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Steve V
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Inner circle
Northern California
1878 Posts

Profile of Steve V
I'm wondering something. I've seen the web sites for a couple members here and they make amazingly elaborate balloon sculptures using a number of balloons in each one and all that good stuff. These sculptures are beautiful indeed. In most situations, in fact pretty much all situations, one balloon models are the typical sculptures and perhaps hats with a couple or three balloons. I would say almost 100% of the performances fall into the onzi twozi group. Here is my question. Wouldn't those of you wanting to get into doing balloons as a busking side line or as an add on after a magic show prefer to learn how to improve methods and accuracy and then a number of one and two balloon sculptures or do you want to learn the much more elaborate ones? Sure elaborate ones would be cool to know but while some of the amazingly talented guys can, it seems on their sites at least, to make every person a 15 balloon sculpture I think that having a solid set of balloon sculptures would be of more value. What say ye mortals think?
Steve V
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Regular user
South East UK
149 Posts

Profile of ac-magic
I say (this comes from being a child 10 years ago) that as soon as you make one child an elaborate model then the others will not accept anything less - it's called being treated unfairly Smile .

I make quite a few one/two model ballons, more than enough to cater for what they ask for. Even if I don't know something I ask for I will always give it a go!

I think in making large sculptures, you learn the intricacy (sp?) that can really enhance your smaller models. One thing I didn't do (until making bigger models) was re-making parts and then attatching them to the model i.e. if a motorbike handle broke, before I used to make a whole new one (when I was practicing) when what I should have done was make a new handle bar and then attatch it - balloons are my servants, making larger sculptures has helped me to learn to control the smaller creations.

A Smile, mind reading, funny escape artist wanna-be
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Veteran user
Maryland, USA
319 Posts

Profile of JesterMan
Steve, et al.

I like learning both. There are times when a larger sculpture (model, for the Brits out there) is very appropriate, such as a small party, or at a corporate, or other event where I am there as an artist or draw, rather than to hand out balloon after balloon after &%*$ balloon. They can be great for deliveries, and I just did one earlier this week as a door prize for my networking group. (It was the hit of the day.)

Most of my work is presently the type you mention; line 'em up, and load 'em with latex, boys! But, the way I want to grow my business is in the direction of my creativity and skill really coming out. I plan on joining "S", Nick the Balloonatic, Buster and some other in gaining national TV exposure in the coming months. Smile Smile Since I will never be as fast as my old pal John Cassidy, I'm not going to get there by making an alien, cute puppy, or even a Web-spinning dude that can be held in the hand, no matter how cool it looks!

Don't get me wrong; I spend time (& $$) working on new creations to give out, but I spend time learning whole new techniques which will move me in that other direction. And, I really like the interaction in the smaller events where I am twisting for individuals. I don't really see it as giving out balloon after balloon; . . . it is meeting person after person, and putting smile after smile on face after face.

As for busking; you have to know 'where' you are, but some of the more elaborate stuff will, in the 'right' place, bring more elaborate hats.

For the after-party twisting, I use it as a selling technique that the birthday child will get something bigger, better, and more amazing that the other kids. Then when the other kids want one, I tell them how they, too, can get one! Smile
JM Smile Smile

Balloons, Magic, Mayhem & More!

"... destined to take the place of the MudShark in your mythology... " FZ
Buster Balloon
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Regular user
168 Posts

Profile of Buster Balloon
The secret to any business is to find a way to stand out from your competition. There are plenty of people in my market who make simple balloons and charge much less than I do. So elaborate creations and balloon shows were a way to differentiate myself from the rest of the herd.

I think part of making fancy balloons is making sure that the client has realistic expectations. Because I specialize in the more elaborate sculptures I have a 90 minute minimum for balloon twisting and in that amount of time I can make balloons for a maximum of 25 kids. If they have more kids than that they will either need more time, or we can do a balloon show during which I make 5 or 6 of my most amazing sculptures, and then something simple for each child after.

This does not fit every performers style, or every clients needs. But it has worked very well for me, and has allowed me to build a very loyal fan base.

Wait... what the heck am I doing!!!

Just make one and two balloon animals! Forget everything else I just wrote! I was kidding! No Really! I never make that fancy stuff from my DVD's in the real world! Just make dogs and swords. Maybe an occasional teddy bear or a flower. But that's it. Forget all that other stuff. You'll never need it.

Wow, that was close.
Buster Balloon
Creative Genius, Balloon Twisting Savant, & Pre-Sweetened Breakfast Cereal Connoisseur
Steve V
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Inner circle
Northern California
1878 Posts

Profile of Steve V
And you would be one of the exceptions I refered to. Your clients would be looking for someone to come to lil' Sebastians birthday and spend a couple hours making killer designs. The average magician doing a show then doing an aftersell doesn't do your level of work but they should be accomplished at the level they do work at. We have a fellow here in the bay area that also does the high end work as well and pretty much nothing else.
Steve V
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Special user
Myrtle Beach
594 Posts

Profile of Trois
Beware the nice big fantastic creation, >>>>>>>> they will all want it, and you will work your butt off for litttle reward. Profile your crowd and play it close. I've seen both ends of this and it is up to how you feel about it.
Not clever enough to come up with something orginal, or did I.
Bruce Sinclair
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New user
Los Angeles
15 Posts

Profile of Bruce Sinclair
Although I have performed magic for more than 20 years, I have only recently started performing a kidshow. Though I offer balloons after the show, my contract usually states that I will make them for up to 20 children or just one elaborate hat or sculpture for the birthday child, etc... This clause is also in the contract that is used by an agency that sends me out. When there are more than 20-25 kids in the audience, and the client asks me to make balloons for all, I politely tell them that it will require overtime, which is also spelled out in my performance contract.
Gideon Sylvan
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Special user
Deerfield, IL
541 Posts

Profile of Gideon Sylvan
On 2006-07-24 03:26, Buster Balloon wrote:
If they have more kids than that they will either need more time, or we can do a balloon show during which I make 5 or 6 of my most amazing sculptures, and then something simple for each child after.

How do you escape the "can I have one of those (pointing to the big thing)?" or asking for something bigger that you know you can make, but don't have time? I mean you can't really say, "Sorry Joey, but Todd's mommy only hired me to make you a puppy...yep, life sucks."

You know you are a magician when you have boxes full of lecture notes you have never read, but still are excited about going out and buying more.
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