Today at NexSource Centre, kids not only had the chance to try martial arts and learn about music production, they were also treated to a performance by Bob Palmer, also known as Flyin’ Bob, the One Man, Three Ring Circus. They also had the chance to hear about Palmer’s journey as a circus performer.
Kids from 12 - 18 were entertained by Palmer’s antics, juggling everything from ping pong balls and hats to a heavy bowling ball.
Palmer spoke to the audience about his journey as a circus performer and how learning to juggle oranges in his room as a young adult led to him traveling around the world with his act.
“I used to have real jobs. They never worked. I hated having a real job. It just wasn’t me,” he said of his experience.
“You have to be brave to go outside of what everybody tells you you should do. That’s a really hard thing to do because we’re all pressured to follow these fast tracks,” he continued.
“If you want to get off that track, you’ve gotta take a chance. You’ve gotta take a risk and that’s the only way things advance in this world,” he said.
Parker stressed the importance of learning how to run yourself as a business if you choose a career in the arts. He gave examples of friends and artists he considers brilliant and genius who are broke because they have no business sense.
“Do you want to be an artist full time? If you do, you have no choice but to learn the business part of it,” he said, also reminding the group that there are plenty of people in the world who only think about business and often these are the people who end up taking advantage of artists.
He related this advice to every other career that kids could be interested in and encouraged the audience to think carefully about what they want to accomplish before heading in the direction they want to go.
“Know everything about what it is you’re going to do,” he said, also suggesting the audience think about what it will take to pursue their passion full time and how it will impact their relationships and other aspects they want in their lives.
Palmer first learned to juggle when he was 21 but before that he wanted to be a rock musician. He worked hard at being a musician for fifteen years, performing ten different genres in seven different bands before finally realizing it wasn’t going to happen. At the same time he was learning to juggle. He was doing it full time by the time he was 27.
Palmer used this as an example of how people can start something new at any time.
“Doesn’t matter [when you start]. There are people who are starting careers - very famous people - who didn’t start their careers , who didn’t become famous until in their 50’s, some in their 60’s,” he said.
“They did it because they loved it and eventually they were successful,” he said, stating also that if it takes a person thirty or forty years to learn what they love, they will learn the business because all they are surviving on is their art. He said once that kind of person is famous, they aren’t destroyed by the business aspect because they already understand it.
At 61 Palmer has travelled to 17 countries can perform his show in three different languages and runs theRed Deer Centrefest.