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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Table hoppers & party strollers Ľ Ľ Uggghhhh...balloon animals.... (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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cataquet
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England
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I carry balloons with me, and I do balloon animals, as well as Kenton Knepper's "Coin in Balloon" It's fantastic and impromptu!



However, the main reason I carry the balloons is to silence/control the hecklers (if I have any). As you know, blowing up a balloon, if you don't know how to do it, is not easy. So, tell them that for your next trick, you need a balloon and ask them to blow it up.



Bye for now



Harold
Harold Cataquet
Doug Byrd
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VA
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When it comes to balloon animals you have to ask yourself, "Do I want to do magic or do I want to do balloon animals"? I have done some restaurant work in the past and what Iíve seen is once the balloon animals start thatís it for the entire time.



Of course, it could also be determined by the venue as well. When I did the balloon animals I was hired to do a kids night and that is what they wanted. Hey I got paid.



When I did more bar work I never did balloons. Just handed out the occassional paper rose. This was all magic.



What Iím getting at here is that having the balloon expertise in my repetroire got me more gigs and more chances for money than I would have been eligible for. It all comes down to what is more important for you. Iíve gotten more gigs by having this ability in my bag of tricks than the guys who do nothing but magic.



Just my 2 Drachma Worth,

Doug Smile



_________________

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Peter Marucci
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The more you can do, the more you work.

It's that simple.

I do a lot of balloons with my magic in street work.

But there are many venues where balloons simply aren't suitable: Up-scale table hopping, hospitals (some ban balloons because of latex allergies, a growing problem), etc.

In that case, I do the bead doggie (which is exactly the same as balloon work but with a strand of small plastic "pearls"; the reaction is phenomenal!), paper rose, origami, or whatever will fit.

If you can't do balloons (for whatever reason), there are still many other "giveaways" that you can come up with that are equally good.

And that, quite simply, translates into more work!

cheers,

Peter Marucci

showtimecol@aol.com
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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HI, I vote mystify and entertain together!
Dave Lewis
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Iíve worked in restaurants doing nothing BUT balloons and zero magic. Iíve worked in restaurants doing all magic and no balloons. Iíve also worked in restaurants where I did both. If tips are what you crave, balloons win hands down -- PERIOD!



Granted, youíll have to be fast and blow them up by mouth to be impressive, which can be both painful and frustrating. When I was developing my abilities as a magician, I used balloons as a crutch.



I did my few tricks and a lot of balloons until my abilities improved enough to rely on the magic alone.



If you are striving to make a difference in the World as a top notch magician, you donít need balloons to get there. Youíll probably get big corporate contracts and TV shows that will make you all the money youíll need.



If you are anywhere in between, having the ability to do both without over-selling either, has helped me get a lot of gigs. The idea of demanding that the kids watch some magic before they get a balloon is one that can work if youíve read your audience correctly. Forcing the magic on them doesnít work.



Thatís my fifty cents worth.



Dave
dorbolo
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Your points are right on, for me Dave.



So far as I can tell, general audiences consider balloon twisting to be just as magical as card effects, card flourishes, coin effects, cups and balls, and the rest. To most folks, the balloon routine works as a metamorphosis (perhaps even a production)

i.e. making a Parrot in a Perch out of a simple childís toy. Here is a balloon,

30 seconds later - here is a monkey!

I do not think that turning a centavo into

a silver half qualifies as more magical.

I am sure that both appear magical to the average person.



Like all else in magic, the real work is in the performance skills. Handing out balloons is not the point. A well rehearsed routine designed for comedy or suspense is key to good twisting. With that sort of planning, anyone could easily meld magical technique with ballooning technique.



I note that anti-balloon magicians frequently describe twisting as "the doggie balloon" or such. And in that, I see the main problem. If the best you are prepared to do is a three-twist dog, then ballooning will certainly be dull and unattractive.



When you can twist fifty an hour with a wide menu of choices and solid interactive routining -- then youíve got something going.



Bruce Posgateís book, "Table Hopping" lays out the methods of balloons as part of a restaurant magic act. Good book.



In good spirit,



Jon
PaulTemple
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This is easy. I'm a magician not a balloon twister. I've never understood what they have to do with eachother.
Paul the conjurior
montymagi
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Slidell La
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I do a mixture of both and it seems to go over very well. I started out doing just magic and go into balloon twisting now I am about even in skill and presentation with both. If you don't like it don't do it. I agree with an previous post, the more you can do, the more you work. I will tell that I can not get away with just doing one or the other at the two restaurants where I work. The families want both every time.

