Page 2                                             Spring  1985

NEWS  NOTES:

Secret Service to Davis No apple toss to Reagan!

 

President Reagan's Inaugural Gala in January included a comedy juggling performance by Michael Davis. Davis was picked for the show by Nancy Reagan, Frank Sinatra (MC for the show) and the television producers who carried the acts to the public for the first time ever this year.

 

Davis accompanied his jokes with ping pong ball juggling and manipulation of a bowling ball, apple and egg that ended, quite literally, with egg on his face. Most, but not all viewers applauded the clowning. In her nationally syndicated newspaper column, Nickie McWhirter called Davis's act "an exhibition of grossness."

 

Asked about the appropriateness of such a messy display in the high-brow setting, Davis pointed out that the act had been previewed and approved by producers. They certainly were aware of his capabilities because this was not the first time Davis has juggled for the Reagans.

 

Anyway," Davis asserted, ''I'm all for flaunting decorum. It's one of the funniest things you can do. Charlie Chaplin's comedy included pushing well-dressed fat ladies into fountains!"

 

Davis said the Secret Service did not ask to check his props before the show, but didn't allow him to toss his apple to the president at the end of the bit as he had hoped to do. Evidence in a 1947 edition of "Movie Life" magazine proves that Reagan, the former actor, is at least a former juggler. He is pictured on a set juggling three plates.

 

Sinatra was obviously pleased with what he saw of Davis's talent. The old pro offered; and the young comedy juggler accepted, a lucrative contract to open for The Sinatra Show in Las Vegas during January and February!

 

Seven balls, eleven years, your royal Highness...

Anthony Gatto was the youngest performer ever in the Royal Command Performance in London in November. He was also the only variety act on the bill, which played to the Queen and royal family.

 

Gatto, age 11, continues to improve his skills, and is now juggling eight rings in his stage performances in Las Vegas and Reno.

 

Top IJA educator seeks post-retirement successors

Dave Finnigan, IJA education director, is hanging up his official hat as of this convention. The venerable Professor Confidence is recruiting people for a new education committee to carry on the important jobs of arranging convention workshops, writing magazine articles and delving into areas he only scratched.

 

Finnigan said there are many fields in which the education function of the IJA can be expanded. He mentioned including dance, acrobatics and wheel sports in convention workshops; seeking grants for educational projects; developing programs to teach juggling to phys ed teachers and recreation therapists; and exploring the use of video as a teaching tool.

 

He is planning a workshop to discuss these and other ideas. Or contact him now: Edmonds, WA.

 

NACA members vote Jackman top award

More than 1,000 member colleges of the National Association of Campus Activities have voted juggler Ed Jackman of San Diego, California, "Comedy Campus Entertainer of the Year.                 

 

Jackman performed at more than 120 colleges nationwide in 1984 and will do that many again this year. He plans to work on a cruise ship out of Los Angeles 22 to August 21, except for a week's vacation to attend the IJA convention in Atlanta. 

 

The NACA comprises colleges. entertainers and suppliers, and gives the forum in which to showcase products abd services at regional and national meetings . It has been a popular forum for co jugglers, including Chris Bliss. Whitney Brown, Michael Davis, Gallager and Michael Martin.

 

Other jugglers attending the most recent national meeting were members of Gravity's Last Stand and the AII-American  Mini-Circus.

Dave Finnigan

Dave Finnigan

Edward Jackman bicycle

Edward Jackman

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