Juggler's World: Vol. 42, No. 3


Barred Entry To Dead Show

While entering a "Bill Graham Presents" Grateful Dead show, my prop bag was searched. When the staff found my juggling equipment inside, they barred my entry because they said they had prior "problems with you jugglers." I finally gained entry without props.

It was a Dead show where I first watched jugglers pass clubs and decided to learn this mystical, obviously fun sport... Now jugglers aren't allowed.

What are we to do? Is this the beginning of juggler discrimination, or just an isolated incident?

Bill Clancy
Lockwood, Calif.

Give Trixie's Dad Juggling Credit

I enjoyed reading Mark Nizer's article on Trixie in the summer issue. However, I must question the statement that Trixie's father was not a juggler. Some 40 years ago, in Idaho, I caught a juggling act by a man in his middle-to-late 50s who claimed to be Trixie's father. He seemed quite proud of the "fact" that his daughter was the highest paid juggler in the world. He put on an entertaining act featuring tennis rackets and small balls. He seemed quite convincing. Can Juggler's World clarify this matter?

Stephen Campbell
Engelwood, Colorado

ed. - Trixie says that her father, Oscar Firschke, was indeed a juggler, as well as an animal trainer, perch pole balancer and horseback rider. He performed in circuses in Europe for many years, then came to America in 1938 with Trixie. He performed juggling and a pony act in this country thereafter, and died in the later 1960s. Thanks for noticing our misinformation!

Trying To Be A Good Sport

I'm not going to let it bother me that I was left out of the article on the Edmonton Street Festival by Dana Smith (Spring 1990). I'm not going to let it bother me that I am a poor struggling street performer trying to make it big in the annals of Juggler's World. I'm not going to let it bother me that I am originally from Edmonton, a Canadian, a female, a solo act, an IJA member and I was left out of the article on the Edmonton Street Festival.

I'm not going to let it bother me because thanks to the Edmonton Street Festival, I'm now in Japan - with Dana Smith! And I'm torturing him each and every day for the next seven weeks about the fact that he left me out of the article!

Kristi Heath (Madame Buskerfly)
Toronto, Ontario

Try Christ Instead Of Tarot

I have several students in school who are jugglers, all of whom read my issues of Juggler's World. However, I have serious reservations about letting them read the Spring 1990 issue. I reject and renounce the presentation by Billy Gillen of the Tarot as a means to "become familiar with all aspects of consciousness and how that reflects one's particular nature." The article presents a very persuasive view that we should pattern our decisions and our lives after "revelations" received from a deck of cards.

Has Juggler's World reached the point of exploring occultic doctrine, methods and teachings? I am sure that I am not alone in taking offense to it. We've been shown a look at the "dark" side of juggling, now let us take a look at the "light" side. I, for one, serve my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by offering my juggling to Him in worship and imitation of what He has done in creation and in my life.

The article proposes that through use of the Tarot our world view will change from "the personal to the universal and reach enlightenment." However, let me propose that upon choosing Christ as Saviour, our world view will change from the personal to the eternal because He is enlightenment. It's so simple. Ask Him into your heart and believe that He will save you. No need for Tarot; no need for astrology; no need for numerology. Only the need for Christ.

It never ceases to amaze me that we as a people will look to the stars, to printed cards, to numbers and to the very stones beneath our feet, but we refuse to look to the Creator of the universe. That is why I juggle, to worship and imitate the One who loved me enough to die in my place, so that I can be with him forever. And maybe I can use my juggling to share the truth that I have found in Him with others who are thirsting for peace, grasping for hope and dying for love.

How 'bout it, believers? Juggle up, all. Mr. Gillen - I'm praying for you.

Todd Chadwick
East Randolph, New York

The Importance of Hand Work

I was re-reading some of Eric Hoffer's essays the other day and came across an item that other jugglers might enjoy. It is from his 1976 book, In Our Time, published in 1982 as part of a collection entitled Between the Devil and the Dragon. Here it is:

"I am also convinced that the mastery of skills can be therapeutic. Skill-healing should be particularly effective in the reconstruction and human renewal of the chronically poor, the unemployable, and people who cannot cope with life. The acquisition of a skill generates confidence, and, since people enjoy doing what they are good at, it may have an energizing effect.

"Were I the mayor of San Francisco, I would have a square or a street lined with small shops where subsidized experts would practice and display every imaginable skill. I would comb the globe for little-known or half-forgotten skills in order to revive them. And I would have children apprenticed to the experts. It is most fitting that in an automated world the human hand, a most unique organ, should come back into its own and again perform wonders. It may well be the hand that will save us."

