Summer Nights Live: The Passing ZoneJuly 11, 2019
The Passing Zone - Performing July 15 – 21
Next up in Summer Nights Live: comedic and spectacular juggling duo The Passing Zone! In the latest act of our hot summer line up of entertainment, jokes and quips will fly through the air alongside balls, clubs, and more, leaving you gasping with laughter and awe. Read on to learn more about these America's Got Talent finalists, and catch their show at The Globe Theatre!
Busch Gardens Williamsburg: We're excited to have you at Busch Gardens! When did you get started in juggling? Did you come to it on your own or did someone introduce you to it?
The Passing Zone: We each learned to juggle around the age of 13. Both of our stories are similar. The person we learned from just taught us the basic 3-ball juggling pattern. After learning that, we both practiced, and started learning more from other jugglers and from attending weekly juggling events in our cities and annual juggling conventions. We started performing separately and eventually we met at a juggling convention in 1986. We’ve been performing together since 1988.
BGW: You’ve referred to the key principles of collaboration. What are they, and how do they inform what you do in your act?
TPZ: We often refer to Innovation, Collaboration, and Execution as the three cornerstones of what we do. In order to be unique and to stay on the cutting edge of juggling performance we always need to Innovate. We are always looking at new ways to approach juggling, mostly keeping in mind what will be necessary to entertain people and keep them laughing. Always changing and growing is essential to anyone’s success with whatever they do. Collaboration is being able to communicate, work together, and lean on each other’s strengths. We can do so much more together than either of us could do separately. Collaboration is the key to everything, as a juggling and comedy duo. Execution means always being ready to perform at our top level of excellence, every time. This takes preparation, dedication, and lots of practice. But even so, mistakes do happen. The key is to learn from mistakes, have fun with them, and keep growing and moving forward. Mistakes are part of the excitement!
BGW: How long does it take you to master a new trick once you’ve dreamed it up? What’s your process for learning new skills while staying safe?
TPZ: The time it takes depends on the level of skill necessary, and how much of that skill is already mastered. Sometimes we create a new piece based on skills we already have, in which case most of the time is spent dreaming up the premise, writing the jokes, and working on the performance. Other times, we may need to spend a year or two, or maybe more, developing the skills necessary for a new piece. In order to stay safe we take things one step at a time. We start with the basics and work our way to where we feel comfortable before we start lighting things on fire or getting audience members involved. Things only get to that level after a lot of time perfecting the skills needed to make sure everyone will be safe.
BGW: Have you ever sustained any injuries while juggling?
TPZ: A few, definitely. Mostly not serious, but once or twice we have required stitches or an X-ray to make sure we are ready for the next performance! Mostly when there are injuries they are minor scrapes and bruises. But chainsaws have a way of turning a small injury into something a bit bigger! The important thing is that when there are injuries they are always to us and not to the audience. Yet!
BGW: What has been a highlight of your time juggling together as The Passing Zone?
TPZ: A major highlight was performing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson back in 1990 and 1991. That got our career off to a great start! Since then, our appearances on America’s Got Talent have been a major source of excitement, as well as one of the main reasons people recognize us. It was amazing exposure being on that show, having fun with the judges and making America laugh!