my blog makes a reference to my background as a juggler, I decided that I would add the personal touch with a photo of me related to juggling. Today I will explain what this photo represents.
By the summer of 1975, I had found myself at a place in my life where the road into my future was diverging toward uncertainties and I was faced with having to make a decision about what I was going to do next with my life. Three of my friends and I had just been ousted from a beautiful mountain cabin we had been sharing and living in for the previous four months. Now I was suddenly back living at home with my parents at age twenty-four.
Out of work and running low on money, I felt stuck in a rut. I had sold my van months before and was dependent on my parents or friends for transportation. I needed to find a way out of the mess I had gotten into.
In late June, I started working with a show promoter in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was promoting a show where my family's juggling act was going to be performing in July. I made some spending money helping to sell tickets and advertising for this show.
Performing with us was a magician and his wife--Ken Griffin and Roberta. They had a touring stage show that was nationally known. After working with them on this show, my parents invited them over for dinner at our house. Apparently I had impressed them with my helpfulness to them at the show we were working and during the course of their visit with us they offered me a job. It was perfect timing for me. I readily accepted.
My family had one more upcoming date with the Emmett Kelly Jr. Circus and it was decided that I should play that show with our juggling act before meeting up with the Griffins in Durham, North Carolina. We played our show with the circus in Cleveland, Tennessee and the next morning I was on a Greyhound bus to Durham with my juggling equipment and personal belongings. My career as a solo performer had begun.
By the end of the year the Griffins and I had ended up in Terre Haute, Indiana working on show promoting. I was really enjoying the performing and the travelling. This was my kind of life. The show promoting was not my favorite part, but the thrill of the performances was a lot of fun.
Spring of 1976 found us in the small town of Spencer, Indiana where we were promoting a show that we were to be performing in a lovely old vaudeville theater. Since I was now hooked on the show biz life working on my own as a performer, I had come to the conclusion that I would be doing this for a while. The Griffins were very happy with me and wanted to keep me on board with their show.
They needed me to have photos made to be included in the press kit they sent out for show publicity. While in Spencer I found a photography studio where I arranged to have my photos done. Donning one of the tuxedos I used for my juggling act, I went for the photo shoot. The color photo used in the header was basically a vanity shot for me to have and to give to my parents. The actual publicity shots intended for reproduction in newspapers and the like had to be in black and white. One of these publicity photos can be seen below.
This shot was reproduced in various newspaper articles throughout the United States about shows in which I was going to be appearing. In fact, I even used this photo for publicity after I left the Ken Griffin Show in 1977. Below are a couple of examples of articles that used this photo.