Page 20                                             January 1982

 The Mailbox  

'Twas The Night Before Cleveland  


Twas the night before Cleveland.

And all through the state

Not a juggler was stirring.

Not even their mate.


The clothes were all packed.

In the suitcase with care

In hopes that all

Soon would be there.


The jugglers were nestled.

All snug in their beds.

While visions of juggling clubs

Danced in their heads.


More rapid than Eagles.

From all over they came.

To practice the art of juggling,

Not a sport or a game.


Out in the gym

there rose such a clatter.

I looked out the window

To see what was the matter.


When what to my wonderous eyes

should appear.

But a bevy of jugglers and all

of their gear.


The competition was fierce.

And the juggling was great.

My thanks to all,

Who converged in this state.


At next year's convention,

I'll even try four. 

But they heard me exclaim.

'Ere we drove out of sight,

California in '82,

And to all a goodnight.


Dianne Biksacky Oak Lawn, lL

.. .Caught the new act of my longtime friend Mike Marlin at a night club in Houston . Unless you have seen it, you probably wouldn't believe that so many comedy moves could be done with the props that most of us use. His finish is hilarious! How about a 27 minute juggling act to a standing ovation on a five act bill?' That's our Marlin!

 Bob Blau, Pearland , TX


The article in the last issue titled "Putting Jugglers in the Streets" may have been developed with good intentions; however, many of its elements I find quite abhorrent.


There is a clear distinction between performers auditioned and scheduled as marketing tools for merchants on private land and street performing on public streets and parks. Street performing is not contingent upon the whims of city officials or merchants but is a right guaranteed by our Constitution.


... The majority of street performers I have interviewed for my book feel the audition system is a sham and that the political and social content of their program is being judged rather than their professionalism. In any event, the First Amendment does not state that only "professionals" may speak on the streets or that they be given preferred positions...

 Stephen Baird, Cambridge , MA

       (The author is editor of "Street Performer's Newsletter.")


Recently I tried a new technique for teaching people how to move from juggling balls to juggling clubs, and it also works in teaching people how to juggle balls.


It's a snap! When tossing up the first ball in a sideways figure eight pattern, simply snap the fingers of the hand that will be catching it when it reaches its peak and starts to fall. When using two balls. snap the fingers of the hand that will catch the second ball at the moment it begins to fall. Count each throw out loud. saying. "one. two, snap," When you get to three balls. replace the snap with the third throw,


This technique provides auditory and muscular feedback on timing.

 Robert Shields San Francisco,. CA


I have recently made a juggling record called "Don Ballett and his Juggle Paper Bags in the Juggle Paper Bag Rag." .. which I include in my act. I also write juggle tunes and appeared on local B.B.C. radio playing one. It comes somewhat as a surprise to supporting musicians to find this form of music presented to them.

 Don E. Ballett Birmingham. England


We know that all jugglers at the Cleveland convention, regardless of their current level of proficiency. have started out at ground zero. Is there a place at the convention for the basic "three baller'?" 


I know the convention is highly touted as a showcase of skills. which is great publicity. but it is also intimidating to the beginner who has yet to develop skills. Is there a place at the convention for the newcomer to learn and increase their skills?

Steven Sheehan - Bay City, Ml


(The IJA has tried during at least the past two conventions to provide opportunities for beginning jugglers. At the Cleveland convention, a workshop dealt exclusively with three ball moves. In addition,  Dave Finnigan,  education director, held a workshop for beginners. 



.. .Spoke to Fred Griffin the other day.  You may recall meeting him at the convention. He just got back from a two month trip to Ireland and told me of seeing a French girl juggle four cIubs - while standing on one foot, on a tightrope! She finished the act by doing a back flip on the rope,

 Lou Carroll Brooklyn, NY

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