Shootin' The Breeze
We're always so busy putting the bee under others to write material for the Bulletin that we scarcely have time to write up the few ideas that keep clogging our gray matter, so this page, a Christmas present, is written with the hope you'll find a bare idea that you can develop for your Juggling act for 1948.
C. Thomas Magrum, a magish of no mean skill, who is presently playing schools for one of those workhorse bureaus uses a clever two-ball quickie that Jugs could well afford to include in a ball routine. Two balls are held as in illustration #1. By pressing hands together the two balls, rolling against each other and palms of hands, rise to tips of fingers. By releasing pressure the balls descend. Hands are actually held in slightly more of a "V" than indicated by the illustration.
The speed and efficiency of the grapevine method of dissemination of knowledge is alway marvelous to behold and by such means an origination of the late Bert Kalmar has reached this office. While Bert probably never used it for Juggling purposes, it make a slick Jugglequickie. Jug turns around for a second and places a handkerchief over face and holds it in place with a pair of specs (if you don't wear 'em you can use a pair of horn rims without the glasses). Then stick a cigarette or cigar in mouth and while puffing merrily away, do a little juggle. You'll find that you can see plenty through the cloth to do several nifties and the grotesque appearance of the get-up is enough to evoke a titter if nothing else.
#1 Palms with two balls
#2 Juggling with face covered
#3 Juggling with cello
#4 Jugger in coat and tails and then sweatshirt
Looking for some odd ways to start your juggling act? How about being introduced as a great cello artist and entering with a cello which is stuck to the floor or held vertical by means of music rack type of folding legs. Hat and coat are hung on instrument. Door in rear of instrument is opened to reveal props. As props are used they are returned to their place in cello and at conclusion of act you are ready to pull stakes an silently steal away.
Or why not an introduction as a famous violinist. Come out with a violin case under arm and in full dress clothes. Violin case contains props. Take off hat and tails to reveal you wearing a college sweat shirt -- which should allow for more freedom in doing the 9 hoop juggle.
We voice the sentiments of all Jugglers in expressing our sympathies to the survivors of Flo Talent and Arthur Mowatt.
Florence Talent (Flo Merritt), for 18 years partner with Bill Talent, (known as team of Talent and Merit) passed away October 16 in Los Angeles.
Arthur Mowatt, former member of the acts, Five Mowatts, Five O'Clubs, Stanley, Rip and Mowatt, and the duo, Art and Ben Mowatt, passed away November 12 in San Fernanado, California.
While we never seem caught up with things to send out Christmas card we envy those that do. This year we received so many we couldn't hope to thank each personally so please accept this an an appreciation of your remembrance. Quite a number were so unusual that we believe you'd enjoy them too, and so we've reprinted a few.
May we also express our thanks to THIS WEEK magazine and authors Grant and Marjorie Heilman for permission to reprint the article appearing at the right. We'd like to see more and more such publicity for Juggling and Jugglers.
Two Christmas cards
ART: A tiny flaw can ruin an act
"And Don't Drop It!"
That's the only caution Harry Lind gives his customers. His business: making trick props for jugglers....
Harry Lind has few opinions on the atom bomb, Dewey for president, or the Michigan football team. But mention juggling to him and you may as well draw up a chair and be comfortable -- you're there for the day.
Lind's explosive interest in juggling comes naturally, for he is the grand old man of the art. Even today, at 67, he can buzz through a routine which stuns many a modern professional.
When he retired for the stage almost 30 years ago, Lind settled down in Jamestown, N.Y., making props for other jugglers. Today there's scarcely a professional juggler who doesn't use a set of Lind's clubs.
Juggling, once an art only for a handful of professionals, has now become a sport of such major proportions that there is a monthly magazine devoted entirely to it. Bandleader Horace Heidt owns a set of Lind's clubs. A doctor who finds juggling an excellent way to relax takes lessons from Lind.
Saved His Life
H.V.Kaltenborn, the radio commentator one saved his own life by juggling. Mistakenly arrested and about to be executed as a revolutionary in China in 1927, and realizing his only hope lay in stalling for time - the correspondent began an impromtu juggling act with three oranges from his pocket. The Chinese howled with delight. During his act, help arrived and the error was cleared up.
Although Lind makes a standard club, most props have their own special patterns on file with him. Scarcely a morning's mail comes without a request for something new. He made a club for Juggler Stan Cavanaugh which would spring open in midair and drop three smaller clubs from it.
Lind's illuminated clubs are toughest to make. They have translucent sidewalls, batteries and a tiny light bulb inside. They're used on a blacked-out stage.
At present Lind is excited about a young fellow he has heard of in Sweden - Francis Brunn. Brunn is said to have a routine in which he balances on ball on the index finger of his right hand, another on a stick held in his mouth and a third on a stick balanced on his forehead. While he does this, he calmly stands on his left leg, spins a hoop around his right leg and juggles three more hoops in the air with this left hand. "That", say Harry Lind, "is something I want to see" - Grant and Marjorie Heilman.
