Faces in the Crowd
Owen Scollon: 'The Juggler'
April 28, 2023 at 5:00 a.m.
Owen ‘The Juggler’ Scollon
Lived here for: 5 years
Originally from: Singapore
Notable: Juggler, unicyclist, Rubik's Cube solver, chess player.
What was it like moving to Bellingham from Singapore?
Well, it's nice here. I remember when we first came here, I asked, ‘Why is there a tree there?’ because in Singapore all the trees are planted in a very specific spot. Some things I miss [about Singapore] but it was super hot there.
How did you learn to juggle?
There was a PE unit online in fifth grade because we could do it in our living room [during the pandemic] and I was juggling bandanas, two of them. For my birthday, a couple months later, I got a set of beginner juggling balls.
Then I started doing two balls. And then one day, I was like, ‘Oh, I'm gonna do three.’ Then I learned some tricks from YouTube videos. It had a whole bunch of juggling tricks in alphabetical order and the yo-yo (trick) was near the end, so I remembered it and it was one of the really cool ones. I found out that it's actually pretty simple. After a while, I learned four balls, and then in April of last year I started doing farmers markets and that was really fun.
When did you add the Rubik's Cube?
While answering this question, Owen was juggling in one hand, and solving a Rubik's Cube with the other.
I started doing this late last year because I started with a two-by-two. Eventually, I was able to do a three-by-three. So then I just started doing it at the farmers market, and it was a really big hit. Because it's really impressive and I don't usually mess up. The first time I did it, the timing worked out really well. Someone would see [me] doing both the Rubik's Cube and juggling, and then someone else would see them looking ... and then someone else would come, and then there'd be a huge crowd. And then I'd finish.
When I first started, it took a minute or a minute and a half. But since then, I've gotten a lot better at the Rubik's Cube part. And I've gotten more consistent at the juggling part. Now I don't drop the juggling balls very much but sometimes I drop the Rubik's Cube, and then I have to pick it up. But it's a lot faster now.
What are your other hobbies?
I like to play chess. I do a lot of tournaments. I also found out recently that a lot of people who play chess also do Rubik's Cubes. They like to see juggling [at tournaments]. I've thought about ... I could [juggle] two in one hand while playing a chess game. And then when it's my opponent's turn, I could solve the Rubik's Cube.
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