Balloon Show

Season 2, Chapter 1 – Andrew Smith – about the Balloon Show

 Season 2, Chapter 1 – Andrew Smith – the Balloon Show

Andrew Smith is a seasoned Entertainer from Hong Kong. His Balloon Shows are constantly used for multiple scenarios, including Birthdays, Schools shows and even at corporate settings. Andrew is also the author of multiple e-books and has recently released his first book into Amazon. In this chapter you will learn:

  • The importance of entertainment value in creating your balloon show
  • How to leverage convention and exhibitions to get leads for your high paying events
  • Putting yourself in front of your targeted customers – free options, paid options
  • How many exhibitions a year will generate a good amount of leads for you
  • Learn what your goal and what problem you will solve while being in an exhibition (thinking about the booth owner’s interest is key)
  • How to use the balloons to create a conversation and stop the traffic in the exhibition
  • What should you make the birthday kid say at the end of the event
  • How to leverage the end of the show picture to hit social media
  • Many examples of balloon routines described fully… Get the feeling of how a balloon show looks like
  • Learn a balloon game that can make the kids behave well while enjoy a game
  • Bouncy castle’s revenge – a brilliant idea that you can learn

 

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  • Craig TwistandMake Cash

    I am making a show at the moment and I love the idea of getting 4 kids up 1 adult and putting animal balloon hats on them all and reading a story and every time I say there animal they have to jump up and make the noise but I leave the adult to the last one and he is a giraffe as no one know the sound they make ( it’s like a cry ) also with this format I can change the story to fit show theme.

    • But what does the giraffe say is not as Catchy as the fox…. (sorry could not resist) :)

      • Craig TwistandMake Cash

        But the problem with that is they would know the song and could lose control but might go on fiverr and see if someone will change the song as could be a fun twist thank you for the idea

        • I have a joke with my personal kids about noises that animals make. I ask them all kind of animals they know and eventually ask them what to show me the noise that is created by a Zebra. They have no clue (or prefer not to try and imitate my nonsense) and then I just make some kind of a humming sounds of an old lady doing shopping and basically talk in nonsense language and makes funny sounds. I think that putting one animal with a funny sound and leveraging this to pick a kid which used to be harassing you but now he is one of your helpers, would be very funny.

        • Oooh good idea! By the way I live in Norway, where “The Fox” originated and if it was big in the states it was huge here, and that was mainly because the Norwegians thought it was so much fun that people in the States liked it!

  • I’m a big fan of Andrew’s… I own almost all of his ebooks! A lot of very valuable information – much of it that I’ve used myself. Although now mostly designing & building balloon decor, I decided to use my balloon twisting knowledge along with my entertainer skills to build a program to offer schools and other organizations to fill up my week days.

    The best way that I’ve found to market myself is to “be out there”! I attend a regular networking group and everyone know’s who I am. I use a “catchy” name (Ms Tickle) and even if I don’t feel like it, I’m always bubbly and never forgotten! I’m in the business to make people smile & if I get them to laugh it’s a bonus!- I’ve performed at discounted rates last year to prominent children’s groups – this year they called me back and I now perform at full price! However, I will be enhancing my shows and will be raising the cost.

    The most difficult is to be sure that my clients understand that when I am “Ms Tickle”, I’m the silly, loveable character that kids love but when called upon for balloon decor, I am the professional balloon artist they are seeking.

    Thank you Zivi for these wonderful podcasts!

  • I am very thankful for
    this podcast. When I first started up I had clients asking me for a
    Balloon show, and coming from a strictly Balloon machine line work
    background I had no clue where to start, and I have wondered for a
    long time how I could ever get fast enough to build complex large
    models and get paid for it. I thought I was just slow! Now I can take
    the time to learn how to build large models and perhaps one day when
    my Norwegian Language skills are up to it, build up a show for
    birthdays and other large events.

    I think I can use the
    cooperate stuff pretty quick, thank you so much. I do have some
    experience in putting on shows etc, and so my small tips on how to do
    a successful show, that are universal no matter what you do for a
    show.

    First make sure that you
    keep Your equipment well maintained. This seems to be obvious but I
    have experienced that if you don’t take care of your equipment that
    it will decide to fail on you at the worst possible moment! The
    second thing is if you make a mistake 9 times out of 10 no one but
    you will know you made a mistake unless you tell them. So if you make
    a mistake keep pushing through and pretend it is all part of the
    show. This keeps you looking professional.

