Juggler's World: Vol. 39, No. 2

Tips and Tricks

Gag lines through the ages...

Try these three together:

During the editorship of Lou Meyer, readers of the "Newsletter" were subjected to a merciless deluge of punny wit and dislocated humor. Here is a sampling:


From the "Bulletin," May 1945

You may wonder how I started the six club juggle. Here's the way I got them in the air: Hold four clubs in the right hand and two in the left. Toss the two in left hand in the air, triple turns, and reach over and quickly take one from the right hand. Mix it in with the first two to do three in the left hand. From there the three in the right hand start off on their merry journey through space.

Six clubs in the air takes up quite a bit of room, and if the clubs are not in their proper channels the only thing left to do is to hold your hands over your head in a protective manner and step out of the way of the cord of wood coming down at you.

Oldie but Goodie...

From the "Bulletin," September 1945

Here's a comedy quickie that has been used by many jugglers. After a rather difficult feat of jugglery, the performer removes his handkerchief from his coat breast pocket, wipes the perspiration from his brow and throws the hank to the floor. It bounces back up to the hand and is replaced in pocket, and the show goes on.

The secret lies in a small rubber ball sewn in the center of the hank. If you prefer to eliminate the sewing, the ball can be held in the center of the hank with a rubber band.

And toss in the bath water, too!

From the "Bulletin," October 1946

If you are looking for something way off the beaten track in novelty juggling, the juggling of three baby dolls will appeal to you. The three dolls are made similar to clubs in weight and balance. Head and face features should be bold and well modelled. The "baby" can be dressed to any taste. "Babies" may be wheeled on in a baby carriage and if you have a fair vent voice the juggling can proceed amidst crying effects. Other ways of using these "dead-end kids" will suggest themselves. (illustration)

Well, shut my mouth!

From the "Bulletin," December 1946

For some time we mulled over some means of obtaining balls that would be more novel than just picking them up from a table. We ran onto a device that struck our fancy in an old magic booklet by U.F. Grant. The device is a head of a clown made of plywood or heavy cardboard. Every time the neck tie is pulled by the performer a ball pops out of the wide opened mouth of the clown face. The balls are in a tube fastened to the back of the face and pulling the tie operates a hinged flap, permitting a ball to roll out. The clown face could be mounted on a pedestal or sit on a table or fastened to a music stand base. (illustration)

A Clean Act for the Family Crowd

From the "Bulletin," February 1947

Make a solution of high grade soap dissolved in warm water with a small quantity of pure gum arabic and about a third by volume of glycerine. The actual amounts will be found by trial, as it depends on the kind of soap used.

This mixture is well mixed and left to stand for a while, well corked in a bottle. The tube used for blowing the bubbles is made of cardboard, about one inch in diameter at the largest end, and is waxed. The ends are bent over as in the illustration.

Bubbles blown with this solution can be handled easily by a juggler wearing woolen gloves. The secret is that all sticks, etc., used for bouncing, rolling, and balancing are covered with woolen material. Some very good effects can be worked out with this novelty. (illustration)

Is This Guy Serious?

H.M. Lorrette

From the "Newsletter," March 1952

My advice to all the 11 ball jugglers - In starting hold six balls in the right hand and five in the left hand (but don't use balls any larger than lacrosse ones). Now start your cascade, but keep the balls an equal distance apart, or they may possibly hit each other, which would be a catastrophe, and be careful in stopping them, that you have the six in the right hand and the five in the left. To drop even one ball wouldn't look nice.

In order to assure smooth manipulation, practice juggling five balls in the right hand, change over the same five to the left. Do this several times and it will make your nine ball juggling easy. This same practice advanced to six balls in each hand separately will insure perfection for the 11. Do not get discouraged. It may only take from 12 to 15 years practice of approximately five to seven hours a day. But what is a little thing like that if you really love art?

Miscellaneous ball moves

Do the usual cascade and catch one ball on your elbow. Let the ball roll down your arm, over the back of your hand and back into the juggle.

A tricky move with a novel effect is to work the usual cascade, throw two balls high and pass the other ball from hand to hand above the head (don't throw it) and resume juggling. The two balls are thrown alternately in the regular cascade rhythm.

Juggling three balls with your hands crossed is very effective and quite easy.

Vin Carey's Juggling Bartender

The illustration shows the props as used. The table is constructed in the form of a three-fold screen with an overhanging top which is about 18 by 24 inches. Overall height is 34 inches. The sides are 14 inches wide and hinged to fold flat to the front panel. There is a shelf set about 12 inches from the top and makes a place to dispose of various articles after they have been used. Articles are numbered as follows:

  1. Table made as described above.
  2. Three juggling rings painted and lettered and hung on table to represent the Ballantine beer trademark.
  3. A bowl which will fasten on to the top of pole #10 for a chin balance. It contains juggling balls painted to represent fruit and the bottom has some confetti in it.
  4. Juggling balls painted to represent fruit, or use real fruit.
  5. Trick pitcher sold by magic dealers as "the milk vanishing pitcher."
  6. Spinning tub representing a small champagne tub. This is either wood or painted to represent a wooden ice tub.
  7. Artificial ice cubes from pieces of plastic.
  8. Three bottles turned from wood and painted to represent champagne bottles with labels from regular bottles. The necks or handles are painted with gold paint to represent gold foil on regular bottles. These are juggled like clubs.
  9. Large white napkin wrapped around a bottle.
  10. Balancing stick for the fruit bowl.
  11. Stick for the spinning tub.
  12. Stick for spinning the napkin. (These sticks rest on hooks on the back of the table or can be in a sort of quiver fastened to the back leg of the table.)

The Routine:

Juggler, dressed in white shirt, black tie, bartender's short jacket and black trousers, pushes on the portable bar. Do your best routine of three, four or five balls using the fruit or balls painted like it. Balls are replaced on the shelf under the table. Then do three rings.

The empty fruit bowl is then placed on top of the balance stick, (but is actually fastened to it by means of a bayonet catch) and wine is apparently poured into the bowl from the magic milk pitcher. All is balanced on the chin, but the juggler loses the balance and it looks like the audience will get doused. Instead, the bowl tips out confetti rather than wine.

Then juggle three bottles in a club routine. The napkin that was around a bottle is now spun on the stick, which has a small pin in the end.

The fake ice cubes are removed from the tub and the tub is set spinning on stick #11 and balanced on your chin. Three or four cubes are juggled while balancing the tub. Finish with a high throw of the ice cubes, knock the stick from your chin, catch the tub as it falls and then catch the falling ice cubes in the tub for a big finish trick.

Tips and Tricks / Index, Vol. 39, No. 2 / jis@juggling.org
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