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Topic: Balloon Schtick
Message: Posted by: Salazar Magic (Aug 12, 2003 10:20AM)
Do you guys have any good lines you say while twisting balloons, or any balloon schtick you could share?

Here's one... I blow up a white balloon all the way, stretch it out horizontally ans say, "It's a flourescent lightbulb!"
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Aug 12, 2003 11:17AM)
You can get a lot from this link: http://www.balloonhq.com/faq/twister_jokes.html
Message: Posted by: Mark Martinez (Aug 12, 2003 06:12PM)
After that you could say,Ok, ok now for some animals (twisting and noise making) Tada! A Worm. Ok, ok I'll get serious now, (twisting and noise making) Tada! A Snake. :goodluck:
Message: Posted by: wizardofsorts (Aug 12, 2003 08:07PM)
I just engage the person I am twisting for. I like to ask kids ridiculous questions, like, "What do you do for a living?" I also do commentary on what I am doing, like, "oh, here's his ears." and then I ask them something like, "does an elephant have a short nose or a long nose? Oh a long one! well here you go, one long elephant nose." Just some ideas.
Visit the Wizard of Sorts at http://www.wizardofsorts.com
Message: Posted by: kenscott (Aug 12, 2003 08:30PM)
When a kid pops a balloon magician says ' Repeat customer"

When a balloon pops say, "that was a Firestone". Gets a BIG laugh from the parents.

Hold, lets say a red balloon, and say to the child "what is your favorite color" holding the red balloon up in front of their face.

Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Aug 13, 2003 07:42PM)
After I have done the obligatory, Ta Da a worm, and Ta Da a snake, and I am ready to make a real doggie, I twist the head and ears and say, "A sneaky snake with ears!" I continue, "A sneaky snake with ears and front legs!" then as I complete the animal I have the hind quarters upsidedown and say, "What the heck is that?...Oh." (As I twist it right side up) "It's a dog!" Big Smile.

I got the Sneaky Snake with Ears from an old Dick Oslund lecture. I added the remainder myself.

Now from Tom Ogden, I "borrowed":

Show the balloon blown out straight and completely inflated, "A hot dog!" I continue, "Don't laugh, watch he does tricks, Stand Up!
(hold it upright) Lay Down! (horizontally) Sit! (fold it into a shape of it sitting on a chair with the bottom swinging back and forth, ta da de dum!) okay, how about his best trick, Play Dead!" (pop it and hand it to the B.D. child).

I have others equally good (or bad) but in the words of Oliver Norvel Hardy, "I have nothing to say."
Message: Posted by: keeblem (Aug 14, 2003 03:31PM)
I love the balloon part of my show - but must admit I'm not a super-dooper twister (but I aim to be one!) Often I get asked to make something I don't know how to make. So I normally do something along the lines of:
Girl: I want a pig
Me: Is that like a pink dog
Girl: Yes (or no - it doesn't really matter!)
Me: Ok, I have just the thing
I then make a pink dog.

Or, I say something like:
"I can make any animal - as long as it looks similar to a dog"

Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Aug 14, 2003 07:24PM)
Actually a balloon dog is all that is necessary if you're doing kids shows. When you start to make requests you really put yourself into a bind.

I only make a dog and an occasional sword, although that is taking a chance in today's "politically correct" climate. :(

And yes I have used the standard line, "I make over four hundred and seventy different balloon animals...all of them look like a doggie."

Lame? Yes, Kids love it? yes again.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 14, 2003 08:58PM)
I have a bunch I use that usually gets some pretty funny laughs.

- (pretend to blow it up but nothing happens... says "It's a snake"

- Blow it up and stick masking tape on it... looks it a TAPE WORM

- Make a pair of wings as if you were going to put it on a bee and then do the following impersenations:
- Glasses
- Bow tie
- bow in hair
- all time classic - stick between legs near thighs and say oh it's a THIGH MASTER

- If the balloon pops say... do not worry folks.. it only pops once.
- or say.. do not worry folks.. that was the first time that has ever happened AGAIN.

- tell the little kids in a serious tone.. that they must feed their balloon animals.. when the child ask what they eat.. tell them... RUBBER BANDS1 They giggle and the parents love it.

