trick shots

Blackshear juggler and magician, Cody Jones, has used the last several weeks of social distancing and sheltering at home to perfect his skills while his downtown tattoo parlor has been closed.

Locals out of work or working from home as a result of COVID-19 (coronavirus) might be fighting boredom these days, but not Blackshear tattoo artist Cody Jones. He’s been honing his juggling skills, one of many fascinating hobbies he has been perfecting over the last six years.

Jones, who’s modest about his juggling skills, worked his first paid gig in conjunction with E.L. Cravin’s Haunted Funeral Parlor in downtown Blackshear several years ago. He’s branched out to school and library shows over the years when he isn’t busy behind the counter at Jones Tattoo Emporium on NW Central Ave.

Jones closed his business in early April though, before Governor Brian Kemp mandated tattoo artists, hair stylists and several other businesses close due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The tattooed juggler can manage five balls at once and is working to perfect a stunt juggling five clubs simultaneously. He’s constantly adding tricks to his juggling and magic show and has juggled swords and meat cleavers over the years, too  — all without injury.

“It seems like it’s all very complex, but it’s just patterns laid over patterns,” Jones says modestly. “Once you learn how to juggle three balls you can implement different patterns to complicate it.”

“I’m obsessed with patterns, especially within juggling … adding a spin or twirl complicates it,” he explains. “Like with art, I can take a circle, draw three circles around it, and then repeat that simple pattern and it looks very complex after so long.”

The same complex, yet astoundingly simple, patterns are observable everywhere, Jones points out, especially in nature.

Jones juggles clubs while balancing on a board set on two cans, constantly rolling back and forth. And, he can do that while looking someone in the eye and carrying on a conversation with them.

He credits that ability to multi-task to the power of the mind and muscle memory.

 “I’m astonished with the human mind,” Jones says.

No matter how impressive or skilled his tricks may appear, Jones argues anyone can learn  — if they’re passionate and patient enough.

“The passion that makes people practice and not see it as work … by that standard technically we can learn anything as long as we want to,” he says.

Learning to balance a wooden pencil on his nose is what took Jones the longest to perfect, but he isn’t interested in mastering a new skill unless it takes him a while to learn  — that’s the fun of it for Jones.

He can balance a broom on his chin while laying down and stand up without ever dropping the broom. Jones entertains with fork and card manipulation tricks, a straight jacket escape, unicycle skills, fire eating and walking on broken glass, too.

He loves to teach others tricks of the trade, but says revealing the secret behind each trick is often a let down for enthralled viewers. Kids typically figure out his sleight of hand before adults do.

“Really all of it is silly. The concepts are so simple, that most people would be put off to find out (the trick),” Jones says with a laugh.

“If I could get everybody to learn (juggling) it would be awesome. It opens the mind up,” he adds.

Juggling might be the answer if you’re looking for a new physical and mental challenge while couped up at home. Give Jones a call at 912-407-1313 or 912-286-3798. He’s also booking shows for later in the year when life returns to some sense of normalcy.