Simon Oganisyan aka Mr. Simon is one of the few devilstickers who live in Russia. He hasn't just developed his skills to a high level but he does this for a living. In his show he mixes the devilsticking with acrobatics and comedy. And he is the first who we saw devilsticking while he was standing on one hand only!

Name: Simon Oganisyan - Mr. Simon
Age: 23
Nationality: Armenian
Place of living: Moscow, Russia

Your job/school: I graduated in the Lipetski Teacher Training College and in the National Institute of Circus Arts. I am currently working in England under contract.

How many years have you been juggling with sticks? since 2004

Number of juggling sticks you have: I have approximately 30 handmade devilsticks. Those are made for me by an acquaintance of mine. The factory-made devilsticks can not be trusted, on the other hand you can not get them in Russia.

Your juggling achievements (prize / performance / trick that you are proud of / etc.):
I am proud of that I've learnt everything by myself, the acrobatic somersault with balancing and dance, there are just a few of it!

Other juggling equipments you play with: 7 balls, 5 clubs

Are you member of any team/group/club/association?
No, I'm alone.

Please write some sentences of yourself in general:
I am 23 years old, I have a wide-range of interest, I dance, I do sports (football and basketball at a high level). I love photography and art.

Why did you learn to use this juggling tool and where did you first meet with it?
I met it at the Lilliputian circus for the first time and I wanted to try it, so it all began like that...

Where did you learn playing with devilsticks?
In Lipetck, where I lived previously, in a circus studio.

Which trick did you find the most difficult to learn?
All tricks with 2 devilsticks are hard but some with one are also difficult.

What are you practicing at the moment?
Spinning the devilstick on a stick that I am holding in my mouth, playing with 3 devilsticks and different tricks with 2 sticks. Nowadays I practise less as I want to devote more time to my private life and I'd like to try out other things.

Which are your favourite tricks?
I like them all, some for the difficulty and some for their beauty.

What are the most difficult tricks you can do?
I toss up the devilstick, do a somersault forwards and backwards, Flic-Flac and then loop.

Which are your favourite tricks?
I like them all, some for the difficulty and some for their beauty.

In what style do you play and what other styles do you like?
Classic, comedy.

Do you play with fire stick as well?
No, but if I'm asked, I'll do it.

What do you do on a normal day, how many hours do you practice?
I used to practice 6 hours, nowadays only 2-3 hours and not even every day.

How and where do you practice?
At the Nikulin circus (one of the most famous and most prestigious circus in Russia - translator's note)

Where do you perform with devilsticks?
Where I'm invited to.

Are devilsticks accepted, esteemed in circus world?
Not really, people don't understand the difficulty of the tricks, they think that those are easy. The tricks with one devilstick are indeed easier but with two they are not, those are hard.

Please tell us about your plans related with circus.
I would like to perform in the circus festival in Budapest, to work in the beautiful Metropolitan Circus.

Do you teach juggling?
Yes, I am a very good teacher.

Why do you like devilstick?
Mmm... this is my earnings.

What are your strong/weak points?
Secret.

What kind of sticks do you prefer to use?
The simplest which is made of wood and tape-wrapped around to look good on stage.

How is juggling life in Armenia, Russia? Are devilsticks popular?
Maybe a total of 10 people do it, I don't know many of them, just about 5.

Tell us a funny story related with devilsticks.
I have many, if you invite me, I will tell you a lot.

What is your goal related with devilsticks? What is a challenge for you?
I want to show myself to the world. The only problem is that due to the sports, the physical activities the fine balancing capability, that is necessary to control the sticks, deteriorates and the hands start shaking.

Why did you apply to Cirque du Soleil? How was the casting?
They really liked my performances, I prepared for it well. (There is a promo video of it.)

How do you imagine yourself being old? Will you still juggle?
I don't think about it yet, I am young yet.

What do you advice to beginner/advanced stick players?
You should practice much in front of a mirror.  
 
 
 
 
 
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