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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » THE MAGIC MENU - The International Journal for Close-Up Magicians » » What has been your biggest challenge with balloon entertainment in restaurants? » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bad to the Balloon
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Clearwater Florida
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Doing a little research for the next article.

What has been your biggest challenge with balloon entertainment in restaurants?

What have you been asked to make that you cringe at the thought of?

What is your most hated creation? What do you like to make?

How do you carry your rig?

My answers:
Getting to everyone.
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Dog, Dragon
Gunslinger pouch

Your turn!!
Mark Byrne
AKA Mark the Balloon Guy
As seen on the TODAY SHOW
www.balloonguy.net
Creator of Bad to the Balloon DVD series
Go to my store: http://tinyurl.com/Bad2theBalloon
Christopher Lyle
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Dallas, Texas
5698 Posts

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I haven't done balloons in a restaurant (or anywhere else) for about 8 years now, but when I did....

Quote:
What has been your biggest challenge with balloon entertainment in restaurants?


There was never any time to do Magic. Once I began twisting balloons, a line would quickly form and that was it. It was rare when I could find the time to segway back to Magic.

This aggrivated me becuase I was a Magician FIRST! I only added balloons to my act becuase it seemed like most restaurants back in the day wouldn't book someone unless they could do BOTH magic and balloons. I wanted to work so I had to concede to this perception to get the restaurants.

I remember my final day making balloons in a restaurant. I walked in the door and I heard people chanting "LOOK! The Balloon Guy is here!" For me that was it. I didn't want to be known as "The Balloon Guy!"

I haven't done Balloons in ANY situation since **(see the end of this post). **

Quote:
What have you been asked to make that you cringe at the thought of?


Guns. I wouldn't do it! Swords were OK in my brain, but not guns. If a kid took an animal and held it sideways and said it was a rifle, then so be it...but my conscience was clear...

Quote:
What is your most hated creation?


A 1 balloon dog

Quote:
What do you like to make?


The Pink Panther, The Loony Toons Characters, 2 doves inside of a heart, a teady bear holding a flower, a Killer Whale, a pregnant animal.

Quote:
How do you carry your rig?


I would purchase all of my balloons by individual color and then rubber band each color in straps of 25 each. The Color's I would carry would be Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Black, White, Pink, Silver, Gold, Mocha, Dark Brown, and an assorted band of just random NEON colors.

So a FULL pack for me was 14 different colors banded in bundles of 25 (350 count 260s).

In addition, I carried Hearts and Bee Bodies. I carried Geo's for a short time but they were to hard to inflate so I gave those up.

My rig was homemade by my wife...made out of black leather and would accomodate all that I described above including a couple of hand pumps. Attached was a belt strap or I could hook up a sholder harness and wear it like a backpack either behind me or hanging like a papoose in the front.

**
Now that I am a DAD and my little girl is old enough, I find myself pulling out the balloons again...ONLY FOR HER! She loves my creations. I will only twist for her and when she has her bday parties, if she would like, I will twist for her and her friends, but my balloons are now a special thing that I share with my little girl. **


Prolly more info than what you needed...

Can't wait to read the article...

Christopher
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
Magician, Comic, Daredevil, and Balloon Twisting Genius
For a Good Time...CLICK HERE!
bsears
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Cincinnati, Ohio
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I don't do balloons in restaurants anymore, but when I did one of the biggest challenges I had was liability. To be specific, I was doing balloons and magic in a chain of restaurants (3 each week) when a corporate lawyer brought the hammer down due to chocking hazard/latex allergies/etc.

I was finally able to get them added as an "additional insured" on my liability policy, but it was a real headache. (we split the cost of the additional insurance).

My biggest problem now is the carpal tunnel/repetitive motion injury the doc says I developed from twisting. I have heard that its not a matter of "if" but "when" this will strike a twister who works regularly. There are many, many twisters who suffer from it. I would love to see it addressed in your column, particularly in terms of early warning signs and prevention.
Christopher Lyle
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Dallas, Texas
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Quote:
On 2010-01-14 12:53, bsears wrote:
I don't do balloons in restaurants anymore, but when I did one of the biggest challenges I had was liability.


This would be an interesting story for you do Mark that I'd love to read (even tho' I don't twist anymore).

About a year before I stopped twisting, the restaurant (and myself personally) were being sued by a Customer that I made a balloon for.

The readers digest version...

