Monday, November 19, 2007

Sara Felder's Jugglefest!

posted by Chris Ilstrup
Flynn friend

Chris Ilstrup, husband of former and much-missed Flynnie Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup, submitted his thoughts on Sara Felder’s Jugglefest! workshop. The FlynnArts workshop was part of Felder's week-long Flynn residency, which culminated in three sold-out performances of her one-woman performance, Out of Sight: A Blind Comedy that Juggles Faith, Israel, and My Mom.

Sara Felder, comedian and juggler, taught a two hour juggling workshop at the Flynn Center on Saturday, November 10. I was lucky enough to take the class and, as she promised, I can now juggle. Here's video proof.

There were all types of students, older, younger, male, female. Three of the participants were accomplished jugglers. And teenagers. Sara was able to teach them some new tricks, a juggle called Mill's Mess. They were as surprised as she was that she was able to teach them the trick in two hours.

Five newbies were in attendance (including the Flynn's own artistic director, Arnie Malina) and Sara started us out easy: One scarf. Up and Down. Up and Down. Then we added a second. Up and across, up and across. Then a third scarf and it looked like juggling!

Next were balls. One ball, two balls, and then, the third ball. Look at us, we can do this! We all took a chance to show off the skill we had learned and everyone got a round of applause.

Thanks to the Sara Felder and the Flynn Center, I am now available to perform at weddings, bar mitzvahs, and birthday parties. Well, maybe not just yet….

Will Ilstrup take his act on the road? Find out—visit his own blog, Inside Chris.

...Arnie adds:

I took my first juggling class with Sara Felder at the Flynn. Since I think of myself as terribly uncoordinated, and my mind usually interrupts challenging flights into space like juggling three balls, I was happily surprised how much I enjoyed Sara's class.

Like Chris said, she started us off with scarves of many different colors. It was an upper and lower body workout, moving your hands fast enough to throw one scarf up in the air while catching the other two at the same time—and remembering which hand to catch which scarf, right brain, left brain, comedy in motion. But after some practice, I got it to work, and had a ball. Same with the balls. Realizing one side was easier to start with than the other, I practiced my weaker side, which was courageous and liberating. I made some progress. And then my mind went blank. By then I had been working out for nearly an hour and a half and my hand/eye/left brain/right brain coordination started lagging—my mind was overloaded.

I took a rest. I did it again. I did it still yet gain. I remembered. It became intuitive. I did it without remembering, and there were three balls in the air. It was magic.

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