Ten Questions With World-Class Juggler Mark Nizer
By Christopher Reilly
Clayton-Richmond Heights Patch
He will bring his groundbreaking 3-D act to the Edison Theatre in Clayton this weekend.
When juggler Mark Nizer takes the stage at the Edison Theatre in Clayton this Saturday, he'll bring not only his considerable skill as a world-class juggler but also what appears to be the world's first juggling act to be performed in 3-D.
In addition to 3-D technology, Nizer also incorporates interactive video, flying lasers and accoutrements such as a bowling ball, ping pong balls and orbiting propane tanks.
Nizer is no stranger to pushing juggling parameters. He's won the International Jugglers Championship, Collegiate Entertainer of the Year and 1998 Comedy Entertainer of the Year.
Just last year, Nizer invented the process that allows the audience to see his show in 3-D. This is the first time it has been seen in St. Louis. Clayton-Richmond Heights Patch caught up with Nizer and asked him about his start in juggling, how 3D is incorporated into his act and his toughest critic his young daughter.
How did you first get into juggling?
I started juggling when I was very young. I took a class, and I loved it tremendously.
Where did the idea for doing your act in 3-D come from?
I was looking for something new to bring to my act last year. Then the idea of making it 3D somehow came to me.
Is anyone else doing it?
I'm the first one so far. I haven't seen anyone else do it yet. I'm sure they'll catch up to me. Juggling is the perfect fit for this.
Did you notice an increase in bookings when you added 3-D?
Oh, yeah. I'm busier than ever. A lot of people are having trouble booking appearances, but things are going great. People should get their tickets. It sells out early.
Can you describe the 3-D technology?
It's a very cool way of doing 3-D, the type designed for print media. I reorganized parts of my show to duplicate that.
The audience doesn't wear special glasses, do they? How does it work?
Oh, yeah. The audience wears glasses. I won't tell you how it's done, but I will say it's dependent on color.
In the bit where you play the song by throwing balls against something on the floor did that take long to learn?
It took a long time, and I have to practice all the time. I'm throwing the balls against a midi pad, so it can be any instrument I want. I'm only restricted with what I'm able to play by hurling balls at the right spots.
You perform for young audiences, college students and at corporate functions. Does your act change according to the group you're performing for?
My background is in street performing. My show appeals to everybody. I don't dumb down for different audiences. My humor appeals across the board. It's not demeaning to any other groups. It's not crass. I did my show in India and they got it.
Where do you turn for feedback? Who tells you what's working and what isn't?
I listen to my audience. The audience and I can come up with something way better than I can come up with myself. And my daughter gives me great feedback. I re-edited to make it better for her.
Are you working on anything new?
Absolutely. I'm working on it as we speak. My computer is going to become more self-aware. He's becoming my partner, and not always a good partner.
WHAT Mark Nizer, juggler
WHEN 11 a.m. Saturday
WHERE Edison Theatre, Washington University, 6445 Forsyth Blvd. in Clayton
$12. For tickets or information, call the Edison Theatre box office at 314-935-6543
or purchase tickets online at Metrotix.
Related Topics: Juggling, Mark Nizer, Washington University, and edison theatre