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Mishel
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Quote:
You are correct I won't even make a sword. Why would I make a sword when in 30 seconds I can make a Shark?


You are right. I guess as a fresh beginner with not that much management skill I kind of collapsed under the pressure and just made the fastest things I know how to make. And as one boy got a sword, all the others also wanted swords and I found it conviniet to just make them swords instead of something that takes more time.

But I am working on it. I have a different plan for today (details down).

Quote:
Audience management is what is needed.

First make a line...
Designate your area...
Decide how long you want to work...

People get angry when you have been working 2-4 hours straight and want to take a break. My standard line about waiting is "No matter how long you have waited I have been here longer..."

I have talked to Asi Cohen at Twist & Shout ... he says Israelis don't tip. Why not have a bucket that says donations at your feet?


Well, all the management tips are appriciated, especially the line you use. I have had people tell me they have been waiting for an hour and sort of gave me some ultimatum "Are you doing a balloon for me or should I go?"
It ****ed me off since I was giving out balloons for free and people sort of started to think that getting a balloon is their right.

I am going to twist for free again today at the same location but I intend to manage it differently this time. Instead of giving out balloons for free and having everyone requesting things, I will be doing balloons on an easy pace and giving them out to whoever I want. No requests, if you have the patience to watch the twisting and you are not rude you may get one. The idea is to combine the giving out balloons with some practice time. If I only do swords, hearts and doggies I am not helping myself. What I intend to do is to go over the list I made where I have about thirty five figures and just do them from the least impressive to the most impressive and so this time everyone who will get a balloon will get something NO ONE else has, as opposed to last time where everyone had the same three/four things.

Then, next week I'll add some more figures I have to practice and remove some of the easy ones I have done tons of.

Asi Cohen is right about the tips, people here won't think about giving you something. Either you sell it or you give it for free. The only people that get tips around here are restaurant staff, movers, delivery guys and the man who carries your suitcases to the hotel.

I have had some people get balloon from me and then ask me how much is it, in readiness to pay, but I just told them they shouldn't.
I think from now on I would say "I'm not selling, but if you want to give me something I would appriciate it", or something.

I still need to find out exactly about all the legal issues concerning that here.

And MagicSanta, was she beautiful because of the uniform and the Uzi or just by herself? ;-)
Mishel.
Don't let the same dog bite you twice.
Bad to the Balloon
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Hi Mishel & Santa,

Finally Edit this week but these are in the running, tentative title Animal House:
horse
Cow
Monkey in tree
Fishing Pole
. Elephant
Butterfly
Flamingo.
Dinosaur
Unicorn
Crab
fly
. frog
. Cat
. Dog*
. Penguin
. Moose
Though many of these seem like standards, my methods on speed and art will be like nothing many have seen before. there is a triple loop speed technique used in the monkey, elephant, flamingo and butterfly that is well worth the price of the DVD.

Mishel (Really weird since my wife's name is Michelle!!!) I think your getting a good grasp what it takes to be effective and not abused. It is about entertainment not pumping them out. Signage or a T-shirt would help with the tipping situation, that is why I suggested the donation verbage instead. Is there a hebrew word for donation or charity?

People suck. I was at a school function about a month ago. I had twisted for 4 hours straight. It was an art festival. I had successfully broken the line and told people all along that the line was ending at a specific time. Turned many people away .. had my last 6 in line about 15 minutes work. A redneck family got in line, mullet dad, and fat momma and their piglets.

I look them directly in the eye and said the line is closed. They said they had been waiting an hour!! I said your kidding right? I looked at the rest of crowd. They wouldn't leave. I called over the event coordinator, they argued with them too. I finished the line... did not do their family and had them escorted off property and a security guard walk me to my car. How embarrassing would it be to be part of that family.

My point being there was many good people who I turned away because they understood, why should I reward the lowest common denominator?

If someone gets impatient with you had them a balloon and tell them to blow it up and they will be next.

