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March  - April 1978                                          Vol. 30 No. 2

Dick Francis, February 1978

Dick Francis, February 1978

Photos by Roger Dollarhide

Photos by Roger Dollarhide



In Las Vegas for a trade convention in early March, I took the opportunity to see Kris Kremo perform and to visit with him briefly. The performance is reported elsewhere in this issue.


I telephoned Kris one evening back stage between his 9 pm and midnight shows and asked if I could visit with him during my visit to Las Vegas. At first he suggested that I visit his home the next afternoon after he woke up, but when I said that I intended to take in his midnight show, he suggested that we meet afterward for coffee.


Together with a business associate I reached the coffee shop first after the show and Kris came up a few minutes making a juggling motion with his hands as if to ask was I the juggler whom he was to meet. Upon our sitting down, both the waiter and waitress almost immediately asked him if he wasn't the person they saw on the Mike Douglas show a few days before and when he admitted he was, they asked him for his autograph. It quickly came out that Kris normally goes home immediately after his act which is the second act in the almost two hour show, and that he had stayed especially to talk with us. Our subsequent discussion was somewhat rambling, and I'll report items as I remember them.

Kremo does fifteen shows a week, two per day except for three on Saturday. He has no days off! Since coming to the U.S. he has seen the Chicago airport and Las Vegas, except for excursions he can make from Las Vegas in a friend's airplane during a day and still get back for the evening's shows. He says that he has always made it a practice to tour around an area where he is playing a long term engagement) and he doesn't spend all his spare time practicing.


When I remarked that he certainly had a tough contract which did not provide for any time off, he stated that except for the time off question, it was a good contract. On the other hand, he pointed out, in addition to touring the immediate area, he also has many friends visit him and his parents are going to come visit him also. He will be with the "Lido" show at the Stardust for at least a year and for longer if "they" decide to keep him. The Stardust "Lido" show is an imitation of the Lido show in Paris, and was put together in the U.S. with specialty acts (such as Kremo's) from Europe and some girls from Europe, but the rest of the girls and all the boys are from America. After his engagement at the Stardust, he is scheduled to go back to the Lido in Paris. In the little time off he gets between leaving Las Vegas and going to Paris, he hopes to visit Mexico (he has become a fan of hot Mexican food), perhaps see a little of the U.S., and of course visit his home in Switzerland. This is his first engagement in the U.S., and he has not been in the U.S. before except as a child with his father.


At the mention of his father, I asked Kris about him. His father, Bela Kremo, is now 67 years old and hasn't touched a prop in three years. There is no possibility his father will perform again according to Kris. What about siblings? Did he have any siblings and do they perform? Kris aid that he did have siblings and none of them performed. He said that they smart ones.


He asked if. I was a juggler myself, and I told him I was although not too good and that I was particularly interested in club juggling and club passing. Kris noted that while he has worked with clubs in practice, he never performs with them, and he didn't appear much interested in club juggling. I went on rapturously about club juggling, to his obvious amusement; although he did state that each juggler has to focus on what interests him.


He noted that club juggling is not in favor with booking agents in Europe because it is too routine. I asked him if he ever changed his act, and he indicated that he basically didn't. He noted that one gets a reputation for a particular act and gets booked for that. He did not think the person hiring a juggler a year in advance would like it if the juggler arrived a year later doing an unexpected act. Somewhere in this discussion I complimented him on one of the moves in his three hat routine and he responded that he didn't do that move in his three hat act. I argued with him for a while that he did too do that move in his act, but finally agreed that he probably didn't if he said he didn't; and he noted (kindly) that even pro's sometimes mis-see what another juggler does is his act.


We next talked about other jugglers. He said he has talked to Gran Picaso since arriving in Las Vegas, but he did not indicate if he has seen Picaso's act. As noted elsewhere in this issue, he gave me a list of other jugglers performing in Las Vegas. He also said that Francis Brunn is back at the Americana in Puerto Rico. He did not know Dick Francis. Other U.S. jugglers have stopped by to visit him. He noted that there are thousands of jugglers and we fans are likely to know them better than the pros.


I asked him if he had seen Ignatov, and he has not. He wanted to know how tall Ignatov was and what he did in his act. I told him about all the hard numbers tricks that Ignatov does and Ignatov's statement to Roger Dollarhide that he plans to keep improving until he is thirty-five and then taper off. Kremo noted that doing all those hard tricks, Ignatov is likely to hurt himself. He also noted that without the possibility to retire and teach at age thirty-five (or earlier if injured), he (Kremo) cannot afford to do tricks with which he might hurt himself. For instance, he doesn't do four pirouettes in his act to save himself physically (and because the audience can't tell anyway).


I mentioned that I had recently gotten a case of tendonitis of the wrist and that my doctor told me it was from practicing only a few minutes per day some days and then practicing for many hours on one day Kremo said "of course," as if to say how could I have ever have hoped to do something so silly and obviously wrong with impunity; however, he also gave me his family remedy -- whipped egg white smeared on the afflicted area.


I had sent Kris a copy of the January­February 1978 Newsletter which featured his picture on the first page. He thanked me for this and noted that he had not subscribed to the Newsletter in the past several years on account of it not being enjoyable reading English. He also will probably not be able to make the 1978 IJA Convention in Eugene because of his performance schedule. This being the case, I think it is essential that someone with a camera make arrangements with Kris to film his act (at least in practice if it is not possible to film it in the show) for showing at the Convention.


Kris insisted on paying the check, and we parted with him leaving for a Mexican dinner at 3:30 am and me admonished to gamble to help the Stardust pay him.

--Dave Walden

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