I was the guest lecturer for the Kiwanis International here in Taipei, Taiwan, speaking about juggling as a stress reduction sport for business executives. Got written up in the paper and "everythang," by God! Very successful! About 25 Chinese businessmen and a few Westerners were there. Low ceiling, poor light, excellent show!
There was a 5.7 earthquake just when I was about to throw up my first ball. The audience was suddenly very talkative and excited. I was puzzled, for since I was standing and moving and thinking I didn't feel a thing! "What's so funny?" I asked. "We just had an earthquake," someone said. I thought they were joking! But later I had a real surprise when the paper reported it. I guess you could say my show really moved the audience!
We joined the German "wahlkampf" this year on the platform of electing the famous balancing circus chimp, Bubu, chancellor of West Germany for the next four years. Because the weather was 15-below-zero, Bubu didn't make it this time. But as he told us later, there is always hope for the 1991 campaign!
I had to write to correct a couple of errors in the Fall issue. You should be more careful to check facts when talking about "records." You state that Mary Wisser holds the record for the most IJA conventions attended in a row. I attended every one from 1968 through 1983, which makes 16 in a row, and Stu Raynolds may have even more than that! Other than that, I'm looking forward to coming to convention again this summer in Akron.
In the eight years that I have been enjoying a career as a variety performer, I have been many places and performed for hundreds of thousands of people. The comment is too often heard - "You told us you were a juggler, but we didn't expect you to be good!"
What's going on here, folks?
Recently I was booked on a trans-Atlantic cruise. When I boarded in Rome, the cruise director asked what sort of an act I do. I told him it was comedy juggling. He told me, "Don't expect to be very well received. We've had jugglers here before, and they haven't gone down well." I later learned that previous acts had been put off in ports before the end of their contracts. I was starting with a disadvantage - the reputation of previous jugglers.
Fortunately, I was very well received, and invited to stay aboard for the next three months. But I'm continually running into similar situations. Why?
If you are a performing juggler, please be a professional. Do your job well. Satisfy your audience and your employer. Take pride in your craft. Above all, don't be boring. If we can increase our professionalism, we can increase our bookings and our paychecks!
Anthony Gatto, Dana Tison, Ken Falk, David Lucas, David Deeble and Robbie Weinstein. These are just some of the many good young jugglers who have popped up in the past few years. Ten years ago, only a handful of jugglers of any age were doing five clubs. At recent conventions, you could find at least 15 junior jugglers doing it.
I think that there are enough serious young jugglers to hold a Juniors Forum at the annual conventions. The IJA could also consider giving youth a page in Juggler's World. How many of you out there share my feelings?
As suggested in the Winter issue, I tried out fingernail polish remover to clean my clubs. I personally found that it removed no visible dirt or grime - and I tried two kinds, one with acetone and one without. So I'm back to using regular cleanser and a scrub brush.