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Mill's Mess

Discussion in 'Juggling' started by Joe Carr, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. Joe Carr

    Joe Carr New Member

    Lets begin with the bragging.

    I can finally do mill's mess poorly. Im still practicing it as 6 throws and catches (pause) 6 throws and catches (pause), but all the basics are there and its going pretty well. I need to polish begining it on my off side and then it will be completely continous, so i will probably be adding a seventh throw to my practice routine to work on that other really awkward toss.

    Then the thanking.

    I think it was Oki Doki's suggestions over in the "I can officially Juggle 4" thread that finally got me over the two distinct problems I was having. So I would like to thank him here where it's a little more on-topic. I didn't really understand what was keeping me down, while I was struggling to understand the pattern itself, but now I see. I didn't have a clean windmill down so getting that ball to curve on the second throw just wasn't ever really happening (I was throwing more of a column there) so it made the third toss very collision prone. Second, I don't know what i thought was happening at the fourth toss, but the intended toss is very awkward, but I think I was trying to an extra arm cross in there somewhere and that was very very wrong and making it impossible for myself.

    Then the encouraging.

    If you can't do mill's mess yet stick with it. I learned several tricks and cleaned up others in the endeavor. It took a few months of working on it pretty intensively to really get it.

    and some questions.

    I am a little curious if I am a "quick study" of juggling, but since Im basiclly teaching myself from books and using the internet, probably not. I started juggling around the begining of October, and had the cascade down by halloween. Now I can do the reverse cascade, juggler's tennis, three ball flash, The yo-yo cascade and the two-up yo-yo, One under the arm, chops (but it's pretty rough), the three ball cascade with a multiplexing fourth ball (and sometimes 5th), the windmill, the cross arm cascade, and now Mill's Mess. So far it's been about 5 months and I'm making alot of progress but I can't do much with clubs besides the cascade so that's what I'm gonna start focusing on now. Im just wondering if this is alot of progress for 5 months or am I headed for a wall. I am also curious how much you guys practice.
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  2. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    I'd say yes it is a lot of progress in a brief amount of time.

    I have a joke about juggling. The essence of it is that everything is accidental. You practice, practice, practice all the time. And may never get something to stick. Then, one day, things just fall into place often most unexpectedly. But once you have that rhythm down, it sticks with you to the point that it can be perfected and advanced.

    That said, the fact that you happen to practice a lot does tend to help. Now, at times, I have found it of assistance to just put certain things aside and take a break. Or simply to be playful without trying to force something through repetition that doesn't seem to be headed anywhere. Frequently, it is in these moments of pure play that something clicks. But the more time and work one dedicates to juggling, the better chance they have at advancing.

    Unfortunately, I don't get to work on my juggling as much as I'd like. Practice tends to run in spurts. Right now in winter, for instance, I can't reasonably do anything with club work unless I get to the juggling club gatherings which have the requisite space. But over the summer, I was trying to get outside periodically to push forward on some tricks. I learned hat tricks in part by simply wearing a baseball cap everywhere and trying stuff while sitting around on the L or at a bar with nothing better to do. I go through periods of work with balls or rings which are more intense, then tend to step back a bit. At the moment, I just haven't found the opportunity due to other responsibilities which are taking my attention. Sometimes gigs, themselves, present the chance for practice. I may try a plate trick which might or might not work, for instance. Once I was at a festival and this kid took to me. He wanted to learn something of how to juggle clubs. Well, it would have been an awful lot to get him cascading three. But I taught him a basic cross toss from one hand to the other and a simple throw/catch for passing clubs. We spent ten minutes together trying that with like 4 clubs in total between the two of us.
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  3. SCOOP

    SCOOP Ace Reporter

    i have been juggling on and off with balls since i was 13 or 14 and can't do what you just learned i have never really tried it so yeah i think your a quick study becasue of certain medications i have acctually gone a few steps backwards in my juggling but congrates to you for the hard work caseu i know practicing juggling is just that hard work
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  4. Joe Carr

    Joe Carr New Member

    Well put. I don't think I've ever heard it put that way, but I wholly agree. There is a certain "artless art" to it. I hadn't been able to describe it without sounding like a budding zen master, but its like the hands learn the tricks independant of the head. Practice creates opportunity sure, but my idea of practice is sort of playful. It is easy to get tunnel vision and keep hacking away at trying to force yourself to "get" something but I find that if I don't take a step back or try something else I will just end up reinforcing a bad habit.

    I've been working on clubs a little each week, but not enough, I wouldn't dare blame it on the cold to someone living up there. I reckon that we have schitzophrenic ground hogs here in the valley, every ground hog day is really just an excuse for the weather to bound aimlessly between pleasant 70 degree days and highs in the 20's with the occasional inch or so of snow that makes everyone loose their minds, close schools, and become surley at the grocery stores. I'm loathe to borrow a note from Al Gore, but policymakers refuses to recognise that world climate change may owe anything to Mad Groundhog Disease. Someone should make a documentary.

