Where does a 6-foot-6 juggler juggle?
Any place with high ceilings.
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“High ceilings make my life good,” says Philly juggler and sideshow performer David Darwin, who performs for the hometown crowd Sunday at Grasso’s Magic Theatre on Callowhill Street.
Darwin is a rising — beyond his height — star of the city’s sideshow arts scene. He has a few appearances on national TV, including performing “Bend Me, Shape Me” on guitar with his legs behind his head on “Last Call with Carson Daly,” under his belt and a steady stream of gigs in the region.
“I make a pretty good income performing but I’m not a good businesses man,” says Darwin, a Jersey native. “I don’t market myself as good as I should ... but the phone rings and I answer it.”
He’s tall, dark and irreverent, kind of like Lurch meets David Copperfield with a deadpan sense of humor. He considers himself a juggler at his core and often attends the Monday meetings of the Philadelphia Juggling Club near the Art Museum.
“It’s about 30 people and they hang out in a room and juggle,” Darwin says. “We meet for about five minutes and then they ask of you like to make a donation to support the club, there’s very minimal dues that used to rent the place. But it’s a lot of juggling – ‘Hey, that’s good, can you show that?’’’
“The vast majority there are hobbyists — they’re really hardcore amateur jugglers who are way better than I am,” he adds.
Darwin supplements his act with sideshow spectacles such as walking on glass, sword swallowing, fire eating and whip cracking. It’s a family show at Grasso’s, but edgy nevertheless.
“They let me do all the sideshow stuff and I push my luck a lot further than with most family audiences,” Darwin says. “I’m not trying to shock you. I say calm down, this sword is not sharp, this is fun and this is how it works.”
Aug. 11, 3 p.m
Grasso’s Magic Theatre
103 Callowhill St.