JOE MARSH'S NOVELTY JUGGLING
JUGGLING AND BALANCING SOAP BUBBLES
Make a solution of high grade soap (toilet), dissolve in warm water, and add a small quantity of PURE GUM ARABIC, plus 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, being well corked up in a bottle. The tube used for blowing the bubbles is made of Cardboard, about 1 inch in diameter at the largest end, and is waxed. The ends are bent over as in illustration. Bubbles blown with this solution can be handled easily by juggler while wearing WOOLEN GLOVES, this is the secret, and 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.
Cardboard tube, waxed, with ends bent over, thus, for blowing bubbles.
COMEDY BALL GAG - Assistant does one or two moves with racquet, Light ball is fastened to hat with fine thread, and is released from one hand and 'floats' to the other. Ball is first juggled with two others.
BREAKING RACQUET - Assistant does one or two moves with racquet, and then hands to juggler, just as he starts to juggle, racquet breaks in half.
3 CIGAR BOX MANIPULATION
UNDER KNEE CATCH Figs. 5A, B, C.
From the starting position, the right hand moves its box to right and simultaneously the right leg is raised. Right hand box is moved around right side of leg and all boxes are brought together again under knee. A reversal of procedure brings the boxes to starting position again. This same move can then be done with left box under left leg. In a routine the move can be alternated, boxes being caught first under right knee then left and so on.
DOUBLE CROSS-OVER Figs. 6A, B, C.
In this move the right hand box and the left hand box are removed from the center and hands cross over thus interchanging positions of end boxes. A reversal of the process restores the boxes to starting position. In order that the boxes in right and left hand do not collide during their transposition, the right hand box actually travels in front of the center box, while the left hand box moves directly over the top of the center box.
HOW THEY STARTED JUGGLING by CHARLTON F. CHUTE
There is an interesting variation in the way jugglers started tossing things around. Undoubtedly, a number like Tom Breen, grew up with parents who juggled and cannot recall the time when things were not being tossed and caught before their eyes. But most jugglers did not learn from their parents.
Nearly all of them started young, however. Cinquevalli, according to an old article in the Strand used to toss his slate and chalk high in the air when he was a school boy. As they came down he would catch the chalk and in three strokes write the letter "A" on the slate before it reached the ground. He later ran away from home to become a Professional gymnast.
According to an old interview, W. C. Fields thought that he must have seen a juggler in some show. At any rate, he says he began to juggle when he was twelve years old. "I started to juggle three apples" he said. "I meant to keep at it for a year, every day, but at the end of a year I was only fair, not good, so I took another year. Then I got a job in a vaudeville bill at five dollars a week, near my home in Philadelphia." It seems he became a tramp juggler not from choice, but because lack of money forced him to make his own props and wear threadbare clothes all of the time.
Rupert Ingalese (Paul Wingrave), in the introduction to his very fine little book on juggling, has a really remarkable bit of writing in which he tells how, as a small child in England, he saw his first juggler perform on a street corner, busking for his living. Ingalese resolved then and there to become a juggler.
Bobby May told me that he started to juggle when he was twelve years old after seeing the tramp juggling act of Phil LaTosca. He first taught himself the three ball shower and then the cascade. After considerable practice some boyhood friends prevailed on him to enter an amateur contest at a neighborhood movie house. He won the first prize of $3.00, which convinced him juggling was a good business. He then sought dates in and around his home town of Cleveland. While still in his teens he went to New York to join an English juggler as a full-time professional.
Charles Carrer says in his article in Popular Mechanics for July 1936, "I began juggling to improve my eyesight and this eventually led me into the entertainment field. Several years ago, while working in a factory in Switzerland, I suffered an eye strain and a specialist suggested I take up juggling in a mild form to strengthen my optic muscles. With this in mind, I began learning a few simple turns and within a few months I had progressed to the point where my services were in demand at company parties and church socials. In a short time my eye trouble disappeared, and I have never been bothered since. Glasses are a rarity among the followers of this lively art."
Lew Folds, in his recent Colliers article, tells how he became a professional dancer. It was his seventh dancing partner, it seems, who taught him to juggle three balls.
Art Jennings told me that he started to juggle when, as a magician, he decided to do the famous feat of passing the borrowed dollar bill into one of three oranges. In a few hours one night he taught himself how to do the three-ball cascade. He developed the moves, he says, by analyzing the way in which three tumblers somersault over each other.
Roger Montandon says he took up juggling when he decided he wanted to have a part in a high school variety show. Since jugglers were a rarity in that high school, he wrote away for a copy of Ingalese's book on juggling and aught himself enough in one summer to qualify for the show in the fall.
Doug Couden says that he got started in juggling about the time he was in the third or fourth grade. He saw a performer on the stage do a shower with three balls. "After the show I picked up three rocks and in about ten minutes I found I could shower them very well." Several years later he was dumbfounded when he saw a performer do a cascade with five balls, as up to that time he had never even seen a three ball cascade.
Bert Hansen has one of the most interesting stories on how he became a juggler. Here is what Bert says. "When I was a youngster my mother occasionally juggled for me (she had learned it in Denmark-apparently as a game--because I've since met several Danish women that could handle four and one that did five.) My father told me about a man that did a balancing act and passed the hat (so I worked out with a broom). A minstrel show arrived in town with a hoop roller (believe his name was Hutton), so I got an old bicycle rim. Shortly after this the Nashville students played in my home town featuring Coy Herndon (colored hoop roller), so I added another bicycle rim and four wire troops (for four hoop spins). Saw several small shows with wire walkers who did a little juggling, so I added a slack wire."
