Thomas John: Not Jest a Motley Fool

Amanda Miller, Reporter

Juggling is not a common career path. One might see it as a hobby or a sideshow act. For Thomas John, however, it is a lot more than that. John, Woodland Park High School graduating class of 2006, is a professional comedian and juggler. He has the privilege of traveling all over the world and sharing his profession with millions of people; and it all started right here at Woodland Park High School. He learned to juggle in high school from Mr. Thad Gemski, a social sciences teacher. Back then, it was just a hobby for John, something he learned because he thought it would impress the ladies. Sadly according to him, it did not, but it became a valuable skill later in life.

John stumbled upon the profession by accident when he moved to San Francisco and had trouble finding a job. “Not even McDonalds would hire me!” he said. He decided to try his hand at performing. “It was a natural fit and I haven’t done anything else since.”

Like many high school students, he did not always know what he wanted to be when he grew up. Before deciding to become a juggler, he aspired to be an English literature teacher, and before that a painter. He was even voted best artist by his graduating class.

“I’m not sure if Stacia Ray still teaches at W.P.H.S but I am sure I disappointed her when I went to circus school instead of art school,” he laughed.

Thomas John became somewhat of a household name in 2011 via season six of the reality television show America’s Got Talent, an American reality show that showcases talents from people all over the United States on NBC.

America’s Got Talent actually approached me to be on the show,” he explained.

John was headlining at a comedy club when scouts saw him perform. “It seemed like the natural next step so I went to L.A (Los Angeles) to audition for them.” He made it to the top 48 contestants, week two on the show.

Juggling may have worked out for John, but what is his advice to aspiring jugglers? Go to college. “Seriously though, juggling is an amazing skill and it’s allowed me to see the world. If juggling is something you really enjoy, and think maybe you want to make a career out of it, I would suggest seeing as many jugglers perform as possible; and of course practice. I rehearse for about three hours per day and the jugglers that are in the pay grade above me practice for at least five hours per day. So…practice. And go to college. Seriously.”

For more information, you can visit his facebook page (facebook.com/thomasjohnjuggler) or his website (thomastrumanjohn.com)