Page 14                                           October 1981

An Interview With...Loco-Motion Vaudeville


Loco-Motion Vaudeville has built an impeccable reputation on the college performance circuit for their exciting and versatile performances.


Bounce, Cyrus, Flip, Rodger and Jan are all IJA members. Geno, IJA president, met Loco­Motion poolside at Grossingers Hotel in New York state. He contributes here the substance of their conversation.



I've known you for five years, and seen the changes you've made. Would you review the history of your group and how you got started?



We started in 1974 when Cyrus and I first got together at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. We juggled three balls each, but really got into it after going to a local juggling fest. We went our own ways for the summer when I tried to get into Ringling Brothers Clown College, but I didn't get accepted and went back to Amherst and Cyrus.


We started passing clubs, and then getting jobs.  Our first job was in the school system, where we did seven shows in three days. It went well, and we decided to try to stay together. Dawn Trina helped us for a little while at the beginning.


"Bounce and Cyrus" wasn't a big enough name so we looked in the thesaurus to find one. We found "locomotion" under' 'movement" and decided to stick with it.



It seems that juggling was the center of everything at first. When did you get into acrobatics and balancing?



We started mostly with juggling and unicycling. Then we saw the Chinese acrobats from Taiwan and that turned us on to doing other circus arts. My size and Cyrus's were perfect for hand balancing together.


So, we worked together for about three years and ended up teaching down at Ringling Brothers Clown College. Flip was a student there, we met him in 1976, and he joined us a year later. He's been with us since.



I started the college circuit in 1975 and I believe you showed up at the end of that year. So, you've put a lot of time in it. There seems to be a lot of interest in performing at colleges now, with more and more jugglers popping up on the circuit all the time. What kind of comments do you have as far as your college work?



Yes, there are a lot of jugglers moving into the college circuit. I think, in large part, Cyrus and I opened the door and showed them this market was there. To get in, you join the NEC, then you showcase at conferences of college entertainment directors.  But life on the road is no picnic. You have a lot of tough times, including the occasional all-night drive. I guess a lot of it depends on how successful you are. The more successful you are, the more you're traveling without stability or a home base. Your home is your vehicle or hotel room.


You meet a lot of new friends in different places, but the travel is taxing. We're at that point now, really traveling around. We performed at close to 100 colleges this year, six to seven months of solid travel. A lot of people want to see our show.

Cyrus (bottom), Bounce (seated) and Flip  (Pat Donley photo)

Cyrus (bottom), Bounce (seated) and Flip

(Pat Donley photo)

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