Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Proske #7

Proske-7, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

One of the incidents that Proske relates in his book is the time he was booked into Cleveland by Hamid-Morton to appear in a locally sponsored circus. (The Al Sarat Grotto Circus?) Appearing on the same bill as an added attraction was “the biggest name wild animal act in America.” (Clyde Beatty?) After the show opened, and despite the good reviews that Proske’s act had received, the local sponsoring committee tried to have it removed from the program because, as the chairman explained, “We feel a lion or a tiger is supposed to be a ferocious animal and the act should be of that nature.” In an interview that appeared in the Cleveland Press Bob Morton came to Proske’s defense: “This committee has discriminated against Captain Proske when, as a matter of fact, he is stealing the show. He is proving that lions and tigers can be trained without cracking whips or exploding guns in their faces.” Later, when he was appearing in a series of indoor dates produced by Orrin Davenport, Proske’s act was signed to appear for a two-week engagement in Detroit. The big-name act that he had encountered in Cleveland had also signed up with the Detroit committee but with the understanding that Proske and his tigers would not appear on the same program. Since Proske already had a signed contract, the committee ended up paying him in full not to appear.


Anonymous said...

"the committee ended up paying him in full not to appear."

My kind of gig!