Professional Whip Artistry Training & Entertainment

Professional Whip Artistry Training & Entertainment


  • Tag Archives whip cracking
  • Studio director, Gery Deer, thrills at Carnegie Music Hall during Indy event

    On Friday June 10, The Whip Artistry Studio director, Gery Deer, performed at the Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh as part of the “Indiana Jones After Dark at the Museum” for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The hour-long show included targeting, interactive segments and a surprise opening with Gery on the piano performing a comedic “Chopsticks” which rolled into the theme to “Raiders of the Lost Ark” on the hall’s Steinway grand.
    Continue reading 


  • The whip and television …

    For many years, variety entertainment has included some kind of bullwhip performer. From the days of Lash LaRue traveling the country to promote his movies to modern whip artists performing on daytime talk shows, the media has forever been tied to whip artistry.

    The Whip Artistry Studio director, Gery Deer, has performed on dozens of shows over the years. Here are a few segments from his 2008 performance on The Bonnie Hunt Show … in two parts.


  • Bill Franz, “Dayton at Work and Play” photographer visits The Whip Artistry Studio

    By Gery L. Deer

    In the 17 years since opening the studio, we have had literally hundreds of media requests for photo and video shoots, interviews or access for feature stories in the news. Most of them are refused for one reason or another. But a couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a local photographer named Bill Franz.

    Photo by Bill Franz

    Photo by Bill Franz

    Bill was interested in stopping by the studio to take some photos of me working the whips, just for artistic interest. Bill is a well-known photography figure in the Dayton, Ohio area and runs a Facebook page called “Dayton at Work and Play,” where he displays his talents by capturing the images that are Dayton.

    From the shorelines of the Great Miami to the parks and people that make this region so unique, Bill’s work clearly offers the rest of us a look at what a true artist sees through his lens.

    I had seen his work through a business associate and was impressed with some stock photography he’d given her to use in a promotional website. What I didn’t know was that his take on photography was one of genuine passion and interest.

    Usually, when a photographer wants to see something, he has a

    Photo by Bill Franz

    Photo by Bill Franz

    specific move or trick he or she would like to capture. But Bill was open to just about anything. Afterwards we talked about work, business and writing. I was fascinated by his view of local society, so I made it a point to take more time with his photos. Impressive doesn’t even come close to what I thought.

    In any case, Bill will be back soon to do some photos with me and Barbara (Scout) for a show taking place next year in Yellow Springs, Ohio. If you have time, take a moment to look through his work.  More to come.

    Update: Bill returned to our studio for a photo shoot with the editor of the Dayton City Paper, Sarah Sidlow, and took some more amazing shots …

    See more of Bill’s work At SmugMug – http://billfranz.smugmug.com/

    or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DaytonAtWorkAndPlay?fref=ts


  • Another Annie Oakley Wild West Showcase in the can.

    Another Western Arts Showcase at Annie Oakley Festival is in the can and it was a great time for all! In our new space at York Woods, the festival was well attended and may have a breath of fresh air to keep it going for the next half century.

    David Crain, Gery Deer, Luke Taylor, Kirk Bass and Chris Camp take a moment for a photo at The Whip Artistry Studio on the day before the Annie Oakley events.  (Photo Copyright 2014 GLD Enterprises)

    David Crain, Gery Deer, Luke Taylor, Kirk Bass and Chris Camp take a moment for a photo at The Whip Artistry Studio on the day before the Annie Oakley events.

    Of course, the event actually began the day before with a meeting of the whips at The Whip Aristry Studio (http://www.thewhipstudio.com) in Jamestown, Ohio. Gery Deer’s long-running whip arts school played host to Chris Camp, Luke Taylor, his dad Chuck, Kirk Bass, David Crain, and of course, Gery. Everyone checked out the mini-museum at the studio but Luke probably spent the most time there, taking pictures and looking over nearly 20 years of studio history. He even convinced Gery to take the Zorro/Catwoman Morgan out of its case and give him a chance to try it out. Of course, everyone wanted to try it out.

    There were new tricks being tried out and David brought some of his latest nylon whip creations with some beautifully turned new handles for Gery’s four-foot studio whips. Chris Camp tested out a couple of new tricks and most everyone just relaxed, shared whip stories and talked about their year.

    As the day got later, the group migrated to Gery’s childhood home, the Deer family farm, just a few minutes away. There, they relaxed, ate and talked in the rehearsal hall of The Brothers & Co. until they moved outside for more whip cracking.

    The next morning, it was time to hit the road for Darke County and the Annie Oakley Festival. As we mentioned in earlier promotional material, we reduced the Showcase from three days down to one, capturing the essence of the weekend’s activities within about 7 hours. Most of the crew and equipment traveled aboard The Brothers & Co. tour bus, “Noah’s Ark,” making the 2-hour ride right on time, even with a slight detour due to a road closure on highway 49.

    As we pulled into York Woods, about six miles northeast of Greenville in Ansonia, Ohio, we were greeted at the gate with great anticipation. With everyone’s help, we had the entire outdoor performance and contest space assembled in just under an hour, right down to the sound system and target equipment.

