Balls are tossed into top of frame and fall onto tracks - this slows down action, and 7 or 8 balls can be kept going.
Jug juggles 4 balls, throws one high, and tries to do moves with other three. - but never has time.
Hooks ball (very light one) to parachute and then makes it!
(Idea suggested by Doug Couden)
Juggling knife is balanced on stick on chin - stick is knocked
away with another knife - and three knives are then juggles.
(Idea from by Doug Couden)
Walking stick in two halves is tossed up - Jug catches first one part, and then second in the end of first - second half makes 2 turns. The toss is soon mastered.
En Route, Bisbee's Comedians: I had the good fortune of seeing Doug and Lola work and was impressed by the appearance and utility of the staffs. I could not obtain chrome tube, but made a set with unfinished pipe and painted them white. In working the staffs into a, routine I hit upon the following ideas which I pass on. The staffs are already on-stage to represent a floor lamp with a comedy light bulb, obtainable from magic dealers. You say, "Now for a little more light on the subject." Turn on the comedy light bulb. Removing spinning plate from top and staff from upright of lamp, you begin routine (see Stuff With Staffs). Staffs are removed until you need the last one, whereupon, you remove the lamp shade and light bulb but the bulb fails to go out. You blow it out, but it comes back on again, etc. I discovered an automatic sure-fire sell with the staffs and spinning plate which I came upon quite by accident. The spinning plate is balanced on top of four nested staffs. I let the staffs slide through my hand and as each staff clears my hand it drops to the floor, finishing with plate, still spinning, on index finger. Looking out at audience with a smile, I was met with a round of applause. I have since found that, regardless of the audience, I can count on a good hand at this point. Although a juggler usually plans several sells in his act, the above is a good example of how a simple trick, discovered by accident, becomes an automatic sell. The material in the Bulletin has been an inspiration to me and I hope I have been of help to other readers. If anyone would like to know more about working on a tent rep show, please drop me a line to my home address, R.D. # 1, Newark, Delaware.
(Neal's possibilities of cracking the big-time as a juggler are promising. In the past, jugglers forsook their art to make good in a big way, but a juggler can attain a high place in show business, beyond the earnings of present-day pros, AND STILL JUGGLE. This newcomer has what it takes, provided he does not get sidetracked. Neal's education at Duke University was interrupted by his entry into the Navy. Passing up a diploma he would need only a year more to graduate), he felt that an early start as a performer would be worth more than a sheepskin. Bisbee's Comedians (his first full time engagement) has proved an excellent starting place for one of his varied talents, and I do mean talents ! He is a natural musician, a pianist, as well as doing piano accordion, solovox, trumpet, bells, and musical saw novelties. He is also a singer. He does art acts of chalk talk and rag pictures. In addition to his juggling he does a unicycle act and sleight of hand with cards, balls, etc. All this at the age of 20! Neal's ambition is to make his career in the show angle of the business. He will enter the indie school assembly field early in 1948, as a stepping stone to bigger shows of his own in the future. Snap shows Neal, Rags, and his Pontiac station wagon.--- Doug)
I appreciate the privilege of writing this column, and any suggestions, news items or pictures would be welcome. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of seeing the act of Pryde & Daye who came here from the Oriental, Chicago. Pryde received plenty of laughs for his gags and comedy juggling and a good hand for his difficult straight juggling. Pryde's turning somersaults while passing clubs with his partner really brought down the house, as did his throwing a cigarette around his back, catching it in his mouth, and lighting it by throwing a match around his back and catching it in a balance on the cigarette. Their act was well-costumed and was a good opener.
The Belmont Bros. were in Davenport at a Halloween Mardi Gras with their unique juggling act. Many of their tricks were done in unison and they also passed hoops, discs, and tambourines. Their work with diabolo tops was outstanding and unusual. They used large diabolos, and then for their finishing trick used two flaming diabolos, first working in unison, then passing them. With all the lights out, this made a flashy and beautiful finish. Their costumes, navy uniforms, were unusual for a juggling act and looked very neat, They closed the show, receiving a well-deserved hand. The Belmont Bros have been together as a team for years and their act reflects the many years of experience.
