How and Why I Got Into Juggling

This is by far the most common question posed to me.  The second most common is, “Have you ever juggled a chainsaw?” (if you’re wondering, here’s your answer).

Most kids these days discover their life calling/passion around ages 11-12 (as I did).  So go encourage a preteen today in whatever their interests might be.

I will answer in the form of a timeline of sorts…..


I’m born into a non-juggling, non-circus family (well, my Dad did stick bananas in his ears, so that might count).


My 3rd grade gym teacher instructs my class on how to juggle scarves.  I forget how I fared.


I make friends with classmate named Tim Dooner, who has the interesting ability to juggle 3 beanbags.  One day while playing at his house, I have him show me how to juggle 3 balls.  For two weeks I worked at it every night and learned the skill.


I go to the public library and get and devour every book I can on juggling, because I think this is soooo cool.  I spend hours each evening after school practicing my juggling, using only books and innovation to learn what I can.  The most helpful book at the beginning was Kit Summers’ “Juggling with Finesse”.


My family moves and I have a new school with new friends.  I hear about some guys at another school who juggle for fun.  I meet them and we start hanging out, juggling together and attending (a first for me) juggling conventions.  Since this was before YouTube, we would gather in one of the guys’ basements and watch fuzzy VHS’s of famous jugglers (from Bobby May to Anthony Gatto) doing their spectacular routines.  I’m hooked and I want to perform as a juggler.


 I’m invited to perform at my high school variety show, which turns out to be my “big break”.  The audience loves the clubs, rings, machetes, and ladder balancing.  I determine this is something I want to pursue in life (not full-time, but always on the side).


In college, I meet a guy named David Cain, who performs juggling shows with a Christian message.  As a young person with a call into ministry, I think this is great, so I learn under his mentoring and develop my own show and subsequently go on the road.

Nearly a thousand shows later, the rest is history…..

So go encourage a preteen.



Popular Posts

  • “Holy Fools”: Exploring the Journey of Calling for Christian Variety Performers

    I am happy to announce that my PhD dissertation has been published to ProQuest, an academic database for published research. I have made the dissertation open source, which means anyone anywhere can access the full content free of charge. Here is the full dissertation: Please share far and wide. I am very much excited…

  • The Easiest Large Group Game Ever
    The Easiest Large Group Game Ever

    This is probably the easiest large group game ever invented.  If you can think of an easier one, please let me know in the comments. Heads or Tails! This game of heads or tails involves EVERYONE in your large group.  It is actually better the larger the group gets.  There is an elimination factor to…

  • Out of the Mouths of Children

    “Out of the Mouths of Children” Sermon from Sunday, April 21, 2024 Dr. Jesse Joyner *Scripture passages are from the NIV unless otherwise noted. Matthew 21:6 “…and they said to him, ‘Do you hear what these are saying?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and…

  • Not a Single Bone Shall Be Broken

    Today is Good Friday on the Christian calendar. I would like to share a Good Friday reflection with you. Thank you for reading… When I speak at children’s events, I tell the story of Jesus and his ministry on earth. I point out that Jesus was the only human in history who lived a perfect…

  • From the Lips of Children

    Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, the day of the Christian calendar where we celebrate the Triumphal Entry, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey while the crowd shouted “Hosanna!” That means, “Save!” The choice of donkey versus a horse demonstrates that Jesus is the humble king. But there is another detail of this story that…