Juggling Festival · Schedule · Performers · Us · Videos · Photos · Links

Walter Beals

Walter Beals discovered juggling back in the early nineties when he was living and working in a National Park.  What started out by picking up three pieces of granite behind Camp 6 in Yosemite Valley (and teaching himself to juggle) would eventually lead him to become a successful performer in various locations across the US and Europe. 

Walter was awarded a Bachelor of Arts AND a Master of Arts degree in Theatre Production from Humboldt State University in 2002 and 2004.  There, he trained in mask making and special effects makeup under Janet Warren.  He also trained in physical theatre and directing under Jyl Hewston. 

As part of his MA from Humboldt State University, he created his own study abroad program and was able to spend a year attending “Circomedia,” a physical theatre and circus arts school in Bristol, England.  There, he trained in physical theatre and performing under the school’s director, Ben Mason.  He also trained in juggling under Rod Laver and Sean Gandini.  With Bim Mason being a past student of Jacques LeCoq, Walter trained in the LeCoq system of physical theatre and became a big fan of Larval Mask use as well. 

Too long is the list of performances he’s been part of over the last 20 some years, but since he’s moved to Asheville, NC, he’s been a part of several noteworthy productions and projects.  Walter has worked as a performer and director on several productions of the “Runaway Circus” and the winter circus shows of “The Loose Caboose.”

Along with his side-kick, Sophia (the burlesque circus dog!), Walter has been an MC for “Bootstraps Burlesque,” appearing for a year as a “Professor Darius Diurtee.”

In addition, he has been involved in Asheville Vaudeville for several years as a producer and performer. 

Walter is probably best known as R2D10 of the four-person comedy/juggling troupe, “Forty Fingers and a Missing Tooth.”  He’s been juggling and performing with that troupe for almost 10 years now.  When Walter is not performing on stage, he can be found in the basement of his awesome little house in Swannanoa.  There, you can find him designing and building masks, creating props for some upcoming show, or sometimes even teaching a class or two in mask making and special effects makeup.  On thing’s for sure, he’s always busy.

Walter Beals is the founder of “The Humboldt Juggling Festival,” which began in the year 2001.  He is now known as our “HJF Grand Daddy.” 


Something Ridiculous

Something Ridiculous
is a high-energy juggling and acrobatic act performed by slapstick stuntmen Mark Wilder and VonJon.  Juggling almost anything they can get their hands on, the comic duo climbs up a free-standing ladder, onto a ten-foot-tall unicycle, or on top of each other’s shoulders…in a wildly entertaining & dynamic show.


Chris Garcia

Chris Garcia, aka Draco Diabolo, is
an SF Bay Area born juggler who initially started practicing juggling in high school under the guidance of Matt Hall.  While he practices various forms of juggling, his favorite prop is the diabolo.  His love and dedication for juggling has lead him to teach workshops and perform at numerous juggling festivals on the west coast, even running the Santa Cruz JuggleFest when in college.  He is delighted to be returning to Humboldt this year for yet another great festival.


Chris was recently attacked by 3 guys in San Jose & JUST had surgery for his face & jaw last week.  He will likely have shoulder surgery very soon as well.  We will be collecting funds to help with his medical bills throughout the HJF weekend (passing the hat at the intermission of our Big Public Show & auctioning off LIVE ART to contribute to his medical bills on Sunday in HSU’s West Gym).  We encourage everyone to give generously (both in applause & dollars).  You can also contribute by going directly to his medical fundraising link:  www.youcaring.com/chrisgarcia-762251
  Thank you for supporting one of our kindest & most talented Artists!


Curt Carlyle


Curtis Carlyle was born in 1980 in a lighthouse in Rhode Island. His father was a United States Coast Guard engineer and his mother was a championship rodeo horsewoman. Although he didn’t realize it at the time, his uncommon family instilled in Curtis a sense of possibility and discipline; a belief that anything can be mastered with practice; a recognition of the importance of joy in work.

However, as a natural redhead, Curt’s path was altered by his delicate complexion and coke-bottle glasses. Throughout his early years, Curt learned to survive the schoolyard with a quick wit and charming personality. These traits were a constant as his family moved across the country, as his father was transferred from port to port. As he grew older, Curt discovered the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and was immediately taken by the TV personality’s presence and kindness on the program.

Curt’s journey as variety artist took off when the Coast Guard transferred his father’s post to Portland, Oregon – home of the Reed College juggling club. Under the tutelage of juggling greats Rhys Thomas, David Lichtenstein, and Charlie Brown, Curt quickly learned the performance trade and began shaping his infectious personality for the stage.

While his early shows took place in coffee shops and street corners along the Pacific Northwest, his resume now includes performances for a dozen Fortune 500 companies, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the New Victory Theatre on Broadway in New York City, as well as colleges and universities across North America.

Curtis also holds a Guinness world record for the yoyo, has won a bronze medal at the International Jugglers’ Association stage championships, and has shared the stage with entertainment titans like the Beastie Boys, Peter Sagal, and Second City Improv – just to name a few.

Curt’s new school comedy juggling performances range from five to ninety-five minutes long, and highlight Curt’s mastery of balance, timing, and peculiar combination tricks. He is also recognized as a talented emcee and comedy writer, and often consults with variety acts across the planet.