Kid and mother walk up to me...the kid asks for a balloon. I make the kid a balloon, mother gives me a $1 tip for my effort. Mother and child leave. During their drive home, the balloon pops which scares the mother who is driving causing her to drive off the freeway into a guardrail totalling her car.

Mother and son, tho's frightened and shaken up escape without injury.

Mother tries to sue me for making the balloon for her child and tries to sue the restaurant for employing me.

The end of this story is a happy ending for me and the restaurant. The restaurant attorney also represented me in this case. We went to court ONCE and the judge thru it out.

Our attorney argued that if she were drinking a Pepsi that she had purchased and she spilled it on herself and had a car accident that she would be held liable for the wreck and NOT Pepsi.

Since the child came up to me and asked for a balloon, and his mother tipping me $1 for said balloon (which was caught on the security video from the restaurant) indicated that she accepted the balloon at her own risk, then both the restaurant and myself were off the hook, the case was dismissed and she received NO MONEY from anyone!

According to the judge, had she not have given me a $1 tip, the case very well could have swayed in her favor. It was the TIP that proved consent on the mother's part.

Let me tell you...never was I so happy to have gotten a $1 tip in my entire life!

Not trying to derail your thread Mark, but I'd love to see you write a story on this subject. It would be a great read I'm sure!
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
Magician, Comic, Daredevil, and Balloon Twisting Genius
For a Good Time...CLICK HERE!
tabman
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Holey smoke!! Who would have thought balloons were dangerous. It would have been a travesty if she had won the suit.
...Your professional woodworking and "tender" loving care in the products you make, make the wait worthwhile. Thanks for all you do...

http://Sefalaljia.com
Christopher Lyle
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Dallas, Texas
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I wasn't overly worried about it. I wrote her off as a nut job from the very beginning!

Everyone is entitled to their day in court! She got her day.

Sadly, with the "McDonalds Coffee is too hot" case that was won and the women got millions from, people feel they are able to sue for nothing reasons hopign they'll bank!

Thankfully, justice prevailed here...

Christopher
In Mystery,


Christopher Lyle
Magician, Comic, Daredevil, and Balloon Twisting Genius
For a Good Time...CLICK HERE!
tabman
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Great story Christopher.
...Your professional woodworking and "tender" loving care in the products you make, make the wait worthwhile. Thanks for all you do...

http://Sefalaljia.com
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
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Quote:
On 2010-01-14 17:18, tabman wrote:
Holey smoke!! Who would have thought balloons were dangerous.


When I was busking balloons in Chicago it was at a time when a really big story had hit about a child who had choked on a balloon and the dad had deceided to pull the plug at Cook County Hospital. Sad case and LOTS of attention. It went away needless to say but they can be and are very dangerous when put in the mouth.

My biggest problem was the chalk. I went through 13 gross in a day one time at Chicagofest and don't use a pump. (18 years of trombone lessons does not hurt this cause!) I hated the chalk in my mouth and on my hands. Not sure if they fixed the problem yet, but in a restaurant, not cool on the hands and fingertips.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
andini1
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CHALLENGE
My balloon challenge has happened to me twice with the same trick; the Card-in-Balloon effect.
I was doing the trick at a garden party during a wedding-breakfast reception.
The card was selected, signed, shuffled and controlled ready for the revelation. I inflated the balloon and everything was set.
BANG!!
The balloon burst revealing the card BUT, unknown to me, a baby was sleeping nearby. The NOISE awoke the infant and all hell was let loose.
On another occasion, one of the diners at a dinner function was a young lady with "learning difficulties" and a fear of noises - especially loud ones!!
The balloon burst revealing the card; the girl screamed and started to cry in distress.
There'a lesson to be learnt from this.....
It's a great card effect but you have to be so careful in choosing the right venue to perform it.
FAVOURITE MODEL
I only make a few Qualatex 260E models. My favourite is probably the Parrot On A Swing.
tabman
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Quote:
On 2010-01-15 12:08, andini1 wrote:...The balloon burst revealing the card; the girl screamed and started to cry in distress....


Interestng, I would have never known balloons are so dangerous. I guess some things should be done only in a room full of loud people who are drinking; like my house! Smile
...Your professional woodworking and "tender" loving care in the products you make, make the wait worthwhile. Thanks for all you do...

http://Sefalaljia.com
bsears
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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Besides choking, latex allergies can be a serious problem. There are stories out there I'm sure...
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