These are just a few fun things that I have used and have found works well for me. Enjoy.
Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Aug 14, 2003 09:46PM)
Thanks Magic4u,

I'm stealing your eat rubber bands line, with your permission of course?
Message: Posted by: Andini (Aug 14, 2003 10:42PM)
On 2003-08-14 21:58, magic4u02 wrote:

- Make a pair of wings as if you were going to put it on a bee and then do the following impersenations:
- Glasses
- Bow tie
- bow in hair
- all time classic - stick between legs near thighs and say oh it's a THIGH MASTER


Don't forget, of course about the handcuffs and toilet seat gag with that twist! :nose:
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 15, 2003 07:02AM)
Steal away my friend. It has worked great for me and the kids seem to really buy into it. The parents think it is cute and it makes the kids try a little harder not to pop then so soon. =)

Great ideas to add to those impression moves. I forgot about them. Thanks for the reminder.
Message: Posted by: troppobob (Oct 30, 2003 06:49AM)
Giday to you all

Thankyou for some clever ideas and may I offer the following that goes with my ever popular "poodle dog":

Because this little guy has been so popular I have had some events when just about every child has requested one. This is ok as it saves time because I have become pretty quick at making them and it only requires one balloon.

I commence by asking the recipient their name.

Once the head ears and neck are completed I give the poodle a face. It looks around and I report that it is looking for the child but when it sees troppo Bob it is dissappointed/traumatized and then it sees the right child and with a very small movement of the fingers on the balloon below the neck the long tail wags excitedly. I say, "look he is very excited to see you, his tail is waging".

Complete legs, belly and tail leaving a lenght of uninflated balloon at end of tail bulge. I believe this is a common procedure for poodle construction and not just and odd thing that has developed in Australia.

Next the dog spins it's head around (thumb and fingers on the neck bulge) and looks at the inadequate tail. I report that the dog is not happy with the tail as it does not look like a poodle tail.

I explain that the following proceedure may cause some minor pain for the dog and proceed to stretch the very end of the uninflated part of the baloon and the dog gives a couple of small yelps and I pat it's head to reasure and settle it.

Next the ball at the end of the tail appears as if by magic to my suprise and also to the suprise of the audience.

But there is more and it is magical:

I offer to perform a magic effect and proceed to remove the tail ball and then throw it into the air and carry on as appropriate to catch the ball (the ball is a ball of air).

I finish by throwing the caught ball on to the end otf the tail and passing the dog to the child.

I find this a lot of fun and the audience realy enjoy the interaction.

Maybe this is something you all do any way but thanks for listening.

Troppo Bob :jump:
Message: Posted by: JesterMan (Nov 15, 2003 04:47AM)
You can also have the child 'blow' the poodles puffy tail on. They love being involved; I often have the other kids at the table, or in line, trying to get in on the action after the first one, if the creation requires more than one "airball"---(or Deely-bobber). If the group is largely mixed teens, I don't do that one. :shrug:

If I'm doing a snake, before I blow it wrapped (for the curl), I will blow it up normally, then 'accidently' all the air comes out. I look perplexed or sad, and then ask, "How about a worm?". That one never fails to get a big laugh. Then, of course, I make the coiled snake.

The earlier noted BalloonHQ list has a number of good lines, especially for moments of catastrophic loss of air pressure. :P
Message: Posted by: KC Cameron (Apr 15, 2006 09:31AM)
I think only making one design is a bit lame, and parents recognize it. It is true, requests can take time, not because of your lack of skill, but because the little buggers can't make up their minds!

Practically every balloon artist, no matter how skilled, that I have seen has been pretty boring. Yes, I am sure there are some that fabulous, probably in this forum since the quality of entertainer seems pretty high. People often focus on the mechanics instead of the entertainment value. I took some time, and spiced up my presentation so it is actually a interactive comedy show.

What I do is make a balloon and have them guess what it is. I give them all sorts of misleading clues (for a kangaroo w/baby I say it has 8 legs). Who ever guesses it has to give it to someone shorter than they are that doesn't have a balloon. This keeps EVERYONE involved, and insures the little ones get their balloons first.

As for shtick, I have a lot for each balloon I make, and I make a lot. Example: When I make a horse, I start with the lips. When the lips are done, I ask them what body part it is (they don't even know what animal it is yet). I hold the lips sideways so they are thinking eyes (and the adults are a little horrified thinking . . .). When no one guesses it (they never do) I say LIPS! and have them shoot out and kiss all the kids. then I say "Aren't you glad I started at that end?" - which gets a laugh from adults. Later, when I have everything done except laying down the mane, I ask again what it is. They guess unicorn and all sorts of things. I say "NOOOOOO, it is a Horse with a bad hair day!!! Good thing I am a Balloon beautician!" and I finish it off. - and the adults and kids remember me because I am so different.

BTW this method works GREAT for busking. Instead of giving it to the short people you give it to the best tipper (not necessarily the biggest tip). (The tips are for the show, not the balloons). That way the guy with the rolex that drops a few pennies doesn't get to waste my time, but the poor single mom gets a great big hat for her child.
Message: Posted by: kippteacher1 (Jun 3, 2007 09:06PM)
Does anyone have suggestions about what to do while making balloon animals? If there are 20 5-year-olds waiting for a balloon animal, what do you do while making balloons for each child one at a time?

