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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ballooning 101 » » I want a sword! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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pradell
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Alaska
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Balloon animal creation is much like parenting. Some parents let the kids control them, and the rules go out the window. Other parents rarely have this problem. Your post reveals that it's the kids telling you what they want. But using a little child psychology can change the lanscape so that the children never get to this stage. You have something that they want. A balloon animal is a prize, a reward. It is a privilege, not a right. I present balloon animals in the context of a quiz. If the kids are quiet, sitting down and raise their hands, only then do they get to participate. The rules are articulated at the start, before any figures are created, but after I've done some funny byplay so the kids are excited about the idea of getting a balloon. Notice that the three rules I articulate at the start informs the children in advance that they're not allowed to yell out all at once and tell me what they want! And the game is, if you can guess which animal/sculpture I'm describing, you'll win the prize and get the balloon. So if a sword ever comes up, it is because I'm desiring to make one, not because the kids are demanding it. If you're going to make weapons at all, make sure you choose to offer one near the end. Two swords in one group of children almost always starts a war. Better to make none or one, if at all, at the end, when all the other kids already have their one and only balloon.
Gideon Sylvan
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Deerfield, IL
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So I figured out a solution. I now make many different kinds of swords that look really cool.
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.

www.gideonsylvan.com
Skip Way
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If you want to use psychology and impress the parents then, when a sword is requested, make the basic saber or pirate sword and a simple belt with a twisted habbard. Draw a vow from each child receiving a sword that he or she shall only draw the sword out of doors. Beknight each child with their balloon sword to each shoulder and YOU place the sword into the habbard while reminding them of the knight's vow and honor. It becomes a game. I will rarely have to remind an indoor "knight" of the promise made. Parents find the sword, belt and faux ceremony adorable and it takes ten seconds longer to make the belt.

For heaven's sake, it's a balloon, not Toledo steel! Political correctness is practical foolishness.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
alexa
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NJ
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Cute routine, Skip! I'm definently going to adopt it, with your permission of course.
Skip Way
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With permission and blessings, Alexa. Whatever brings a smile to a face and success to our door. Add a basic helmet and in 30 seconds, you have a complete knight's ensemble!

:) Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Jonathanmc
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Las Vegas, NV
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I used to just do whatever the child asked for until I realized that some kids don't have the faintest idea that I can make more than puppies and swords.

So I say "Sure, I'll make you a sword, but I also make Ariel the Mermaid, butterfly's, aliens, giant octopi..." etc. Nine times out of ten I end up making something more interesting.

Unless the parents say "No weapons" I am happy to make swords, laser guns, bazooka guns all day long. I think that kids playing with balloon weapons is a very healthy way for them to come to grips with issues of power, violence, control over their environment, themselves and others.

There is a reason that boys will turn anything into a gun. We should look for the positive in this. Remember that a gun means something very different to a four year old than to an adult.

And don't worry about the girls. Ariel the Mermaid knows how to defend herself against any balloon sword.
SeaDawg
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The Lunatic Fringe
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Since my gig is as a Pirate" and I carry a very real cutlass, a lot of the kids want swords. I have no biggie with that.

But, and this is a very big But, I ensure that they know swords are never to be used for fighting. OK, Einstein, I just made'em a sword and told them they cant use it, NIce...

But I do show them how to balance a sword and within a few minutes it is not uncommon to see 7 or 8 swords all being balanced in a friendly little competition.
No one is getting whacked and it is a lot of fun.

Just my views
Crazy people take the psycho-path thru the forest...
phill
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Connecticut
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SeaDawg -
Thanks for lighting a candle in this cursed darkness.

I too, have struggled with what to do with a sword after turning down 4 billion requests for the things...... Such a simple solution - turning it into a "game".

Thanks again for sharing that.


peace,
phill
Scripture, Sculptures & Surprises!
SeaDawg
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Phill,
If you have a particularily energetic child who is being a bit of a handful...
when you make his balancing device leave a little uninflated bump at the end. It makes it much harder to balance. A few experiments and you shall see what I mean.... thus if you want to keep'em busy..

BTW, this idea is not my original... Many thanks to Milo T. Clown... an award winning child's performer from my neck of the woods.
Crazy people take the psycho-path thru the forest...
phill
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Connecticut
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Quote:
On 2006-11-13 09:44, SeaDawg wrote:
If you have a particularily energetic child who is being a bit of a handful...
when you make his balancing device leave a little uninflated bump at the end. It makes it much harder to balance. A few experiments and you shall see what I mean.... thus if you want to keep'em busy..