When he’s not traveling with his show, Curt lives in Portland, Oregon with two acrobats and a grey cat named Houdini. He believes that life is about sharing experiences with others, that the world can be a better place through laughter, and that nothing beats warm socks fresh out of the dryer on a rainy day.

Jennifer Deacon

Jennifer Deacon has been dancing and performing since the age of 2 years old.  She has years of background in ballet, jazz, modern, tumbling, yoga, contortion and aerial fabric.  She has taught yoga, tumbling, and contortion to people of all ages.  Currently, she is Head Aerial Teacher at “California Dance Company.”  She has performed locally for private events, parties, and festivals… including being an ongoing performer with “Redding Fire Festival.”  Because she thinks “Humboldt Juggling Festival” is “really fun and totally awesome,” she is returning to perform in 2016.


has been studying and manipulating hoops for 7 years, with a recent focus on Hoop Juggling. She has spent several years training and teaching in Salt Lake City, Utah. Recently, she re-located to Portland, Oregon. McKenzey also has an online juggling shop by the name of Salt City Props, offering quality hoops and juggling equipment to aspiring artists. She has taught classes and workshops involving hoop manipulation & juggling at events across the nation. Her goal is to inspire more people to pick up props and find their passion!

Mckenzey Simper
Salt City Props


Holly Johnston

Holly Johnston (a.k.a. “Holly Blar”) of the “Blar Family” has been an enthusiastic slave to the circus arts since the age of fourteen when she learned to juggle.  Since then she has performed at the International Juggling Association Festival and was given the “Flamingo Award” for the most inspirational young female juggler.  She has travelled to several countries, including:  as a part of the “Practavistas” study abroad program in the Dominican Republic in 2013, and most recently to Ireland for the European Juggling Convention in 2014 and to Scotland for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where she performed as a part of the Freedom Family Circus. Her motto is:  “The Weirdness Shall Continue Until Morale Improves -and then it will continue anyway.”  She prides herself on doing the most authentic impersonation of “free bird” that Humboldt County has ever seen - done as a scarlet macaw.  In 2003, she graduated from Humboldt State and the “Humboldt! Circus!” with a degree in Environmental Science.  She is currently learning to be a cowgirl for a musical near her hometown of Murphys.  Holly is thrilled to be back onstage at her favorite juggling festival.  Yeehaw!

Marvin Ong
www.instagram.com/grandmasterong       www.masterongspropshop.com

Marvin Ong moved to the United States at age 21 from Borneo, Malaysia (where he played lots of sports). He learned about object manipulation in the US. Marvin is a constant practitioner, instructor and performer, having turned his daily meditation and practice of his craft into a full-time profession. He now organizes his own circus events and runs a juggling equipment company with his brother & wife.


David Pham

At the age of fifteen, David Pham began juggling in high school under the guidance of Juggling Sensei Matt Hall. In 2009, David attended Humboldt State University as an undergraduate and became a member of the Humboldt Circus. Shortly after, he went on to earn 3rd place at the 2010 International Juggler's Association festival for 3 Cigar Box Juggling. He has traveled and performed with the FreeLove Circus and the Circus Emporium Roadshow in years past. Since 2012, he has taken a break from juggling to learn the art of magic. The 17th Annual Humboldt Juggling Festival marks his first performance in over five years.


Sara Noelle

Many people may remember being asked this very serious question when they were children: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Sara's answer was always, "An artist." No questions about it. The real question was, how? About six years ago, Sara realized that she loved to make clothing. She began sewing and selling one of a kind street and festival wear under the name, "Electric Moth Apparel." Not long after that, Sara began to juggle and attended her first juggling festival, The Humboldt Juggling Festival!

Since then, Sara has enjoyed a life dedicated to learning and practicing sewing and juggling. In 2013, Sara began performing with an Oakland based circus troupe, called "Cirquedelic," and has traveled the world to many circus and juggling conventions.

In January of 2016, Sara traveled to India for a four-month tour with Performers Without Borders. The purpose of this social circus project is to teach circus arts to vulnerable and underprivileged children, cultivate confidence in them through practice and play, and to have fun and be silly with them! Sara looks forward to participating in more social circus arts in the future, and she encourages others to support and/or participate in projects such as Performers Without Borders and Clowns Without Borders.


Asha & Ericat

Ash and Ericat
have been practicing poi for 8 years. We are now exploring partner poi.

Chris Hanson

Chris Hanson is a local Flow Artist based out of Arcata, CA. He practices and performs with “Humboldt Circus” and the “Humboldt Juggling Society,” as well as mentoring up & coming community members. He’s been spinning poi for over six years, but found his passion three years later, in juggling. This is Chris’s first time performing at HJF and he is excited to get to share the stage with such amazing performers in the flow community.

AOK Clown & Wizard of Play

 A variety of acts to amaze, creative play becomes a craze.
Unicycles and Juggle Pins, Torches, Machetes too.
A O'Kay Juggling Clown & Wizard of Play!

Bede & Denise Steenblock-Smith, are Circus Nature Wizards of Play.  A’Okay Clown & Nani Nature guide transformative plays to enact the cycles of nature.  They lead educational programs and recreational activities, restore the forest upon their homestead, and have been raising three children to become vibrant young adults.  In addition to performing at many Festivals and Birthday Parties, they have performed at EVERY “HJF.”  Please join in their act to create an amusing and informative show for all ages and abilities.