I’M used to juggling deadlines but when I got the chance to try my hand at some circus skills at Milestones Museum, I found the experience was a completely different ball game.
Performers from Jay Miller’s Circus have been at the museum, holding classes in juggling, unicycling and more, and despite my natural ineptitude for all things remotely sporty and my dreadful co-ordination, I decided to give juggling a go.
I couldn’t have asked for a better tutor than Jay Miller’s Circus ringmaster Ross Farrer, who was among the performers coaching visitors to juggle. Sadly, despite his clear instructions and demonstrations, he couldn’t have had a more ham-fisted pupil.
Small children ran for cover as I inadvertently sent clubs and balls flying around the small area of the museum where the classes were being held.
Fortunately, I didn’t injure anyone except for myself, and the only damage done was to my earring, which I managed to knock out while accidently clubbing myself in the face.
The endlessly patient Ross was gently reassuring, telling me to ignore the laughing bystanders and encouraging me to juggle with more and more balls and clubs.
By the end of my half-hour session with Ross, I had managed to juggle with two clubs a few times and had once successfully mastered juggling three balls.
Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be running off to join the circus any time soon but I certainly have a new-found respect for all the performers, who make the most incredible feats look deceptively easy.
Jay Miller’s Circus is holding performances at Milestones in a big top until Sunday. For more details visit jaymillerscircus.co.uk.
*Milestones Museum's new Magic exhibition, including live magical performances, optical illusions, display items and magic workshops, will astonish visitors until Sunday, January 6, 2013. Paul Daniels has lent the exhibition two of the large touring props as used by him and his wife Debbie McGee in many shows, in addition to a number of costumes and trophies.