Reprinted from THIS WEEK Magazine. Copyright 1947 by the United Newspapers Magazine Corporation.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT by DOUG COUDEN
Opinions differ among the pros as to just what should be published in this Bulletin. Should tricks of the trade be made public property? I am not referring to actual tricks, but angles which would be of help to young jugs contemplating a professional career. As there are too few Betty Gorhams, Neal Suddards, etc. planning to crack the prop ranks, I feel that the Juggler's Bulletin should be the medium through which beginners should be given tips which would help them get started.
Remember, the Bulletin is read almost exclusively by jugglers and information contained herein is not made public property by a long shot. Publishing ideas in J.B. has nothing in common with the expose of magic tricks which magicians so seriously object to. What the magi squawk about is the fact that tricks are sometimes exposed in public performances to get laughs, or secrets are exposed in publications other than trade mags. Even though the secret is half of the magic trick, anyone can obtain these secrets by buying books on magic or by buying the trick itself through the dealers.
A Juggling trick, however, is based primarily on practice. A beginner many desire to do a certain trick but even after he decides to learn it and gets the correct working method, considerable practice is required before he can actually perform it.
This series of short articles will contain certain angles of juggling for the beginner to think about and apply, rather than actual tricks. Another thought for pros who object to having info dispensed herein, is that many of our present day subscribers are amateurs who have no desire to enter the full time professional ranks. These are also all too few. If we had many more who do juggling as a hobby, it would be a big boost in business for the prop makers, bigger circulation for the Bulletin as well as making it profitable for more and better juggling books to be published. All this would result in a wider interest in juggling and would benefit the pro rather than handicap him. Something to think about!
JUG JUGGLESON'S LETTER by DOUG COUDEN illustrated by JOE MARSH
Jug In Prison Garb
Dear Roger. We're back in Ga. again where the Civil War aint over yet. We should bill ourselves as the 2 Souths, Mason & Dixon, ha, ha. I'm a real actor now and not like the side show phonies. I had a hotter argument with By Golly than when I was with the Swift-Elgin Troupe which was a 9 people act. The troupe broke up because of an argument over the lady juggler. The Elgins won and they still have the lady juggler. Tom Elgin was the first guy who done 3 clubs blindfolded and he didn't need no hole in the blindfold for the off eye neither. So it would up the 5 Elgins, the 3 Swifts and I done a single. I got off the track so back to the By Golly show. The bill for the 2nd night is the Count of Monte Christo and I'm cast as the prisoner and have to lay behind bars for years but only in the play, ha, ha. Here's where my striped prisoners suit came in handy again and I sent to Nyacks for a long white beard and make a fine appearance for my part like I'm about to croak. By Golly wanted me to do my prisoners juggling act that night but I argued it wasn't the McCoy to stay in character and hop around when I was supposed to be on the ropes from my long stay in the klink. But I done is and got big laughs and now after I do the comedy cannon balls I always say I made that trick with the wood balls up out of my own head and hand enough wood left over to start a match factory which panics them. I like working in the old prisoner wardrobe as it reminds me of the good workouts in Kelly's Celar with the sawdust on the floor and all. Marie went to college like you Roger. After she finished school she went to business college. I tell them on the show I'm a college man myself, Yale College. So we should all have a college yell like Hurrah for Harvard, Hurrah for Yale, we're the ones who learn by mail, Jugs bul, rah, rah, rah. Not bad, not bad, So long, Jug.
JUGGLERS' JUNCTION by BETTY GORHAM
Here and there: Jack Taylor writes that he saw Boy Foy near his home in England, also visited with Joe Marsh. Eddy Johnson always adding original tricks to his act and never too busy to help other jugs. Doug and Lola down in La., missing all the snow and cold weather. Doug has suggested a "Trading Post" for spare jug items and pics. How about it? The Willys continental act here recently with Polack Bros. Western Unit. The show closed in Davenport for a five week lay-off and the Willy started playing night clubs and theatres, opening at Charleston, W. Va. To be remember especially is their fine ladder balancing and spectacular finish. It was really a pleasure to meet William Hoffam and his wife. He is of the fifth generation of show people, and his parents who were jugglers owned a circus in Italy. After coming to this country in 1940, he served in the armed forces and became an American citizen. Other juggling with Polack's was done by one of the Randow Bros., clowns who did cloth hat spinning and a foot juggler. Harry Lind's juggling props are the subject of "And Don't Drop It" an article which appeared in THIS WEEK magazine section of the Des Moines Register and other Sunday papers, Nov. 30. (Ed's note: The above article is reprinted elsewhere in this Bulletin).
The following reviews are reprinted from Stanyon's "MAGIC". These review 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.
Explanatory Programmes, (In every issue for No1, Vol. I, to present date).
SYLVO, Tramp Juggler.
