Never mind how they did it in "This is the Army"!
A Juggler in the Stix by Doug Couden
Meridian, Miss: Two pages this time because of Roger's gallivanting off to Now York, so read 'em and weep! Open the act with this and that. When we hear "Happy Days are here Again" have visions of lads slinging shilelaghs. To test foil paper cut off small piece, hold between thumb and forefinger of both hands, then rub vigorously between thumbs. If foil peels off it's N.G. Marty Lynch, old time juggler, still working around Syracuse, sends action juggling photo. C. Spencer Chambers, same town, sends in subscription. Also got one from Jorg Juggleson from Minneapolis. A juggler with a juggler's name. Jorg writes, "Just call me "Jug". I read in that booklet, 'The good Old Days of Vaudeville' by W. C. Fields that he was "thrown in the can" in many cities so we are brothers under the skin; so was I". Thanks, Jug, variety is the spice of life! Hugh Shepley sez you can slay'em by turning back to the audience, repeating trick and saying "The same trick backwards". Spud Roberts suggests we publish a couple of old tricks each month. Bert Hansen calls attention to the fact that in "The World's Fair", to be 'vacant' is like our being at 'Liberty'. Wanna git inta de act? Lola and I are working toward N.Y. via Atlanta, so drop a line, you readers along the trail, and we'll crash your mug on this page.
Eddie Johnson, that first Vet subscriber, prints in from Altoona, "About motion pictures of juggling acts, I noticed a film for rent for the purpose of teaching magic - what a wonderful thing that would be for jugglers'. Eddie states he'd rent a film of this kind.
An idea here to make the hobby of collecting juggling films and make it pay its way. Thanx, Eddie and don't forget that number 711. Write again and tell all.
And to prove that all readers don't throw the J.B. in the waste basket before reading the Stix column, we were pleased to hear from another subscriber, Frank Fortillo, Washington, D.C. Frank types on swell clown letterhead re dope on school show biz . "It sounds like the info. I've been looking for. How do you make these contacts and what financial agreement do you make with the schools?" First, briefly, assembly biz is doing a short matinee of 45 minutes or more during school hours in auditorium. Standard admish. is a dimer, school usually getting a cut. Principals collect and handle tax. Most dates are on p.c. but some on flat rate, figured roughly at five cents a head. Principals book show and permission is obtained from Supt. if necessary. One automatically becomes a showman, altho one of the smallest shows extant, usually a 1 or 2-people trick and is free from the usual union and booker headaches. Frank does magic, juggling (corny) ventriloquism, marionettes, cartoons, stories, and Punch - good variety for schools.
Now here's that info on Jerry Fatzer, who like Jim Aitken now does dates around NOLA semiprofessionally. But we'll say this; if he'd chuck his printing biz and go pro in show biz he'd have no competish as his stuff is sure original. Jerry combines balancing, plate spinning (plates by Montandon) and music at one and the same time and all in BLACK LIGHT. Snap shows Fatzer with his props treated to show in blackout, his wardrobe also being treated with same stuff as are the flexatones, musical gadgets played while he balances. Projector shown takes in a 12 foot range and costs $75.00 This is larger than necessary for some toss juggling routines. For information on black light products write Switzer Bros., 1220 Huron Road, Cleveland 15, Ohio. Thanks Jerry, and good luck.
Just before deadline (we mail in mss. to arrive in Tulsa by 10th) a letter came in from Betty. To you who came in late, that's our H.S. amateur from Davenport. Here are quotes from her epistle. "Think the new Bulletin letterhead is neat. Sending Rep Ripples. Glad you are going to tell more about school show biz. In last White Tops saw article, "Juggling is Engineer's Hobby", about Roger by A. Morton Smith. Book "Circus from Rome to Ringling" has some bits of information about Al Ringling who did juggling and balancing. Hope someone follows your suggestion about taking juggling movies. Guess that's all for-now" Well, that's plenty, Betty and that's what we call good reporting. Then a P.S. saying that Wilfred DuBois is at the Plantation., In Moline across the river and as Betty is a minor she can't catch the act. We wrote DuBois Air Mail asking him to visit you, Betty. We can report some progress on the annual award idea. Score now stands:
Hugh Shepley $5.00
Anonymous $10.00 annually
Roger has dug up a place to get the medal out more reasonably but still need some more donations, but let's publish names on this please. The idea, stated before, is to award those who are active in the interests of juggling, aside from those on the staff of the J.B. Winner for 1945 is now in the process of being selected.
