Markus Furtner is a 2-stick virtuoso, performer of spectacular variety shows, he has already showed his skills in numerous costumes and musical styles. His double turn pirouette is unique.
Name: Markus Furtner
Age: 30 (born 24.4.1981)
Place of living: Oberpfaffenhofen (near Munich)
Your job/school: Mathematician (Diploma)
How many years have you been juggling with sticks: 15 (since 1996)
Number of juggling sticks you have: ca. 50
Your juggling achievements (prize / performance / trick that you are proud of / etc.):
first 2 devilstick act (2001), 2 stage 720 with 2 devilsticks
Other juggling equipments you play with:
Balls, clubs and recently started with unicycling (hockey and longdistance rides)
Are you member of any team/group/club/association:
Juggling in Munich (JIM e.V.), EJC 2011 e.V. as one of the organizers of the EJC 2011 in Munich.
Please write some sentences of yourself in general:
I'm glad that I can be happy most of the time. When you think, you have bad luck, imagine that most people have a hard time even to get clean drinking water. Then you should be just ashamed to feel unhappy. However, indeed devilsticking is something that makes me happy.
Why did you learn to use this juggling tool and where did you first meet with it?
It was one prop where I wanted to be better than my brother.
Where did you learn playing with sticks?
First at home, then at juggling conventions.
Which trick did you find the most difficult to learn?
Propeller with one devilstick. Nobody showed it to me, so I had to find out how you can practice it on my own.
What are you practicing at the moment?
Long distance rides with the unicycle, unicycle hockey and balancing on the unicycle ;-) Well, also some new tricks with the devilstick. However, it is better to see them (e.g. at EJC) than to describe them.
Do you have tricks that you found out?
Yes, namely the so called "Furtner-fish".
Which tricks are your favorite?
The ones my fans like most.
Which tricks are the most difficult that you can do?
Just watch my act, and judge on you own. You often cannot say what is more difficult. However, it matters how it looks.
Which is the most difficult trick that you would like to learn?
Balancing one devilstick while idling on the unicycle and do double propeller. Well, I might already have done more difficult tricks but this is one I would like to learn.
In what style do you play and what other styles you like?
I like to play fast with fun and energy. I respect people who have a slow and poetic style but when I do that it will be more funny.
Do you play with fire stick?
Yes, from time to time.
What do you do on a normal day, how many hours do you practice?
I practice in the Munich juggling clubs for 3 hours.
Can you tell us how a juggling stick competition is? How did you train for it?
I do not participate at competitions (and do not know about them). Maybe the Jolleystick tournament at EJC.
Where do you perform with devilsticks?
Variety shows, galas and other events. Also at juggling Conventions.
How do you create a choreography?
I create most of it on my own and ask many people for feedback. I also work with a professional choreographer.
Do you teach juggling?
Yes, I have several workshop projects, mainly for kids.
Why do you like juggling sticks?
You can increase your concentration capacity and lower your stress level while you can stimulate your brain. Also the social component is relevant. Still it is something special.
What are your strong/weak points?
I cannot deny that I am good at playing the devilstick. But I think my strongest point is my capability to solve problems and cooperate with other people. One weak point is that I am not able to do a monotonous work for a longer time.
How is juggling life in Germany? Are devilsticks popular?
Juggling becomes more and more popular. There is also a small devilstick scene in Germany.
Tell us a funny story related with sticks.
I learned/invented one trick because I misunderstood the description.
What is your goal related with juggling sticks? What is a challenge for you?
My next trick. Now, one big challange is to organize the EJC 2011.
How do you imagine yourself being old? Will you still juggle?
Yes, I want to juggle as long as I can.
Can you imagine not juggle sticks any more?
Well, the priorities might shift a bit, but devilsticks will remain a part of my life.
Who do you recommend juggling sticks and why?
It is lasting fun to play with devilsticks. :-)
What do you advice to beginner/advanced stick players?
Go to a juggling convention.