Wednesday, June 21, 2017

#4 The Big Cage




Dennis said...

Some other famous trainer was reported to have said that he would not go in with Guy's cats with a bazooka.
Most of the older trainers with 'fighting acts' would provoke the cats into looking like they were highly pissed off and ready to attack. One example, Beatty would face a cat, raising his closed, gloved hand and then opening the hand all the way open. The cat predictably would roar and swat. Rehearsed. Just watch the old films.
Moral of my story is that after watching Mr.Gossing perform many times from up close, in the 70's, it appeared to me his cats needed no provoking.

Roger Smith said...

The above observations are predictably superficial. The outsider, inexperienced and misguided, will misinterpret both the animals and the trainer. The words "appeared to me" means you're guessing. Beatty, and his fighting act colleagues, did not "provoke" attack responses. Those are born to the animals, and are readily demonstrated in response to proximity of the trainer. Nature needs no provocation. Get close enough, strike any pose, and the cats will flash fang and claw. The trick is to stay out of reach. Animals will manifest themselves even for those who walk among them like a potato farmer. We who thrilled to work the fighting style, knew the violent rush of air from the swinging claws and felt the thunder-throated roars face-on, knowing we gave the audience evidence of the animals' nature to see and remember.

Dennis said...

Your romantic account of wild animal training is good reading but I standby my account how the
fighting acts were mostly show. I did not say all show. I am not an 'outsider'.

Roger Smith said...

"Romantic" is a term mis-applied. The hard-core reality of wild animal work has a way of shading concepts of romance.

And in this industry, the operative word is "show". James Cagney said, "Give the audience something to take home." The impact of Clyde Beatty and Terrell Jacobs remained in the audience's imagination. If a wild animal performer is not able to give the patrons the memorable show they paid for, he should re-think his career.

Chic Silber said...

There was little romance between

trainers who risked great danger

& often flesh & their charges no

matter how well trained or just

how many times they performed

together except in the eyes of

the lucky spectators who created

their own scenarios of such

Not only the fighting style acts

but most of the European version

of genteel style of presentation

left the majority of trainers

with lasting surgical repairs

Not so much of a romance & I for

one have the greatest respect

Chic Silber said...

Some of us have been able to

learn our trade from the very

best in our industry yet we

are eager to learn forever