When we caught the Tierneys in a theatre in Greenfield, Mass. was intrigued by their cartoon lobby reproduction showing their various feats of Jugglery. sketches or cartoons sell juggling, especially comedy. We had some cartoons made up (see Nov. '44 issue) and had cuts made of some of them for advertising. After our performance here at the Meridian H. S. and Jr. College had the pleasure of meeting Miss Lois Stewart, art instructor and one of her students, Jack Renfrow. Jack is 17, H.S. senior, his first effort for the Bulletin appearing here-with.
Jack was out to the trailer with some of his cartoons and we find he has a flair for originality so we persuaded him to become our official cartoonist. If you like his stuff let us know and we'll run more of them. Jack would also appreciate doing your sketches, cartoons, etc. for your letterheads, cards or advertising. Just write to Jack Renfrow, % The Bulletin.
JUG JUGGLESON SEZ: "I'm going to give up juggling and take up slackwire. When biz gets slack I'll wire home for money!"
It is this writer's theory that juggling has a close affinity to acrobatics and athletics as the majority of top notch jugglers are former acrobats or athletes, do acro stuff in their acts or do juggling of an athletic nature. An acrobat or athlete can pick up juggling quicker because he has already developed co-ordination, one of the principal requirements of a juggler. Bobby May and Trixie are good examples of crack jugglers including acro stuff in their acts. Then there are numerous circus and fair performers doing both acro and juggling. Two of the greatest jugglers of all time, Rastelli and Cinquevalli, were former acrobats. Any ideas, readers, on this?
THE COLLECTOR'S NICHE -
TWO THROWING TABORS
Artistic Club Manipulators
CHAMPION COMEDY BALL JUGGLER OF THE WORLD
A Classy Comedy Novelty in "ONE."
NOT A SILENT ACT.
SHOOTIN' THE BREEZE with Roger
Due to our expected journey to the big city- New York in March-this issue combines the February and March Bulletins. This is about the only way we can really get a jump ahead of the March issue. Now if we wish you a Merry Christmas we'll be ahead on our yearly greetings.
Last month the event we'd been looking forward to for some time happened-- The Elgins made it to Tulsa! We'll repeat what others had told us before-- here's a swell juggling crew to know and have as friends. Tom Breen called us upon arrival and the next day Tommy, Cal Kenyon, Jim and Rose Baggett pushed through the heaps of boxes, hoops and printing devices for a session in the Bulletin office. What impressed us most was the willingness of these artists to lend a helping hand to those less versed in the art and history of Juggling- namely us. If they come your way and you'd like to iron out a kink in your juggling routine don't fail to call on them. We caught the Elgins' act three times- from back stage twice- and can only say that we trust the Tulsa audience reception will bring them back annually. Al Barnard of Wichita, Kansas surprised us all by making an appearance to catch the show and bringing with him some color movie film taken of The Elgins and Al in action at Wichita a few weeks previously. We borrowed a projector and on closing night showed the films In the dressing room. That night it was The Elgins- In Technicolor.
