Michael Moschen (b. 1955)
"Light" "Sticks" (1985)
Michael Moschen is a juggler. He received a Fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation (the so-called "Genius Grant") in 1990, has appeared on TV on PBS, and done ads for Motorola. Cirque du Soleil commissioned Moschen to create a new work for their permanent theatrical circus in Las Vegas, Nevada. Moschen is particularly known for contact juggling. In the film Labyrinth the crystal ball manipulations seen to be performed by David Bowie's character were actually done by Moschen, who stood behind Bowie during filming. Unfortunately for Moschen, this meant that he could not see the objects he was juggling, and it took many takes to film the scenes with the crystal balls. A classmate of Penn Jillette at Greenfield, Massachusetts High School, class of 1973, Moschen and Jillette worked together developing juggling performances immediately after high school.
In 1991, an episode of Great Performances entitled "In Motion with Michael Moschen" focused on his creative process and shows several of his innovative juggling routines. Moschen's television appearances also include An Evening at the Pops (with the Boston Pops Orchestra), Maury Povich, Penn & Teller's Sin City Spectacular, The Tonight Show, Jerry Lewis's MDA Telethon, The Montreal International Comedy Festival (Just for Laughs) on Showtime, Ricky Jay's Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women, Sesame Street, The David Letterman Show and PBS's Alive from Off-Center. Moschen is featured on the recent A&E documentary The Mystery of Genius and made his television dramatic acting debut on L.A. Law. He has also appeared on TV in England, Spain, Italy, Chile and Argentina. In 2001, Moschen was named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch".