Nice weather provides procrastination opportunity for juggler


Jacob Nachsin, junior in LAS, performs a “five-club cascade” juggling trick on the Quad on Tuesday. Nachsin, treasurer for the Illini Juggling Club, began regularly performing tricks on the Quad his freshman year. Erica Magda

By April Dahlquist

Jacob Nachsin is a junior in LAS. He has a younger brother. He likes to read. He is a double major in MCB and History. But Nachsin is more than just the average “Joe the plumber.”

Nachsin is the student with the long curly hair and the scruffy beard, often seen juggling on the Quad.

Juggling balls, rings or clubs, Nachsin adds a unique flavor to the atmosphere of the Quad.

“It’s a great diversion,” said Katie Gulas, junior in Media. “You’re walking down the Quad having a bad day and you see a guy juggling and it just kind of makes you smile inside.”

Nachsin averages between five and 10 hours a week juggling, usually between classes if the weather is nice. He said he mainly juggles because he wants to procrastinate.

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    “I try to juggle two or three hours a day, but school and laziness get in the way quite a bit,” Nachsin said. “Most of the time, I don’t want to do school work, but beyond that there is no good reason to do it. It’s just a really good procrastinating tool.”

    The Quad provides Nachsin with unlimited altitude to throw his props and plenty of opportunities to teach people how to juggle.

    While practicing on the quad, Nachsin is often approached by either someone he knows who wants to juggle with him or someone who wants to learn how to juggle. Nachsin always carries 11 juggling balls in his backpack. This way, he is prepared with at least three balls for someone who wants to learn.

    “If you see me on the Quad juggling, don’t be afraid to talk to me,” Nachsin said. “I will gladly teach you how to juggle or teach you tricks.”

    After his younger brother went to circus camp and learned how to juggle, Nachsin made it his goal to first learn how to juggle and then to surpass his brother’s ability.

    “I couldn’t let him be better than me at anything,” Nachsin said.

    Teaching himself, Nachsin quickly became obsessed with anything juggling-related. He joined two juggling forums, went to several juggling conventions and is now the treasurer of the Illini Juggling and Unicycle Club.

    “I think Jacob is becoming more of a rounded juggler,” said club member and University alum Henry Radcliffe. “I’ve always felt like he was an extremely strong ring juggler but now his other props are just as good.”

    Nachsin is always experimenting with different types of tricks and props. He has juggled all types of fruit, screwdrivers, hammers, steak knives, saws and even his own cat. Trying new things and dropping props is never an issue with Nachsin, as he explains it is all part of juggling.

    “I don’t understand why people think it is a big deal when a juggler drops,” Nachsin said. “I always drop things. I’m picking things up three-fourths of the time.”

    Drew Larkin, Illini Juggling and Unicycle Club member and sophomore in LAS, thinks the main reason Nachsin juggles on the Quad is because he needs the height for the tricks, not necessarily to show off.

    Rather than being considered a juggler, Nachsin would like to be known as the guy obsessed with juggling. However, juggling is just a hobby of his and a good way to meet people. He encourages anyone interested to join the Illini Juggling and Unicycle Club, or just approach him on the Quad.

    “The more people that can juggle, the more interesting tricks they can come up with, and the more people I can talk about juggling with.”