News

Up in the air

By John Tapley, Ingersoll Times

Doug Hunt, a juggler, magician and stilt walker who performs at festivals and other events, will be running a free juggling workshop for all ages at the Ingersoll Public Library on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Doug Hunt, a juggler, magician and stilt walker who performs at festivals and other events, will be running a free juggling workshop for all ages at the Ingersoll Public Library on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Learning to juggle is more than trying to keep multiple objects constantly moving from one hand to the other through the air, Doug Hunt said.
 

It's a lesson about life.
 

“There's lots of drops and you try one more time and (eventually) you get it,” said Hunt, a juggler, magician, stilt walker and motivational speaker whose stage name is Doug The Great.
 

Hunt, who performs at festivals and other events, will be running a free juggling workshop for all ages at the Ingersoll Public Library on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m.
 

From Kindergarten children to corporate executives, Hunt began teaching people how to juggle after he noticed something during his performances.
 

“I found a lot of kids wanted to learn to juggle,” he said.
 

From there, Hunt developed a teaching system that goes step-by-step, which he said is the key to tackling anything.
 

“Whatever the task is, you've got to break it down into baby steps,” Hunt said.
 

The most important in learning how to juggle isn't coordination, he said, it's keeping an open mind.
 

“Don't get hard on yourself and be open to learning a new skill,” said Hunt. “I think it helps you in life anyway.”
 

He said he feels particular satisfaction from teaching adults because they get excited to accomplish something new.
 

“When I teach adults something like juggling, it takes them back to their childhood and it feels amazing,” he said.
 

Hunt has been juggling since he was six-years-old when his father, who picked up juggling as a golf caddy in England,taught him to help build his self-confidence.
 

From there, Hunt went on to become a magician and stilt walker.
 

He has set three Guiness World Records as a stilt walker. They include tallest stilt walker with a set of stilts 50-feet, nine inches high, heaviest stilts with a pair of carbon fibre sailboat masts weighing 60 pounds each and the most people on stilts at one time.
 

Hunt said setting the records took months and sometimes years of work and persistence is part of what juggling and learning something new is all about and he tries to pass that message on.
 

“You're only a failure when you give up,” he said.
 

The juggling workshop in Ingersoll is open to 12-year-olds through to adults.
 

The workshop is free, but space is limited and people are asked to pre-register at the library, by e-mail at ingersolllibrary@ocl.net or call 519-485-2505.