Thoughts about the circus also made me dig out my old friend, Circus Sam, The Balancing Man, from deep inside my suitcase. I acquired Sam in 2009 while performing at the 25th Anniversary party for Cambridge, MA's finest gift shop, Joie De Vivre. The owner was selling Sam in the shop, and I was immediately impressed with the quality and performance of this wonderful toy, the idea for which goes back many, many years, This version, manufactured now by Schylling, was durable, reliable and beautifully made.
Sam balances on an object with his toes, nose, or head, among other positions. He is easily posable, and once balancing, he can be spun gracefully for several seconds in that position.
Mr. Widdle was keen on incorporating Sam into the Suitcase of Wonders program, but somehow he never made it in. But now, with a fresh approach, I believe Circus Sam can be a delightful addition to the show. First, Mr. Widdle made the decision to replace the stand that came with Sam with a small glass Pepsi bottle for him to balance on; The bottle is a bit smaller than the stand, so Sam is more visible within the viewing area, The bottle also reads as an every day object, of which the audience can identify. Finally, the bottle reflects the lighting very nicely.
Mr. Widdle also decided to keep the wooden easel announcing the act on the stage while Sam is performing. This is because Mr. Widdle now intends to present Circus Sam as a sort of active intermission act between Smallini's performances, an idea of which I wholeheartedly agree. While Sam spins on his head, toes, and nose, Mr. Widdle will hand out candy mints on a silver tray to the appreciative audience. A nice intermission, wouldn't you say?
Welcome to the Suitcase of Wonders, Circus Sam! Along with my vanishing elephant, Ellie, you will be an amusing and amazing reminder of the circus days of old.