, Port Arthur, Texas


November 1, 2006

He's a handful

GROVES — In the living room with the cathedral ceilings, Tyler Morgan practices juggling his clubs, balls, swords and knives, everything except the flaming ones — because his mom won’t let him.

“It’s scary enough watching him juggle while balancing on fours chairs,” Lisa Morgan, Tyler’s mom, said. “I can’t handle the ones on fire,” she said.

Tyler, who’s been juggling since he was in sixth grade, has become a local celebrity with his juggling act and has recently branched off into the fascinating world of illusions as well.

Performing at children’s birthday parties, retirement homes, and at the Groves Chamber of Commerce merchant-sponsored event, First Friday, Tyler has created quite a following of loyal juggling fans.

“This one little boy from Lumberton comes to lots of my shows,” Tyler said. “He came all the way to Groves to see me perform at the Pecan Festival. He’s my number one fan.”

His number two fan? His dad, of course. Tyler’s father, Bobby, is closely involved in his son’s performances, and the preparation. Tyler and his father have traveled for the past three years to Austin to attend the Texas Juggling Society convention to learn new tricks and hob knob with other jugglers.

Together, Tyler and his dad have built most of the props included in his shows, such as the “subtrunk.” The giant wooden box is used in a Houdini type trick where the person in the box escapes and trades places with the person on top of the box. All of this, of course, happens behind a curtain, leaving audiences thrilled and in awe of the performance.

“I finally got my girlfriend to participate in my show by being my assistant during the subtrunk part,” Tyler said. “She gets cuffed with old school shackles and tied in a bag in the trunk,” said the soon to be 19-year-old entertainer. “She’s got a lot of patience with me,” he laughed.

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