The Devilstick Update

The Devilstick Update is intended to provide people with information on the "devilstick scene". I hope to post things here that I come across at fests, club meetings, etc., that might be interesting to other devilstickers. Also any posts to rec.juggling that might be pertinent. Anybody else who has comes across anything interesting in devilsticking feel free to email me and I will add it to TDU.


August 1997
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
IJA 50th Anniversary Festival

I went to the IJA festival in Pittsburgh this year, but was only able to make it for the last 2 1/2 days. My initial impression was that it appeared that there were alot more devilstickers this year than at last years fest. There may be a few good reasons for that, such as over two times the amount of people than last year, and well know devilstick people at Pittsburgh like Neil Stammer and Todd Strong. Here are a few of the highlights that I came across at the fest.

Neil Stammer was at the festival. Most of the time I saw him he was hanging out at his Juggling Capitol booth. I never did get a chance to stop by and talk with him, and I didn't see him do any devilsticking either. But, there were a couple of guys that came with Neil that work, or hang out at the Juggling Capitol. I believe their names were Tom and Tyler. These guys came straight out of the Neil Stammer Devilstick School. Very quick and crisp moves. They each had alot of very nice moves and I think they both could do Neil's entire routine (albeit maybe not as well as Neil ;-).

There was another guy that I saw hanging around the Juggling Capitol booth alot, and he was a very good devilsticker. I can't remember his name, but he did alot of helicopter moves. He had a nice move where he would use both sticks and reverse the spins of the helicopter. He would also do a variation of the helicopter which looked like a sideways buzzsaw. I have tried that trick before and he was much further along than I had ever gotten.

I missed the first devilstick workshop because I got to the fest late. I think it was given by Jek Kelly. Jek did last years advanced devilstick workshop and he has alot of great insights. I did attend the advanced devilstick workshop which was supposed to be given by Dan Holzman. Dan was not able to make it so they got a guy, whose name I believe was Tao Niag (somebody correct me on that one). Well, suffice it to say that he had his own particular way of running the workshop. Neil Stammer was sitting on the side watching and he left after 10 minutes. About 15 minutes into the workshop Greg Kennedy came walking over to me and said "Let's get out of here." So we ended up going into the hallway right outside and having our own little devilstick breakout session.

I met Greg Kennedy last year at the Rapids City festival. He is the only other devilsticker that I have seen who had come up with alot of the same moves that I do. He also has lots of nice variations on some devilstick tricks that I have done. One of the things that Greg said last year that he wanted to work on was two devilsticks. Well, he has worked on it a bit and can do two devilsticks pretty well. He has a couple of different starts, off the ground, in the air and a kickup start. He is working on exchanging the devilsticks and spinning them in the same directions. He'll probably have those down by next year's fest.

I only saw on other person who did two devilsticks. It was a lady from Germany whose name is Zamona. I met her in the devilstick breakout session on the last day. Which there were not as many people at the breakout session as there were at the advanced workshop. Maybe the breakout session was a bit too early in the morning?!?

I was hoping to see some of the European devilstickers that went to the Vegas fest in '95. In fact I don't remember seeing any of the Europeans this year doing devilstick. Well, that's about all the devilstick news that I remember from the fest. If anybody else came across anything interesting, or corrections on the above, then let me know.

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