The other night we were looking over old magazines to see what we might find In the way of news and old ideas that might be new to present day audiences. We picked up an Oct. 1904 "Mahatma" and were greatly surprised at the number of juggling mentions made. For example, In the "Boston Notes"t column we found: The Tanaka's Japanese top spinners were well received at Boston Music Hall. The Great Drawee, one of the neatest and most skillful of jugglers and sleight of hand performers was seen at Keith's. Satsuma, Royal Japanese Juggler appeared the same week at Boston Music Hall, W. C. Fields, a Juggler of the Harrigan type appeared at Keith's. In the "London Notes" column of the same issue we find mentioned: Chinko, boy Juggler. Attroy appearing at Palace, Manchester. Paul Cinquevelli drew an enormous crowd at Empire Palace, South Shields. A new item at the Palace Is Harbeck's Juggling and Bounding Hoop Act. They do some marvelous feats with wooden hoops and a wonderful juggling performance is given on a slack wire by Mrs. Harbeck. Standing on wire wlth a lighted lamp on her head, she manipulates balls, daggers, and parasols in a manner that leaves nothing to be desired.
In other columns and in other issues of about this date we find many more namos-- Henri French, Clivette, John LeClair, Fielding, Griff, Cinzano, and so on and on.
The point that impressed us was the quantity of Jugglers working and the popularity of Juggling at that time. Yet- pick up a trade magazine today and you have to search pretty hard to find a jugglers name. Why this decline In popularity? Not because Vaude. is gone! If such were the case, Magic would also be on the decline and yet there are more magicians and magical enthusiasts in this country than ever before in the history of the art. Perhaps Juggling has declined because those relatively few who do know the game and could rouse interest in the art are afraid to encourage youngsters in the game. We feel that the only way to revive the old-time popularity of juggling is to encourage beginners through personal contacts and through printed word, and by increasing the amount of national publicity accorded juggling and jugglers.
Though the articles that have appeared recently on Lew Folds should have been more carefully edited, we feel that Lew has done more than any other Juggler in recent years to bring Juggling before the general public on a national scale.
The Elgins gave us the address of Jack Greene of Geneseo, Ill. (You old-timers will recall Jack Greene, Dan Mahoney, Joe Frear as the Three Altus Bros. back in l9l1.) We dropped Jack a Bulletin, and almost by return mail came a subscription and a letter which touched off the thoughts we've typed above. In part, Jack's letter reads, "Tom Breen was right when he told you I was interested in teaching youngsters interested in juggling a few tricks and showing them short cuts in the art. It has been my contention that the more jugglers there are, the more popular the art. There are several young fellows from this town that have been under my wing. They have not quite been bitten by the juggling bug but have dabbled in it and go to all the shows that have a Juggler. Their interest is profound proof that had they had no experience in juggling, the art would have gone by unnoticed."
In "Mahatma" for September, 1904 we ran across a bit of Juggling history that we had never known about. It concerns the sorrowful and untimely death of "Anglo"- T. Horton. A reprint of the article is reproduced at the right.
Messrs. Hamley Bros., of London, England., have sent us the following sad report of the sorrowful and untimely end of "Anglo." "Australia's Greatest Juggler and Equilibrist." "Anglo" paid Messrs. Hamley a visit shortly before he sailed for his native land, Australia. The terrible misfortunes which doggered his steps after his arrival there are best made known by means of extracts from his letter, dated .May 1lth, 1904, at His Majesty's Gaol, Adelaide. "Dear Messrs. Hamley:-I thought that I would just drop you a line to tell you of my misfortune. Since I left London, I have had varied luck. The first thing on landing at Adelaide I was greeted with the news of my wife's death, which took place two days before. A few months after I married again, and then my troubles commenced afresh. My second marriage was in every way a complete failure. I had no idea what sort of a woman I was taking for my wife. Everything that I could do to try and live with her in happiness was futile. She so worried me that I hardly knew what I was doing. She left me after we had been married 3% months and went home to her people. Had she been satisfied and contented with leaving me, all would have been well, but unfortunately for me such was not the case. She used to carry on with other men and one Saturday night I met her in the street. I got wild, and shot her dead. You may quite imagine my position then. I, of course, was put on trial and the jury brought in a verdict against me. So to-morrow, the 12th inst, I die. I do not think that I have any more to write about, so I will thank you in anticipation and wishing you all success and a long farewell, I am, Yours Sincerely, (Signed)__T. HORTON."
