How to Recover From Dropping While Juggling
First thing to do is try not to make drops happen at all! Minimise the chance of dropping by only performing tricks during your show that you know you can do 99 percent of the time.
Next step is to condition your audience so that anytime they see a mistake in the show they have to respond in a certain way. This could be a clap and cheer (if you are quite nervous being on stage then this can be quite encouraging and help you achieve the trick on your next attempt), or even a loud boo or shouting a certain catchphrase. Whatever you decide, by teaching the audience at the start of your show how to respond to any mistakes, it takes away the uneasy moment when your drops happen and everyone in the crowd begins responding in a different way!
If you perform in character, then stay in character when you make a drop. If you are performing to music, then you may find it easier to develop a funny mime or a piece of skill to get the dropped prop back into the air (with clubs, this could be a kickup for example). If you are juggling with 5 balls and drop one, this could be your chance to show off some amazing 4 ball skills! Maybe the audience will leave your show thinking that all your drops were completely intentional!
Here is a web page devoted to drop lines (not the authors website) These are some of the most standard drop lines that are in existence, so you may have even seen some jugglers use them before. It is therefore worthwhile adapting them to suit your particular character or personality rather than just learning them from this list and trying to squeeze them in when a drop occurs! Even better, write your own (and then tell me so I can use them!)
If you want to include in your show a really difficult trick that is likely to not work on the first attempt, then let your audience know how difficult this trick is. Build up the tension. This can allow you several attempts and even bigger applause when they share in your success!
When you drop, do not panic. Maybe attempt the same trick a second time if you feel confident, or just move on to something else entirely. It is very important not to look embarrassed or worried as this is not fair on the audience who are then made to feel uneasy. By preparing to allow for drops in any of your shows, you should be able to cope with anything that happens!
I would love to hear any other ideas, so please get in touch!