• These words motivated me today

    Today I read the following words. They motivated me, as I hope they will you.
    So you want to be an author, an actor, or maybe even a rock star? It doesn’t much matter what you want to do, just that you do it. Whatever your art, your only goal should be to create.

    But don’t you need a casting director to give you a part? Don’t you need a publisher to give you a book deal? Don’t you need a record label to sign you? No, no, and no. If you’re an artist, don’t put your success, your passion, and your life in somebody else’s hands.
    Don’t be an aspiring author, an aspiring actor, or an aspiring musician. The difference between an aspiring artist and an artist comes down to one thing… an artist creates. An aspiring artist wants to create. They talk about creating. They dream about creating. They tell others they will create someday. They wait for someone else to give them approval before they create. They wait until their name is called.
    I get emotional about this because I have a lot of friends who are amazing at what they do, but they don’t get it. They wait around for someone to give them the nod of approval. “If I could just get that part,” I hear them say. “I nailed that showcase but never heard back from anyone.” My motto is “if you can’t join ‘em, beat ‘em.”
    History is full of examples of artists who decided to take matters in their own hands. Examples include Colbie Caillat, an unknown and unsigned singer-songwriter who had success on MySpace and has since won Grammys and has had hit songs, to Matt Damon and Ben Affleck who wrote and starred in Good Will Hunting. Where would these artists and thousands of others be if they didn’t take their life into their own hands and create?
    Here’s a more recent example – Ambrose. Ambrose is my favorite new rock band. Several months ago I heard them on Sirius Radio and immediately loved their sound, which doesn’t happen often. When I got home, I went to Amazon.com and tried to order their CD, but couldn’t find it. I did a quick search and discovered they didn’t have a traditional CD — they only sold their album on iTunes – which I quickly downloaded. Their whole album is amazing. I’m becoming a huge fan. I go to their website, which is actually just a MySpace page. I watch a great video and then check out their tour dates and notice they are playing a bunch of venues in LA such as the Viper Room, the Roxy, etc. Now these are cool venues, but small. I started to think Ambrose wasn’t as big as I thought they were. It turns out, I was right.
    I emailed them and the lead singer, Zak Ambrose, emailed right back. They are unsigned, which means they don’t have a record label. I also discovered that Zak is not only the lead singer, but also the band’s publicist, manager, web designer, promoter, and just about everything else. I told him I wanted to interview him about how he is able to pull it all off.
    Zak Ambrose gets it. We talked for several hours. He is a hard worker, passionate about his craft, and is doing everything he can to make it (based on his talent, I’d be shocked if he didn’t!). He hasn’t waited to get signed. He’s gone out there and made an album. He sells it on iTunes. He books concerts. He sells merchandise. He interacts with fans via social networks. He does all of this even though nobody has told him he can. He didn’t stay in his garage waiting for somebody to tell him he was a musician. He knows he’s a musician, and what do musicians do? They make music.
    The most successful artists are going to be those who create. Not the ones who wait around for approval.
    So what’s the takeaway? Don’t wait for permission. Don’t make excuses. Get out there and create something — anything. Stop aspiring and start creating.

  • Goodbye Branson and on to Kansas City

    Continuing to very much enjoy my trip driving from the east coast to the west coast.

    After I left Branson, MO, north I drove to Kansas City to present my juggling workshop  On the way I saw a turn-off for a national park off the road, hard to see.  I had to go see this park.  Dick Franco’s wife, Maki, had prepared a great lunch for me of terriyaki Chicken and rice, I ate it, all alone in the park, in this beautiful setting.  Enjoying my time by myself.

    The workshop in Kansas City went quite well. One comment I received:
    “The juggling with finesse workshop helped me remember what attracted me to juggling it the first place. Kit was very encouraging about pushing the boundaries and acquiring new skills.  I also gained valuable pointers about performance, presentation and character.”

