By Christian Ashe
Juggling, flaming torches, comedic wit and glitter were just a few things audiences experienced during “America’s Got Talent” season one semifinalist Ivan Pecel’s performance during Family Weekend on Nov. 5 in the Bart Luedeke Center theater.
Right from the start, the audience knew it was in for an impressive and hilarious show. Pecel captured the crowd, as it was immediately greeted with a joke about how he lost to “a little girl,” singer Bianca Ryan, on “America’s Got Talent.” The crowd got to know him as he introduced himself while simultaneously juggling pins. It was an intimate setting; his stand-up comedy kept the crowd engaged just as much as his amazing juggling skills.
He reminded the crowd that they should tweet him some questions during the show so he could answer them on stage.
While balancing one club on his forehead and juggling three through the air, Pecel told the crowd a story about how his parents weren’t always proud of him for being a juggler. His answer to situations like this: glitter. He explained to the audience a conversation with his father about why his GPA in college wasn’t a 3.5 and his blood alcohol content was a 3.4. He shot glitter out of his pocket and left the scene, which the audience loved.
Pecel was very appreciative of how engaged the audience was, prompting him to get a volunteer on stage. Once the volunteer made his way to the stage, Pecel pulled out a roll of toilet paper, mummified his volunteer and gave him a balloon.
The “mummy” laid down as Pecel juggled knives over him, thus popping the balloon, and leaving audience members stunned. “That’s not safe!” could be heard from the crowd.
After this act, he juggled bouncing balls and flaming torches, ending with more glitter being thrown out from his pocket onto the stage. His act also consisted of juggling three tennis balls and a tennis ball canister all at the same time. Just when everyone thought he ran out of glitter, he somehow found more in his pocket and threw it out into the crowd.
After seeing how many ping pong balls he could fit into his mouth — the answer was five — Pecel began juggling them by using his mouth. One of them shot so high that it hit the ceiling.
“I guess it has a little asbestos. That’s okay. Asbestos is the bestest,” Pecel said, throwing more glitter.
The time came for Pecel to answer his tweets that he received during the show, most of which were comedic, such as, “How much glitter can you fit into your pocket?”
One particular questioner asked if he had any tattoos, to which Pecel responded he has “10,000 hours” on his ribs, referring to the idea that if you want to master something, you must practice it for 10,000 hours. He says his juggling expertise is a result of that.
He closed out his show by juggling illuminated balls on stage in complete darkness. He constructed a light show with the balls rotating through the air, creating psychedelic images.
His last words to the audience were, “follow your dreams.” As people left, members whispered about how much they loved him and his performance.
Ivan Pecel was a joy for everyone to watch; his glitter, comedic jokes and juggling act will surely be something for the families of Rider to remember for quite some time.
Originally printed in the 11/09/16 edition.