Anthony Gatto gets confident with six clubs.
Anthony Gatto is juggling more impressively than ever back in Las Vegas after engagements in Atlantic City and the Golden Circus in Rome.
During his engagement in Rome in December and January, members of the Golden Circus audience were asked to cast a ballot for their favorite of the 16 acts. When the votes were tallied January 20, Anthony had won the public vote hands down. Millions of other Italians also saw him perform on two television shows, including the top-rated "Spectacular Six" variety show.
Gatto's control over props continues to improve. His father, coach and on-stage assistant, Nick, reported that "Anthony did a different act almost every day in Rome. We'd try something in practice and put it in the act the same day."
Toward the end of the month in Rome, Anthony began doing six clubs in performance. He has been working hard at juggling six and seven clubs, using the thin-bodied Renegade numbers club. Late last year while still working in Atlantic City, in a practice session Anthony set a personal best of 64 throws with six clubs. The stagehands who witnessed the feat bet him he couldn't better that record in one try. Always willing to accept a challenge, the 12-year old immediately began tossing them up again and did 94 more consecutive throws! His seven club best was recently 28 throws, achieved in his father's pipe shop in the family hometown in Maryland.
His eight ball juggling is coming along nicely, and he flashes nine rings in his act if the height of the ceiling allows it. He does a full pirouette with seven rings and balls, and can balance a ball on his head while juggling seven more. He now has a little more strength to power his Herculean juggling feats. He has grown to five feet tall and now weighs 100 pounds! Is he getting too old to juggle? We'll find out soon, as Anthony becomes a teenage on April 14. He will juggle in Las Vegas at the Hilton Hotels until July, then return to the Trump Palace in Atlantic City.
Dick Franco wins London Circus World Championships.
Dick Franco outscored Arturo Alegria 91-86 to win the juggling category of the Circus World Championships in London in November. Franco also won the event in 1979. A panel of ten judges from around the world gave points for "presentation" and "content" to arrive at their final scores.
Alegria, a 24-year-old Mexican, combined juggling with acrobatics. He performed a one-club throw to a handstand catch between the legs, then a back handspring to release the club back into the juggle. He did up to five boomerang hats, up to seven ping pong balls fed with the hands and four volleyballs while bouncing a fifth one off the head. (Allegria later juggled in the Monte Carlo championships.)
Franco's routine consisted of three and four balls, a five ring routine with color change, then seven rings building up from three and back down to three. He did three to five clubs, up to three ping pong balls and three chainsaws.
The championships were taped for British television. Franco also appeared on TV in Amsterdam during an engagement there and several Canadian shows while working at the Chateau Champlain Hotel in Montreal. He planned to appear with Koma Zuru, the Japanese top spinner, in the Shrine Circus in Detroit in March.
People considering entering IJA championships at the convention this summer should be aware of one major rule change. The numbers challenge is being revised to give competitors two minutes in which to make attempts at each level rather than the previous finite number of attempts allowed.
There are three numbers challenge categories: five or more clubs, seven or more balls and seven or more rings. During each competitor's two minute "window," he or she may make as many attempts as desired, and may have an additional minute to complete any attempt that begins before the clock runs out. In order to qualify for subsequent number levels, a competitor must make 2X catches, where X is the number of objects required at that level.
If no competitor qualifies for a subsequent number level, the winner will be the person who makes the greatest number of catches at the highest level attempted. The number of catches will be determined by three judges and will be reviewed on videotape only at a competitor's request. Competitors who make 2X catches may go on to the next number level and may not skip a number level. However, they may qualify at one level with more than the required number of objects. The order of competition will be determined by a hat draw and competitors must appear in order.
There are no other major rule changes in championships, except that a 5 kilometer joggling event will be held. Competitors must be IJA members and pay the designated entry fee. Only registrations postmarked between May 1 and June 15 will be accepted, unless an event has not reached its maximum registration by June 15. In that case, competitors may sign up until the day before the event with payment of a $3 late fee.
Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded to first, second and third place finishers in all stage events. Gold medals will be awarded to first place finishers in all numbers and joggling events, with certificates for second and third places. For the U.S. Nationals, $1000 will be awarded to the first place finisher, $300 to second place and $100 to third.
For the first time there will be monetary prizes for Teams as well -- $500 for first, $150 for second and $50 for third.
U.S. Nationals qualifying Wed. July 23, 9 a.m. Juniors and Numbers Challenge Wed. July 23, 7 p.m. Joggling Thurs. July 24, 10 a.m. U.S. Nationals Finals and Teams Fri., July 25, 8 p.m.
For more information on scoring guidelines, contact Holly Greeley, championships director, at the address listed below.
************************************* Championships registration form Name _____________________________ Address _____________________________ _____________________________ Phone _____________________________ Check the event you wish to enter. Make checks payable to IJA. Mail form and fees to: Holly Greeley Championships Director 69 Cherry St. W. Newton, MA 02165 617-244-8494 Amount __ U.S. Nationals ($15) ______ __ Teams ($10) ______ __ Juniors ($8) ______ __ Numbers ($8 covers all) ______ __ Rings __ Balls __ Clubs __ Joggling ($8 covers all) ______ __ 100-meter __ 1 mile __ 5-kilometer TOTAL ______ (add $3 late fee after June 15) *************************************
For the first time the IJA is offering an intensive three day club swinging pre-convention workshop. Allan Jacobs, 1983 US Nationals Champion, will give six hours of instruction per day at the convention site, San Jose State University, on July 19-21, the weekend preceding the convention. Registration is $75 for adults and $60 for those under age 15. Lodging and meals can be arranged at San Jose State.
Enrollment is limited, so get your reservation in soon. Contact Holly Greeley, 69 Cherry St., W. Newton, MA 02165. Call 617-244-8494.
The addition of the Durham, New Hampshire, site on May 10 completes the IJA's plans for coast-to-coast regional championships this spring.
The IJA's Eastern Regionals will be held in conjunction with the Third Almost Annual Live Free of Juggle Convention on the campus of the University of New Hampshire in Durham on May 10. The Western Regionals were to be held during the Isla Vista, Calif., festival April 4-6 and the Midwestern Regionals will be in Akron, Ohio, on Sunday, May 25.
Registration for the Midwestern and Eastern Regionals are still open. Winners of the three events will receive trophies and gain automatic qualification for the IJA's U.S. Nationals finals at the convention in San Jose this summer.
IJA Championships Director Holly Greeley said the regionals are an attempt by the organization to involve local juggling groups in IJA activities, and to provide a broader showcase for juggling talent than can be provided at the annual convention. Regionals judging will be done on the same basis as the U.S. Nationals at the summer convention.
To register for the Eastern Regional, contact either Holly Greeley, 69 Cherry St., W. Newton, MA 02165, (call 617-244-8494) or festival coordinator Andrew Schwartz, 257 Austin St., Portsmouth, NH 03801. Call Schwartz at 603- 431-6644 (o) or 431-5975 (h). To register for the Midwestern Regional, contact Greeley or festival coordinator Kevin Delagrange, 942 Palmetto Ave., Akron, OH 44306. Call him at 216-724-0649. For further information on either festival, see the "Festival" listing elsewhere in this issue.
The Key West, Florida, Cultural Preservation Society plans an international street performers festival for Jan. 13-16, 1987. Will Soto, a juggler who has long entertained crowds in the sunset ritual at Key West's Mallory Square, will direct the festival.
Festival organizers are preparing a program and street theatre directory. They ask that street artists send them pertinent material. You may also receive an application to participate in the festival. Write Richard Tocci, executive director, Key West CPL, Box 225, Kew West, FL 33041. Call 305-296-5819.
Airjazz plans to entertain you, and so do Albert Lucas and Anthony Gatto. These three great acts are just a few of those that emcee Robert Nelson, the Butterfly Man, will introduce to you in the "Sensations of '86" public show during the 39th IJA convention July 22-27 in San Jose, California.
