It all started in June of 1982, when an
eight year old James Reid arrived in
. He saw a
juggler for the first time, performing on the streets of
. James was
mesmerized and immediately ran up to ask for a lesson. This stranger got James
started as a juggler. James practiced hard and received assistance from the
Aerial Mirage Juggling Club, the International Jugglers’ Association’s
Several months later James had his debut performance on Halloween, 1982.
James as Jobo the Juggler.
Festival of the Arts, 1983
James continued to practice and perform,
always adding new elements to his show. In 1985 he added to his repertoire by
taking a yo-yo class. A year later James picked up his first set of flower
sticks, adding this ancient Chinese art to his show. In 1990, James began
practicing another Chinese tradition, the Diabolo. This prop is closely related
to the yo-yo, as it spins on a string. However, the diabolo is not attached
which allows for many high throws and other trick catches. More recently, James
has learned the Maori art of the Poi Swings. This colorful tradition adds
particular flair to the Blacklight show.
While James has always been passionate
about performing, he also loves to share what he has learned with others. In
1988, James taught his first official juggling class at the
. He was
already assisting in yo-yo class at this point, and by 1991 was teaching both
juggling and yo-yo as summer youth classes.
James’ first class celebrates in 1988
While respecting all the ancient traditions
he had learned, James had a desire to do something new and unique with his art.
So, as the millennium drew to a close a new idea formed in his head that would
combine these traditions with modern technology. After over a year of creation
and preparation, The Blacklight Juggling show was brought before its first
audience at a performance of the band Major Lingo in October, 2000. The
screams of approval let James know it had been worth the effort taken to create
this unique show.
Since then, James has pursued performing
with a new passion. In 2002 he moved back to
in order to
perform full time. He has devoted himself to practice and has
brought his skills to new levels. He has appeared across the country at many venues, including eight years running as a featured performer at Glendale's Glitter and Glow!
He continues to work to constantly improve
his act and bring it to new audiences, traveling across the country as well as
James Reid currently resides, performs,
and teaches happily in Phoenix,
. James lives
with his wife Janet, of Peaceful Dragon Massage.