It ain't going to happen....

Mark Byrne
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
jakeg
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When I busked, I used a menu board. T Meyers has a book of clip art. I put some on a large piece of art board, laminated it, and stuck it to my table with Velcro.
There are a couple of dozen figures on them including hats, swords, animals, flowers, and other usual dreck. All fast to make. Any special requests came out looking like a dog. I think it's an old John Shirley line: "I make 157 different animals that all look like dogs". You want an alligator? Here's an alligator that looks like a dog. You want a red balloon? Here's a red one that looks green.
FunTimeAl
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Mark!

I think that family has relatives in Cincy Smile Members of that clan seem to follow me around like a good-'ol-buy subsection of the CIA...and they always seem to wait until I've closed down the line before they rear their heads.

My advice for closing the line is to give an inflated 260 to the last person in line with the words "END OF THE LINE" written on it and tell that person to just hold it. I emphasize that they do not have to tell people anything. I'm the one who calls peoples attention to the balloon. IMO, the person holding that balloon is doing enough work. I don't want them to have to get into arguments for me.

Next, if people do bug me after I've done my last balloon, then I pull out the 5" assorted color smiley face balloons and hand them out uninflated to the adults...give the sorrowful apology, and MOST IMPORTANTLYYYYYYYYYYY:

Tell them that I have another gig to get to across town and can't possibly stay another moment.

Hee hee.

Chad
dave_matkin
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Although I will be late for that GIG .........

If the conditions are right ...........


IE $130 up front for the 20 minutes it will make me late ......


Hell if you don't have another gig its another $130 in the pocket ......


I don't thnk I would actually do this though. And I am sure they would not pay it so not worth trying. NOt that it is about money.

Knowing my luck they would follow me to the "next gig" that just happend to be where I lived. Smile
MagicSanta
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Mishel, she was just like a movie star in green. Not that Haifa Euro chick look that you find there, she was old school with the dark complexion and green eyes.

I did a festival, I won't say what kind, and had cut off everyone, finished up, and had collapsed my EZ Up and everything was packed. I had a pack of kids show up, I mean all day I'd not had that many kids at one time, wanting balloons. I told them I was out and apologized. I was loading the truck and one of the kids yells "I found more!". The lil' @#$)*(* had opened by box and found a bag of balloons! I look and there are 15 to 20 kids standing in freakin' line! I was not pleased that this kid had done this at all and I'm ashamed to say I sat there another hour and did balloons.
Bad to the Balloon
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I don't have a problem breaking a line; I am just mentioning problems I have had. As many might notice I really don't pull a lot of punches. I am very matter of fact, not rude. Use Roadhouse rules I am nice until it is time not to be nice. I often giggle to myself how funny it would be if I did get into an altercation, how would some punk feel sitting in a jail cell because the Balloon guy took him out.

BTW I don't want everyone to think I am some bruiser... I haven't been in a real fight in over 20 years (I think). In fact, though I was trained for it, I never got any more physical with anyone than pinning them down to handcuff them. Years of carrying a gun gives you a quite confidence people tend to listen to.that and the ability to not blink.

Funny how Dave perceives me!! The whole point of the Bad to the Balloon character is it is a parody of balloon artists. I juxtaposed the common perception of who and what a balloon artist is with the exact opposite. thus Biker balloon artist, strong silent type.

If you saw me perform I am sooooo opposite to my screen personal.
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
mark1991
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Hi there,

Can I ust say I love this idea! Balloon modelling for a great cause! Loved your no smoking sign you made! Keep up the good work!

Take care!

God bless!

Magical Mark Watson
(mark1991)
http://magicnewstelevision.com/mn/magicalmark



Magical Mark Watson - Christian magician, juggler, puppeteer, all-round entertainer and lover of Christ!
dave_matkin
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Mark ....... What can I say? I am a really perceptive person .... I actually have you down as a really nice guy ........


