October 5-7 Forty Fingers and a Missing Tooth
Posted on 9.24.12
Story by EMILY FOLEY | Photo by HANNAH COMBS
Asheville’s renowned juggling troupe Forty Fingers and a Missing Tooth draws fans by combining slapstick, circus antics, and juggling. The four-person ensemble entertains the lovers of eccentricity in variety shows in (but not limited) to the city of Asheville.
Now five years old, the group continues to gain momentum, especially as Asheville becomes an epicenter for performance art. Forty Fingers and a Missing Tooth’s juggling talent and jest are performed by Big Gulp (a.k.a. Ingrid Johnson), Cupcake (a.k.a. Britt Tyler), R2D10 (a.k.a. Walter Beals), and Thunderbolt Firestorm (a.k.a. Keith Campbell).
The audience is the best part about playing in Asheville," Walter says. "We have fans that enjoy what we do and the variety of artists that perform around the area makes it fun to collaborate with other groups doing unique performances.”
Forty Fingers and a Missing Tooth perform with many local acts, providing a comical novelty suiting of Asheville’s wacky taste for variety shows. Past partnerships include Bombs Away Cabaret, Bootstraps Burlesque, Americana Burlesque & Sideshow Festival, and Bele Chere among many others. They have also performed for the TV show, America’s Got Talent, where Walter says Sharon Osborne and Piers Morgan called them “'juvenile and silly,' which we actually took a lot of pride in.”
Their first full-stage production was The Temps, a performance at The Magnetic Field poking fun at the dull days that occur while doing temp work at an office. A comedic performance for all ages, Forty Fingers and a Missing Tooth, shows off years of circus experience (including juggling, tumbling, acrobatics, and more).
There’s a lot of circus tricks and acrobatics that you can include and we’ve combined that with our love of juggling," Walter says. "And we always love throwing some 80s music into our act.”
Forty Fingers and a Missing Tooth organized the first juggling festival in Asheville last year and will hold another this year. The Smokey Mountain Juggling Festival will be held October 5-7 at the Stephens-Lee Center & Masonic Lodge in Asheville. Proceeds go to Performing Life (a Bolivian, nonprofit organization working to help trouble and underprivileged youth experience the arts) and will help the organization purchase juggling equipment.
Being the only juggling troupe in Asheville, we have little competition," Walter says. "I’m sure there are much better jugglers than us in the world, but we’ve learned how to make our shows fun and silly for people of all ages. We’re pretty skilled jugglers but also a big aspect for us is getting to clown around. I think people appreciate the humor as well.”
For more information about Forty Fingers and a Missing Tooth, visit fortyfingersjuggling.com.