Page 28 Spring 1988
That Lady A Groundhog!
year on the streets isn't the worst thing that can happen to a
not if you're a mild-mannered Oberlin College honors English major
juggling your way through
poise, confidence and talent that Cindy Friedburg earned
entertaining crowds in England, Italy and France last year easily
won her the Atlanta club's highest juggling honor - A Punxsutawney
Phil groundhog trophy. She, Jeff Mason of
before the 110 registered jugglers and about 200 spectators,
Friedburg performed almost flawlessly with five balls and up to five
a student of literature last year in Traveling last summer, she
entertained crowds strolling around
Traveling last summer, she
entertained crowds strolling around
found crowds cordial and police
accommodating to her smiling, friendly style. She remembers a great
pie fight at a
Friedburg wants to juggle professionally after she receives her Oberlin education. In the meantime, she's working on seven rings and more creative moves with three.
acts appeared to contest the three Phils - which were awarded by a
of non-juggling judges to the Most Stupendous, Most Incredible and
Most Spectacular acts.
spun three balls simultaneously - one on each index finger and one on
top of one of those. His big finish was doing four clubs while
spinning a ring on an ankle and a ball on a mouthstick. Mason won for
smooth cigar box work and interesting variations with two balls and
two rings. The show also included Bill Fry's "work in
progress" during which he energetically juggled everything from a
ball, chain and hacksaw to wigs and baby dolls as different items were
suggested on his musical soundtrack. Comic relief was provided by
Captain Slow with an expanding daily newspaper and Tom Pierce's
skilled mime work.
traditional Sunday afternoon nonjudged public show included club
passing comedy from The Flaming Idiots (Jon O'Connor, Kevin Hunt and
Rob Williams) and Vegas-style club, ball and ring work from 1987 IJA
Nationals champion Benji Hill.
James Lamkin of
honor of its decade of existence, the festival featured a special
Phil" midnight cabaret competition between past winners. Only
four acts braved the dim lighting and low ceiling to perform. The
overwhelming winner was the Jongleur Jugglers of Gainesville, Fla.,
(John Creveling, Mike Stillwell and Yvonne Wetherell) who set aside
their nice-guy, family-style interaction for some risqué comedy
appropriate only to the late hour.
audience was shocked to hilarity by the Jongleur's on-stage appeal
for "safe passing" at juggling conventions through use of
condoms on clubs! 'We like to pass clubs, but not enough to die for
it!" they proclaimed.
enjoyed the new quarters for the festival in a spacious, renovated
school gymnasium. Club president Toni Shifalo and co-founder Rodger
French emceed the public events. At least three prop manufacturers
offered a line of props that included oddities such as chain mail
beanbags and Koosh Balls, which can only be described as a jumble of
cut rubber bands that looks like a sea anemone and feels great!
Flaming Idiots were also at their first Groundhog Day Festival,
though they've been traveling the festival and fair circuit for
three years. Their comedy act includes a unique fruit-eating
juggling race between the trio. One has an apple, one a banana and
Kevin Hunt gets a coconut! "I can open it by breaking it on my
head sometimes," he said, "but I've never won the
race!" They will be at Scarborough Fair in Dallas and the
Pennsylvania Rennaisance Fair this summer.
newcomer was Robert Holroyd, who practiced four clubs on a rola bola
while balancing a pole on his head. He performs five balls overhead
and does a club and basketball in one hand with two beanbags and a
soccer ball in the other hand. He worked at King's Dominion theme
Groundhog winners (I-r) Jeff Mason, Cindy Friedburg, Bob Whitcomb