Friday, January 26, 2018

Respect The Balloon Animal...

I have seen amazing balloon creations in my life.  I saw a picture of a two story soccer match made from balloons in Germany.  

There is a group that makes a full sized haunted house. 

Its amazing.  

The first time I saw someone make a curly snake with a balloon, my mind was blown.  (so to speak)

My friend Greg does a simple routine in his stage show with a balloon and a kid spinning a ball.  The balloon is just a doggy balloon.  

Greg tries to blow it up, gets caught on his finger.  Eventually he gives it to a kid.  Huge applause.  

There is an amazing performer here in San Francisco; Scotty Meltzer.  

He does a comedy routine for 8 minutes with a kid and a balloon. He's a juggler.  It's a remarkable routine.  Super funny.  

I like balloons for the comedy they can give me.  This gets me in trouble though.  I carry this over to when I do events.  My goal is to make people laugh.  Doing balloons fast and creating a line is not my style.  I like the mess, the mayhem.  I don't like lines.  I want to create a performance space wherever I am. 

I figure, you'll remember the laughter or at least the feeling of laughter.  The balloon lasts 30 minutes. 

This is a hard one to write because I get hired all the time to just be a balloon guy.  I'm well above average in my skills but I can't do big sculptures, backpacks for the kids to wear, sharks out of balloons.  So I try to make it up with comedy.  

I think it's funny that balloons make a farting noise.  

I'm pretty happy not tying a balloon and watching the balloon fly around the room.  

Either way.  Comedy or if you want to be the most amazing balloon maker around.  Think

What's amazing about a balloon?

You can take a balloon and make it into something.  That is just so cool.  And it stays that shape.  That is so cool.  I make someone smile.  That is so cool.  They cry when it breaks. That is so cool.  

I mean sad. 

If you are doing amazing balloons.  Look at the eyes watching you.  It's sort of the same look people have with a good storyteller.  They are watching, eyes unfocussed, amazed, their jaws dropped.  

Can we capitalize on that?  I think so.  Just stay aware of what people are looking at what you're doing. 

For someone like me, if I see I'm becoming a balloon machine.  I can forget to tie one, let it fly around break a balloon in half, hand it to two kids.  Have a kid do a raspberry and puff up a poodle tail.  That makes the balloons amazing again. I also get laughs.

If you aren't going for the comedy.  Have someone hold balloon after balloon while you build the amazing super hero you are creating.  Put all the balloons under your arms, then you can't find any place to hold anymore, so you drop them all.  

If you are making a giant creation.  Give it out two steps before your done. Then pull it back, add that little extra balloon.  Pull it back draw the face on.  Pull it back one more time to correct the face.  

This bit is good for any balloon. Make a dog.  Start to give it away, draw a face.  Pull it away to put a mouth.  Pull it away to make the poodle tail.  Pull it away to put eyelashes on.  Deflate the poodle tail, then puff it up again.  Then let the kid do it.  

Fundamentally.  It's taking something everyone knows (a balloon) and making it into something entirely different.  Remember this when you find yourself just making balloon after balloon.  

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