This time we have chosen a local stick player who had proven her ability to us on a daily basis and who you hopefully are already familiar with from our juggling videos. Please welcome among the Stick Heroes another female devilsticker, the pro player of Bravo Juggling: Borsi.
Name: Borbála Bóta - Borsi
Place of living: Budapest, Hungary
Job: Graphic designer, Juggling prop promoter
How many years have you been juggling with devilsticks?
I got my first set for my 30th birthday so more than 10 years now.
The number of devilsticks you have:
Working for a juggling factory has the advantage that I can access to as many devilsticks as I want.
Your juggling achievements (prize / performance / trick that you are most proud of / etc.):
I am not a competitor nor a performer type of person but I am proud of my wide trick repertoire with one and double sticks, and of the tricks I found out. I am also really enthusiastic regarding my collection of "devilstick in films", it already has more than 50 elements.
Other types of juggling equipment you play with:
The flowerstick is my love and it is the prop I understand the most but I can do (and also teach) some basics with other popular skill toys such as the juggling balls, juggling clubs, poi, levistick, diabolo, spinning plate, staff, begleri, unicycle.
Are you a member of any team/group/club/association:
I am part of the Bravo Juggling team: besides the production, we occasionally teach juggling at schools and on festivals, and we also post trick/tutorial videos for the stick juggling community.
Why did you choose this juggling tool and where did you first meet with it?
I got to know the devilstick and a girl who became my bestie at the same time. Our friendship and juggling with the devilsticks strongly intertwined as we played together a lot. I felt in love with this prop at the first time as it was challenging but also satisfying.
Where did you learn to play with devilsticks?
In the first years, I always took my set with me wherever I went and practiced a lot on the way, eg. while I was waiting in a bus stop or for the subway and also when I was walking. This gave me a strong, consistent base to build on complex tricks.
Which trick did you find the most difficult to learn?
My first goal with the double sticks was to toss them to the opposite hands. According to my opinion of that time, it did not make sense just playing separately with two sticks so I set this goal but it took me a long time to achieve it. When I started playing with 2 sticks it was very rare, there were just a handful of jugglers who could do it around the world so I had to find out myself how to start it and what to learn. It was definitely not the easiest trick to start with.
What are you practicing at the moments?
Contact tricks became very popular lately and I like them a lot.
Do you have tricks that you invented?
I believe I have several, here are some. For example, this leg trick. The trick I named tornado which is a chaotic mixture of the bicycle/buzzsaw, the mills mess and the helicopter. This cool balance trick which uses the bell of the flowerstick to switch the handsticks. And the one I am the proudest of and the most excited about is a new bell spin concept which can open the way forward new multi-stick tricks. I found it out in 2013 but I have not shared it with others yet. Still have not seen it by anybody else.
What are your favorite tricks?
I like doing these: gaiter, handstick toss trick, gear wheel. I do not see others doing these tricks so these are fun to do when I want to amaze my audience.
What is the most difficult trick you can do?
Once I have learned a trick and can do it, its difficulty level drops so it is hard to tell. As I am still not satisfied with my 3-flowerstick cascade, I would say that.
What is the most difficult trick that you would like to learn?
It would be cool to be able to do Sunsan's acrobatic trick but can I learn it over 40?
In what style do you play and what other styles do you like?
I am kind of trick oriented and love performances with a huge variety of tricks, especially if there are some nice innovations and new combos involved. During practice, I like analyzing movements and finding new ideas. I focus on tricks and repeat new moves until I master them, which means, on the other hand, that I am not really a flow person.
Do you play with firestick?
I have tried it but I think it is better for flowing and showing off than making difficult tricks with it. The fire limits the possibilities.
What do you do in a normal day, how many hours do you practice?
I used to practice hours a day earlier but in the past years, I had to sacrifice most of the juggling time for other tasks.
How and where do you practice?
I used to practice anywhere I had been regardless of the place or the weather. I used to play a lot outside, in the cold and the hot weather equally. Nowadays, if I can, I practice in front of the building where I work, immediately as it gets warm and sunny enough outside. At winter I prefer playing at home, inside the house.
Do you perform with devilsticks? How do you create your show?
I perform better if there are no high expectations. Standing on a stage would make me nervous. Although I like to amaze random passers-by eg. at festivals or on the street. They stop near to me for a few minutes and cheer and applaud which is nice.
Do you teach juggling?
With the Bravo Juggling team, we had periodic juggling workshops for schools where we taught some basic tricks with the devilstick, the poi, and the juggling balls. We also teach juggling at summer music festivals. We also made some popular devilstick tutorial videos. It is fun when people from different countries recognize me based on Youtube videos.
Why do you like devilsticks?
It is surprisingly difficult to answer this question. Loving it is so obvious for me that telling the reason is hard. Probably it has something to do with that it is not that common which makes it interesting and also let you be creative. It still offers challenges after many years of use but also gives a sense of achievement every time you play with it. It is not yet fully explored, you can find new methods of using it. And you have to search for fellow stickers if you stuck and would like to get new ideas or inspiration.
What kind of devilsticks do you prefer to use?
I love my BravoStick Elements. I know that it is a well constructed flowerstick and made with careful work.
Tell us a funny story related to devilsticks.
Once, for a costume party, I disguised as Don Quijote and my friend was a windmill which vanes were made of a Bravo TriStick and she spun it by a handstick. We won the Group Prize!
What is your goal related to devilsticks? What is a challenge for you?
Personally, I would like to stay updated trick-wise and get familiar with as many tricks as I can adopt and adapt. I will also work on that the BravoSticks could reach more players all over the world.
How do you imagine yourself when you are old? Will you still juggle?
Yes! I am going to be the crazy old lady with the sticks! :D
Who do you recommend devilsticks for?
Our vision at Bravo Juggling is to get a set of devilstick in every household. Just like it is kind of a norm to have at least one ball at home.
What do you advise to beginner/advanced devilstick players?
To beginners: Devilsticking is like riding a bicycle. You cannot do it the first time but with some practice, it becomes easier and natural. So do not give up instantly, every playing is rewarding, you will enjoy the development.
To advanced players: Share your skills and talent, I am eager to watch you and learn from you!