The Short Bio:
Jesse Joyner is a professional entertainer who uses comedy, juggling, audience participation, unicycling, and balancing to provide clean fun for audiences of all ages. He performs nationwide at theaters, festivals, schools, libraries, camps, and other various community events. Jesse is currently working towards a PhD in Education (Trinity International University, Deerfield, IL) and uses what he learns to produce shows that are both fun and educational at the same time. He lives in Richmond, VA with his wife, Sarah, and their three children.
The Long Bio:
Jesse is one of the few people in the world who have completed a marathon while juggling. He has also juggled a running chainsaw while managing to keep all toes, fingers, and limbs. Yet neither his wife nor one of his prospective life insurance underwriters liked that feat.
Jesse learned how to juggle 3 beanbags from his friend Tim when he was 11 years old. He loved the challenge so much that he got every book he could from the library about juggling. Then one day in high school, some classmates found out Jesse could juggle and they convinced him to perform in the variety show – and Jesse was thrilled that people actually clapped for machete juggling and ladder balancing. One thing led to the next, and soon Jesse found himself street performing in Jerusalem, sharing a stage line-up with comedian Sinbad, and being employed as an entertainer for Paramount Parks. His credits have included television, radio, a halftime show for the Washington Mystics, and some gold and silver medals at the World Joggling Championships (running and juggling at the same time).
Jesse graduated from Taylor University (Upland, IN) and from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, studying the Bible and pastoral ministry. He is currently working on a PhD in Educational Studies at Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL. During his time in college, he realized he could teach kids and families about the Bible using the juggling routines he had developed. So in 1999, Jesse started a “juggling ministry” that taught the message of the Gospel in this creative way. He later served a term as the President of the Christian Jugglers’ Association and has also held memberships with the International Jugglers Association, the Fellowship of Christian Magicians, and the World Clown Association. He has had the privilege of performing for audiences in over 30 states and on 3 continents. Jesse continues to perform both church-themed shows as well as “purely entertainment” shows, which do not have a religious message of any sort. Simply let Jesse know ahead of time which kind of show you’d like.
Now, Jesse continues to travel with his show, doing about 130 presentations a year. He cherishes his time at home with his family – Sarah, his wife, and their three children (two girls and a boy). Sometimes, Sarah and the kids travel with Jesse to his shows, but other times they like to just hang out at home. Sarah is a professional counselor (LPC) in the Richmond, Virginia area where the Joyners make their home. Jesse’s other interests include fixing up their 1919 home in Richmond’s Northside neighborhood of Laburnum Park, playing the piano, and playing games with his family.