Page 41 Fall 1988
Some 'Prop'-er Ideas For Your Juggling Act
juggler without props is like a cyclist without a bike, a swimmer
without water or Dorothy without Toto. Since props play such an
integral part in juggling, I'd like to share a few ideas on their
balls are excellent for juggling. They have a sharp and quick bounce
and a superb weight for tossing. However, these balls can get dirty
very easily. A quick
remedy: acetone from your local hardware store will leave them
spotless, and their grip will be firm and solid. Rings can also be
kept bright white by cleaning them with acetone. You can also rub
your rings with a piece of sand paper to get rid of dirt and marks.
you have three cigar boxes that look as if you've used them for
2,526 shows, why not retape them and do 2,526 more shows?! If your
clubs need a refreshed look, purchase some new club decorations from
one of the prop makers. Clean the white plastic of the clubs using
acetone, then put on the new decorative tape.
If you'd like a good set of machetes for juggling, buy a set at an Army / Navy store and modify them. First, use a grinder to take the sharpness off the blades. Never juggle with sharp blades of any kind! Remove the handles from the blades and take the blades to a chrome plating outlet to have them chromed. Buy one-piece torch handles with knobs from a prop maker. Cut the torch handles so they are seven or eight inches long and slice them down the center long-ways. Drill a hole through each side so that they will fit the blade holes of your machete.
and bolt these torch handles onto the blades. Next, use a grinder and
shape the blade handle area to fit the wooden handles. FinaIly, paint
the handles. You can use these machetes for juggling and also for
swinging because of their rounded knobs that are easy to hold.
that you have these nice looking props, where are you going to put
them when you perform? A good prop stand can be made simply by using a
router to cut a 30-inch circle out of plywood. Cut slots
your clubs (as in the diagram) and round off the edges, top and bottom
of the plywood.
a hook for rings and other props that sticks out from the stand and
can be removed easily. You can cut a hole in the plywood for a bag for
props you've already used, and mount the whole thing on a drum stand
that you can buy at a music store. FinaIly, paint the stand any color
you like, but it's a good idea to have a prop stand that matches your
is just one idea for a prop stand. Keep your eyes open and see what
type of stand other jugglers use! *
Summers lives in San Diego, Calif. He is a juggling lecturer, coach
and author of the book, "Juggling With Finesse. ")