The IJA executive board recently got together on the phone to discuss things. They set a 1986-87 fiscal year budget of $61,000, excluding convention expenses. Membership was listed as 2,176. Rich Chamberlin, secretary, turned over copyright of his "Comedy Juggling" book to the IJA. Reprint of Roger Montandon's "The Jugglers Annual Bulletin" by the IJA was also discussed.
Kevin Delagrange said his convention planning encompasses a search for show talent, organization of historical events and an awards ceremony, a Field Day, corporate sponsorship and pre-convention workshops. There are also plans for inductions into the new IJA Juggling Hall of Fame.
Enlargement of the board of directors or use of a new counsel of advisers was promoted to involve more people in IJA decision-making and responsibility-sharing. That plan does not preclude the 1987 elections, however. Anyone wanting to run for an IJA office (president, vice president, treasurer, championships director and three directors-at-large) should submit a statement of candidacy to the IJA by March 15.
A new membership survey was reviewed, and will be mailed to people renewing memberships.
Affiliates are invited to consider hosting an IJA annual convention. Proposals for the 1989 IJA convention site are being solicited for presentation at this summer's Akron convention. Call Rich at 716/876-5331.
If you're not up for handling the glories and headaches of an annual convention, how about staging a weekend IJA regional championships event? Can you work it into your planned festival? Contact championships director Barry Bakalor 408/247-3123.
Please note that your membership renewal date is now printed on your mailing label. Renewals are still $15 per year, or you may renew for multiple years.
The IJA would like to thank the following people who have signed on as IJA Life Members since publication of the last issue of this magazine:
Anyone interested in the Life Member program should contact the IJA office, Box 29, Kenmore, NY 14217. 716-876-5331.
Spirits are high among jugglers in Akron, Ohio, site of the IJA's forthcoming 40th Anniversary Annual Convention. The historical theme of the event will accent everything from the welcome party on Tuesday, July 13, to the final public show the following Saturday night, July 18. Eddie Johnson, an IJA founder, is organizing a Friday afternoon workshop panel of early members who will reminisce about juggling days of yore. Among those early members already planning on attending this year are Art Jennings, the IJA's first president, Bobby Jule, George Barvin, Bobby Jule and Roger Dollarhide.
Convention chairman Kevin Delagrange is beginning the week on the University of Akron campus with an IJA birthday party in place of the traditional welcome party. The IJA private show Wednesday night will be "Old & New Vaudeville." If you're interested in presenting your talent, whichever category it fits, please contact Delagrange. Craig Barnes, producer of the Saturday night finale show, will be giving that convention grande finale an historical twist as well.
Delagrange promises comfort as well as entertainment. "We're looking at facilities like we've never had," he said. "The people are going to be comfortable and close." Delagrange is being assisted in convention planning by fellow Rubber City Jugglers Tom Bennett and Denny Smith. For more information on any convention business, call Delagrange at 216/724-0649.
The 40th anniversary Akron convention July 13-19 presents a good opportunity for increased involvement of IJA affiliates and clubs.
Here are a few ideas: Affiliates can handle various jobs around the convention site. Volunteer members of your club to handle stage preparation for an event, security for a day, organization of the parade, teach juggling lessons to the public, or whatever.
Sponsor an award for a deserving competitor. The Atlanta Jugglers Association kicked off this idea with its "Wild Style Award" to Bob Nickerson at the 1986 convention.
Are you a juggling history buff? Display your collection, or help out in the History Lounge. Do it as a club and contribute to the success of the event, besides enjoying it as a participant.
And, win a 10 percent convention discount or props by teaching people to juggle! The IJA will give prizes to individuals and clubs teaching the most people to juggle on National Juggling Day, June 20, 1987. Jahnathon Whitfield and the California Institute have become the first to announce participation in the event. Join him with a one-day festival in your hometown and tickle new juggle-bones! Contact Tricia Allen at 303/32B-ALLS.
Those interested in leading a workshop should be able to conduct a group in the designated subject for an hour and be prepared to create a syllabus to distribute to students. Workshop leaders who make arrangements ahead of time will receive a 10 percent discount on their convention package. Interested parties should contact Alexis Lee, 495 Greenwood Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30308 (404)881-1487.
Leaders are sought for the following subjects: Three balls, beginning and advanced; Club passing, beginning and advanced; Multiplex; Numbers juggling; Hat manipulation; Ball spinning; Diablo; Devil stick; Fire juggling and eating; Unicycle; Club swinging; Street performing; Magic; Physical comedy; Teaching juggling for a living; Comedy writing; Bounce juggling; Kickups; Juggling business; Mime and movement; Performance and coaching; Acrobatics; Ring juggling; Juggling and health; Balloon art; and Boomerang.
