SOMETHING NEW IN COMEDY JUGGLING
A neat and novel comedy item can be worked with four fairly thin discs-- dead white on one side, and on the other side a section of a picture (see illustration). The four discs are juggled plain side to audience, and then, (still juggling) one by one the discs are turned over so that the other side is in view of audience. This is done by catching the falling disc underneath, a move that is easily mastered. The four discs are then placed on the stand to show the picture (any comic one) completed.
Excellent comedy can be had from a "plasticine" (soft modeling clay) ball. Make a white clay ball and juggle with two other white bouncing balls. If cleverly worked a real laugh can be obtained by bouncing the real balls on the forehead and then catching the clay ball on forehead.
Juggling three silk handkerchiefs (having a small weight sewn in the center) makes a very pretty effect.
A very good change from the usual Walking stick and Top Hat juggle is to use a huge match. Performer tries juggling his hat, gloves, and an ordinary match after lighting his cigar. The match is dropped another is lit to look for the dropped one and then the assistant brings on a giant match, and then the usual routine follows.
A good lead-up for the disc trick is to have a "prop" artist's paint brush and palette. The juggler makes a rough sketch (with chalks) on on the easel (see illustration), takes off the paper and balances same on forehead. (This is the old newspaper balance, worked by putting a quick crease in the paper, corner to corner). Then wads up the paper and juggles paper, brush, and palette. A neat act could be worked around the "artist" idea.
Three-ball jugglers can get a new effect by having an extra ball fastened to the end of a strong black wire. The wire can be painted black or covered with velvet so that it will not show against a black suit. This gadget is kept in the side pocket, wire sticking out. During juggle, one ball is pocketed and two balls juggled in right hand, the left hand takes the wire and pulls out the ball. Now if the hand is kept still and the wire is moved around a very funny effect is obtained, one ball looks like it was moving to "please itself". Now the wire-ball is juggled with the other two balls and this gives still a different effect. Still another variation is to juggle three balls on wires. This gives an eccentric action and is particularly good if the wires cannot be seen against a black background.
A JUGGLER IN THE STIX by DOUG COUDEN
McMirnville, Tenn. - Enjoyed the Henderson Trio on Bailey Bros. Circus no end. Lew, a recent sub, with his daughters Ruth and Pggy, do a fast moving jug act in the center ring wherein two pass 7 hoops and in another act (balancing) Lew does headstand on pedestal while passing 4 hoops with one of the gals. From the showmanship angle we'd say that action is their strongest suit. Working at a fast tempo, their jug act reflects much forethought and rehearsal on timing, especially in footwork where quick moves get them to the right spot at the right split-second of time. An act of this type adds to the entertainment value of a circus program with the circusy elements of skill, speed and flash. Another strong point in their favor is their handling of large props, making for good visibility from all parts of the audience, an important angle, we believe, for circus jug acts. After matinee Lew and Peggy gave with novel double club routines involving tumbling and dance steps, passed 8 hoops and other fascinatin' flingin'. One such, take-aways with clubs, had the bewildering effect of a windmill gone haywire. Peggy made alternate tosses from side to side behind Lew, then throws were made by Peggy under Lew's legs. It's a honey. Lew made his own hoops which are fine for single and double juggling. He passes on to readers info on how to make 'em. They are cut from 3/8 in. veneer, 14 inches in diameter, 1 3/4 in. wide. Ring is glued all over, allowed to get tacky, then wrapped lightly all around with one inch strip of canvas, sandpapered and enameled white. Lew cascaded 5 of 'em but he suggests a smaller size, about 12 inch, for 5 juggling. Lew also gives with a 12 ball gag; hold 5 in hands but only toss 3 saying, "That's 3." Without stopping add another saying, "And 4 is 7." Then get 5 going and say, "And 5 is 12." Johnny Pringle, another jug on show, also out in back yard with his clubs, so here they are L. to R., Peggy, Johnny, Lew and Ruth. Good jugglin', folks.
REMEMBER WHEN DEPT. Remember when Kara showered (?) 10 real billiard balls? Balls were tossed with right hand to top of billiard rack balanced on cue and would roll and drop from shelf to shelf, finally dropping into left hand, passed to right, continuing movement. This is an interesting physics angle in which the force of gravity is retarded by mechanical means.
