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Juggling Toward Success: The Passing Zone

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Who would have ever thought that two jugglers would go on to become a couple of the most entertaining and moving keynote speakers in the business world? Jon Wee and Owen Morse, also known as The Passing Zone, have been driving and invigorating professional teams throughout the world since 1988. Their unique juggling performances complement their messages of teamwork, time management, and life balance.

Wee and Morse probably never planned on becoming leaders in the business-training industry, but in addition to claiming fame as performance artists in Las Vegas and on the big screen, this team has used their experience and talent to counsel companies and individuals on excelling professionally.

Wee and Morse met at a juggling convention when they were in college. Wee had been performing since he was 14 years old, and Morse had been a juggler at Disneyland. After they graduated, the two did a show together, and the rest is history.

"After graduating, I said, 'Do I get a real job or do this?'" said Morse. Obviously, they chose the latter. And they've done pretty well, too.

The Passing Zone has led seminars on improving teams and managing the tasks of busy professionals for many A-list companies such as Forbes, IBM, McDonald's, and Wells Fargo. Cashing in on the juggling metaphor, the team is able to visually exhibit principles that they teach in an entertaining way.

"Everybody feels like they're juggling. Everybody has a lot of things going at once. Sometimes things get dropped, and you have to pick something up. It's a really natural metaphor for what the people in the audience are going through," said Wee.

"The idea of Owen and I having to communicate, cooperate, prepare together, relying on each others' strengths, and compensate for each others' errors or things like that, we really started to realize that this resonates well with corporate audiences," Wee added.

The team is also known for juggling some pretty unusual items. From juggling running chainsaws to lit torches, the team knows a thing or two about pushing the envelope and keeping things interesting.

"We encourage people to think outside the box. Here we are, a couple of 40-year-old guys dancing around on stage in purple tights throwing around chainsaws. It's definitely risky and creative and unusual, but that's what makes it special," said Wee.

Q. What do you do for fun?
A. Morse: I like to go hang gliding. Wee: I do some surfing, biking, and spending time with the kids.
Q. What CD is in your CD player right now?
A. Wee: Right now, I've got Bob Dylan's Modern Times. Morse: Keane is in there at the moment.
Q. What is the last magazine you read?
A. Wee: New Yorker. Morse: Wired.
Q. What is your favorite TV show?
A. Wee: The Office and 30 Rock. Morse: The Office.
Q. Who is your role model?
A. Morse: I want to be like Jon (Wee). Wee: And I want to be like Carrot Top.

They even have a routine that features infomercial items such as a Chia Pet, a Garden Weasel, a ThighMaster, and The Club. But probably the most unbelievable act is something they call "People Juggling." The team actually gets three members from the audience and juggles them!

The Passing Zone has also made their mark by creating five Guinness World Records, all related to juggling. They have been awarded 18 gold metals by the International Jugglers Association, as well.

The Passing Zone has performed on TV, in movies, and at various venues all over the world. They most recently appeared on the first season of the NBC show America's Got Talent. When the team made it to the finals, they did a routine that brought host David Hasselhoff to the stage; as all three men wore torches atop construction helmets, Hasselhoff held four spinning plates and Wee and Morse passed sickles back and forth around him. Though the team did not take home the winning title, they still got their fair share of good exposure.

"It takes quite a few live performances to equal 13 million people. In one night, 13 million people know your name," said Morse.

"Plus, we got to be buddies with David Hasselhoff," said Wee jokingly.
On the net:The Passing Zone

America's Got Talent

Chia Pet

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Popular tags:

 industry  Las Vegas  counsels  management  McDonald  Bob Dylan  New York  think outside the box  Guinness World Records

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