Appears, attired as a tramp carrying a delapidated gladstone bag, walks very slowly right across stage and disappears momentarily at opposite "Wing", then reappears and places bag on stage. Takes off his gloves and blows them off stage, on to one "wing" and the other to opposite wing. Both gloves are, doubtless, attached to elastic which would necessitate the march past already mentioned.
Previous to removing gloves he pulls off dummy (hollow) fingers, each with a spike and throws them as darts, into top of table.
Strikes match on striker sewn on seat of trousers, smokes cigar, and puts lighted match in pocket, vest &c. and keeps pulling it out again lighted, actions suggest match getting warm. Duplicate matches and strikers, can be arranged as required. Attempts to juggle plate, and suddenly finds another match alight in trousers pocket.
Dexterously juggles a lighted lamp on a plate.
Spits on drop scene attempting to stick his hat there, hat falls to floor twice but at third attempt it remains suspend to scene, perhaps with the help of a sharp hook on metal plate sewn to one side of hat.
Spins plate on whip stock, lash end of whip at the bent part is balanced and spins on edge of another plate help in mouth (our cat. no 2386). Knocks whip away and catches top plate, still spinning, on finger.
Takes hat off scene. Take coat off, brushes it and remarks "getting sultry", puts coat on floor and wipes boots on it.
Juggles with top hat, dexterous twists and throws, with funny patter something after this style. "I make it a certainty (if the trick comes off) every time" (if he fails) to miss this trick sometimes, or "I always do this trick the first time" or "sometimes" as the case may be. This ruse is of course noticed and creates much merriment.
Juggles three bottles (our No. 2386) kneeling, and knocks each bottle as caught on stage. Hat goes on dancing on floor (thread across stage) and finally goes off at "wing".
X. Glass on two cigar boxes; tries to throw all up and catch all "end on" but fails and throws all on floor. Keeps trying this repeatedly, fails each time, and "gets wild".
Unpacks bag of cigar boxes, "all the gentleman are going to have cigars -- when they buy them." Goes to juggle cigar boxes, get warm and throws off innumerable collars.
Balances lamp on a pile of cigar boxes and knocks boxes away one at a time, and other and the usual tricks. Every now and then tries the trick "X" with the same result and finally remarks, "I will explain the idea to you." Does so, leaving trick still unaccomplished.
Picks up pile of cigar boxes from table on knife, balancing pile on knife. Juggles three boxes a la juggling bricks. Wipes perspiration off forehead and throws a "bomb" on floor.
Does the trick "X" and shows, as he leaves the stage that three three articles are all tied together.
CHINKO (The Clever Boy Juggler).
Programme, HIPPODROME, Sept 14th, 1900
A combination of movements in throws and balancing a Silk Hat; balancing Hat on Umbrella and trick movements with umbrella (closed); throwing the Hat, umbrella (closed) and ball of paper, catching hat on head, then lifing hat from rear and catching paper under hat; throwing a small table, hat, and umbrella (open); spins a basin on billiard cue (right hand), and throws a pail and a plate (left hand); throws a white top hat, umbrella, and travelling bag; throws three tea plates (inner, out, and shower), nose movement and three in one hand; Indian clubs, first throws and manipulates two, then kicks up a third, ad throws the three (shower and and back movements); throwing balls (a small size) showers five, and throws eight, four in each hand, the eight balls however are treated as four only two being handed at one time (ordinary movement); throwing four tea plates two each hand, concluding with the Boomerang Plate. The performance was given in the arena, eminently suited to this latter act, which was well done and produced loud applause.
See "New Juggling tricks,", No 7 serial.
The following is a list of names and addresses of IJA members since the issuance of the first roster.
The date in parenthesis indicates the date dues were received.
Bert Hanley, 82 Waltham St., Boston-19, Mass (11-19-47)
Wilfrid DuBois, 696 Hanover St. Manchester, N/H (12-1-47)
Andy Thumser, 2237 Prentiss Place, Baltimore, 5 Md. (12-1-47)
George Swift, % Wm. Morris Office, RKO Bldg. Radio City, N.Y. (12-3-47)
Alfred Swift, (above address) (12-3-47)
Billy Swift, (above address) (12-3-47)
Lee Ross, 325 W. 45th St., New York, N.Y (12-7-47)
Oscar Firschke, 306 W. 73 St. New York, N.Y. (12-7-47_)
Horace M. Lorette, 1733 No. 27th St., Phila.-21, PA. (12-7047)
John Beahan, 349 W. 58th St., New York, N.Y. (12-7-47)
Harry L. Price, 4016 Roland Ave., Baltimore-11 Md (12-9-47)
Violet I. Carlson, 61 Delafield Pl., Livingston-10, Staten Island, N.Y. (12-9-47)
Stuart Raynolds, 302 Fall Creek Dr. Ithaca, N.Y. (12-16-47)
Bill Talent Coughlin, 5739 Fernwood Ave., Hollywood-28, Calif. (12-7-47)
George DeMott, Columbia County, Millville, Pa (12-19-47)
Louis Rich, 56 Boyd St., Buffalo-13, N.Y. (12-19-47)