Just because you can do both does not mean you are any less of a magician. It just means you are a magician +
Hart Keene
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I don't do balloons, never have...

Been doing restaurants for over 7 years, never had a problem. But the day you "start" doing them then you will have a problem! It will never stop!!!

The guy who subs for me does them but I specifically tell him NOT to do balloons when he works for me. He thanks me, he would way rather do magic the whole time. lol

I also don't do them because of the liability issues that Scott mentioned.

Also, this is just MY opinion but I don't think tables of adults will take you seriously if they see you doing balloons right before you approach them. Most of my work is for adults so I think its best for me to steer clear! I do have a fair amount of "kid" material and I never have kids ask me for balloons so no worries there either. Again, this was just my opinion...
-Hart

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Magician Portland Oregon
Mary Mowder
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Balloons and Beads are both a choking hazard if the kids are young.

If you give a balloon out eventually an adult has to deal with a kid who's popped the balloon. At a party that's going to be several kids. I'd rather leave a Magical wake than a wake of whining kids (even if I never have to deal with them).

I want to be a Magician so if I can't start with the balloons without doing it all night I'd rather never start.
If it were just about the money I wouldn't have chosen Magic as my living.

I really do enjoy watching a good or entertaining balloon sculptor but I hate being given one to carry around (or ditch).
This is especially bad when the twister acts like he's giving me a gold nugget and I have to act like I'm totally charmed. I'm an adult and my ability to gush over a balloon animal is waning.
jazzy snazzy
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run off by a mob of Villagers wielding
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Right on Mary.
Not my cup of tea either. I tend to avoid free handouts of any kind. People waiting in line can become very demanding. Great tips on the street however if you are so inclined.
"The secret of life is to look good from a distance."
-Charles Schulz
Skip Way
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I totally understand the magic purists; it just isn't my way. I guess I'm one of those mentioned by Tom Cutts - I am an entertainer first and foremost and a magician second - and I say that with pride. For me, it's not just a balloon - it's a balloon and a show. My comedy poodle routine alone runs 3-4 minutes and evokes laughter from kids and adults alike. That's what my restaurants and private clients pay me to do and I love it.

I don't work "lines." I will refuse any restaurant or event that wants me to stand in one place rather than hop tables. That's assembly line work and I am an entertainer.

Being very aware of the problems Mary mentioned, I give bite-resistant 7" vinyl beach balls and inflatable fish tethered with a length of yarn to children under the age of 3. For the older children, I use 160's and 5" rounds exclusively. They are less likely to break, take up less room and fit little hands perfectly. When the rare 160 does break, it's usually into two large pieces - one on the floor and one in my hand. As a bonus, women and girls love the petite 160 poodle and wrist corsage.

So I suppose it depends on your personal goals. I have no desire whatsoever to be the next Dai Vernon or Steve Beam. Balloons, magic and humor work very well for me. C'est la vie!
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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mota
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Mark Byrne (of the excellent series "Bad to the Balloon") has essentially solved the popping problem by only making hats. When they aren't in the little critter's hands they seldom get broke.

I think Mark also has a few observations about choking on twisting balloons too...just doesn't happen with twisting balloons. Those stories are right up there with the vanishing hitchhiker.

I do understand not wanting to do balloons...everything isn't for everyone. Just consider whether you are making your decision based on personal preference or unfounded fears. If balloons are not who you are you need to be true to yourself.

I find what people can now make from balloons to be amazing and beautiful...a lot of happiness can be had here.
Alan Munro
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I used to make balloons, but considering how hostile balloons make some parents, I stopped making them. If the client only booked me for a certain amount of time, people would still be clamoring for a balloon, long after the time has passed. If you work balloon lines, you need to pack heat. lol

Besides, I don't want to be lumped in with the generic magicians who do make balloon animals. Asking me to make a balloon animal would be a little like asking Tony Bennett to sing "Freebird" - it's a bad fit. I put my energies into my show, and it shows.
Al Angello
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I have never made a balloon animal in my life. I do StarGazer, the napkin rose, and the pearl poodle. I always try to take the road least traveled.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Bad to the Balloon
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Does anyone realize this thread is over 9 years old!?!?!?!?!

