Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cramped Hands and Swallowing My Pride...

Way back there was a thing called "Take Your Daughters To Work Day".

It lasted about two or three years.

Then it became "Take Your Kids To Work Day"

And it lasted about two or three years.

I did shows for the employees kids at hospitals, law offices, Cisco, Google, Ebay.  It was a busy time.

These days I get a few inquiries, not much.  The biggie every year is Google.  I used to do these big shows for the kids.  Then it slowed to mostly balloons.   There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of kids.  So I was one of maybe 10 balloon makers scattered around a giant field as the kids got hot dogs, played games went bouncing.  I was payed skunk.  I was just one of the many.  

Yesterday, I worked as a "high end" balloon maker with an old friend/acquaintance.  He's gotten bigger and bigger. He's really into balloons.  That's his thing.

I like the comedy of balloons, the magic of taking a tube and making it into a teddy bear.  That's pretty cool to me.  I like using the skill for a laugh or a smile.

For the gig.  There were 4 of us.  We had to do three pre-approved designs in Google colors.  I wanted to barf.  I hate being told what to do.  I wanted to destroy the event with my comedy with all my soul.  I wanted to create mayhem and bite the hand that was feeding me.

...I did what I was told.

Doing what I was told was to learn some very specific elaborate balloons.  The Google Android.  The Google bicycle and a Google flower.  Each of these took 4 to 5 balloons.

The night before, we got together to create and learn so we were all on the same page, it wouldn't  matter which balloon maker you went to, we were all doing the same choices.

My competitiveness was scrunched.  I couldn't be the funniest guy in the room.  I wasn't allowed.

I really need the gig, I really need the money.  I have to take everything that comes my way.  Honestly, if I were to start again, I would never go into this line of work.  This art.  I have never made much money.  The art side of me doesn't care, the dad cares a lot.

I do what I'm told... sometimes.

The gig was totally fun.  I learned some very cool new balloons.  I had fun with the kids and Google gave me a great lunch.  My friend Rob that booked me loved me, he's hiring a lot more, so I'm in on that front.  Being a team player will get me more work.  

All in all.  I'm my worst enemy.  I think I'm so important.  But you know what, it's pretty fun to make children happy. Whether it's as a clown or handing them a Google Android made in Google colors.

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