Convention co-chairmen Barry and Sue Bakalor are lining up the usual offering of workshops, championships and open juggling. But they're also working on new events such as a pre-convention club swinging workshop, costume ball, banquet, street performers competition and a private show for jugglers only. The private show is conceived as a forum for jugglers to show off their latest tricks and wildest routines.
There are special deals available for IJA members from Eastern Airlines, the Holiday Inn Park Center Hotel and Alamo Rent-A-Car. See ads for those businesses in this issue of the magazine for more details. There are plans to organize inexpensive sightseeing trips to such places as San Francisco, the Santa Cruz Beach and Happy Hollow park. People are encouraged to bring children to the convention, and there is a possibility of baby-sitting services or day care at a reasonable rate.
Young jugglers age 12-16 who want to come on their own will be housed with others in their age group if desired, and the Bakalors will be glad to give reassurance to parents who call to ask about convention arrangements.
Convention organizers are anxious to make the San Jose convention the most enjoyable and exciting IJA event ever. If you're interested in any of the activities listed above, would like to perform at any of the convention events or would like to volunteer your time to help with tasks, please contact the Bakalors now. Write: Barry and Sue Bakalor, 1152 Timberpine Ct., Sunnyvale, CA 94086. Call 408-247-3123.
Michael Marlin starred in a unique series of commercials for Toyota that have been aired in California recently and may eventually be seen elsewhere in the country. Working with the DJMC ad agency of Los Angeles, Marlin helped write 14 different skits featuring his verbal and juggling skills for Toyota truck clearance commercials. Each ad featured Marlin joking and doing a different form of manipulation in a two week count-down to the last day of the sale. He introduced the series by saying, "Hello, I'm Michael Marlin..." in the initial skit. That type of named introduction is rare for all but the best-known stars in the business. Each of the spots ended with presentation of the number of days left in the promotion using a configuration of the juggling objects.
Objects he manipulated, or manipulated upon, were hats, balls, cigar boxes, rings, rolling globe, torches, devil sticks and a tightwire. His feats included juggling seven balls on the rolling globe, and the different characters he portrayed included a punk rocker (torches), a ballet dancer (scarves) and a nerd (rolling globe).
In another unique venture, Marlin appeared as five different characters in the Los Angeles Chamber Ballet's production of "Le Petit Prince." His non-speaking role included several juggling skits as he portrayed a king, a conceited man, a businessman, a geographer and a drunk that the main character encounters in the course of his extra-terrestial voyage of fancy. A reviewer for the "Los Angeles Herald" wrote, "Michael Marlin steals the show, enchanting as he assumes five roles. His juggling doesn't seem antithetical to the ballet, but is used to illustrate each character."
Following its Los Angeles success, the ballet is scheduled to tour the western states this fall. National television audiences should also see Marlin beginning in June as a juggler in an advertisement for Impulse perfume.
There's been a plethora of jugglers in television commercials recently. One of the most widely recognized is the Lite beer subject who asks for a light and gets three flashlights instead.
Others include Gene Jones of New York City, who has been juggling three eggs on the air for the New England Brown Egg Council in the Northeast for more than a year. Frizzy the Clown is juggling diverse household appliances to demonstrate that Mita copiers don't "juggle" anything but their copiers.
Several other companies included juggling in commercials, but the jugglers were unknown at press time. A chef in a Riunite commercial does three bottles and there's a juggler in a Mr. Goodbar carnival theme commercial. There's a McDonald's DLT commercial featuring a juggling jester in its Renaissance theme. Lana Reed received nationwide acclaim a while back as the competent secretary juggling tasks for Wang. Albert Lucas juggled seven diverse objects for a Canadian television ad. And finally, there are cartoon jugglers advertising Froot Loops and Pac Man cereals.
Back from his European visit, Kris Kremo is again fascinating showroom crowds in the Lido show at the Stardust Hotel. Spiced with comedy, he displays a high degree of skill with balls, top hats and cigar boxes in a superb example of how a performer can entertain an audience.