Since this is a "double" issue, your subscription may expire with this issue-- If it does your envelope will be marked in red letters. If we fail to acknowledge receipt of your renewal at once, bear in mind that we may not have recuperated from the New York trip- but as soon as we do we'll drop a post card acknowledgment.
Coming up the latter part of April or sometime in May is the reprint of the Ellis Stanyon booklet on Juggling combined with his writings and explanatory programmes on jugglers that appeared in his magazine "Magic ". This will be published separately from the Bulletin itself but will be available to subscribers for the cost of printing and handling. Considerably higher to non-subscribers.
While perusing the local library for hidden Juggling items we ran across a picture in National Geographic Magazine for August 1919, p. 141, of a Liberian native spinning a gyroscopic top. The caption under the picture reads, "Liberian native keeps top spinning in the air for any desired time by repeated strokes with the small whip in his right hand." The construction of the top cannot be seen clearly but it looks more like a regulation string top only larger in size. Do any of our readers know what type of top this might be?
We also ran onto a book which has the word Juggling in its title though it covers the kindred art of Rope Spinning. The name, In case you're interested, is "Juggling a Rope" by Charles H. Coe, Hamley & Co., Pendleton, Oregon, 1927.
Woodrow, lad from England, presently with the Carmen Miranda show at Roxy, arnering excellent reports in the trade mags. Works with top-hats, cigar, cane, and sock finishes with cigar boxes. More about this later from Larry Weeks.
Quite some time back now H. L. Stack of Burlingame, Calif. favored us with a good quantity of foil paper- red, silver, and blue. The Elgins got some while here, and if -you need some for that special show drop us a line. It's free while it lasts.
Gus Kiralfo has favored us with a professional sized Diabolo which we have been having fun with-- that is what time we're not climbing the roof to retrieve it.
Since we sent the lists of new subscribers to Doug too late to place in his column we'll take this opportunity to welcome the following to our Juggling Fraternity: Billy Pelly of Everett, Mass. Pvt. William Hoffman ( one of Willys) Jack Greene of Geneseo, Ill. Cpl. J. S. McCoskey The Willys , New York Cpl. Art Segal Homer Goddard, Los Angeles
We have been receiving more than usual undelivered Bulletins from Servicemen. This means you are not advising us promptly of change of address. We want these Bulletins to get out into circulation not come back here.
LUMINESCENT MATERIALS AND BLACK LIGHT EQUIPMENT
The use of 'Black Light" and fluorescent materials has increased tremendously in stage productions during the past few years. Since the development of better light sources and more brilliant pigments, their use has become common-place in skating revues and large stage productions. Rag picture artists, magicians, and chalk talk acts have all put. This imaginative field to work for them. There are a few jugglers and baton spinners who have experimented with and are taking advantage of the unusual and eye appealing effects possible.
The following article has been prepared with the thought in mind that many jugglers might be interested In trying a Black Light Act if a not-too-technical discussion of light sources and fluorescent materials were written as a guide.
"Black Light" or "near ultra violet light' is the common name given to the invisible to the eye wave lengths just beyond the blue in the visible spectrum. This type of ultra violet light is not harmful to the eyes, nor does it cause sun tanning of the skin. To get these effects the wave length must be still shorter.
There are many sources of black light each having their advantages and disadvantages. We will mention most of the popular ones, passing briefly over those that are not important for stage presentation and discussing at length the best ones.
The simplest and cheapest source of black light is the Argon Glow lamp which will screw into any light socket and operates on alternating or direct current. Since this is only a two and one half watt bulb it is good only for extremely close application such as the examination of fluorescent materials. It is of no value for stage presentation.
The 250 watt Purple-X bulb which is really nothing but a photo-flood bulb with a purple colored glass instead of a clear or frosted one gives off considerably more black light. It can be used for stage presentations but is no longer popular for this purpose due to the development of far superior units. Since the filament of this bulb operates at an abnormally high temperature it can only be burned for three or four minutes at a time. A sudden shook while the filament is hot will often break it and so even though the original price of $12.00 might seem low in relation to bulbs we will discuss later, the breakage possibilities together with the low rated life (50 hours) offset this seeming advantage.
