Clowns and magicians have been using neckties to perform gags and tricks for a long time, using ties that grow, float, pop up, appear, and change color. However, jugglers have not been so quick to follow suit in their use of this accessory. The only example I can recall seeing in my almost four decades in the juggling community was Daniel Gulko’s hilarious devil stick routine where his sticks and arms became entangled in an ever growing and thus ridiculously long necktie. Gulko won the IJA’s Founder’s Award for this act in 1992. He also performed a 3 ball juggling version of the tie routine as well.
However, the idea of using a necktie along with juggling is not new. Roger Montandon, the publisher behind the 1940s and 1950s publication the Jugglers’ Bulletin, wrote a piece in the 1950 Jugglers’ Bulletin Annual titled “Tie Juggling.” Roger was a supporter of my juggling history work and granted me permission to use any of his Jugglers’ Bulletin material in my writing before his death. Therefore, I’m glad to share this very rare article with you.
I decided to give tie juggling a shot and filmed myself for five minutes as I tried it for the first time. Below are the best bits I filmed in that brief time (before my battery died). As you can see, there are many possibilities that could be explored and developed.
If you want to experiment yourself, feel free to send me video of what you come up with and I will add any youtube videos to the end of this article.