He begins with a 3 ball routine, then moves on to a superb demonstration with red top hats. At one point, he purposely drops one and gets a laugh by removing a medal he wore onto the stage. Later, he purposely drops a cigar box and turns it to advantage by withdrawing to a dark corner for some frantic practice. For a finale, Kremo tosses up his cigar boxes and does a triple spin to catch them just below waist level. His prop manipulations are embellished by beautiful orchestral arrangements tailored to every move.
Nino Frediani recently left Las Vegas after a three-year engagement. Billed as "the fastest juggler in the world," he demonstrates speed and prowess with four clubs. However, his forte is audience involvement in his ring routine.
Frediani tosses rings to individuals and invites them to throw them back over his head. He capitalizes on the bad throws by lunging all over the stage to attempt the catch. I once saw him land in the audience in his determination to catch a bad throw! One of his favorite gags is receiving a bad and dangerous throw from a patron in the "private sector" of his anatomy. Frediani makes it hilarious by appearing to suffer a little, then doing ballet steps on stage and lisping.
Each December, the Principality of Monte Carlo welcomes circus fans to the International Circus Festival. Uniting artists of international acclaim, this festival offers regularly excellent shows. The ambiance is unique, and the competition aggravates strong sentiments and reactions. Arturo Alegria, Victor Vassiliev and Consuela Reyes defended the difficult art of juggling at the 1985 festival.
Consuela Reyes is an antipodist. This tall and supple young woman, very pretty, fused grace with perfect dexterity. She juggles with her feet, of course, but uses also her hands to create interesting changes of rhythm -- juggling with hands, feet, or the two together, linking the rhythms in ever more captivating ways. She manipulated five balls, then two and three cylinders. She creates an impressive exercise with these latter, throwing one cylinder to stand on end on the first with great ease. She said the most difficult exercise in her act was the five balls, which took her two years to learn. And that with already had ten years of experience behind her!
Victor Vassiliev is French, despite his name. He studied in Moscow because his father was a Soviet clown. Red vest, black pants, white gloves and cane, he came into the ring to play master of the hat. Such an act for so little effort! Victor used his cane like a majorette's baton, then juggled with a hat, gloves and cane. He next put away the gloves and added a cigar. But essentially he used hats (up to five). His work was varied and of a unique style. All the same, he lacked the little things that transform good work into an act that excites the public.
On the other hand, Arturo Alegria had just that. This fiery 24-year-old Mexican took up the whole ring. With a crazy dynamism, he complicated his juggling with acrobatics. He never ceased moving, throwing three then five clubs, balls balls to very rhythmic melodies. The highlight of his act was ping pong balls, which he shot into the air with movements of his diaphragm. He started with three balls, returned to two and added a perilous jump between the shot and the catch, then finished with five. The speed was such that it was hard to count.
Above all, his originality was his flying sombreros. He used them as others use plates, making a tour of the ring juggling three in one hand. Then he threw five hats into the vast space of the tent and crowned the act with an excellent tumbling run. Alegria won the only prize among the jugglers, the Press Association of Variety, Dance and Circus (PAVDEC) Award.
This year the jury, led by Prince Ranier III of Monaco, gave out four silver clowns and two gold. Silver clowns went to Yasmine Smart (Britain) for an equestrian act, Mademoiselle Kong Hongwen (China) for a pagoda of chairs, Youri Kouklatchev (Soviet Union) for an act with cats, and to the Trio Zalewski (Poland) for a trampoline act. Gold clowns went to The Doveikos (Soviet Union) for a teeterboard act, and to the two troupes of the national circus of Pying Yang (Korea). One presented acrobatics on a mat and the other with a teeterboard act.
The results of an International Unicycling Federation membership survey reveal that juggling is the second-most frequently mentioned auxiliary interest in this group. Among 18 choices ranging from acrobatics to skiing, juggling was mentioned by 67 percent of the 91 respondents. The only higher entry was performing, at 68 percent. Next most popular answers were: giraffe unicycle - 64 percent; recreation - 54 percent; bicycling - 36 percent; and artistic riding - 32 percent.
The survey was aimed at aiding the IUF develop future activities.