We premiered Prodigal Fun in the February of 2015. Approximately a week later, I said that we should do our next new show in 2024 to celebrate 25 years. If that's actually going to happen we need to start thinking about it now. I am not saying we have to do anything now; we just have to start thinking about doing something. With that in mind, I have come up with some questions about show #3 . Anyone can respond to these questions, but I am basically assuming Darren is the only one who reads this. If Darren responds to the questions I'll put his answers here too. His answers will be in orange; mine are in blue
Once again, I am back with our year end letter. We had a few less
shows this year than the last couple. My count is at 28 shows for
2018. However, it feels like we have done a lot more Sunday morning
shows this year. I don’t know if that means we are becoming more
respectable, or that churches are lowering their standards.
As far as new juggling stuff, we are still working on “Forever” (our
new devilstick routine) and our II Corinthians 12 routine. Looking
back at Christmas letters, I can see that we were working on these
back in 2016. We did make real progress on both routines and have even performed each of them for audiences. I really think the latest
version of the II Corinthians routine (version 6) is going to work.
Hopefully by the end of next year, these should both be in the show,
and we will have some new goals. We did come up with a lot of new
intros these year. We have intros for Father Abraham, Frisbees, and
Bye Bye Bye now. This might not seem like a huge accomplishment, but we have been juggling clubs for nearly 20 years and still haven’t
thought of a way to introduce them.
We performed at Creation again this year, and we even made them a promo video. https://youtu.be/9Y8v7KD_OqI In addition to juggling, Darren also performed as the “Hobo Devil” with the Donut Man. Our biggest new event was probably the Kids’ Cookie Break Fest. We also performed at the Ephrata Christmas Tree Lighting. We made it through the show even though it was cold and dark. Also, I got a chance to try snow meteors instead of water meteors.
I think D vs K turned out really well this year. We did balancing(D)
vs twirling(K). The first round was dancing; Darren’s Hokey Pokey
ladder balance beat my Electric Slide with water meteors. The second round was “Take My Trick” I won by juggling while twirling and Darren balanced a stick while getting squirted by a volunteer. The final round was the fire round. I got Darren to be my unwitting volunteer and hold a box of matches with tongs. I smacked the box of matches with my poi and two matches lit up. That is not a lot of fire, but I liked it and it worked just the way I wanted it to. However,
once again Darren won. He balanced a torch on his hand and did some flips and tosses. I really liked have balancing and twirling go
together. Hopefully, something will come of this.
Finally, it is time for the personal sentence. My wife and I had a baby
girl, Lindsey Marie, and Darren and his wife are expecting their first
child next year.
We made it through another year. Life is still busy but we managed to do 35 shows again this year. Honestly, I’m busy enough that I am not sure how many shows we did, but 35 sounds right to me. Darren will probably correct me if I am wrong. I just read last year’s letter and saw that I put 35, but I remember finding out later that it should have been 34.
We started off by premiering the whipped cream version of Father Abraham at the HMS Winter Carnival. I have really enjoyed doing this routine through the year. I like having a finale that doesn’t even try and look big and dangerous. We haven’t done any other new acts, but we are still working on our new devilstick routine and our II Cor 12 “dropping the ball” routine.
Most people would say the most notable show we did this year was Creation. We performed all three days in the kids’ tent. We had fun doing some collaborations with This Way Up, and got the whole kids’ tent lineup to sing Father Abraham with us. We have even been asked to come back for 2018. However, I would still say the most exciting show we did was the Saucon Hymn Sing. They actually let us “lead” a hymn sing with juggling. It was basically exactly what I like doing: getting to do something new, limited practicing, no acting, and me transitioning between things by clumsily explaining songs. The most amazing part of all this is that it really worked well. We didn't have any solo shows this year, but Darren did sing a solo in Kids Praise!
Sadly my two year streak of D vs K victories ended this year. Round one was diabolo routines. I tried singing “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” with my routine. That was a mistake, but I am still glad I tried it. Darren crushed me that round with a routine set to The Breaker's Commission. I should really encourage Darren to make more music selections. In round two, Darren did a cigar box routine with grapefruits and I did a devilstick routine with a tennis racket. I won this round with some help from a volunteer. Round three was close. Darren did the water bottle flip challenge and added a flip to his forehead. I tried doing slinky tricks with a giant slinky. It was ok, but not enough. Darren won, but I still enjoy having a giant slinky in my bag of props. As the winner, he has set the rules for next year. We are basically doing Balancing(D) vs Twirling(K), but the three rounds aren’t quite finalized yet.
Finally, here is the personal sentence. Darren got a new job pouring concrete, and my wife and I are expecting our second child.
For the last three years, we have performed at my church’s picnic. This year I said that we should do something different so instead of doing the picnic, we will be juggling at a hymn sing. My church has hymn sings the first Sunday of each month, and sometimes there is a guest artist. However, this artist has always been a musician in the past. The idea of juggling at a hymn sing may seem weird, but from my perspective this will be the greatest juggling led hymn sing anyone has ever been to. Winning by default has always been the key to my successes.
2016 has been a very busy year for Darren and me, but a slightly less busy year for the DKers. This year I fixed up my house to the point where it is livable, and I had my first son, Everett. Darren got married and started trying to convince his wife that when they have a child they should give him/her a name that starts with R (D-K-E-R). I know I am supposed to cram in all the personal stuff into one sentence at the end, but it was so much easier think of personal stuff than juggling highlights for 2016.
We have three ideas for routines that we are “working” on right now. Routine number one will be very hard to put together. We need to pick a song and put in a lot of practice, but we have already put in a good amount of practice. Routine two will probably require significantly less practice, but we have only practiced once, and by practice I mean fooling around for 15 minutes while convincing ourselves that whipped cream is a legitimate juggling prop. Routine three should involve almost zero practice, but a good deal of prop construction.
My last couple of blog posts have been ideas for possible juggling routines. Last month’s idea felt different from the previous ideas primarily because I think it might actually happen. The other ideas; the unjust stewert show, the prayer show, or the boast in weakness act, all started with a biblical idea. Whereas, last month’s idea started with a juggling trick. Starting with a juggling trick seems much easier. After watching our Prodigal Fun show, I don’t know which way one would assume we came up with the show. We could have decided to do the Prodigal Son, and then tried to think of routines to go with inheritance, leaving, losing money, garbage, a party and so on. However that is not what we did at all. We thought of routines about gold, saying bye bye bye, gambling, and so on before we ever thought about doing the prodigal son. We just figured out how to make it all fit after the fact. Maybe it is good to trust in God’s providence and hope that everything will work out for good. However when trying to think about whatever it is that will come next , it would be nice to have more of a plan.
We have been doing our duel routine since high school. People still like it, but lately we have been trying to think of some new tricks we can do with the sticks to form a new act. I like the latest one we are working on, but I can’t help but feel like it is missing something. I am thinking that maybe we could add music to make it better. Truthfully though, adding music to things is basically my solution for everything.
We do not have any shows this February. However, we did get one offer for a show. The request was for a 20 minute show on overcoming adversity featuring no Christian music. Basically, when we were offered adversity, we said we’ll pass. In our defense we have been busy; Darren with his wedding and me with my new house. I did come up with an idea for the adversity show though
It’s time for the annual DKers’ Christmas Letter. 2015 has been another busy year for us. We started off the year the way we always do with the HMS Winter Carnival. This year we premiered our Hats vs. Frisbee routine at HMS. Like all our routines it started out a little rough, but now after a year of doing it, I think we have finally figured it out.
The K in the DKers