My friends Dick McKinney and Paul Limerick, who grew up in rural Missouri, both say that thirty or forty years ago all of the boys in grade school knew how to do a three-ball cascade! I cannot recall seeing anyone in public school who could juggle three balls. A friend, however, who has just returned from Japan tells me that he saw some Japanese girls nine or ten years old who walked along a road juggling four beanbags and chanting a little rhyme as they tossed them, probably similar to the rhymes little girls in this country sing as they jump rope. Doubtless, some Bulletin readers who have made a special study of juggling history like Tom Breen, Larry Weeks, or Jack Greene could add to the interesting `subject of "How They Started Juggling".
STUFF & THINGS by DOUG COUDEN
Winfield, Ala.: Drop in some branches of the biz but kid shows in the stix still held up. More records with a new week mark of $316. That's net after the usual de-ducks of pc .to schools and ad mish taxes. George McAthy, vent columnist, gives J.B. a plug in Jan. Tops. Geo. reports he gets the jugs bul. at Thayer's and that Joe Russell has been showing him some of his routines. Another Russell, the juggling jeweler, types, "Am interested in seeing the cause of juggling promoted to the fullest and personally feel that all encouragement should be given to beginners. I will have at least one new sub in the next few weeks." Coast defenders can get in touch with Rus in L.A. by phone: HI-llside 0145. The J.B. needs more subs as Roger reports the list is still pathetically small. The Bulletin will be one of the choice jug collector items of the future, a reference for this period. Future perusers will be amazed to learn of the apathy of present day pros to this, the first jug pub. Less than half subscribe and contribs from those who do are meager. Some pros write for other pubs but not the J.B. Because of the poor support by the majority of jugs my suggestion is to open the Bulletin to ALL novelty acts, thus enlarging the field and getting Roger out of the red. Many novelty acts have no official pubs and writers could be lined up to represent their fields. Truzzi's billing on the Ringling show as the Mad Russian jug is not the first to contain the "mad" adjective. Truzzi is crazy like a fox in garnering the geedus, a prime prerequisite of a performer. Snap shows Frank Layton, of the Layton Dog Act, trying out my staff and plate props. Frank is good at equilibristic stuff with objects and does a little tossing. He writes from NOLA that he and Victoria worked their first school dates there and have winter fairs lined up in Florida. Adios.
JUG JUGGLESON'S LETTER
Dear Roger, I'm being held over at this spot by request of the guests, ha, ha. But I'll be out soon now. Did I tell you about the heavyweight juggler who visited me in Kelly's Celar. I was busy tending bar but I remember what he said pretty good. His name was Paul something, can't remember his last name. He played Charlotte years ago and an Indian from the foothills of the Great Smokies in the western part of the state told him he used to go bear hunting in the mountains. One day not seeing no bears, he took a pot shot at a rabbit. The bang of his shotgun made something funny happen. The old Indian saw a whole slew of hoop snakes start rolling down the ravine and up the other side. Well, that story gave me a good idea. What I plan to do is to get hold of an Indian that knows the Smokies and go back in there and catch a bunch of them snakes. Any lame brain can see that when they are trained they will put the present day hoop rollers in the shade. All you'd have to do is to get them rolling around in a circle, then just snap your fingers and the whole bunch would turn around and start rolling the other way. Here would be one trick that Everhart in his palmiest days couldn't do with plain hoops. So when I spring with my Rolling Hoopsnake Act there will be a rush by hoop rollers to get up to date and put a snake number in their acts. All I'll have to do then is to start a hoopsnake training farm and clean up selling trained snakes to the hoop guys. The trouble with most jugglers they just use their head for a hat rack but live wires like me and Fred Allen use our noggins. Allen makes a million with a corny radio show but you have to give him credit for having the crust to start it in the first place. He didn't just keep on juggling for peanuts but got a hunch and made big dough on it. No more small time for me neither.
A YOUNG JUG IN THE ARMY by HUGH SHEPLEY
Fort Dix, N.J.: The U.S. Army Special Services is not letting any grass grow under my feet. In addition to my act, I am in a skit entitled, "How to get a three day pass". Am in a three man acrobatic act, and I'm playing second trumpet in our dance band. All this leaves me very little time to practice but am now working on a cigar- box routine to add a little variety to my juggling act. Had a get- together with Eddie Johnson and Clem Foust in Phila. about two months ago and intend to visit them again in the near future. It looks as though I'll not go overseas now since I got scratched off the list in Dec. I may, however, get moved out of Special Services at any time. Recently met some acrobat friends who are working some tossing in with their acrobatics. Here are some sketches of some of the tricks I've worked out with them. I've never seen an act combining acrobatics and juggling as shown and think it might be quite effective.
An excellent jug Session is being brewed up by Art Jennings, Doc. Baldwin, and Joe Fleckenstein at the I.B.M. Convention in Pittsburgh, June 16-19th. The exact date of the Jug Session will be announced in a later Bulletin but we'd like to hear from all who might be able to make such a meet as soon as possible.