The Juggler's Personality Test
Over fifty percent of British businesses now use some form of personality or psychometric testing either in the selection of new employees or to appraise existing staff. As a working Juggler (and New Age Management Consultant), I think its time for a Juggler's personality test....and here is one!
With this test, you can discover which role in the business of juggling you are most suited to. And it couldn't be simpler. First choose the shape below that most appeals to you. Make it an instinctive choice; don't think about it for too long. Then look at the end of this article and find the corresponding profile name (eg: Performer). Finally read your personality profile (and any of the others you fancy too!)
If you end up with a profile that you are not happy with, remember - a wise man once told me:
you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always
Attitude or Aptitude? You be the judge.
look at the end of this article and find the corresponding profile name.
Hobby Jugglers got their juggling balls for Christmas or their birthday. Then they sat on a shelf or in a cupboard for a few months (the balls, that is, not them) until one day, the Hobby Juggler was out somewhere and saw someone else juggling quite well with some balls that looked just like theirs. So, anyway, they came home, fed the cat, and then began a search for the juggling balls, which they remember putting somewhere safe. Eventually they found them, and now, 2 years later, they can juggle. These are they who can juggle best when no one is looking at them! They can do most of the tricks on their juggling balls instruction sheet. Maybe a few more that someone has taught them. The thought of performing in public at once both intrigues and horrifies them. If they ask: "How do you do that?" of a Technician (see below), they will listen, watch, shake their heads in disbelief and go back to their best trick in a corner somewhere. A Hobby Juggler's favourite question is: "How long have you been juggling then?" Most of them want a unicycle and a few of these will get one.
Technicians enjoy the challenge, stimulation and pressure of juggling as a competitive sports activity. They constantly strive towards more and more complex tricks, faster routines and an ever increasing number of balls, rings, clubs, knives, fire torches or whatever. Knowledge and ability to a Technician is power! They come up and ask you if you can do a particular trick. They don't necessarily want to say: "Well I can do it" The question, for them, seems to address some internal need that they have to get the measure of every juggler in their area. They l-o-v-e to show you how to do one of the tricks they have mastered. Their tuition is peppered with phrases like: "This is the easy bit" "Can you do this?" "Go on, try it" "Then its just a question of...." and: "After you've got this one its very easy to do this one!" When they start passing, watch out! They'll be trying such complex stuff that bystanders will be in mortal danger. Warp-speed juggling equipment will be flying from impossible angles and usually going nowhere. They'll recommend you buy one of those books that is made up of complicated diagrams which make even the 3-ball Cascade look like the specification for that computer in 2001. Technicians don't often understand that Your Average Punter doesn't even think about the difference between a trick that took a day to master and a trick that took 4 years to master. Technicians want to perform and believe they can do it. Some of them can! Most price themselves out of the market though; by costing out how much time they've invested, how complicated their best trick is and then multiplying that by the maximum number of balls they can juggle and sticking a £ sign in front.
Performers like to perform. Doesn't matter particularly if there's no audience either! A performer juggles with appropriate facial expression and fluidity of body movement to complement the trick or routine that they are currently doing. They probably have special clothes which they wear for juggling (if not a complete costume). They have a large range of equipment and understand very well that exactly the same trick with different props looks completely different to Your Average Punter. A Performer can make a simple routine look elegant and complex at the same time. They don't go for numbers; they go for style (and leave the "impressive stuff" to the Technicians). Its usually a Performer that Your Average Punter will end up watching when he or she stumbles into the local juggling workshop by mistake ("Oi, Mate, do they still 'ave ban's on 'ere then?"). A true Performer will juggle any place any time and especially if someone starts talking to them about juggling. The conversation is quite likely to turn to juggling anyway as the Performer loves to `juggletalk'. Its not to show off; its because they genuinely like to do it. They will probably have at least 3 routines all worked out and with appropriate music. They may be thinking of, or be actively engaged in making a video of their work (although they may not have the slightest idea what to do with it when its finished). Ask a performer how to do a trick and you'll probably get a blank look. This is because they are `at one' with the balls, (rings, clubs, knives, fire torches or whatever) and have difficulty in separating in their heads what they can do, what they can't do and a giant purple elephant!
A Promoter is someone who has people which he or she wants to entertain. They know what juggling is and what it looks like (because they have asked Your Average Punter). They believe that all "performance artistes" are sensitive people who have devoted much of their life to learning, practising and perfecting their particular art. People like this deserve special treatment and great respect, they think. But juggling's just throwing a few things around and clowning at children's parties isn't it? So none of the foregoing applies to jugglers in a Promoter's estimation. Common phrases include: "Do you do children's parties?" "Do you do children's parties?" "Do you do children's parties?" "You charge how much?" and "I'll think about it and call you back".
Agents often work on behalf of Promoters. They've seen it all. Done it all too. They used to be "on the road" themselves once and will gladly tell you all about it at the drop of a Dubé XXL stage ball. Now they drive a desk, a telephone, a fax machine and Email too. You can often tell how in touch with the reality they are by what they write on the contract. "Julian the Juggler. Dressed as clown. Perform a juggling show. Liaise with organiser" and so on. Its a bit like saying: "Breathe in. Wait. Then breathe out." Its good advice, its just that you're quite likely to do it anyway (because if you don't, you not likely to last long). Beware: The talents of good Agents extend to being able to convince you that a particular gig is just the one that you have been working towards since you started performing.
Your Average Punter
Your Average Punter has seen jugglers on TV. They'll delight in telling you (often when you're in the middle of a really impressive routine which calls for split-second timing and total concentration) that they saw this bloke on the telly who was juggling 26 balls for 120 minutes. Your Average Punter's idea of the best joke in the world is: "Bet you can't do N!" (where N = one more object than you're juggling with at present). He or she thinks its hilarious when a juggler drops something. And that juggling is a registered charity staffed by people who don't need money to live or who have "proper" day jobs from where they get the money to finance their entertainment of others. The 3-ball Cascade, Mills Mess, Rubinstein's Revenge, Burke's Barrage, Julian the Juggler's Megaton Momentum and what that tall chap does with a basket ball are all equally impressive (and are all equal) to Your Average Punter. One day, in a flash of creativity, Your Average Punter may find him or herself holding three balls. Suddenly their pupils may dilate, their breathing become quicker and FLASH! before you know it, Your Average Punter has turned into a Hobby Juggler (and we all know about them!)
Key To Profiles
A - Agent
B - Your Average Punter
C - Promoter
D - Technician
E - Hobby Juggler
F - Performer
article was first published in "The Catch" magazine, issue 7, volume
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