Tubular bulbs which look just like the fluorescent bulbs you see in homes and stores have recently been brought out both in. a white tube which needs a fixture having a filter to eliminate the visible light, and with a purple glass tube which requires no further filter. These tubes must be operated In conjunction with the same auxiliary equipment required by similar sized fluorescent lights. The principle use for these bulbs has been for inspection. They have possibilities for use over easels for rag picture and chalk talk work where the light can be close to the work and where a relatively low bulb surface brilliance is desired.
That brings us to the first of the high intensity mercury vapor sources. In the following paragraphs when we give a bulb number we refer to the Mazda number. Other manufacturers who make a similar bulb or other sales organizations may designate the same bulb by a different number. There are several types of the popular 100 watt mercury vapor bulb but the most useful of these are the CH-4 Spot and EH-4 Flood bulb. These bulbs are similar in every respect except the spot is recommended for distances of from 40 to 50 feet with an effective beam spread of 30 degrees and the flood is for distances of 25 to 30 feet with a beam spread of 100 degrees. If you are limited to one unit the flood bulb is the proper one to choose. Let us see what you will need to make a complete unit. First, of course, is the bulb it- self. At present writing these cost about $12.00 each but don't let that scare you because the lamp life is rated at 1000 hours and they usually last much longer than that. Since this bulb is constructed like the sealed beam bulb in your automobile you will not need another reflector. As the bulb emits a great deal of visible light a-long with the invisible rays it is necessary to use a dark purple filter. The proper filter for these bulbs is the 5 Inch convex roundel, dark filter. This filter transmits the black light radiations and absorbs about 97 percent of the visible light, passing only a small amount of visible purple light. These filters are made by several of the large glass works and are sold by all dealers in black light products. To hold the filter in the proper position in front of the bulb you will need a filter holder which is designed with an air space between the bulb and filter to prevent breakage from heat and still prevent light leaks. The base of the bulb is what is known as an admedium base which is slightly larger than the base of the bulbs you use In your home. This difference is so that the bulb can only be used with its proper auxiliary and cannot be burned out by screwing into any socket. To hold this bulb, then, you will need an admedium socket. This should be made of porcelain to withstand the heat produced during operation. In order to make the finished unit flexible this socket would be attached to a swivel bracket so that the lamp can be raised or lowered to focus the beam where required. All mercury vapor bulbs must be operated In conjunction with the proper auxiliary equipment. By auxiliary we mean the transformer which controls the voltage and current so that the bulb will operate at maximum efficiency without burning out. The proper transformer for these bulbs is General Electric catalog # 59Gl6. With the exception of the extension cord and plug, this is all you need to make a complete and extremely practical unit that is large enough for professional use.
A few brief pointers on the use of the unit and we'll pass on to the next type. Mercury bulbs require three or four minutes to warm up before reaching full brilliancy so have your light turned on at least that long before you are ready to use it. Be sure that your extension plug will not pull out because if the lamp goes out even for an instant it must first cool off before it will relight. It will relight automatically after it cools sufficiently but this cooling time takes three or four minutes. For Juggling acts the placement of the unit is important. A little experimenting will teach you the best location for good results for the type of act you plan. Remember that light intensity varies inversely with the square of the distance from the source so work as close to the source as practical. Remember that too much black light doesn't hurt anything except perhaps your pocketbook, but too little will give weak brilliance to the fluorescent materials used and make the act look cheap. If you have plenty of visible light available you can have your black light unit turned on at the beginning of your act and it will not be noticed, then when the visible lights are turned off your black light unit is already at peak brilliance and the contrast effect will be a maximum.
Where even more intensity than is produced by the 100 watt unit describe above is desired, the 250 watt AH-5 bulb may be used together with the proper sockets, filters, reflectors ( the AH-5 bulb does not have its own reflector built into the bulb itself) and transformers.
Now that you know all about how to produce these marvelous invisible radiations let us investigate various types of fluorescent materials. Two terms, fluorescence and phosphorescence are sometimes misunderstood so we will first give you their definition.
