Bert Hansen's Juggling Reviews
ERIC PHILMORE Pollock Bros. Circus Oakland, Calif. May 10, 1943
* Three Tennis Racquets
* Four Tennis Racquets
* Three, Four, and Five Sticks
Two Racquets and Two Balls with Juggling and Bouncing
Five Balls Bounced with Two Racquets
* Five Hoop Juggle while balancing Pole on forehead
Ball and Stick routine with catch from audience as close
Routines marked * were performed while balanced on revolving cylinder.
A Juggler in the Stix By DOUG COUDEN
Hot Springs, Arkansas. A month's vacation in the Ozarks, the Ouachita National Forest and down here to start work. We were camped at the Roaring River State Park in Mo. when the Jap surrender news came in. At end of last war was in France, a Pvt. in the army. The only juggler I ran across overseas was Jewell of the old Vaude act, the Morton-Jewell Troupe. A number of jugglers in this war getting the Bulletin. Many Vets are taking advantage of The Billboard's Veteran's Re-Employment Service, a practical idea.
Richard K. Williams, N.S., Co. 45-339, U.S.N.T.C., San Diego-33, Calif., would like to hear from brother jugglers. Dick's 18 and reports his juggling is clicking with the other recruits. He scribes that Val Setz is now in the Marine Corps.
I 'got my man' for a subscriber. Did you get yours? New fan is Bill Ruesskamp, Cape Girardeau, Mo. He's seen most of those show boats on the Mississippi, tenters playing those parts, and many jugglers in vaude. He recalls the Eisenbart-Henderson Show Boat about 1907 with three jugglers doing baton spinning in the parade. Eddie Gillem, Med Show performer was clever with balls and clubs types Bill. He saw Coy Herndon, hoop roller with the Howe's Great London Shows, the only Negro performer he has ever seen on a circus program. Bill sends along some old comedy juggling manuscripts.
Roger made a set of those practice clubs mentioned in this column. A slick job, Roger. Tried them out and found them easy to handle. The idea is to get a low priced club for those who do not want to invest much to start with. By the way, have had inquiries about manuscripts, props, etc. No, we don't sell stuff and things just travel around and see the country now. Kindly write to Roger for above.
If you've never seen club juggling in Technicolor see those 3 lads in Nob Hill. This is more then just a flash, with nifty passing shot from different angles, closing with shoulder throws.
A suggestion to boost the circulation. When you view an act from out front why not go back stage and tell the juggler you're working your way through college taking subscriptions to the Juggler's Bulletin? No one is getting paid or making dough on the J.B., it's just a labor of love. You'll find that the more you do for the sheet the bigger kick you'll get out of it.
Novel photos, letterhead, etc. from Eric Johnson, Flint, Michigan acro-juggler. He writes salutation inside sketch of juggling club and has a miniature action photo sticker at top of sheet. These, sez Eric, are a buck a hundred from Frank Scobie Studio, Sleepy Eye, Minn. He also sends 8 x 10 with 7 juggling shots thereon.
Here are some sketches and explanations from Hugh Shepley. First is paper cone balanced on toe. kick up to knee, then to hand, elbow and shoulder. Then bounce to chin, nose, cheek and ear. Then back to nose and up to forehead. Performer then lies on floor, then back to feet, still balancing. The plug hat biz is the comedy gag of pulling down on the vest as hat is dropped to head. Next showering balls through hoop, balanced on mouthpiece. This eliminates the cramped position of showering when the hoop is balanced straight up from the chin. Last pic shows cone balanced on rim of hat, most of above cone routine being done with hat on. Thanks, Hugh--And here he is in the flesh (or in the film, rather)--that up and coming New England prep school Jongleor, Hugh Shepley. Take a bow, my lad.
Shooting' The Breeze Roger
We liked Hugh Shepley's balancing routines in Doug's column this issue. If you've ever been up in the Bulletin offices and remember the crowded conditions you'll get a kick out of imagining us fiddling around with the cone routine.
Looks like plenty of Jugglers will pass through Tulsa this coming fall. Cole Bros. Circus here Sept. 16th for three days, and hope to contact Otto Greibling, Meneses, and Joe Lee. The Elgins here sometime in October, and Bobby May with Skating Vanities sometime in Nov.
The Billboard for Sept. 15th carries the route of Skating Vanities and we notice it covers plenty of cities having Bulletin representatives--don't miss it.
J. F. Lane of Sacramento, Calif., who travels half the State for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., sends in his sub. and pens that the club jugglers in Sensations of 1945 were Duke Johnson, his brother, "Red" and probably Duke's son. Lane further recalls that Red Johnson appeared in "The Great John L." and "The Great Flamarion". If you'd like to pass a club or two with another enthusiast drop Lane a line.
George Russell reports visiting Molay, Juggler with a side show act with Ringling show. Also Clark Trio with Austin Bros. Circus who do some wonderful exchange work with balls, discs and clubs.
Lew Folds of "Carousel" fame has a swell write-up in "The New Yorker" for Aug. 11th.
