Frisbee shows are a big part of the Freestyle Frisbee culture. It makes perfect sense. Freestyle Frisbee is an art form that consists of creative body movements with a flying disc. Doing a Frisbee demo or show can be a vehicle to share one’s art to bring joy and inspiration to others. Shows and demos can also be a way to turn the passion of Freestyle Frisbee into a living wage. In many of our podcast episodes and in The Harlem Globetrotter Tour Story we’ve discovered that demos and shows are a part of the history of the game.
My personal Frisbee story includes demos and shows as well. My first demo was with my brother Matt and our good friend Scott Weaver. Scott got us the gig at a local elementary school. Matt and I were very new Freestyler’s but Scott made it it easy. He did all the talking. Matt and I played a little catch and then we did a short jam. As Matt and I attempted to pull off our most heinous moves, Scott told the kids how amazing our tricks were. Though my personal assessment was that I was a beginner, the kids thought we were amazing. We then finished the demo with a tutorial. Many of the kids learned to throw and catch and a couple could almost nail delay. The best part was how much fun the kids had with us. I felt privileged to share something I loved with an such appreciative audience.
Since then, I’ve done many more shows to kids and adults. Though I’m not actively looking for shows to do, I certainly would jump at an opportunity that presented itself.
So now it’s your turn. Let us know if you’ve ever done a Frisbee demo or show and if you’re interested in doing more. Bonus points if you share a story about one of your shows in the comments below.
Have You Ever Done A Frisbee Demo or Show?
Few life experiences can be compared to my first major show….basketball halftime show for the Seattle NBA SuperSonics.
My partner, Ralph Williamson, and I had done a few community college basketball halftime shows as practice for this Dec. 26th 1975 show. But most community college games had an attendance of a few dozen to a couple hundred, a stratosphere of difference when walking onto the hard court floors that seemed to still be electrified by the collective energy of the NBA giants and intensified by the 14,000 plus in the stands.
I remember feeling a significant amount of fear and pride at taking our special style of disc play to “the masses”, not only was it important we do our best for the thousands of NBA fans but I recall feeling excited to showcase how the “toy” Frisbee, if played with a degree of athleticism, can be viewed as a sport to the sport media.
That show changed my life and changed how many in the Seattle area came to view disc play. The buzz was palpable from the crowd, we booked three shows before we left courtside. It launched a full time show schedule that lasted the better part of three years.
I continued to do shows, on and off, for over two decades. No demo was more impactful on my life than that December night in 1975.
thank you, Jeff and Jake– great foundational stories!
December 12, 1974 Madison Square Garden. Half time Nicks game. Threw a full court basket which I never expected to make. With Krae Van Sicle, Carl Baker, Peter Bloem, David Perell, Roger Fox and myself (“Circus”).
My first was in Belgium in 1969 at a soccer game. Solo. They had seen very few discs then, if ever. What a rush. Mostly MTAs, TRCs, Distance demo and a little very rudimentary solo freestyle.
Jeff, and Gerry, thanks for sharing. I love the impact the experience had on your lives.