Our cover pictures Masslmiliano Truzzi juggling six plates while at the same time bouncing a ball up and down on his forehead.
The picture is not just a publicity picture, we know, because we had the pleasure of seeing him perform this difficult feat, when he appeared with the Polack Bros. Circus in Tulsa last week.
Truzzi - Russian born - has been presenting his skillful juggling in this country for the past four years. Previous to his engagement with Polack Bros., he appeared with the Folies Bergere Unit.
Truzzi was brought to this country by Ringling North. At that time a juggling act performing alone in a circus was an unheard of occurrence -- There were always at least three or four jugglers performing at the same time. Truzzi claims the honor of being the first juggler to perform in Madison Square Garden with the Ringling Bros. Circus and present his act alone
Truzzi is a real juggling enthusiast -- you Ill enjoy meeting him, if he comes your way. He does juggling, because he likes it, and his skillful act reflects the many hours of practice required for an act of this type.
One of the high-lights of his act to us, was the pop-corn gag. Truzzi throws a ball into the audience for someone to throw back, he, in turn catching the returned ball on a knife held in his mouth After repeating this a couple of times, he throws the ball to a man, who in attempting to catch it upsets a box of pop-corn held by a passing pop-corn vendor, pop- corn flying over everyone in the vicinity. We remarked to Truzzi how well we liked the gag and he said, 'That's the trouble - people like the pop-corn gag, and it takes no practice - I do six plates and bounce the ball on forehead after ten years of practice and people just say, it's good.
Another stunt that Truzzi gets a lot out of, is the spinning ball on the fingertip. "Child's play" said Truzzi when we mentioned it and proceeded to demonstrate in our basement with our ball - we're still working on it.
In his act, which is one of the fastest we've seen for some time, he includes clubs, sticks, plates, balls, and finishes with fire sticks.
Truzzi's two ambitions are to someday conduct a school for jugglers in Sarasota, Florida, his home, and To write a book on juggling in Russian We hope he does both, (and that we can (attend the school -- the book in Russian, we'll get translated.
Joe Fleckenstein's problem of the Sepia Jugglers, brought in several re- plies Andy Thumser, who presents his juggling under the name "Bo-Bo" The Whimsical Clown - sends in a clipping taken from a Harrisburg paper about ten years ago in which "Jerge" - Abab, The Ethiopian Entertainer is billed. Andy states that cigar boxes is Jerge's specialty, and that he played the Gayety theatre in Baltimore only a few weeks ago. Harry Lind writes to mention Harry Crayton who performed a Hoop Act around 1940, but has since passed on. Doug Couden writes, "Funny thing about that colored Juggler business. First juggler I ever saw was colored. When I was a kid, back in Flushing Long Island, saw a colored juggler, practicing out- side a tent show, but of course, don't know who he was ". Doug also has a photo of Coy Herndon, Colored Hoop Roller, former vaude single, who from last reports was on advance of a Minstrel Show in South.
H. H. Brown who is really an old-timer - being 72 years young, (and still (a juggling enthusiast writes, "I don't remember in all of my 72 years ever seeing a colored juggler, however I do remember seeing a mighty fine Baton Spinner with Thatcher, Primrose and West." Joe Taylor reports having seen George Rowland, a colored veteran of many years. There are probably several more that haven't been mentioned but they are the excep- tion rather than the rule.
Bulletin No I has been sent out to over 150 who have expressed an inter- est in juggling. We feel sure that there are many more that are not at present on the list. If you know the address of anyone who would like to receive these Bulletins, let us know.
Looking over the Trade Journals, we find that - Paul Wingrave, veteran juggler, appeared recently at Finsbury Park Empire, London with a miscel- laneous juggling act. The Great Carmo - Harry Cameron - who went to England with a juggling act over thirty-five years ago died, August 1, at Coventry, England. Doug Couden, who also uses Vent. and magic on his school shows, has written a dialogue for vents, in which only three words are spoken. The dialogue is to appear in the December issue of "Tops" Magic Magazine. George DeMott received a most interesting write-up by Loring Campbell, Lyceum Magician, in the November "Tops". Campbell points out that DeMott is probably the only juggler at present giving a complete evening show of juggling only. Joe Fleckenstein and Dr. A. L. Baldwin are pictured in the November "Linking Ring".
The third edition of Harry Steinman's "Roller Skating Extravaganza" -- "Skating Extravaganza Of 1945" includes the well-known Bobby May, Juggler on Wheels.
The Six Willys - expert "Indian Club Sextet" - recently appeared at the Chicago Theatre, Chicago, Illinois... Curtain, bowing with their - "Ladder Balancing, while Club Tossing Act".
Munro and Adams advertising their whereabouts (recently Club Bali Miami) in the Billboard.
Results regarding Devil Stick manipulation have been nil to date. If we don't hear further details we'll be forced to practice a lot more, and then have some pictures taken. We'll admit that an explanation of the moves is rather difficult.
A J DUFFY
TO ROGER FROM DOUG AND LOLA COUDEN