A little context first.
Anthony Gatto, probably the world's greatest juggler retired a couple of years ago at the age of 40. He's declared on his YouTube channel that his videos are probably going to get deleted. By luck I came across this channel of old AG (Anthony Gatto videos) and I'm trying to watch the whole lot. I'm down to 18 to go.
First of all Gatto's my pick for the greatest juggler of all-time. There are a couple of others you can make a case for, notably Wes Peden and Enrico Rastelli, but Gatto's my choice. And my cat is named Gatto after Anthony Gatto and it being the Italian for cat.
Still having seen loads of Gatto videos, talked about him in person and online, there's remarkably little criticism of him. I think there are a lot of fair criticisms that could be made about him.
Basically, I do think he's a bit of a dick. I can't really sum it up in one video clip, but there's this one:
Obviously that's just harmless fun but there are a lot of bitchy comments like that in his videos. It's also not funny and in fact none of his videos are actually funny. He puts quite a lot of humour in them but still none of them are funny.
I've come to the conclusion that if I ever had a chance to meet him and ask him a question, I wouldn't.
I found the same thing when playing Scrabble having met Antonin Michel who was at the time my pick for the greatest of all-time. I definitely wouldn't spend time with him. Furthermore Nigel Richards who has surpassed him in my view, I wouldn't want to meet him either. It's like you can't put that much time into something and also be good with people.
I don't consider him a good example to others in that by his own admission he's not a hard-worker. He's just so naturally talented he's never had to work hard. On one of his videos he claims to practice 90 minutes a week which is pretty extraordinary for a performer to practice their art for on average a little more than 10 minutes a day.
His videos are very repetitive. That's why it's taking me so long to get through them. I mean as a juggler I can tell the tricks apart but a lot of tricks with high numbers look pretty much the same. Gatto's never been interested in originality either. The tricks he does could've been done 100 years ago, many actually were and we have records of them. He's original in the sense he's just better than anyone else, but you can't exactly call 9 balls for 57 seconds an 'original' trick just because it's more catches than anyone else is doing (350 I seem to think).
I would rate his knowledge of juggling as below average. Again, because he's so talented he's learned to do things without knowing how to do them. His body just 'gets on with it' as it were. His comments about juggling not coming from mathematics, it comes from the heart. Apart from being super cheesy, the mathematics describes the patterns. They don't 'come from' mathematics so much as the maths describes the patterns. Also his comments about balls being better than beanbags because balls don't change shape in the air got slammed for just being plain untrue but of course he's a good juggler not an expert on juggling.
I'd put him as middle-of-the-pack as a performer. I've seen worse, I've seen better. It does look very obvious to me that he's acting like he's enjoying it because that's what he's paid to do. If you look at this clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cWJwe6