If you think kids choke on balloon animal balloons read my posts in Balloons 101.

I do disagree that balloons are not entertaining, I believe there is not such thing as a bad trick .... just bad performers!!! Same could be said about balloons, if you are not an artist or care what your final product looks like it will show.

Doing balloon just because the market demands it is ..... well Proselytizing your self.
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
DStachowiak
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Quote:
On 2001-11-06 20:37, Peter Marucci wrote:
Very good alternatives, indeed, scott.

There are several web pages that explain how to make a paper rose (out of a bar napkin).

So, instead of balloons, you can hand out origami frogs and pearl dogs to the kids and paper roses to the women.

Not too shabby! Smile

cheers,

Peter Marucci

showtimecol@aol.com


just be careful about giving pearl poodles to the little ones, as they present a REAL choking hazard.
Woke up.
Fell out of bed.
Dragged a comb across m' head.
DStachowiak
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Quote:
On 2001-12-20 00:00, dorbolo wrote:
Your points are right on, for me Dave.



So far as I can tell, general audiences consider balloon twisting to be just as magical as card effects, card flourishes, coin effects, cups and balls, and the rest. To most folks, the balloon routine works as a metamorphosis (perhaps even a production)

i.e. making a Parrot in a Perch out of a simple childís toy. Here is a balloon,

30 seconds later - here is a monkey!

I do not think that turning a centavo into

a silver half qualifies as more magical.

I am sure that both appear magical to the average person.



Like all else in magic, the real work is in the performance skills. Handing out balloons is not the point. A well rehearsed routine designed for comedy or suspense is key to good twisting. With that sort of planning, anyone could easily meld magical technique with ballooning technique.



I note that anti-balloon magicians frequently describe twisting as "the doggie balloon" or such. And in that, I see the main problem. If the best you are prepared to do is a three-twist dog, then ballooning will certainly be dull and unattractive.



When you can twist fifty an hour with a wide menu of choices and solid interactive routining -- then youíve got something going.



Bruce Posgateís book, "Table Hopping" lays out the methods of balloons as part of a restaurant magic act. Good book.



In good spirit,



Jon

I recently started doing balloons, after observing a friend of mine who gets party gigs right and left because he does them in his restaurant work. His balloon repertoire consists of swords, two-balloon hats, and the "all-purpose, 4 legged animal"-AKA the three twist doggy, varying the length of the segments for whatever animal he wants to pass it off as.

I don't really like this approach, so I made the huge investment of $3 for a 32 page booklet called "LaMonica's Balloon Sculptures". I bought a bag of 260s and spent a weekend twisting up monkeys, clowns, rabbits, doves, elephants, flowers and of course, dogs.
I can't attribute any gigs to this as yet, since I have only used it one time so far in a busking situation, but that one time has convinced me it was a good move. I now have a skill that pulls an audience together for my performances, holds them through the show, and puts money in the hat, as well as generating business card requests.
What I found most amazing was that it is relatively easy to acquire a fairly wide repertoire of interesting sculptures, and it gives me something to entertain children six and under with (This was a BIG problem for me)
I don't know if it would be more "impressive" to blow them up by mouth, but the fact is, my chronic respiratory issues oblige me to use a pump. I haven't had anyone complain about it yet.
Anyway, for me, balloon sculpture is entirely a plus.
Just a quick note, I want to echo something Pete Marrucci mentioned earlier. When I was practicing the different sculptures on that weekend I mentioned above, I filled two large trash bags with sculptures. That Monday I thought I'd drive over to a local hospital and donate them to the Pediatric Ward. I was informed that due to liability issues related to latex allergies, only Mylar ballons are permitted in the hospital.
Don
Woke up.
Fell out of bed.
Dragged a comb across m' head.
Tim Dowd
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...Making the Magic Happen!
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/*JOKE*/
what happens when you have to cut off the line? Maybe we can merge this thread with "do you carry protection to gigs" 'cos I promised not to post there ever again...
/*EKOJ*/
Timothy Dowd
...Making the Magic Happen!
http://www.timothydowd.com
http://vimeo.com/channels/mymagic
These are my points of view; I accept no responsibility for your interpretation of what I just said...
magicguyri
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RI
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Next thread, PLEASE! Being a professional means knowing when not to use balloons...and when it can be magical for the spectator.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Table hoppers & party strollers Ľ Ľ Uggghhhh...balloon animals.... (3 Likes)
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