Betty Gorham writes that "Life" for Sept. 10 has an interesting article on Top Spinning.
This guy Larry Weeks can stir up more news in a month than most of us can in a year--so here he is again to let us in on the latest dope from his headquarters in Guam. "A few days after opening here, met Lee Ross of the former well known act of Winchester & Ross, who has been doing a single for some years now. No chance for a real get-together except between acts as his unit was leaving for Iwo Jima the next morning, but we made a date to meet in N.Y.C. about Christmas time. I was just joking about the date at the time but it looks like I might make it after all. Just had a letter from my Latin Juggling friend, Francisco, who is back at the Wivel Restaurant in N.Y. This is one of the smartest Swedish-American Restaurants-Night Clubs in the city and Francisco has hung up the undisputed long stay record for a novelty act by a 35 consecutive week run there a couple of years ago. Got in touch with Sgt. Clarence E. Tierney while on Tinian. Sgt. Tierney is none other than Eddie Tierney, the younger half of "Eddie & Eddie" who before the war did their clever Father & Son act around New England. For many years the Four Tierneys, or Tierney family were a byword in Canada. Coming to Massachusetts in 1936, Mother Tierney decided to take a well earned rest and thus started the duo act. And by the way, those routines of double club Juggling where they passed six, seven and eight clubs are still cause for considerable talk. Out in front of my tent he did the three club kickup as well as five club work. Tierney does a five or six minute act in the Rook Happy show consisting of four hoop rolling and juggling for an opening, finishing with four hoop spin (neck, ankle, and forearms). Then into 3 club routine followed by four and then five clubs for a finish. Encores with ball on string gag, swinging through legs and follows this by juggling two balls and eating apple. His sister Viola is the feminine half of Kay and Karol, novelty juggling duo." ... "Wonder what has happened to the juggling routine based on three wooden balls and the arrangement that made them "talk" while they were being juggled? I only saw it done once by the male half of a novelty potpourri act. This was the only juggling that he did, but it was extremely effective as he called out various things and then juggled the clicking balls in the proper tempo to represent the thoughts he had planted in the audience's mind. A whole story could be worked out with this principle and it would be hailed as something new and fresh. If anyone has information on this, or remembers having seen it done, or knows how the set-up works, I'd be glad to hear from them."
Next issue will contain the extra sheet of advertising. This will be the only sheets for another six months that will be open for advertising copy so if you have anything to sell or trade get your copy to us by October 10th.
Doug, so he writes, is just completing an index covering the contents of the first 12 issues of the Bulletin. We'll try to carry this as an extra feature in one of the early Bulletins of the new year.
With this issue, then, we usher out the old year and start the new year with number 13--Good thing we're not superstitious. Keep up the good work of sending in news and ideas and we'll keep right on putting out the best Bulletin we know how.
THINGS! GADJETS! STUFF!
It will be the purpose of this column to carry ideas and comedy situations of interest to Jugglers. It will not be a regular feature unless enough of you send in ideas to keep it going. We believe that this will be the first time many of the following ideas have appeared in print, although many of them are old and have been used for years by Jugglers.
BOUNCING HANDKERCHIEF Here is 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 placed in center of hank and a rubber band placed around ball and hank in such a manner as to hold it securely in place. Small balls having a good bounce for this purpose are rather scarce at the present writing, but the small size hand ball (1-7/8") will be found satisfactory.
ZIP HANK Another quickie that is so startling and happens so fast that many in the audience will miss it--and yet those that do see it will talk about it for a long time. As the performer walks to center stage he drops his hank on the floor. When he reaches center stage he looks back and notices the dropped hank. Pointing his finger at the hank causes it to zip through the air into his hand from where it is placed in breast pocket of coat and the act continues. The device that does the dirty work is known as a hand reel. A reel having a length of thread at least 20 ft. is desirable. The thread is reeled out and the end tied to a corner of a hank. A light silk hank is preferable to the heavier linen or cotton ones. As you start out of the wings, drop hank but pretend not to notice--the reel case being retained in hand. Upon reaching center stage, notice dropped hank and point finger at it, at the same time pressing release on reel and allowing spring to wind up thread, thus causing the hank to fly through the air into hand. Reel and hank are disposed of in pocket and you are clear to get down to business.
CIRCLING HOOP After juggling hoops, roll one off stage to the right wing. Turn around slowly as if following the progress of the hoop around the rear of the stage and as you face the left wing, the hoop rolls out and is caught--thanks to your faithful backstage stooge. This gag, while most effective with hoops, could be used with balls.
SOFT BALL There is on the market a very soft, fluffy ball which at a short distance looks just like a white tennis or rubber ball. It can be thrown for considerable distance and yet no matter how hard it is thrown it will not hurt--in fact you can hardly feel it. The gag is this--After juggling balls for awhile, work the fluff ball into the routine. Then with a "Big League" wind-up throw the ball as hard as you can into the audience and watch them duck. By having whoever catches the ball bring it back up to the stage gives you an ideal method of getting a stooge to help you--what to do with the stooge?--well, that's another gag, and as they say in the funny papers, "Continued next month"!