...Juggling as the solution to America's homelessness?

Duane Starcher
St. John's, Newfoundland

Shakespeare's Juggling References

A friend of mine recently came across a computer database containing the complete works of William Shakespeare, and it occurred to me to ask him to run a word search pattern on the letters "juggl" (thus encompassing juggle, juggler, juggling, etc.). I thought you might be interested in the results.

Although the art of juggling may have an ancient and illustrious past, it has not always been among the most respected of professions. William Shakespeare refers to juggling eight times in his plays, and not exactly in what one might call a complimentary light (granted, word usages change, and not all of these references may refer to throwing balls in the air per se):

A Comedy of Errors, Act 1, Scene 2:
"...They say this town is full of cozenage,
As, nimble jugglers that deceive the eye,
Dark-working sorcerers that change the mind,
Soul-killing witches that deform the body,
Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks,
And many such-like liberties of sin..."

A Comedy of Errors, Act 5, Scene 1:
"...Along with them
They brought one Pinch, a hungry, lean-faced villain,
A mere anatomy, a mountebank,
A threadbare juggler and a fortune-teller,
A needy, hollow-eyed, sharp-looking wretch,
A living dead man: this pernicious slave..."

A Midsummer-Night's Dream, Act 3, Scene 2:
"...O me! you juggler! you canker-blossom!
You thief of love! what, have you come by night
And stolen my love's heart from him?"

King John, Act 3, Scene 1:
"...Though you and all the rest so grossly led
This juggling witchcraft..."

Troilus and Cressida, Act 2, Scene 3:
"...Here is such patchery, such juggling
and such knavery! all the argument is a cuckold
and a whore; a good quarrel to draw emulous
factions and bleed to death upon..."

Troilus and Cressida, Act 5, Scene 2:
"A juggling trick, - to be secretly open."

Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 8:
"...And be these juggling fiends no more believed,
That palter with us in a double sense;
That keep the word of promise to our ear,
And break it to our hope..."

Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 5:
"...I'll not be juggled with;
To hell, allegiance! vows, to the blackest devil!
Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit!
I dare damnation..."

One gets the impression that our esteemed Mr. Shakespeare doesn't like jugglers. Oh well, I suppose there's no accounting for taste.

Bryan K. Beatty
Knoxville, Tennessee

Convention Thanks

Surely I am one of the most fortunate of dreamers. Several times this past week in Los Angeles I was almost overwhelmed by the realization that one of my most outlandish dreams had not only been realized, but fulfilled far beyond my wildest imagination.

In St. Louis in 1946 at the I.B.M. convention, Lou Meyers and I tried to found a jugglers brotherhood, but it seemed that the jugglers were not willing to share their knowledge of the art. But love of the art would not let that dream die. The rest is now IJA history. I met Roger Montandon in St. Louis and he had a mailing list of people who were interested in juggling so we tried again. I thank not only the few in Pittsburgh in 1947, but each and every one of the many people who have given so much to make that dream the wonderful organization that is now is.

Each step forward becomes more complex and difficult, but there are always those who share my love of juggling and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices and take the abuse to "...preserve and promote the art of juggling." The pledge of all members to "...render help to other jugglers" is never more evident than in the convention workshops.

Thanks to every one of you. Your efforts are appreciated more than words can say. Again, it was a marvelous event! You are loved!

Art Jennings
San Antonio, Texas

Honorary Life Member Says Thanks

Thanks to the IJA for the opportunity to become the first female Honorary Life Member. I'm accepting this award while thinking of the many women volunteers like Tricia Allen, Sandy Brown, Ginny Rose, Judy Finelli, Holly Greeley, Laura Green and others who have also spent countless hours helping the IJA. They are more deserving than I. Others of the 15% female membership are helping to make the IJA work more smoothly. By juggling their time during the year and at the convention, they do their fair share. Their contributions are also appreciated.

Past recipients of awards in the IJA have been competent jugglers. I'm sure that I'm the first "wait, wait, wait" school of juggling alumna to receive the award. Like 60% of the members, I am an amateur hobby juggler. I'm also in that group of 63% that juggle only three or four balls.

Juggers are among the friendliest people in the world. That's why I come back to conventions every year. Thanks for your friendship.

Mary E. Wilkins
Chino, California

Letters / Index, Vol. 42, No. 3 / jis@juggling.org
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