. And when I officially share that excitement with others in the end, it gives me an exceptional feeling again. That feeling, I think, always drives me to make the next one and keep going.
Translated by Naoya Aoki
This content was written for the PONTE’s mail magazine.