.... that I would do my best not to annoy ........ unless I need pinning down and handcuffing (I am in to escapology so may be we can have a competition some time........ me to escape you to ......... *** this could go pear shape you are *** fast .......... erm make a full size replica of the Eiffel tower (I will give a concession – you can use the one in Las Vegas rather than the original original in Paris.

I certainly bet you don’t get any arguments that you can’t handle. I think I could learn a lot from you and watching you work ….. nah that’s crap. I KNOW I could! You obviously have at least a years experience of this work.

JUST ONE question …… how do you go from security specialist in the air force to balloon guy? I can’t imagine the guys at the air force base being entertained by you of a boring Saturday night on call in the mess room Smile

Dave
Bad to the Balloon
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Actually I make a funny eiffel tower ....

How did I get from there to here? Section 8!! See MASH reruns if you don't get it.

Here is my career path in a nutshell:
Artist-cowboy-health club instructor-dishwasher-barback-waiter-bartender- security specialist -bartender-stand-up comedian-clown-THE BALLOON GUY

You got to love evolution!!
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
Mishel
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Israel
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Mark,
You kind of closed a circle and got back to some art. Smile

Anyway, those were three long and eventfull days I've had.
The protest went well, people liked the balloons and it helped the cause by attracting attention to the people and the name of the site and petition. A lot of people were with the "protest hat" and the orgenizer personally came by and I made him a big jester hat so he was very visible Smile
The balloons were mentioned in a summary article I read, as a welcomed private initiative. Other private people also initiated stuff. Two guys braught with them a bunch of the surgeon masks, you know the ones you put on your mouth and nose, and gave those to people wo held signs and another man gave away some "red tickets" that we should quietly put with the check when we leave a restaurant that didn't pay attention to the law.

It was nice.

The next day, Saturday, I went with a friend to twist for free again at the same location I go to but it turns out some friends made a surprise event for me for my birthday so we sat in a restaurant/cafe for sometimes with lots of friends and some of the folks who only found out I took balloon twisting (since people had to explain how they will get me there...) requested some balloons. I made some.
Let me tell you, it was hard twisting sitted at a table...
A few times the balloons just touched the ragged wooden tabled and popped.

Anyway, after a while we were about to leave and the waitress asked if she doesn't deserve a balloon for her service (of course she got the big tip, but any adult that really seems to want a balloon is goi8ng to get one from me... I think adults who love balloons have some positive quality that those who don't lack, I can't pinpoint what it is yet though)

So I made her one and the big smile was enough of a reward.
Then when we walked away, my friend told me that while I was twisting, the people in the rest of the tables around us just stopped eating and looked at me twisting.
I wasn't aware of it though.

So then when we all parted I still went to twist for the children and some adults at the location. I saw some familiar faces from last week. There is this 31 year old girl who came again for a balloon Smile
I always do the more complicated stuff for her, as I said, if you're an adult and you want a balloon, you can't ba a bad person to know.

Then yesterday I took a day off of work to go to Tel Aviv and meet up with some friends. I twisted in two locations. In the first one I met a grandma with her grandson who insisted she wanted to do business with me and gave me her phone number. I don't know what I'll do with that, I don't think I'm ready to leave the high tech high paying world to twist professionally.

The two friends I was with also got me a birthday present (which I didn't expect at all). Then I met up with my best friend for twenty years, also in Tel Aviv in the upper class side of town and I twisted some figures while we were at some esspreso bar and one lady said she will pay me to do the figure I did for a little girl, she wanted it. After some conversation it turns out her daughter is a clown and she also does balloon twisting in birthdays but she only does the sword and the dog and not complicated shapes like I did,
So she said she wants me to give her daugher private lessons in balloon twisting.
She took my number.
We'll see what happens with that.