Doug has written a book called "Playing and Booking School Assemblies" which tells about all phases of that field. This will be especially helpful to those who plan to enter this profitable field but would also be interesting to anyone in show business. It is probably the most complete and concise book ever written on that subject. In the Oct. issue of Trailer Travel magazine Doug and Lola have written an article entitled "Trailerite Performers" in which they tell the advantages of trailers for performers. There are two excellent snap-shots of Lola and their collie. --- Any contributions you wish to make to this, column please send to 2303 Bridge Ave., Davenport, Iowa.
Well, guess last issue wasn't HOT enough, for only 3 pros answered- George DeMott, Tom Breen, and Harry Lind, and these three have been writing quite regularly anyway, so we didn't stir up any new ones. George lets us have it in eleven pages of long hand which boils down to some critical but helpful suggestions. George says, "Why not publish the balance of the cigar box routine I gave you last year in a sequence until it's all published and not scattered all through a year's subscription. When I talked to Tom Breen we decided that we'd rather have more news as to where the pros are and what they are doing in place of the Jug Juggleson paragraph. Just a suggestion ! Remember, Roger, what I told you when you started this, that to keep the pros behind you 100% you'd have to run a mag for pros, not a "Gillipin amateur sheet". You run a sheet to please the pros and the amateurs will all string along basking in the "glory" (ha, ha) of the shadows of the "big time" pros ! Get Tom Breen and Jack Greene to write more history. The Stanyon programs are fine- run one each month continuously till they're all used up. Why not try this- keep your subscription price $3.00 but for $5.00 a year it will include a monthly insertion of the subscriber's professional card in a Juggler's Directory."
Some good suggestions there George, Your Box routine is being illustrated by Joe marsh and will run shortly along with a publicity pic. Tom Breen's letter is full of further Jug history and appears in another paragraph. Jack Greene wrote he will be having a bit more time this winter and will run off some more scrapbook articles. The juggler's Directory is o.k. if enough want it. There would have to be at least 50 subs. Don't send any money, but if you would be interested in such a printed mention, let us know in your next letter. When and if 50 or more express an interest we'll get into action.
Our literary hawk, Spud Roberts reports pics of June Haver juggling hoops in "Movie Life", Sept., page 30. Ronald Reagan juggling 3 plates, Nov. issue of same mag, p. 31, and Mark Stevens doing some impromptu juggling with an orange and apple in "Silver Screen", October, p. 49.
Jack Greene reports receiving a letter from Dr. George Moran stating that his dad had passed away. James P. Moran, club juggler of 40 years ago passed away suddenly in Lawrence, Mass, his native city from heart attack. He was the brother of Bill Moran of the team of "Moran & Wiser" and the father of George Moran, formerly of "The Three Harddigs".
Tom Breen pens, "The Elgins just played the Smoky City with a show for Variety Club Dinner at Wm, Penn Hotel and also two shows for Shriners at the Syrian Mosque. The November issue of "Magazine of the Year" has a cute picture of a juggler showering three balls. It's a series of pictures combined into one and you can see each hand six times as it juggles the ball. Also a picture of Fred Allen in an article on Radio Gags in same magazine. Wonder if some one would write a description of Morris Cronin's Act. I saw it when I was a kid but it is one of the few I can't remember. He really could claim to be with the Firsts- those who created tricks with clubs. Cronin was first man to Juggle three clubs and shoot club through legs while both feet are on the floor. He was also the first to throw a club back thru legs and catch it while juggling three. Another of his original tricks was juggling three clubs under the arm with one hand behind back. Cronin was a tall man and had long arms so these tricks were easy for him. As he dressed in evening clothes and made an elegant appearance he never did tricks he had to struggle for. Everything had to be done smooth and easy.