George W. DeMott, 79, of Leesburg, Fla., died Oct. 22, 1986. Raised on a farm in Millville, Pa., he spent 45 years as a professional juggler, magician and clown.
At age 18, while working as the stage door man at the Fox Theatre in Philadelphia, he met Harry Houdini. Houdini, juggler William Hilton and other professional entertainers inspired his own career. He toured around the U.S. and Canada performing with circuses and vaudeville shows. For 16 years he toured for the Lecture and Concert Booking Bureaus with a full-length program of juggling and comedy. He pioneered juggling into the school assembly program field as the first entertainer to present only juggling to this audience.
He wrote and illustrated a basic textbook for jugglers entitled "Want To Be A Juggler?" published by the Montandon Company. He was also a free-lance contributor to many show business journals and proficient enough on the cornet to play in a town band.
He was an early IJA member, helping organize its first convention and serving two terms as chaplain. He was a 25-year member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, and a member of the American Federation of Musicians, International Platform Association and American Guild of Variety Artists.
He collected show business memorabilia, much of which is in the theatrical and circus section of the New York City Public Library, the Circus Hall of Fame in Sarasota and the Egyptian Hall of Magic Museum in Brentwood, Tenn.
Director Guy Caron of the Canadian L'Ecole Nationale de Cirque (and artistic director of the Cirque du Soleil) stages an annual juggling workshop for students of the school and other interested people. Last year his special guest was Airjazz.
This year Lotte Brunn and Karl-Heinz Ziethen were there. Brunn demonstrated her expertise and coached students, while Ziethen showed juggling videos and passed along his knowledge of the greats of the art. The students learned a lot in three days, and saw many of European acts on the videos they never saw before.
The circus school complex is among the best in the western world. The great teachers and choreographers led Ziethen to comment, "I almost thought I was at the Moscow Circus School!" The government of Montreal, Quebec, finances the school, and for the past three years has also operated the Cirque du Soleil (Sun Circus). It's a very theatrical presentation, with great lighting, modern music, young performers and much comedy. The Big Apple Circus is a small copy of a European circus, but the Cirque du Soleil is something completely new in a country that has almost no history of circus. Next year they will tour California in September, and will also be a part of the Los Angeles Theatre Festival.
The jugglers at the workshop included 24-year-old Eric Borgman from Holland, who works with real soccer balls. He does one ball work, difficult spinning tricks, bounces two balls on his head about 50 times and juggles with 3, 4 and 5. He goes from 4 to 5 by kicking one up with his foot into the pattern.
Frederic Zipperlin was the second juggler. He is working on a different act with up to 7 balls and also rolls the balls on his back. Like Cinquevalli he is now practicing the human billiard table routine. In dance moves he bounces 6 balls in a circle, and like Bob Bramson does hoop rolling in a circle. Both Borgman and Zipperlin returned to Europe in November.
Daniel Gulko is a clever boy, and teacher at the school until the end of January. He is a perfectionist with devil sticks and small balls, reminiscent of Andrew Allen.
Pierre Duhaime from Montreal, a juggler with the Sun Circus in 1984 and 1985, did a club swinging workshop. He is working with Raymond Bolduc and Alain Benoit as "Les agents manipulateurs," one of the best-known comedy juggling acts in Canada.
Eddy Krzeptowski, organizer of the 1985 European convention and European Juggling Association, announces that he has disbanded that association due to lack of interest. "It is clear that the idea is nonsense without the approval of European jugglers, and 80 percent of them are not interested," Krzeptowski said. The association lasted for a year and attracted less than 50 members.
A heated battle is going on between two cigar box balancers for the honor of appearing as the Guinness world champion in the category. Bruce Block's supremacy in the category is being challenged by Michael Toro of Sarasota, Fla., who had the upper hand at press time. Toro has balanced 90 boxes, according to Gene Jones, Guinness world judge for juggling.
In other Guinness news, Jones said Tom Martin of Holland, Mich., has set a new three ball endurance mark of 3:14.21 without a drop or a break. That eclipses an old record of 2:56 held by Larry Vaksman of Philadelphia, Penn. Another new Guinness champion is Maxwell Ruppe, who spun seven basketballs for the required five seconds.
Jones said Guinness wants to establish some records for heavyweight juggling. He invites people with suggestions and inquiries to contact him at Box 383, NY, NY 10040. Call 212-568-5603.
Louie Zeller of Marshall, N.C., was the cover artist for the 1987 IJA Roster. That credit was inadvertently omitted from the Roster.