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illuzns
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My Room in Va.
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I was wondering if anyone could tell me who originated the balloon swallow and where I could locate more information about it. I Know the trick and have performed it in the past,but I still feel that I have had too many breakages of the balloon and that perhaps I'm doing it with the wrong balloons or have gaffed it incorrectly. I learned the trick from another magician and did not get the information from any notes or Video.Thanks in advance for any help.
illuzns
Totof
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Steve Bedwell gives a method to swallow a balloon on his tape "MD Not Required".
Here some advices on his method http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......;forum=6

Hope it helps...
Magic_streak
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Since we're on this topic, got a couple of questions for you guys who perform this.

Have you ever been worried that kids may imitate?

What do you do to the swallowed balloon? Turn around and spit it out or simply keep it in your mouth till the end?
twistedace
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1.Never do it for kids.
2.Cup of water to "wash it down"
Mr Amazeo
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Definitely not a kid show trick. Also, pick the adult shows carefully too - but it be highly dependent on your character. Watch Brother Paul West do this bit at a Ren fair, and you'll laugh your butt off, because it really works for him.

You can leave the gimick in your mouth for a real long time, and work in a ditch point several minutes after the fact.
Shawn D
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I do this trick all the time for kid shows and never had a parent say why did you do this in front of my kid. When I did it for a school show I was concerned about doing it and then asked the principal and a few teacher about doing it in front of the kids and they thought nothing about it.

I tell the kids there are tricks you should try to copy magician and do like pick a card or pull a coin out of the ear but this next trick isn't one of them. I tell them how dangerous it is then do the trick in a comical way.

When I take the balloon out of my mouth I say I am glad this is part of the show that I give away a souvenir go to hand it to the kids and it gets a good scream and eeewww faces. Then I say oh you want a doggie bag for it. I put it into a bag and go to hand it the child then I take it back and pop the bag and out comes a doggie ballon to give him.

I got that part from Wayne Dobson. The routine is really great and plays very well.
Shawn D
truthteller
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The balloon effect was created by sword swallowing legend Johnny Fox. To my knowledge, he never "released" the effect to the magic community at large, and only one magician that I know of actively sought him out and asked permission to use it. (That was Fielding West). However it did leak out, no pun intended, and now many magicians and even strippers perform the trick.
Magic_streak
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It is a great trick. However, if you pull the deflated balloon out and hand it to the audience, aren't you indirectly exposing how it is done? And the mystery disappears. What do you guys think about this?
salsa_dancer
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I would hate to think about the 'exposure' if you swallowed the balloon. eeek!
Shawn D
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The way I deal with taking the balloon out deflated is after I swallow it, is I look at the audience with big eyes and a weird look.

This gets a good laugh. Then I push on my stomach and blow out air. I do ths a few times then I pull out the balloon deflated.
Seems to work for me.
Shawn D
illuzns
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Well,I guess it's about time I replied to some of these posts. First of all, thanks to Truthteller for letting us know who supposedly originated this trick. I used to watch Johhny Fox perform all the time at the Maryland Rennassaince festival.(He's a truly great performer and showman). I don't doubt that he was the originator of this effect,he has an incredible mind for magical effects.

I did not realize that he was the one who created this trick and to be honest with you, if I had known it wasn't a "Marketed" effect, then I wouldn't have performed it at all.(I do try to respect the inventors of original effects if I can).

I will have to say that I do not feel that this is a trick that should be done in front of small children with or without the precaution of adding a warning to the audience. Kids try to replicate what magicians do, all the time. If a kid Dies while trying to do this effect after a show,I would feel you are liable for his death.

I have a friend who does this effect on a regular basis on the street and it goes over very well for him there, but I still feel this is not a good trick for all audiences.(This is just my opinion and I felt the need to express it,since this was my original post.You may or may not agree with my opinion,but that is what makes this such a great country).

Also, one last note to Shawn D. If you're "Pulling the balloon out of your mouth deflated, then either you're doing the trick very oddly or your not doing it the way it is usually performed by most people I know of.

I too use a cup of water to "Wash it down". Great trick and thanks for all the responses.
Your friend in magic,
illuzns
Christopher
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Pepto bottles work great too.
Harry Murphy
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There are a couple of threads here at the Café taking about this very topic, including its origins.

As much as I like Johnny Fox and love his act, he did not invent the balloon-swallowing stunt. It is not his to give away!