    I'll admit I'm envious of people who can do cool hat tricks. I can catch a ball in a baseball cap most of the time, but not my top hat. I think it's just too big for me to manipulate. Instead, I generally have something to juggle in my pocket all the time, so I can turn a long line at the post office into practice. Three times a week, I will practice more deliberately, usually a few hours, and often with my heaviest set.

    Cigar box (juggling?/Manipulation?) is something I admire as well, but I've never tried it and it's a little cost prohibitive especially since it has to be a whole different skill set, and I'm still using homemade clubs.

    I would love love love to be able to do mill's mess with clubs, but I can't even do a reverse cascade or chops with clubs yet. Has anyone ever seen "the windmill" with clubs? Im having trouble even imagining it.
  5. Wowza

    Wowza New Member

    Congrats on getting Mill's Mess worked out, Joe.

    As a self-taught juggler myself, I'm struggling with my skills. I've only just started practicing again, but I can't seem to progress. Any tips or hints or suggestions for websites or books that assisted you? I can do a cascade, reverse cascade, and juggler's tennis. While I can see a pattern done, I have trouble trying to duplicate it on my own.
  6. SCOOP

    SCOOP Ace Reporter

    wowza a good book is called the complete juggler by dave finnigan
    and the next pattern i would try if i were you is columns there are 3 ways to do this
    1throw two balls straight up in the air then on thier way down throw the third inbetween them and of course continue
    2 throw one in the middle and then throw the left one up catching the first ball throw the other from your right hand up and toss the ball in your left hand to your right catching the one comming down into your left hand so you got two on the outside going up and down in the same hand each with one ball going back and fourth between hands
    or 3 juggle 2 in one hand and one in the other goes up and down with the one ball on the outside of your right hand
    hope i was discriptive enough for you if not let me know i will try harder
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  7. Ichabod

    Ichabod New Member

    Juggling for the Complete Klutz the beginner's "bible" to juggling. I guarantee if you ask most people even here what book they learned from it would be that, worked for me and I guarantee it will be able to help you.Besides, you get three juggling bags with the book as well.

    Amazon.com: Juggling for the Complete Klutz (30th Anniversary Edition): John Cassidy, B.C. Rimbeaux: Books
  8. Joe Carr

    Joe Carr New Member

    Wowza I put up a thread for exactly that:


    You'll notice that the book I most higly recommend is also by Dave Finnigan. So I would probably also highly recommend "The Complete Juggler" if I ever get my hands on it. "From start to star", really has so much in it...balls, clubs, rings, but also hats, cigar boxes, plate spinning etc.

    Teaching yourself, means Youtube will also be pretty handy. Just beware that some of the tutorials offered there will occasionaly have misleading names for tricks. It's usually pretty rare or minor when it happens though. Sometimes seeing a trick in slow motion is very helpful.

    Don't forget to try your local library and used book stores for juggling books.

    An update: I can do mill's much better now, I still have drops and colisions but I'm not even counting my tosses anymore. I found a nice tutorial for juggling mill's mess with clubs, there aren't many of these. It looks so cool...I wish I could do it, but I really need to get a clean reverse cascade with clubs and a cleaner 3 ball mill's before I attempt it. Here's a link
    YouTube - How to Juggle 3 Clubs : Juggling 3 Clubs: Mills Mess

  9. Wowza

    Wowza New Member

    Thanks for the suggestions. I will definitely look into the books recommended. And, like some others, I did learn to juggle through Juggling for the Complete Klutz. As a kid, I was stuck in Long Lake, NY on a family fishing trip, and I didn't particularly like fishing, so I picked up the book and had a basic cascade down on my second day. If you've ever been to Long Lake, NY, you'll understand how a kid who doesn't like to fish could pick up juggling so quickly.

    My problem now is in figuring the patterns out. Maybe the books and YouTube tutorials will help.
  10. OkiDoki

    OkiDoki New Member

    Great you are getting your mills mess down. 5 months of juggling and doing the mills mess :cool::applause: that is great progress. The ammount of practicing for me is very on,off and it mostly feels to less. Some weeks I just don't get around to it and some weeks it seems like I don't do anything else. At this moment I get the hang of quiet a few hattricks so my family is getting grazy of me standing in the room doing hattricks all the time. This winter for me was mainly the hat and the jacket I've been manipulating.

    The spring is coming soon I hope so I can juggle outside without walls and ceiling. Then I probably going to do more clubjuggling and unicycling because my goal is to be able to do this simultaniously. I will probably also pick up the diabolos more then. Another goal is to get my 2 diabolo's high really stable so it is really performable!

    I must say thought that it wouldn't be the first time that finnaly I'm going to do totally different things than I planned.
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