Fluorescence means the emission of light only during the time that the pigments are exposed to an exciting light source.
Phosphorescence is the emission of light continuing for a period of time after the exciting light is extinguished.
Phosphorescent materials have been used for juggling acts- in fact Truzzi uses it on his plates- but as a rule they are less brilliant than fluorescent materials.
Fluorescent materials are made in numerous forms. For example; there are lacquer-enamels which are opaque, heavily pigmented, lacquer based paints which can be brushed,sprayed, or dipped; there are transparent lacquers which are used on white surfaces or of glass or plastic; there are liquids for fabrics which still leave the garments dipped soft and pliable. All of these come in a wide variety of colors and shades. Of all of the colors probably the most brilliant are the green, red, and blue. One of the best developments in fluorescent materials is the satins now on the market. These satins are made from treated threads and have many times the brilliance and beauty of fabrics you might treat yourself. They are relatively expensive but the difference in appearance is worth the price variance. The satin can be cut in strips or designs and sewn or glued to the props to be decorated. In addition to the above forms you can find water colors, inks, powders, crayons and many other forms.
You can perhaps get an idea of the effects possible by the use of proper black light sources and materials by examining the re- production of a photograph taken of a baton twirling demonstrat- ion done under the mysteries of black light.
Perhaps we have roused your interest sufficiently that you will do some experimenting-- perhaps a better word would be developing. We hope you do and we'll be glad to hear the results-- or even visit you when your name appears on the marquee in lights-- BLACK LIGHTS!
For your convenience we list a number of manufacturers and dealers of Black Light equipment and materials.
Black Light Products 450 East Ohio St. Chicago-11, Ill.
P.O. Box 711 Tulsa-1, Okla.
New Jersey Zinc Co. 160 Front Street New York-7, N.Y.
Put out an excellent booklet entitled "The A B C of Luminescence".
Switzer Bros. 1220 Huron Road Cleveland-15, Ohio
Stroblite Co. 35 'Pi. 52nd St. New York-19, N.Y.
BERT HANSEN'S JUGGLING REVIEWS
DOWNTOWN THEATRE OAKLAND, CALIF. -- FEB. 11, 1940
1. While balancing on hands-- dropped ball from between feet and on bounce caught ball on stick hold in mouth.
2. Five hoop spin while doing head stand (one on each leg, one on each arm. and one on stick in mouth)
3. Three ball bounce on drum while doing head stand.
4. Hand stand on two stacks of bocks while spinning pole with feet-- alternately throwing out blocks one at a time,
Thanks to Hugh Shepley for adding the following 1945 review of this very versatile performer to my collection. In the 1940 show, performer worked as a single and did a silent act-- In 1945 he added girl assistant and an amusing line of patter.
1. Opens with ball and two stick routine Including bouncing of ball on sticks and forehead.
2. Short routine with mouth stick and ball-- climaxed by throwing ball from foot and catching It on underside of mouth stick while bending over backwards.
3. Juggles five hoops blindfolded (does comedy blindfold gag on this)
4. Girl assistant sits on table-- juggler does one arm stand on her head while she Juggles three balls-- drops one ball And when she reaches to pick it up, exposes juggler balanced on pole concealed behind girl.
5. Trick "Number Three" of the 1940 review.
6. Routine with bottle and glass-- glass is filled with liquid and placed on floor--bottle next balanced on forehead and slowly inched backward to back of head.- juggler does handstand over glass, bends down, picks up glass of wine with teeth and walks on hands-- Juggler rises to feet, inches bottle back to forehead while drinking wine from glass in teeth.
7. Trick "Number Two" of the 1940 act as close.
A FEW GAGS-- help yourself!
After a miss: "There- I dropped it and l'm GLAD I dropped !
"I did this feat back in ( name local joke town) I didn't stop the show but I sure slowed it down."
When audience applauds look up and say, "You don't really have to applaud, I'm not going to quit till I get through anyway."
Juggler's Bulletin subscription rate: $3.00 per year. Single copies and back issues fifty cents each.