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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Willard the Wizard (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Russo
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Wife and I (Ralph & Ann) worked a season with Ken and Bert Griffin - along with an other couple Jack & Betty Deholt- Jack and Betty also worked with 'Willard' I think!- Lost contact with all(Ken & Bert, passed) - Anna and I also had a photo in Kens Book 'Illusion Show Know How' We were/are also a good friends with Bev Bergeron-and Les Arnold, whos appearing this Fri. on 'Masters of Magic - Bev and Les Both worked for and with us, as did Ken & Bert. Ralph & Ann (russo) Rousseau--- P. S. Blackstone SR. used to introduce us as Blackstone Jr. -because at the time('60s I and Jr. looked a like and at the time Sr. wasn't speaking to Jr.0
jakeg
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One of our library branches has a copy of Step Right Up that I just reserved, but I have a suspicion that I read it many years ago.
Dick Oslund
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Hey Rube!

Jake, I THINK that I've read it a dozen times! hee hee It reminds me so much of the days when, as a teen, I worked side shows.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
jakeg
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I never did get to work a side show. In fact, I never took long term bookings that kept me away from the family for an extended time. I once had an offer to be a rodeo clown. When I saw the the size of the bulls, I came to the conclusion that those guys are crazy. (I never met a rodeo rider that didn't walk with a limp.)
Dick Oslund
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!!!You made a GOOD decision!!!

I've clowned in a mud show, but rodeo (!) No thanks!!!

In '77, the show's clown left in mid season. I was on the advance, checking lots, ticket sales, etc. and bill posting, too. I think it was Fred Allen, who said: "A clown is a 'peg' that you hang a circus on!" I called a young friend, who had just graduated high school. I had been mentoring him for about a year. He came on, in 3 days!. He of course, had no act. I loaned him some old wardrobe, and, my make up box.

I had the "OK" from the owner, so I produced Jeff's act, as a series of "commercials" between other acts. I think I wrote up the story in my book. It WORKED! (So did Jeff!) The show didn't use seat butchers, and, the "premise" was a success! Novelties sales in the 'garbage joint" INCREASED!!! Ditto, food items! The "pitch" became entertainment!!! ($how bu$ine$$!!!)

Circus contracts always have a "clause": Be generally useful!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
acortest
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I just read 'Willard: A Life Under Canvas' David Charvet. An Incredible, true story of a family and multiple generations of traveling magicians from Texas to Louisiana, Arkansas & Oklahoma. Great work David. I bought this after seeing Francis Willard reprise the famous Willard 'Spirit Cabinet' at Magic Live in August, 2018. Looked like she had been doing this effect all this time without any breaks, it was that good. Great job, Francis!
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