JUGGLERS' JOTTINGS. On his coast trek Charlton Chute caught Bert Hansen doing M.C. and jug, vent and magic on show for service men. Charlton also picked up articles by Carrer which appeared in Popular Mechanics. He'll swap for photos, etc. for his scrap-book.
See p. 78 for his address. Eddie Johnson interesting other studes at U. of P. in juggelology. Al Cormer (pic on p. 71) signs 2-year contract on coast with assembly booker at a minimum of 2 yards per week. (not bad, not bad). He has nifty adv. cards for you collector guys. See p. 75 for his address. Arthur Mann reports good response from J.B. ad. Betty Gorham reports Truzzi's 10 year old son can jug 4 balls and the following juggling on the Big One. In addition to Truzzi's act in which he juggles clubs "that glow in the dark", 2 girls of the Bombshells pass rings, the Lin Fengs pass rings on wire, clown Johnny Tripp does boomerang hats, 2 other clowns do bails and Molay holds forth in the side show. This is our 20th and last Stix column. We wish to thank those who so kindly contributed to this page. We would have folded long since but for the young jugs (so would the Bulletin). As it's quite a task to do a full page each month perhaps the Bulletin can get more to kick in with the juggelosity stuff if there were a Letters from Readers Dept. Whaddaya say, Roger?
One thing we'd like to carry on, tho, is the book idea suggested in July issue. Beginners barge blindly into the biz with little or no knowledge of same. What little info they obtain is gained mostly by word of mouth, a method which smacks of the dark ages. Any art or profession worthy of the name offers courses of study to supplement practice. So we should have a Kollege of juggling Knowledge. We can if enough are interested. Here's the pitch. We wrote to Roger about this and he agrees 100%. Roger and the writer will read and select books on showmanship, the business end of juggling and show biz and make these books available to readers. BUT, and here's the catch, before going ahead with the idea, let's hear how many are interested. just drop a card to Roger or the writer if you're fer it.
Hugh Shepley writes, "It looks like the U.S. Army is going to get me. I've been working cafes and nightclubs for the past 7 weeks and I think I may have picked up enough experience to get into the Special Services. Eddie Tierney's father passed away after several weeks of illness. He was really a fine hoop and club juggler and passer and a clever slack-wire artist."
Sub Art Jennings scribes about another juggler, Johnny Ray, who lost his life in the war. Johnny' s home was in Punxstawney, Penna. and he made his headquarters in Pittsburgh. I first met him when he was still Johnny Knarr about 1935 on the Wallace Circus lot. He was doing a single trap act and featuring juggling three balls while doing a free headstand on the swinging trap. He also did a turn with a pick-up tumbling troupe and 3-club juggling on clown walk-around. He used to stand in the ring between shows and practice day after day. At that time he was working on 4 clubs and 5 balls. He could do about a half hour; cigar boxes, tennis rackets, ball and stick, matches and cigarette, etc. Johnny also rode a unicycle, did handstands and acts mentioned above. He left the Wallace show about 1938.
Kraut jug, Ima Dunkof, said, "My flat in Hamburg is flatter 'n a hamburger", Adios.
Carlton Chute sent in this fine tribute to LEO RULLMAN, a real friend of jugglers. A picture of Leo may be found on page 26 of the Bulletin.
Leo Rullman's passing was a great shock. We had corresponded for years and I regarded him as a very fine friend. In 1935 at the S.A.M. convention in Washington, D.C. I saw him do his regular juggling act on the stage. He was a great hit. As you know, he had specialized for years in plate juggling and he always emphasized the fact that he used only real china plates. Once in a while he would drop one and shatter it to prove it. He said professional traveling jugglers didn't find it practical to use real plates, because of the cost of breakage, and the expense of shipping a large supply of heavy spares. His routine, when I saw him, followed that contributed by Bert Hansen in a recent Bulletin, p.82, but in addition, he balanced the burning paper cone on his nose or chin.
