Page 16                                                   Summer 1985

Joggler's Jottings

Joggler's Jottings

by Bill Giduz, publisher

Davidson, North Carolina


All hail the telephone! Without it, this poor editor would indeed be a poor editor. Comfortably tucked into the heart of Piedmont North Carolina, where no juggling happens unless I make it happen, I count on the phone to keep in touch. Using that blunt instrument to good advantage during the past quarter, I've discovered a lot of things about juggling and jugglers. Here's a roundup:


William Shaw, John Grimaldi, Barbara Nadel and Michael Christensen starred this spring in an industrial promotion film for Charles of the Ritz Cosmetics. Grimaldi earlier did a similar film for Dunhill Tobacco. Besides that role and appearances with the No Elephant Circus, Shaw performs regularly at New York City's South Street Seaport.


Larry V has been working hard in Philadelphia on a "smoothie" five ball routine. Vaksman, renowned for his difficult combination tricks on rola-bolas and pogo sticks, says his new routine will be a more solemn presentation.


Tricks included are five balls in a cascade, reverse cascade, half-reverse, three in one hand and two in the other, three and two in multiplex, an every throw under-arm cascade, back crosses, multiplex back crosses and a toss behind his back that he kicks back over his head with the sole of his shoe! And all this packed into a half-minute!


Vaksman recommends a neat multiplex pattern in which the juggler manipulates three balls in one hand and two in the other. A single ball is tossed first, followed by the other four tossed as multiplexed pairs on the second throw. Balls never change hands. The effect of one ball up followed by four is exciting and unusual, he says, and the trick is not difficult to learn.


The MIT Juggling Club celebrated its 10th year of Sunday afternoon gatherings this spring, and will hold an August 17 mini-convention in honor of the occasion. Jugglers initially met with campus unicyclists, so the precise first date of an MIT juggling get-together is difficult to determine, according to Arthur Lewbel, the first president. Lewbel is a faithful member to this day. Other long-time MIT members include Boston area performers Rawd Holbrook of the Amazing Fantasy Jugglers and Dario Pittore.


Members of Airjazz - Jon Held, Peter Davison and Kezia Tenenbaum ­ followed up their appearance on the Johnny Carson show with an appearance on the BBC's Paul Daniels Magic Show in England.  Aside from numerous shows for schools, festivals and causes such as nuclear disarmament in Colorado, Airjazz planned to host its own Chatauqua show in Boulder in early June, and teach workshops in movement and juggling at the Montreal Circus School in September. Held said movement continues to be a paramount interest for Airjazz, which won the 1981 team competition in Fargo with a dazzling display of dance and dexterity.


Jugglers looking for training and practical performing experience (but no pay!) might apply for a position with The Royal Lichtenstein Circus. Nick Weber of San Jose, California, has toured his quarter-ring show for the past 14 years.


The five young men traveling with him do everything from feeding the animals (a bear, dogs and a parrot) to all the acts. Weber acts as ringmaster while his apprentices juggle, ride unicycles, walk a tight wire, tumble and walk on stilts. His crew this year includes Joe Colon, John Teeples, Keith Hughes, Andrew Hale and Tim Latta. Colon and Hughes do a devil stick duet in which they do takeaways and pass sticks back and forth. There are also formations of juggling clubs and rings.


Other jugglers who have been with the show over the years include Linus Ackerman, John Hadfield and "Flip" Wellford. Weber said the 230-show season is a grind, moving every day, but that "it's a privilege to work with the circus." Anyone wanting to enjoy the privilege in exchange for room, board and a chance to see the country for a year or two should write Weber at San Jose, CA.


Murray and Catherine Chapple are keeping the Nashville, Tennessee,  juggling scene alive. Murray is technical director for the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and Catherine is a free-lance technician.


They juggled in a training film for Hospital Corporation of America and have done bits in television commercials for a Minneapolis radio station arid the Tennessee Department of Health. In promoting the services of the latter, Murray juggled a diverse group of props, including apples, oranges, broccoli, cigarette packs, whiskey bottles, sneakers, clocks, telephones and lit sticks of dynamite! The conclusion showed a six ball shower being caught with the balls spelling the word "health."


Rob and Linda Peck, a.k.a. Foolsproof, appeared recently on "The Uncle Floyd Variety Show" which is broadcast throughout the Philadel­phia / New York area. Accompanied by Uncle Floyd's sprightly piano tunes, their theatrical clowning included a run-around routine in which they stole a hat and ate an apple.

Les Foubrac

Les Foubrac

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