OUR COVER PICTURES DOUG COUDEN OF THE TEAM OF DOUG and LOLA
Doug is our nomination for Juggler's Ambassador-at-Large-of-Good-Will.
He has probably done more to contact and talk juggling to juggling enthusiasts than any other man in this country ... or the world, as far as that goes.
Doug is a prolific ... and good writer, as our rather bulky file of his letters would prove. We get a great kick out of his rather regular letters of news and advice. Not only are the letters interesting, but usually of more than one page of typing in length which is quite a feat in itself to us - we never get more than one page written. In addition to his letters, we have on file his manuscripts covering nearly every branch of juggling and which we hope to reprint sometime in the future.
Doug's latest is a manuscript covering school assembly booking ..... a subject he is well versed in, since the team of Doug and Lola have been working independent school assembly shows for the past eleven years. In working these shows they travel by trailer when and where they like. Right now it happens to please their fancy to be traveling through Arizona on the way to Texas. If you've noticed their Billboard ad, you'll have seen that they are looking for an act to follow their Texas dates.
We've been working on Doug to get him to Tulsa for a grand session on Juggling, but right at the moment Doug says, "Would like to go up your way, but don't see how you damn Yankees stand the cold!"
Doug and Lola present a well varied school program which includes vent., rag pictures, puppets and accordion music in addition to Juggling.
Sometime before we started putting these Bulletins out, we approached Doug on the idea of including sections covering such subjects as Patter for Jugglers - Comedy situations adapted to Juggling Acts - Music for Jugglers - Magic-Juggling combinations - and many other topics. Also among our discussions were plans for an Organization with Conventions, Membership Cards, and of all things, Dues. We are still just thinking and planning, but we'd like to hear your opinions and ideas on the subject before we go ahead with further plans.
We did get definite results from our approach ..... nearly every letter from Doug has contained some idea or routine. The following paragraphs contain some of the many contributions he has sent in. If you enjoy them, send in some of your own, and we'll make a regular department in future Bulletins for your ideas and routines.
"Eere's a gag I used in a Tent Show (Pic-vaude). Juggled regular clubs, saying that I had 3 different sizes. Next juggled 3 toy Bowling pins decorated like big clubs. Then I said I'd juggle the real small ones, in fact they were used by fleas in the flea circus. Then go through the motions of juggling, throwing behind back, etc. Catch last one and say that some people don't think they are real clubs. To prove they are, throw em down on stage one at a time, each time comedy guy off stage hits floor with hammer. Instead of stopping with three whacks, comedy guy crawls out on stage still socking stage with hammer, at which point I'd wham him with slap stick.
Gags with 3-Ball Juggling
"Many jugglers depend on juggling 3 balls for their comedy angle. There are various methods of getting laughs, such as doing fake throws over the shoulder, under legs, etc., giving imitations, using a trick to illustrate same or by the method of stopping the juggling and telling a gag and then start juggling again in an exaggerated manner.
"There are many tricks with 3 balls. One juggler told me that he could do over 100 different tricks. This would be too long drawn out for the audience. The best bet, to my notion, is to use only several tricks, each with a sock laugh. To do this a good method is to do imitations. There are a number of tricks which get laughs with no talking but these are even more effective with patter. For example, the trick which has been used by many jugglers in recent years to good advantage is the one in which two balls are juggled straight up and down in the right hand while the third ball, held in the left hand is carried up and down beside the nearest one being juggled. To make this more effective say, "Imitation of a juggler trying to fool the public." The writer uses several of these imitation tricks such as a lazy juggler, near sighted juggler, imitating the size of a fish caught by someone known to the audience, etc. Think up ones to use pertaining to local conditions and people. For war gags, here's a couple of ideas. Imitation of Hitler advancing on the Western Front- Just juggle three and goose-step backwards. For Tojo looking for his fleet, toss one up, let it bounce off floor while you place other two balls to eyes, looking down and saying, "At the bottom of the ocean".