A few days after your visit to New York last Spring, business took me to the big city and I had a delightful three hour visit with Leo Rullman in his apartment surrounded by his books. Most of the time I listened to his reminiscences of great jugglers of the past. Believe me, it was fascinating. He had seen all the greats of his time, and told me of the feats of Schaefer, Kara, Rastelli, and others. I believe he rated Schaefer above the others. He said there were two Schaefer brothers, but one was far ahead of the other.
Leo Rullman grew up in Wisconsin, I think the town was Madison. He told me that as a boy he was bitten by the circus bug, and wanted to join the Ringling show in the winter time, it then being at Barabou, so that he could have room to practice. He told me John Ringling wrote him a letter turning him down, which made him very angry at the time, but that now he wished he had the letter. In those days he worked on the tight and slack wire as well as doing some juggling. In fact, he told me one of his boyhood feats was to stand a ladder on the wire, climb up a few rungs, then put a rope or strap, which was fastened to one of the top rungs, in his teeth. This permitted him to balance the ladder on the wire without use of his hands. He would then juggle several balls or knives with his hands. He said his father discouraged him from going into circus life, as he did not think Leo's constitution was strong enough to stand the rigors of the traveling circus life of those days.
His only mementos of his early juggling was one photograph of him standing beside a table on which lay his juggling props, and one or two news clippings about his show. He said he regretted that he did not have some photos showing him in action in the days of his youth, both on the wire and in juggling. One of the feats he did in the old days was the juggle with the weighted candle and candlestick in which on the final toss the candle is caught in the candlestick.
He so regretted not having pictures showing him in action in his youth that he made a special effort to have some very good pictures made of him in action in his present act. He told me he did this so that, many years hence, when age forced him to give up juggling, and some young person asked what he used to do when he was a juggler, he could bring out the pictures. So that is how the literature of juggling is enriched by having, as a legacy from Leo Rullman, a series of pictures of him in action with his plates.
He said that when he went East as a young man he left the slack wire and the heavy equipment that supported it behind, and that he had not been on a slack wire since. He retired a year or two ago after having worked for the federal government for many years in New York. Last Fall I wrote to congratulate him on his birthday (he was 70 as I recall it) and also on his thirty years as a dealer in rare books on magic. Incidentally he thought the book by Ingalese was the best thing written on how to juggle, particularly with balls.
SHOOTIN' THE BREEZE - ROGER
With this issue ]Doug Couden announces the denouement of his monthly column, "A Juggler in the Stix". This by no means infers that Doug has lost interest in juggling and his ideas, and news will continue to be a valuable addition to each Bulletin. To write a column month after month however takes plenty of time and with the busy school season now started time goes all to fast. If you have enjoyed Doug's columns as much as we have during the past twenty issues drop him a line and let him know personally. To a writer a little bit of praise means a lot.--- STRAY BREEZES--Max Holden's book on juggling now in preparation and will probably be ready the latter part of the year. If you wear a four-in-hand tie in your act you will get a kick out of using Jack London's Pop-Up tie which will keep popping up in your face every time you are about to juggle 10 balls- or oftner if you wish. Yep, you can get one at P.O. Box 711 for $ 2.00. -No tie just the gadget and instructions.---- A card from Art Jennings informing us he's been working in Oklahoma and likes our climate and audiences. ---- Bob Blau writes that Earl Morgan and Tony Regini have played Houston in the last month.---- Bob is now prexy of Houston S.A.M ----- Jim Aitken is pres. of New Orleans S.A.M.----and Dr. Baldwin is International Ring Secy. of I.B.M.---- Larry Weeks now playing Canada with his new act sends in some of the best press photos we've laid eyes on in a long time- you'll see them later in Bul.----Don't fail to try the ideas of Joe Marsh in this issue-the boy's got plenty on the jugglin' ball, eh?---- A letter in from Jug Juggelson-- will probably have it deciphered by next issue.---- Lind reports many additions for the Memory Book from all over the world--did you send yours in?---- Harry also has the beginning of the slickest and completest club juggling instructions that we know about--maybe to be published in the Bul. Well, time and space wait for no man so we'll be shootin' it at you next month.