A British juggler who performed it on the streets (among other places) for years invented the trick. Interesting he freely shared the secret with dozens of serious performers. He didn’t see it as central to his act but more an attention getter and comedy bit.

I saw it performed in London England years before the Maryland Renaissance Fair started in Crofton (which was a couple of years before it moved to its present site in Crownsville/Annapolis).

I was a “street” performer during the very first years of the Maryland Renaissance Fair and remember the first year that Fox performed there (now over 20 years ago!). The bit was not in his early act. It appeared a year or two later. I have been at the fair every year that it has been in existence and watch Johnny’s act every year (dozens of times each year-it never gets old for me!).

I have videos of young Johnny Fox with his Fu-Manchu mustache giving one of his first performances at the fair. I also have a very young Bob Sheets as “the Jolly Jester” doing a turn and Gazzo doing his act at the Fair.

Finally, the Brit Dr. Steve Bidwell was instrumental for bring it to this country and making it popular. He has been doing it for at least as long as Fox and fully credits the Juggler that invented it.

Interestingly, Johnny Fox did invent the “elevator” move in the cups and balls. Garcia wrote it up (with permission) and dozens of magicians use it and haven’t a clue where it comes from.

P.S. it is a “marketed” effect and has been for years. Most recently it is on (and credited) Steve Bidwell’s “No MD Required”.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Magic_streak
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I can't really "swallow" the idea of washing down a balloon with water. It may be detrimental to your own health if you do it often.

FOr those of you who pulls out the deflated balloon, how were the reactions? Were they like,"Ohhhhh...so that's what it is about..." Or "Oh my that was incredible?"
Harry Murphy
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There really isn’t a problem with just keeping the balled up balloon “cheeked” for a time and then get rid of it later. It takes up very little room and is no more annoying than a wad of bubble gum. It does not impair you ability to speak. If you do it toward the end of your show there should be no problem at all. Carry a handkerchief and simply wipe your mouth and expel the balloon into the hank and carry it away with no one the wiser.

There should be no health problem with swallowing the balloon. It will simply pass through! Yeah, I know, I know, you believe that if you swallow gum it sticks to your ribs and if you swallow a watermelon seed that it will grow in your stomach!

Of course if you are into balloon animals you can make a ****zu!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
illuzns
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Mr.Murphy-
Thanks for clarifying the origin of the Balloon swallow. I personally feel a lot better if I choose to perform an effect, if I know it is a "Marketed" effect.
This might sound rather strange to most other magicians out there,but that's just my opinion. I do not own Steve Bidwell's "No MD required", but I do plan on purchasing it in the near future. Thanks for the tip. I too enjoyed watching Johnny fox and Bob sheets perform at the Fair. Great acts, I wish I had video taped them myself.
Your friend in magic,
illuzns
jondabach
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In steve Bedwell's version the balloon deflates in a small ball...it rolls up into itself - so it's quite easy to ditch. I can talk with it under my tongue for quite a while - but I haven't done this trick for years. I have to say it's not exactly a table hoppers and pary stroller trick...more for a show.

PS I've seen a stripper do it - it's much better in their hands than it will ever be in a magicians.

Also,

There are two ways to do this..one where you have them select a balloon and do the secret thing afterwards or just have one on a pump...think about it.
Nicholas
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I wish I remembered who should receive credit for this method of ditching, but I can't remember. At any rate, I have a fake nose and an odd looking pair of glasses (they fit into my conceptual scheme). I pinch the nose between my right thumb and first finger. The glasses are in my left hand. I bend forward at the waist and apply the nose while placing the glasses on my face (thus holding the nose in place). When I'm done, I remove the nose and glasses, the same way that I put them on. You can guess where I ditch (palm) the evidence.
Nicholas
Totof
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Nicholas,
I suppose you should credit your method to Steve Bedwell. Smile
In his tape "MD Not Required" while taking his fake nose, he loads a candy in his mouth for the production of multiple candies from mouth "Candy anyone". I supposed you got the idea from this tape.
Totof
Rupert Bair
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Isn't that amazing how one small gag from a british juggler went all across the world. Amazing.
I must put this in my act sometime. My friend does it for about 10 mins I want to cut it shorter.
When you drink the water cant you put the balloon into the cup?
Matt

Sorry for DP but whats the md in md not required?
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