"Eddie Evans afterward knownas Edward Van Wyck the club maker was also well up front among the best of the old time club tossers to originate tricks. He was the first to do "running tricks" with three clubs. Facing the wings, he would throw a club over his head, turn around and run and catch the club and continue running to the other side when he would repeat the trick. Yet when talking to Van Wyck a few years ago he thought his greatest bid for fame among jugglers was that he was the first man to ever use foil paper on clubs. Before that jugglers painted clubs and had bands of nickle, brass or copper nailed around their clubs or put lengthwise. Guess that was just to make it a little tougher to work with because a splinter from one of those copper bands sure could wreck a juggler's fingers or hand. This happened to my father and doctors wanted to cut his hand off as it had swelled so big, but he refused and eventually it healed up but he always had a long scar on his finger. Ollie Young who passed away last year in Columbus, Ohio was also tops. He created the "kick-up" that is done by lots of jugglers today. His act with soap bubbles was something audiences talked about long after he left the town. So when I think of men like Morris Cronin, Ollie Young and Eddie Evans, I can't believe there is "nothing new under the sun". I still believe there are men and girls in the juggling line who can and will create new tricks to show some of us so called Old Timers a thing or two when it comes to juggling.
"Visited with Ben Beri at the State in New York. He followed the Four jewels in there, and we open at the Capitol Theatre in Washington Nov. 6th and next week LeBrac and Bernice follow us into the Capitol. A few years ago they would not think of one juggling act following another so quickly. All the Elgins say Hello and want to be remembered to all jugglers,"
The following reviews are reprinted from Stanyon's "MAGIC". These reviews are of interest both as a historical record of feats accomplished by jugglers in the past and as a source of material that, streamlined, would be new and acceptable entertainment for Present day audiences.
See every issue from No. I., Vol. 1., to present date.
Essmann, Juggling Waiter, St. George's Hall, London, September, 1908
Stage set to represent a Restaurant ; several small tables loaded with bottles, plates, vases of flowers, &c. : also the usual furniture, chairs, hat stands, ferns in pots, &c.
Performer appeals attired as a waiter, carrying a cloth and proceeds to polish tip the plates, bottles, &c., then commences juggling.
With Plates.-Takes up two plates, one in each hand, bottoms of plates resting on the palms of the hands. Turns hands upside down bringing them to their original positions quickly, plates do not fall : this is repeated several times, various movements such as passing the plates over the head, &c. The effect depends upon the property of inertia and quick movements to bring the force into play.
Juggling with Bottle. -- Full-sized champagne bottle thrown up by the neck (one turn) and caught bottom of bottle on the back of hand ; reverse, and neck of bottle caught on back of hand and balanced in that position, and various other movements, the best being where left hand passes bottle behind back under right arm an over the forearm, dropped and on the point of striking the floor when the right hand reaches out quietly and catches it by the neck.
Throws bottle in the air, one turn, and catches it with forefinger in neck. Bottle placed on the seat of a chair.
Bottle and basket. --Picks up bottle basket in the left hand, chair in the right hand and jerks bottle from the chair into the basket.
Silk hat. Open umbrella and Two Balls. -- Throws the lot, finally catching the hat on his head. Hat placed on seat of chair.
Tricks with lighted match, cigar, candle, &c. -- Strikes match and throws it up alight (one turn) and catches plain end in mouth: lights candle with match then puts match in pocket alight: the latter move, as always, creating considerable amusement.
Lights cigar at candle then throws up candle out of stick (one turn) extinguishing candle by catching lighted end in the candlestick. Picks up chair, jerking had from seat (one turn) on to head then throws hat, cigar and umbrella.
Hat and Cigar. -- Hat held crown up in right hand, cigar laid on crown of hat: both objects thrown in air (one turn) hat caught on head and cigar in mouth. Hat jerked from head, caught and balanced on umbrella, thrown up caught and balanced by rim on nose- a clever move. Juggles with open umbrella, hat and a cigar: hat caught on top of open umbrella: hat thrown from top of umbrella and caught on head. Hat jerked from head onto peg of stand.
With Two Glass Bottles. -- Throws up and catches the one on the side of the other, balancing the one on the other in a variety of positions and the usual movements.
Flower Stand (small table), Flower Pot and Tree. -- Removes tree from the pot, takes up the three objects and juggles the lot.
Pig and Plate. -- Imitation suckling thrown up , caught and balanced on plate in a variety of positions, finishing by catching the "piglet" nose on in the centre of bottom of plate, striking his legs and causing him to spin round rapidly on his nose -- very funny effect.
