For the first 15 years of my juggling, I had only few juggler friends. Of course I tried to hang out with other jugglers by going to juggling meetings for example, but it didn’t work well for me. I was not so skilled that people approach to me for an advice or anything, I was not specialized to any particular prop, and I didn’t belong to any juggling club neither, so I didn’t have much in common with other jugglers, it was difficult to break the ice. Although I had a strong love for juggling, I struggled to get connected with the “juggling community”, and it was a frustrating experience.
Then about 5 years ago, I felt like the situation started to change. It was when I began to sell original juggling props on the Internet. I started to receive some reactions from the community. People began to see me as a guy who is selling props, and suddenly what I was doing acquired a certain role in the juggling community. It made it easy to approach to other jugglers since I could start a conversation by talking about props that I was working on. Although being a bit particular thing to have, I finally felt like I obtained something meaningful to talk about with other jugglers.
Once I got something I was confidently able to share, it became easy for me to start a conversation, and it lead to a further communication. Then I developed the idea and passed it to others, and so forth. Once that cycle started to work, gradually my vision has widened at the same time. Recently I even have an interaction with jugglers overseas and that is one of the results.
To be honest, I still think how nice it would be to get along with people without anything in hand, but still, it would be nice to have something to give as a gift to start the cycle, then it might open up a whole new exciting world, possibly.
Translated by Naoya Aoki
This content was written for the PONTE’s mail magazine.