    Yesterday, while on my drive across to Boulder, I happened upon a street performers festival in Lawrence, Kansas. I saw one of the best street juggling acts I’ve seen. Cate Flaherty does excellent. Her comedy, her skill, her timing, great. She is here on stage:
    Another act who was there, Lindsey is another excellent female performer:
    Cate and Lindsey both have great confidence in what they do, necessary for a good street act.

    McDonald’s has free wifi, so I often stop and write to you from McDonalds, where I am now.  Will write to you again soon, my friend.

    Bye for now>>>>Kit


  • In Branson, MI with Dick Franco and The Fercos

    In the show I saw yesterday, Dick does a highly technical and accurate 3 ball routine with excellent moves.  Then ping pong balls fly from his mouth into the air in various patterns–from 1 to 5.  Comedy with two ropes he places in a box saying they will come out “tide”.  He pulls out a box of “Tide” clothes soap.  Dick next says he needs help from a volunteer.  He looks around the audience and picks out Ty, who has his hand up.  Ty pretends he does not know how to juggle and Dick teaches him to juggle 3 balls.  Ty surprises the audience by eventually doing superb juggling with 3 balls, 5 balls, 7 balls, a hula-hoop along with a foot-spinner and juggling 5 balls and he ends with a great routine with 3 boxes.  Ty is only 13, the beginnings of a fantastic juggling career, watch for him in the future.

    That evening Dick, Ty, Maki and went I to see
    and The Fercos Brothers   http://fercos.com/
    performing at The Hall Of Fame Theater located in the Branson Mall.
    Michael was the opening act.  I have not seen Michael in about 30 years, so I didn’t know what to expect.  After so long, I still expected the look of the man of 25 years ago, age has set in to us all.  Michael did the act I remember, yet toned down.  An superb showman, the audience liked Mike much.
    The Fercos did an exclusive juggling act in the past.  The act I saw last night was of magic–many animals and big illusions. In the past they used to do mainly only juggling, like this:
    But now they are working with large cats.
    Tony did a juggling act toward the end.  Excellence in juggling is what I saw, including 7 ping pong balls using only his mouth.  The somewhat small audience liked much what they saw.


  • Chicago to Branson, MO

    Still making my way across the country.  Enjoying my time, much.

    The juggling workshop last weekend in Chicago went well. One of the jugglers, an intelligent 10 year old, Jacob Peterson, wrote, “I benefited greatly from the workshop. I am anxious to get going with my street performing”. I asked Jacob to throw up 5 clubs, he told me he had never done that.  I coached him and he was getting it going good.

    I am writing this from the home of Dick Franco in Bramson, Missouri (check out his profile), who is quite the juggler. So, my tour continues.

    Last night I saw Dick and his step-son, Ty, perform.  Dick comes out and ask the audience is there is a young person who will come and learn to juggle.  Of course, Ty is the one who wants to learn.  Ty is a good actor and they perform like he is really just learning. It ends up that Ty does this amazing juggling and the audience loves it. Also, of course, Dick does a fantastic job with his juggling, too.  

    I am having a great time traveling the country and seeing friends, wish you could be here.

    Bye for now>>>>Kit

  • The 2nd day, Chicago

    The beginning of my writing of my big trip away. After going through a divorce after a 23 year marriage; getting hit by a truck–the second time in my life; having to spend a month in jail, I very much need to departure from my normal life.

    So, here’s the plan: After the workshop in Chicago this weekend I will be off to Branson, Missouri to stay a few days with Dick Franco before I go to do a workshop in Kansas City the following weekend. Next is a workshop in Boulder Circus Center. Then to Las Vegas for a workshop, finally ending up in San Diego to stay with my mom a few weeks.

    On September 21 I will be flying to Australia where I have workshops set up. On October 26 I will be off to New Zealand where I have workshops set up, too. My flight back to the US is scheduled for November 30, then I drive back to my current home, which is up for sale now. I will be writing more to you soon.