By Mary Allgier
When Carmel teen Jack Denger was eight, his parents took him to see Cirque du Soleil in Orlando.
Then his mom bought him a juggling kit for Christmas, and Jack got bored one day.
Doesn’t sound like much, but two years later Jack was off to his first juggling competition and his talent recently got him featured on the Nickelodeon game show Figure it Out.
“I hadn’t heard of the show, but I was really excited,” the now 15-year-old Denger said. “It was something new for me.”
The episode featuring Jack aired Oct. 19. Denger was introduced to a panel of Nick actors who had to guess his hobby based on a few clues.
Denger stumped the actors, including cast members of hit show Victorious, and won a free trip for his family to New York.
“I got to show my talent to the audience,” Denger said, “They liked seeing it and I enjoyed doing it.”
Denger was recommended for the show last summer and went to Los Angeles for taping.
“We flew out (to L.A.) on a Thursday and spent all day Friday at Paramount and then left early Saturday morning… but it was really neat,” said Jack’s mom, Margot Denger.
According to Jack, filming was hectic.
“There were a lot of crew running around with cameras. People working with the lights, the cameras,” he said.
Figure it Out looks for kids between the ages of 10 to 15 to feature on the show.
Someone with a connection from the show was at a juggling competition last summer, where Denger placed second.
Jack placed first in a juggling show when he was ten, however, and loves the relaxed atmosphere of the events.
“A lot of the competitors know each other so everyone is pretty much friends there. So it’s not like a competition,” Jack said.
Competitors are graded on things such as the difficulty of the moves, or if they drop anything.
“The one I won when I was ten was my first one and everyone was really nice,” Denger said.
Jack and his family plan to take their trip to New York over Spring Break this year, but Nickelodeon allows them a year to take the trip before it expires.