By Brian Dubé

Hovey Burgess in blacked-out Manhattan

Hovey Burgess in blacked-out Manhattan

Many of us who live in Lower Manhattan and lost power during Hurricane Sandy found ourselves leaving our neighborhoods and heading uptown where there was power. Many stores and restaurants were open and in some locations; it was business as usual. One would barely notice evidence of a major power blackout.  Many photos taken were taken and articles written about this bizarre bifurcation in Manhattan – in parts of the Village one needed a flashlight to walk, yet midtown was all aglow and abuzz. Two days after the hurricane while on a journey midtown to a pharmacy, I spotted none other than Hovey Burgess.* He too found the blackout conditions quite depressing and was wandering in a world of light to pass time and brighten his day.

Hovey is one of my very earliest customers, going back to the very inception of my business in 1975. He often came to my home (where I ran my business for the first 6 years) with his wife Judy to pick up juggling equipment. Hovey is one of the greatest supporters of his fellow artists and suppliers I have ever met. When I have called him over the years to tell him of some new prop or publication as a point of information, I would often find him at the shop immediately to peruse and purchase. Money was never a consideration – purchasing new juggling related equipment or books, or attending juggling or circus related shows of merit, was always his number one priority. He is well known to often attend numerous performances of the same show. He is the quintessential patron of the arts and if possible, he is someone that ideally you want to have interested in what you do. He was one of my earliest customers and advisers. I owe him a great deal. And so, that is why it was no ordinary occurrence –  it was a Special Serendipitous Meeting :)

*Note about Hovey: For those who do not know him, Hovey is a circus aficionado, performer, juggler, and educator. For over 30 years, Hovey has taught circus arts at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He is the author of the book Circus Techniques. Hovey has a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts.

His skills and work includes clowning, juggling, equilibristic and trapeze work with Circo Dell’Arte, Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus, Electric Circus, Patterson Brothers Circus and Toledo Zoo Wild Animal Show. He is a former President of the International Jugglers Association.

He taught at American Conservatory Theatre, Juilliard, National Theatre School of Canada, Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown College and Sarah Lawrence College. He was circus choreographer for Robert Altman’s Popeye (Paramount). Hovey is Author of Circus Techniques and is currently a member of Circus Flora based in St. Louis. In 1999, he was inducted into the People’s Hall of Fame, which honors living cultural treasures and is housed at the Museum of the City of New York.

  • Gaby Lampkey

    I bought that book along with six European Long handled clubs from Dube’ Juggling.Received them in Juneau, Alaska 1984.

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