GREAT TIP!


peace,
phill
Scripture, Sculptures & Surprises!
mimagicman
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Grand Rapids, MI
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I suppose it depends on the venue, but when I am hired to predominately do balloons, it is generally some some of corporate picnic etc, and 3 hours-ish.

I make a couple designs when I get there and put them on balloon holders on my case, and combined with the menu, the kids have a clear idea of what is available. I try to keep to one or two 260's type designs to keep the line moving in this environment, but I make the kids what they ask for and let the line move. The hundreds of kids there and different opinions let lots of different types of creations travel throughout the event, thus showing the adults some variety as well.

My humble opinion, but there it is...
Beowulf
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Thomas A. Lilly
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Don Caldwell wrote an essay touching on this topic. If the client sees you making sword after sword, he might wonder why he's paying such a high fee for a guy who "just" does swords. Caldwell gets around this by tellng the guest that he's figured out what's perfect for him, and then Caldwell goes ahead and makes an appropriate impressive piece. Child gets something fancy, client sees the money, and twister gets to show off, generating the chance for future work.

I get around the sword-after-sword dilemna by offering a pirate sword, a chrysanthemum sword, a ninja sai, Excalibur, or a lightsaber. If nothing else the child has a choice, the client sees variety, and I don't get bored.

Expand your repertoire: offer a half dozen different dogs; a lion, tiger, pussycat, or mean cat selection; numerous wands.

Tom
Tony James
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Cheshire UK
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It's usually boys who want swords. So make them. It's not difficult is it?

If you're bothered keep asking who'd like something different but keep making the swords.

remember - art for art's sake but money for God's sake!
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
JoeJoe
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Myrtle Beach
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Girls want swords too ... I usually make them pink swords.

-JoeJoe
Amazing JoeJoe on YouTube[url=https://www.youtube.com/user/AmazingJoeJoe]
Lofty
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Toronto, Canada
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I have no problem making swords BUT... If you make a belt for some stange reason the sword (usually) stays in the belt.

However when I make balloons I usually make the kids what I want them to have, generally if it's a princess party all the girls get flowers. or if boys I make them alien hats.

The only time I try to avoid swords is when you hear "the kids just finished their cake and pop"

Lofty
Burntcircuit
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I just offer other types or weapons if they seem to be into fighting w/ the balloons. Bow and arrow, axe, spears, shield....ect
toomuchmagic
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***.
Id rather make a million swords than 175 four balloon hats.
First thing I made tonight was that hat....200 kids....and they all wanted exactly the same thing. I only had 2.5 hours and I was flying solo.
I managed to get all of them what the wanted though, but next time I get asked for a hat early in the night....it is gonna be a lame one.
:)
MagicSanta
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Northern Nevada
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Man I can relate to that! I love it when they want swords. I do the quickest and unfancy sword you ever saw and the lil' hoods love 'em.
legnakcor
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Belgium
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I also have loads of different sword models, so I don't get bored ^^. But, what's the most impostant, children's smiles, or your boredom? Anyway, one child or two always asks for a different balloon, people can see I make different balloons then. I also have a 5 balloon pet next to me, so people see it (If a child asks me if he can have the same, I say something like "you wouldn't want him: he's mean, he bites, and he eats all the chocoate in my house!").
Bad to the Balloon
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I have a no weapons policy ... the chicks really dig it!!

Seriously I will not make weapons, instead I offer Sharks, dinosaurs, spidermen, Fishing pole hats, gators, dolphins, Dragon, and other cool things.

I know the other guy might be kidding about not caring what a child wants. In a weird way I agree. during my closing act of my Home Party I make balloon hats for all the kids. If I asked each kid what they wanted I would have a few things happen:

• I would make only two types of figures one for boys one for girls
• It would take too much time for the personal interaction, 2 minutes per would now be 5 minutes per.
• kid are impatient
• kids are loud
• kids would get up and get in my stuff
• No creativity would be shown

INSTEAD I tell them I will twist my balloons to some soothing music. I make over 180 different types of hats and everyone will get something different NO DUPLICATES, no matter how much of a brat you are. (Mock scolding) If you want a special hat I made I need you to sit up straight, smile as big as you can and I will give that hat to the person with the biggest smile. Any one not sitting down will not get a hat. And the Birthday boy gets the best hat AFTER I make his guests hat.

Then the music switches from elevator music of 99 red balloons to Bad to the bone.
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
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