Message: Posted by: ALASKA MAGIC (Dec 29, 2007 02:34AM)
Kippteacher1, 20 5 yr olds is my favorite type of show. What a great age group. While twisting balloons, play music, and have the kids guess what you're making. If they guess dog and you're making a monkey in a palm tree, say no, it's not a dog, but what kind of sounds does a dog make? then you've got 20 5 yr. olds barking. Eventually they'll guess monkey and you can say "What kind of a sound does a monkey make?" They love to participate. This works with almost any animal they yell out. Try this method and have some fun.
Happy twisting,
Message: Posted by: alexa (Dec 29, 2007 08:47AM)
Whoa. To every person on this thread who thinks you only need to make a dog and it's variants or swords for a kid's show is completely wrong. Just like you say that any one who says you can show up with just the standard coloring book routine and a d'lite to do a magic show is wrong and unprofessional, the same goes with balloons.

When I do a magic show I have it scripted to include music, puppets, interaction, laughs, and amazing magic. When I twist balloons I have it just as calculated and professional.

You don't need to be able to weave or even use pop twists but you should not assume that the entertainment from balloon twisting is recieving a three-twist dog. What makes it entertainment is the interaction of the twisting. With multiple balloon sculptures, this can include watching the sculptures for the other kids being made.

Learn what a pinch twist is. With that, you can make tiaras and two-balloon bodies for just about any figure. That will allow you to make eyeore, spiderman, an alien, winnie the pooh, mickey mouse. All of a sudden you're balloons will be much more interesting, you will be remembered, and you can command a ton more money.

I am actually writing lecture notes on making fancy balloons with few upgrades designed with the magician in mind. PM if interested.

Message: Posted by: Jonathanmc (Jan 2, 2008 04:09PM)
I would like to second Alexa. I have been doing balloon twisting along with my magic from the begining. I cannot tell you how often I hear a parent disparage a magician for only being able to do a couple balloons. If you can't do them then don't, your magic should be enough. But if you are going to pull them out keep in mind that there are plenty of people out there doing really cool stuff and chances are the kids you perform for will have seen them.

If you need some resources go to T. Myers. They have dozens of video's and books all about balloon twisting. If you can twist that dog you can go quite a ways with some effort.

And to add a couple of lines

In the middle of a sculpture hold up the next inflated balloon and ask "What's this?" if the kids have been following they will say whatever part they think is next. Then say "It's a green balloon" (or whatever color it is.) Always gets a good reaction. And yes I consider groaning a good reaction.

Ask all the different sounds that animals make and then say "And what sound does a butterfly make?" Everybody stops and looks at you then say "Yeah, I can't figure that one out either."

If you hear a balloon pop from across the room say "You know what I call that? Job security."
Message: Posted by: AshleyW (Jan 2, 2008 04:43PM)
I agree with Jonathan, we magicians don't like it when someone takes a job from us when they actually do something else for a living, but they happen to dabble in magic. We lose a job from it and the audience suffers. It's the same thing for a magician who knows one or two balloons. Unless you are honest and upfront with the client letting them know you are a balloon novice and only do a few animals. And that rubber band line is old as crap, it's been around and is public domain now. Not sure who started it bit I know I heard it more than 25 years ago.
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Jan 2, 2008 07:04PM)
Alexa: I went to a balloon lecture, and most of the people there were phenomenal. I was totally in awe.
It seems as if some of them knew hundreds of figures. I think that a good repertoire is important, but how many figures does a good repertoire consist of? When doing a restaurant gig, how many different figures do you actually do? How about when you're twisting for a line? A party?
Message: Posted by: alexa (Jan 5, 2008 07:58AM)
Sorry Jake, I just saw this. The secret to all twisting more advanced than the basic dog is the pinch twist or the ear twist. (If you know how to make a basic 1-balloon teddy bear, it's the twist for bear's ears).

A lot of my different figures overlap. For instance, I usually end up making a ton of princess crowns, scepters, and spiderman. However, the body that I use for Spiderman is the exact same body I use for an alien, a fireman, a cop, a smiley face doll, etc. I change up the designs on the crowns and scepter, too.

As far as the different venues, I book a minimum of an hour for twisting. If you are making cool sculptures, you will be able to command that from a birthday mom.

As for line twisting, I only take shows where I can get a minimum of two minutes a kid. That's what is neccessary for interaction and entertainment to happen. In a restaurant, you have a turnover, true, but the management needs to see that you can make different things.