    IMG_0130

    Rich Hoffman, Hollie Bradley, Chris Camp and Luke Taylor await their turn at the whip speed and accuracy competitions at Annie Oakley Festival. (Photo by Debra Bays / Copyright GLD Enterprises 2014)

    We started the day at 1 p.m. with the first set of whip competitions, beginning with the classic speed and accuracy program. Newcomer Hollie Bradley, from Kettering, Ohio, was as brave as any seasoned veteran as she jumped in to compete against some of the best. Barbara Deer served as official time keeper and recorded the results with newly-created, specializes whip contest score sheets. With some high expectations, the big winner was Chris Camp, with a score of 13:47, followed by Luke Taylor in second, and Gery Deer taking third.

    Our own Speed Switch Accuracy contest is a favorite because it requires the contestants to perform with both hands. Contestants begin at one end of the target range, using, for example, the left hand to cut only the left-hand targets. Then, they come back the other direction cutting only the right side targets with the right hand. It’s a challenging prospect, but everyone did well!

    First place in the Speed Switch whip contest was Rich Hoffman, followed by Gery Deer in second place and Chris Camp bringing it in for third.

    Next came the two most anticipated contests of the day, the International Bullwhip Fast Draw and the Indiana Jones-styled, Turning, Long Whip Fast Draw. In the standard fast draw, contestants are required to use only a bullwhip, no stock whips or minis. Contestants face off in a two-person heat with a

    Richard and Donna Best - BLackLightning Wild West Show. (Photo by Debra Bays / Copyright GLD Enterprises 2014)

    Richard and Donna Best – BLackLightning Wild West Show. (Photo by Debra Bays / Copyright GLD Enterprises 2014)

    whip that must be at least 6 feet long and remain coiled in the hand until the announcer yells, “Draw!” Everyone did well, and with a single target to hit, the competition was fierce! In the end, as they say, there can be only one, and this year’s winner was Melodee Bass, wife and performing partner of Kirk Bass (Bass Blades) the co-producer of the event and resident thrown weapons expert.

    Finally, the contest everyone was anticipating with, well, fear and confusion. The Indy-styled turning fast draw was a brand-new competition, based on the opening scenes of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where Jones hears the click of the pistol, turns and draws his trusty, 10-foot Morgan from his snapped holster, to thwack the gun from the hand of the bad guy! Umm, right.

    Anyway, we tried it and it was surprisingly fun to watch. It was probably more fun watching people try to figure it out beforehand. Handling an eight-foot bullwhip from a snapped holster to a targeted cut is no easy task but everyone did a great job and the audiences were having just as much fun as the competitors. When all was said and done, young Luke Taylor was the last one standing at the end of the contest. Luke has the title as “Turning, Holstered Fast Draw Champion of the World!” Congratulations to all of our competitors.

    The Brothers & Co. Hosted the evening performance at the Showcase.  (Photo by Debra Bays / Copyright GLD Enterprises 2014)

    The Brothers & Co. Hosted the evening performance at the Showcase. (Photo by Debra Bays / Copyright GLD Enterprises 2014)

    With that, everyone got the chance to relax, practice, hang out and do some whip cracking and roping. But not everyone was idle. Ohio western performer Richard Best and his wife Donna (Black Lightning Wild West Show) enlisted the whip pros in the group to help out with a new world record attempt for the Guinness Book. We can’t release what it is just yet, but, suffice to say it was very well executed. Rich Hoffman filmed the attempt while Gery Deer served as the media representative and Chris Camp as a professional witness. We hope to bring you the results and details soon!

    Finally, it was time for the Grand Wild West Show, hosted by The Brothers & Co. Entertainers, all of whom had been relaxing throughout the day, patiently waiting for their turn on stage. Gery Deer, pulling triple duty as producer, director and performer, led the Boys in Black on stage with Gary Deer Jr., Ed Jones, and Jim Karns kicking out some great country tunes, followed by a variety of performances. Richard and Donna Best started the show off with some great roping and assisted whip work, followed by Luke Taylor and his one-man, rhythm whips set to music. Chris Camp delivered a fan favorite, as usual, with Hollie Bradley helping out as target girl for the show.

    Newcomer Hollie Bradley during her work with Chris Camp in the evening show. (Photo by Debra Bays / Copyright GLD Enterprises 2014)

    Newcomer Hollie Bradley during her work with Chris Camp in the evening show. (Photo by Debra Bays / Copyright GLD Enterprises 2014)

    At the end of the day the shows went well, the new venue at York Woods was ideal for our needs and we’re looking forward to next year. Thanks to all who came out to see us and be sure to check out the photos on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TheWhipArtistryStudio

    Our special thanks to the Annie Oakley Festival Committee, Gary Deer & Sons, GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing, WDTN-TV2/Living Dayton, The Brothers & Co., Chris Camp (The Whip Guy), Bass Blades, and Production Manager Debra Bays (photography, Brothers show production).




©2017 Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)  Raindrops Theme