It’s all in fun with in Jest

Today, Nels Ross Cremean and his son Noah came to the Grand Island Memorial Library to provide a fun start to the summer reading program. 

Nels is a full time juggler, who teaches and performs in corporate and school settings, as well as in churches. He describes himself as a performer, keynote speaker, and chief executive oddball. Sometimes, he gets his son, Noah, age 16, to perform with him. They have been performing together for six years. Nels said that, one day, the two of them were at a store and he asked his son if he should juggle bean bags chairs. “Why not, dad? Do it,” Noah said.

Nels said that he and his son are trying to create a better world and better humor beings. He warned both kids and adults about the appropriate place to juggle and perform other tricks. “Do not try this at home. Try this at our house. We will let you.”

Noah said that he is a third generation juggler. “Like my father, I started juggling at the age of ten.” A writer and a musician, Noah described himself as a “jack of all trades and a master of none.” He plays guitar, piano, ukele, and has tried other instruments, including the gayageum, a Korean instrument.

Nels said that his goal is “not just juggling but to uplift an audience. When an audience is uplifted, it uplifts me as well.” During today’s performance, he talked about “trying to do our small part” to make the world a better place. He reminded the audience to have a positive attitude, to be the best, most giving and positive you that you can be, and to have courage. The last thing that he reminded the audience was to remember that they are valuable. “You are valuable and so is the person sitting next to you.”

Nels and Noah wowed the audience by tandem jugging with balls, clubs, and even the “pointy sticks of doom.” They balanced on boards, which were placed on a large cylindrical object, resembling a stationary skateboard. While balancing on boards, they caught the pointy sticks of doom that they threw at each other and they balanced plates on a stick held above their heads. The balancing act that they did actually reminded me of Doctor Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat,” who balanced a fish on the tip of an umbrella.

Nels and Noah balanced without a problem today. When asked about some of the funnier moments that he and Noah shared as a father and son juggling team, Nels talked about a July 4th performance in which everything went wrong. The first mistake was that they brought no water with them. There was no source of water and the tiny pavilion was very hot. “No one could hear us. Then a parade came through. It was a miming act.” All of a sudden, lightning struck, there was a downpour, and loud bursts of thunder. “The crowd had to squeeze under the pavilion where we were trying to pack our stuff.”

At that point, the fireworks started.

“We had to get our electronics out. We got out last. Then we had to sit in the car in soaked clothes,” Nels said.

“He kept up a good attitude,” Noah said.

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