ST. LOUIS (AP) — Thom Wall has a degree in German literature from prestigious Washington University in St. Louis, and an English language teaching certificate from the University of Cambridge. So naturally he’s embarked on a career as a professional juggler.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2qEQSCU ) reports that Wall spent the past year and a half performing in Japan in “Totem,” a Cirque du Soleil show about evolution. He performed 550 shows to crowds as large as 3,600.
Wall was filling in for an injured performer in Japan, but when the show begins its European tour in August, he will be a permanent feature.
Wall, 30, moved to Colorado after college and taught juggling at a YMCA camp while also performing in burlesque shows. He hooked up with a traveling side show that changed the course of his life, showing him his “acumen for stage performing.”
The side show gave Wall the gumption to seek out bigger things, eventually leading him to Cirque du Soleil.
“Soleil is definitely the touchstone people have for high-level performing,” Wall said.
Wall grew up in the St. Louis area and his interest in juggling bloomed at Ladue Horton Watkins High School. He taught himself the art by reading books.
At Washington University, Wall and a friend started a juggling club and a festival.
His professional style is reminiscent of vaudeville acts of the 1920s, in which the performer uses household objects instead of flaming torches.
Wall has attended the New England Center of Circus Arts in Vermont, and won juggling awards, including placing second in a world championship competition. He practices up to six hours a day.
Despite the changing whims of entertainment, Wall isn’t worried about his craft disappearing.
“It’s here to stay,” he said.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com
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