I love twisting, but this hobby is starting to cost me a lot of money.
I need to find a way to at least cover my costs.
Some private lessons could be nice (I don't feel too comfortable with the "donations" hat)

But one thing I got to say.
I have been studying magic for four years or so.
I have been studying balloon twisting less than two months.
And the amount of doors that openned up to me with balloon twisting is uncomparable. So many doors. Everytime I twist outside I'm asked for a card (which I don't have...) and offered business offers. Amazing.
Mishel.
Don't let the same dog bite you twice.
Bad to the Balloon
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Jim Sisti had a internet radio show which he stated at an event the " Balloon Artists were more magical than the magicians"

There is power in the latex!!!

Glad I could be of help from the other side of the world!!
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
FunTimeAl
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Quote:
On 2007-06-03 09:14, Bad to the Balloon wrote:

Here is my career path in a nutshell:
Artist-cowboy-health club instructor-dishwasher-barback-waiter-bartender- security specialist -bartender-stand-up comedian-clown-THE BALLOON GUY

You got to love evolution!!


Mark,

You're not alone buddy. I went from Custom Cabinet Maker to USMC Scout-Sniper to US Peace Corps Volunteer to Teacher to Entertainer...

Funny how the rough parts in life can bring the out Clown in someone!!!
dave_matkin
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Quote:
On 2007-06-04 12:39, Bad to the Balloon wrote:
Jim Sisti had a internet radio show which he stated at an event the " Balloon Artists were more magical than the magicians"

There is power in the latex!!!


Is it me OR does that sound like an advert for Trojan? (would be Durex in the UK)

Have you moved in to advertising now Mark? Smile
Mishel
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Israel
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Hey, look what I found.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQrOk-nFCJw

Apparently someone there filmed the protest and made a little video clip.
Mind you, those were simple hats, but the point was not to draw attention to the hats but to the people and signs.

You can see there the head of the protest wearing a jester hat Smile
And some girls were with flowers as well.
Mishel.
Don't let the same dog bite you twice.
dave_matkin
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I love the posey flowers as a bracelet! Nice idea! I make them on a stem but then kids sometimes struggle with them in the wind ... I like the idea of putting tehm on the wrist (like doing the lady birds that way as well .... great for babies pushchairs ..... OUT OF REACH OF baby and under strict instructions to parents of course)


Looked great - nice impact and the no smoking sign hat was cool - you should have given some away to people not in the parade as well.

Great Job!
MagicSanta
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I had this image of thousands of chanting people taking over a part of the city... not to be. When I was in Haifa I went through a protest that was about that size, the signs were written in Arabic. Yes, I walked through the protest and the protesters seemed a bit miffed. I even had my photo taken in full uniform with my arm around a fellow holding a sign, he didn't smile though. It wasn't until we got done with our visit we noticed the signs in English...we were who they were protesting!!! Good times. I wish I had balloons to make them.
Bad to the Balloon
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To Mishel -- Nice Video .... does it come with subtitles?

to Chad --- I have seen things so my family doesn't have to. Same for the troops now. Man wouldn't it be cool to start a give the magic to the troops campaign? Sniper? got a couple of jobs for you in another thread...

to Dave -- I think your chains are too tight!!
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
Mishel
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Dave,
I did make hats for people not int he parade. Obviously you couldn't see that Smile

MagicSanta,
What uniform? What do you mean you were what the were protesting? What were they protesting?!

Mark,
There is no subtitled version, but it's mostly patter about the protest. The thing I liked most was the guy at the end that says he and his friends fight smoking in pubs by gathering up fifty folks and going out to a bar/pub/club when it is still "early", they "take over" the bar area and start to enjoy themselves and whenever someone new who comes in smokes all of them demand that he stops and this way they make themselves a smoke free bar for a night.

I just saw that a comment was added to the video. To my surprsie, it says in Hebrew "The balloons were the coolest". Smile
Mishel.
Don't let the same dog bite you twice.
MagicSanta
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I was in a Navy uniform and was part of the UN Peacekeeping force back in the early 80s. They were protesting us fun lovin' sailors and our 16 inch guns.
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