In his article “Dropped,” which appeared on the online magazine Grantland in March of 2014, Jason Fagone pens a biopic about the renowned juggler known as Anthony Gatto. (The subject is fascinating, and the writing is terrific. I highly recommend it.) Towards the end of the piece, after discovering that Gatto had left the Cirque du Soleil company, with which Gatto had traveled and performed, Fagone reached out to Gatto for an interview. Gatto declined, which sent Fagone speculating as to why Gatto seemed content to leave his record-setting career as a juggler behind in favor of running a small concrete business. (I’m leaving out a lot of information.)
Fagone surmises that Gatto had decided to rest in his skills and talent, confident and content in having secured his place at the top of his field. He no longer felt the need to please the crowd, a crowd that probably didn’t fully appreciate his abilities.
Fagone writes: “Pure technical jugglers peak in their twenties… As they get older, they survive by developing personality… Jugglers don’t have to perform difficult tricks to entertain people, because audiences generally don’t know what’s difficult. Juggling five objects is 10 times harder than juggling four, and six objects is 10 times harder than five, but to most people, five objects in the air looks like six, and six looks like five. A truly difficult juggling trick doesn’t necessarily register intuitively as difficult. It just looks like a bunch of weird shit crossing in the air.”