Need extra incentive to attend tonight’s free watch party at The Kent Stage for juggler Charles Peachock’s televised performance on America’s Got Talent? How about up to eight area jugglers practicing their art outside the theater beforehand?
Charles’ performance as one of the top 48 contestants on AGT will play out on the theater’s 30-foot screen during the two-hour live NBC broadcast that starts at 9 p.m. The show airs locally on WKYC.
Among the jugglers showing off their skills outside The Kent Stage will be Mark Peachock’s performing partner, wife Marlo Silver, and his two nephews, Cameron, 13, and Dylan, 11. The boys are the sons of Akron residents Phil Peachock Jr. and his wife, Rose Carlson.
Absent from the watch party will be Kentites Phil and Dorothy Peachock Sr., who are in Los Angeles to be part of the studio audience for their youngest son’s performance. Phil Jr. also will be in the audience to cheer on his brother.
That leaves Mark – a full-time cruise ship performer who’s setting sail this week – to represent the Peachock family at the watch party. Asking juggling friends to show up with their props just makes the event more fun, he said.
“We usually have about eight jugglers show up” when the Akron club meets, Mark said. “It’s both social and serious. There are a lot of jugglers who have been there for a long while. And then there are those like my nephews who just try to learn everything they can. Getting together serves as practice for everyone.”
Because it’s just a casual meet-up, there is no agenda for the jugglers’ gathering. “We will be juggling before, maybe during, maybe after the (AGT) show,” he said. “We’ll just play it by ear.”
Family members agree it was Mark who started the Peachock juggling craze, but no one remembers how old the boys were when they started.
“When Mark was 10 or 11, we’d go to a grocery store and next thing I know I’d see him walking down the aisle juggling oranges or apples,” said Phil Sr. “One time we stopped ... for ice cream and there was a little league team there. Mark grabs four or five of their baseballs and starts juggling and they all gathered around him, watching. We got in the car and I told him, ‘You know, you could do this for a living some day.’”
At that point, the eldest Peachock never dreamed that two of his three sons would juggle for a living (Phil Jr. is a financial adviser).
The juggling brothers often practiced together during their formative years. They performed together professionally for seven years under the name Free Fall. They split up for financial reasons: cruise ships pay per act, whether that act has one person or many people.
Mark married Marlo Silver, who also learned to juggle as a child, in 2005. “No, she wasn’t our Yoko Ono,” Mark laughed, referring to the musician-wife of John Lennon who is alleged to have broken up The Beatles.
“(Marlo) already knew how to juggle. I’ve just helped further her skills,” he said. “We perform together on cruise ships. We have a bit where (the audience doesn’t) know she’s part of the act until later.”
And how does Mark feel about Charlie landing a national TV gig when he's the one who introduced juggling to the Peachock family? “One of us had to be first (on TV),” he said, laughing. “It’s a big deal.”