With Three Cannon Balls. -- Throws the three one of which is eventually let fall on forehead, the ladies nearly fainting at the sound, as they think, of solid wood coming into contact with bone. The noise is really made by the performer, at the moment the one ball strikes his head, striking the other two balls together and which are really solid. The other ball is rubber, but this fact is concealed by the performer catching the ball as it rebounds from his head, The two solid balls are then dropped demonstrating their solidity, while the rubber ball is either bounced on the floor or thrown into the auditorium. The later method is questionable, owing to the consternation if causes as, of course, everyone believes it to be a solid ball, still if the performer cares to take the risk of frightening several of his auditors to death it is, of the two methods, by far the most sensational. I perform the trick myself and carry in the waistcoat pocket a few small pieces of stamp paper (sticking plaister), then having failed to find the injury to my head I stick the paper on the solid ball knocking it out of my hand accidentally(?) in doing so finishing as above described. I may add that the sticking plaster addition is productive of much amusement.
Bottle and Plate. - Throwing and catching bottle on plate, various movements. For a full explanation of this act, with six illustrations see my "New Juggling Tricks," page 19
Three Cigar Boxes. - The three boxes stacked (flat) one on top of the other, thrown up apparently all loose, and caught ends on, one on top of the other. All pulled together by a cord, or elastic, passing through the lot.
With Six Cigar Boxes and Lamp.-Six full-sized cigar boxes are first stacked (flat) one on top of the other, a large lamp (lighted) being placed on the top of the pile. The pile is then balanced on a stick, the boxes being knocked away with the stick, one at a time, from the bottom, until only the lamp is left balanced on the stick. Lamp is then thrown up (one turn) caught and balanced on stick.
Cigar Box and Bottle.-Takes up an ordinary full-sized cigar box, gives it a jerk and a small champagne bottle comes out of it, lid closing automatically. Bottle is caught on lid of closed box, then thrown up, caught and balanced in a variety of positions, finally vanishing into the box accompanied with much laughter. Elastic on lid of box causing it to close quickly: rest quickness, quick jerk to cause lid of box to fly open as desired, weight of glass bottle and the property of inertia.
Basin, Plates and Lamp Combination.-Throws basin and two plates. Spins basin on stick (centred) and throws two plates with other hand, throws the plates over basin transferring stick holding basin to the empty hand, catches and throws the plates in the opposite hand. Places lamp on pedestal pole and balances pole on head, spins basin on stick, right hand, and throws two plates with left hand. To stop, passed the plates under the right arm.
Tub and Chair.-Spins large tup on pole transferring the tub from pole to leg of a chair, then puts one corner of chair back into socket on bandage previously placed round his head - motion of tub now causes the chair also to revolve rapidly on the forehead.
Performance applauded vociferously.
N.B.-the above are my own explanations, not necessarily the methods employed by Mr. Essmann.
The date in parenthisis indicates the date dues were received.
Eddie Tierney, 441 Canton Street, Stoughton, Mass. (10-8-47)
Marvin Girard, 1019 Fletcher, Owasso, Migh. (10-15-47)
Robbin Robertson, 6308 So. Mozart St., Chicago, Ill. (10-15-47)
James A. Murphy, City Court Bldg., Buffalo-2, N.Y. (10-17-47)
Roy Henderson, 705 1/2 E. 7th, Winfield, Kansas (10-25-47)
Lou Meyer, 54 W. Biddle St., Baltimore, Md. (10-24-47)
Oliver Registar, Severna Park, Md. (10-24-47)
Wm. Adamson, 1849 Lamont St. N.W., Washington 10, D.C. (10-24-47)
Robert Kaniewski, 3602 E. 74th St., Cleveland, Ohio (10-27-47)
Wm. Hoffman, % Polack Bros. Circus (10-29-47)
Edward E. Dewees, 218 Wiltshire, San Antonio, Tex. (10-29-47)
Ray Wilbert % Polack Bros. Indoor Circus, 155 N. Clark St., Chicago, Ill. (11-8-47)
Massimiliano Truzzi, % Pollack Bros. Circus, 155 N Clark St., Chicago, Ill. (11-8-47)
Homer L. Stack, 1461 Broadway, Burlingame, Calif. (11-8-47)
Thomas S. Mallone, 407 Greenwood Road, Pikesville 8, Md. (11-8-47)
Tom Breen, 503 Weart Ave., Lyndhurst, N.J. (11-10-47)