"Another angle overlooked by jugglers is to tell a story illustrating it with tricks, such as the following: Cross three balls with easy tosses and go back to this cascading movement after each "illustration". "You may wonder where I got this suit (Juggle two in left hand, hold one in right and point forefinger at coat,) I was walking down Main St. the other day after ordering 100 cream puffs from the baker for a party. I passed a clothing store and saw this suit (same business only point to trousers) in a window. The proprietor was standing in the doorway looking out. (Make tosses with balls over instead of under and spread them apart so you can look through the "door".) How much is that suit? (Juggle two in left hand and point to suit in "window".) The guy said it was fifty bucks so I said I'd take it. The baker was standing in front of his shop across the street. (Juggle two in left hand and point to right) I was too tired to walk across the street. (Slouch on one foot, make slow high tosses and yawn) So I called across to the baker, 'Will you have 100 for me tomorrow afternoon?' The baker yelled 'sure' so I hollered back- 'Give this guy 50, will you'. The baker said he would so I went in the clothing store, the proprietor wrapped up the suit, (juggle two in left hand and make circular movement with right "wrapping the suit") and I just walked off with the suit under my arm." (Walk off stage holding "suit" under arm, juggling two balls in other hand).
The "Cockles of our Heart" have been pleasantly warmed by the response and interest in our Bulletin No. 2. Letters have been coming in response to our ad in the December 2 Billboard at the rate of about 20 a day. Though we may be slow to acknowledge your letters we want you to know that your letters and information, as well as photos are appreciated and used.
We've been "scooped" in a pleasant sort of way. The December "Linking Ring" contains a seven page article entitled... "Jugglers, Past and Present ". Written by M. S. Mahendra, well known among mentalists and magicians ..... from Scrap-Books of Gus Kiralfo and Harry Lind. The article, the best we've had the pleasure of reading, should be in the possession of every collector of Juggling history. Not only are the names of most of the old timers mentioned but there are many priceless pictures. Even if you have to "beg, borrow or steal" a copy, read the article. Gus Kiralfo - the article informs us, is retired and living in San Antonio, Texas - but still interested in Juggling.
That Juggling can be more than a pleasant hobby and a means of good livelihood was pointed out to us by a letter received this past month from Felix J. E. Boucher of Bedford, Mass. Felix was a Naval Veteran of the first World War, and has been hospitalized for almost 20 years. The past five years Felix reports that Juggling has enabled him to make considerable progress toward recovery. Felix further informs us that the movie "And the Angels Sing" presents an excellent two juggler team. We didn't catch the picture ..... anyone know who performs the honors? That reminds us that someone else mentioned a Juggling act appearing in "Sensations Of 1945" Speaking of Jugglers appearing on the screen ... do you remember the short with Bobby May about six or seven years back ... and W. C. Fields in "The Old Fashioned Way".
WE HEAR THAT ..... November 18 found Bob Dupont at the Strand, New York with his apple eating gag . . . . . International Booking House in Mexico City calling for Chinese Jugglers, Magicians, etc. .....Valentine and Evelyn, Juggling duo presenting Hoop Tossing, Ball work and Parasol and plate spinning at Orpheum, Los Angeles, California, Nov. 21 ..... Anita Martel at State, New York, Nov. 30 with blindfold ball juggling, hats and balls ..... Doug and Lola Couden advertising for act to follow in schools in Texas, which reminds us that if you want to contact Doug, address his permanent abode - 1860 El Sereno Ave., Pasadena 3, California. Frank Portillo reports working with Lew Folds, Magical Juggler.
J. F. Conway, of Los Angeles, writes an interesting letter in which he relates an amusing anecdote that happened back in 1930 ..... here it is in his own words, "While working on an amateur show in San Francisco, I heard the M. C. remark before the show, "He's no amateur, he's a good Juggler". This was real praise, since the M.C. didn't know I could hear him. Well, I went on and did the turn and at the end of the act, the M.C. referred to me as "Search Flash". For years I pondered what he could mean by that term - until three months ago - 14 years later, a fellow performer in San Diego asked me, "Do you know Serge Flash?" He is a well known Juggler." At last the mystery is solved.
IF THIS BULLETIN REACHES YOU BEFORE CHRISTMAS - MAY WE WISH YOU A MERRY ONE .... IF IT DOESN'T, WE'LL WISH YOU A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.