A lot of my balloons are requests made up on the spot. I have a lot of thoughts on this in my now completed lecture notes. I am not trying to make you buy something, but there are $10 and if you are between dogs and trying to make the leap to the next step, it might be something you want to consider.

I hope this helps!

Message: Posted by: Neznarf (Jan 5, 2008 11:54AM)
The Mell Mellers DVD's have some GREAT balloon schtick I have never seen before which I have borrowed and are in my act.

The DVD's are well worth the money.
Message: Posted by: MrGreggy (Oct 26, 2009 02:25PM)
I have a no-line technique that I've used for many years now that works wonderfully! Here's the paragraph describing that chapter in my book "Kids Think It's Funny":

One Hundred Balloons an Hour, a technique developed over thirty years of making balloon animals. Using this technique, you can do about 100 balloons an hour and still keep everybody entertained... without them waiting in a line!

Imagine the balloon twisting as a non-stop street performance with the kids standing in a semi-circle in front of you. The second a child walks up, they are doing something. I have the box of balloons next to me, and I tell the child to pick their favorite color. Some venues I have them pick their two favorite colors. I then blow up the balloon(s) and hand it back to them, telling them to hold on, I'm not done yet. Once about 15-25 kids have balloons in their hands, I start twisting. During all this I'm doing silly gags, jokes, funny questions, a bit of hat juggling, etc. A non-stop show. During the busiest times the longest a kid has to wait is about 10 minutes tops.

It's a technique that works in almost all settings where there are lots of kids. For smaller groups, like company picnics, birthdays' etc, it's really not necessary.

The details of this and other balloon performance ideas are in my book "Kids Think It's Funny" book. The link is in my signature.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot! I'll be presenting a lecture at the [url=http://www.KapitalKidvention.com]Kapital Kidvention[/url] childrens entertainer convention in late January 2010.
Message: Posted by: jackturk (Oct 26, 2009 02:39PM)
I'm an extremely lame balloonist, all variations of basic dog, other than the flower and the parrot-in-swing.

So, rather than do the right thing and become expert, I opted out to make a joke out of this. I tell the crowd, "I can make 5000 different kinds of balloon animal, and they all look like dog. Check out the Cambrian Explosion, you'll see why..."

I also make up little bits with each of my lame critters. When making a rabbit, I say, "okay, let's see if you can guess what it is... it's got long ears, it goes hippity-hoppity, hippity-hoppity, it's cute, it's cuddly, in the Spring it brings low-carb chocolate eggs... that's right... you guessed it... It's a CROCODILE!!!!"

With the mouse, "let's see if you can guess who this is... he's a very famous mouse, he lives in Disneyland, he's got a girlfriend named Minnie, a dog named Pluto, a friend named Goofy...who dates a cow named Clarabell... totally different species, we won't get into that. That's right, it's DAFFY DUCK!"

And a dog with a Washington state flair... "it's a very popular dog, wins awards at the Westminster dog show, great with families and kids, yes, it's an AIRDALE... get it, Airdale...? ... well, I used to make Huskie dogs, but they always ran out of air after three quarters...."

That tends to draw a big really groan in the Seattle area... Apply to your own local losing sports team mascot.

Message: Posted by: A Birthday Magician (Nov 21, 2009 04:50AM)
I Like the Mel Melloes gag...with a single white balloon...make a swan shaped head and ask what it is...then say a swan...then suck a ball onto the nose bit and ask again...and say it is a swan with a boil on his nose...funny!
Message: Posted by: danfreed (Sep 30, 2011 12:04AM)
I have a lot of funny physical humor with the balloons as well as the verbal humor, and I take breaks to do quick magic tricks - some with balloons. Balloon twisting should be entertaining and funny as much as possible, otherwise you are not much of an entertainer, you are more of a balloon vending machine. Unfortunately I rarely see anyone being funny while balloonanimilalimiling, and people(clients and guests) accept it as the norm. If balloonists and kids entertainers don't have a flair for comedy they should do something else. If you have a line of people to get through you can't be funny or entertaining every second, but you should be funny and entertaining in general - you know what I mean.
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Sep 30, 2011 05:44AM)
Wow! this is an old thread. Balloon twisting has come along in leaps and bounds since 2003. To answer the question - I do find line work tiring - so I tend to start out with loads of gags and banter, but after a couple of hours, I tend to speak less and less, and just concentrate on twisting! That's one reason I mostly avoid line work in general. My favourite time is twisting for a smaller number of kids, where I can make some really awesome balloons. I always make at least one big balloon at Birthday Parties for the Birthday kid.
Although most kids and their parents are quite happy with simple balloons, there's no doubt that if you twist some big and amazing creations, you get big and amazed reactions!
Potty ;)