    Lastly especially if you
    use music to time your show, practice making mistakes. By this I mean
    work through your show, alone or better with help and have them do
    things to distract you or mess you up on purpose at the worst
    possible times. For example, I (Meanie that I am ;) ) used to pause
    music in a musical skit right at the worst time when training on
    how to do the skit. I did not warn the people I was training about
    this coming I just did it. At first it really messed them up, but
    with practice they got good at working out what they would do in case
    it really did mess up when it was preformed live. I think Zivi’s tip about holding a funeral for a popped Balloon may work well in such a Place :)

    Those are just my two
    cents and I am going to be wish listing his books :)

  • Marc Feickert

    I honestly don’t know how to compete t VB VBhis time. I know I’d like to add a show/routine to my birthday package, but I have no clue beyond that on how I plan to implement it in a way that Andrew might find worthy of a prize. I’m a fledgling, so I just know that I want to do it.

    Most of my advertising is word of mouth. What I’d likely do to promote more offerings is have some postcards to hand out with my card that highlight what extra value I am adding to my package, and then network through my current parties.

    It’s not much, but as a part timer, it’s a big step. I love the kids, and I most love interacting with them. I love the balloons, but i want to be an entertainer, not just a sculpture machine.

  • Melissa Sherk Cba

    I am currently struggling with creating a balloon show (how to incorporate music, how to figure out the timing etc.) but one thing that seems to make it easier (for me anyway) is try starting with a theme…MY theme is outerspace…so I try to come up with ideas, balloon creations, and tricks that go with that theme. Check out Buster Balloons balloon banana sword trick and change it a bit…..so in this case, make it something like a banana space blaster balloon. What do you think of this Andrew Smith?

    • Karen Climer

      I saw a show (not a balloon show) once where they did a space routine. I don’t remember all of it, but there was a kid in the middle holding a yellow exercise ball. He was the sun. The performer was circling around the sun on a unicycle. He had an Earth hat on his head. He was swinging a rope that had the moon on it. He was swinging it like a lasso, because the moon was orbiting the Earth while the Earth was orbiting the sun. None of that had anything to do with balloons, but I wonder if you could get some ideas from it that would have balloons.
      I’ve also seen people make balloon hats that have the sun in the middle, and all the planets around the sun. If I did this, I would talk as I’m adding planets. At the end, I would add a small yellow dog with brown ears as the last planet and say that back when I was a kid, Pluto was a planet.
      Here’s another idea for a space theme. Take a piece of kite string and have a two kids each hold an end, each on opposite ends of the stage. Inflate a 350, but don’t tie. Tape a drinking straw to the balloon. Put the string through the drinking straw. When you let go of the balloon nozzle, the balloon will propel along the string toward the other kid. You can say the balloons are rockets. I hope that makes sense. You can make this into a race. You can have the “rockets” propel over the audiences’ heads.

  • Lisa Chester

    I have only done a couple of shows so far, but am spending far too long doing prep work. Needless to say I am always on the lookout of how to improve my show and cut down on some of the hours of prep. I love the idea of creating balloons by magic, and love that your puppet makes the balloon in the bag Andrew.

    Am thinking of using a production box that can be ’empty’, and have my puppet jump into and struggle around, blowing up balloons in his mouth (he’s a sheepdog) dive back down to do more twisting, and come out with a balloon he has ‘made’. Just throwing ideas around at the moment. I need to figure out the ‘story’ that goes along with it to turn it into a full routine

    Would love to win a copy of your book, Andrew :)

    • Karen Climer

      If the puppet is a dog, then the balloon he makes needs to be a balloon dog! Or maybe you can make a one-balloon dog. Then he’s says that he can do better than that. You go back and forth with him about how no one can make a better balloon animal than you can. Of course, then he makes a more impressive dog.
      Also, I wonder if you can actually make your dog blow up a balloon. That would be super cool. You can use an automatic bicycle tire pump that is small enough to be hidden. I’ve never used one, so I can’t give any good advice about it. I’ve just heard of people doing it. Good luck.

      • Lisa Chester

        Thanks Karen. I agree – super cool to blow up his own balloon, but unfortunately Sparky can’t tie balloons, so they go shoorting off (maybe – have to investigate if the bike pumps dispense all their load at once). I am all for playing!

        • Karen Climer

          Oh yea, I forgot about tying it. I also forgot that you will be one-handed since Sparky is occupying one hand.

          • Lisa Chester

            I will either shoot them off, then come to Sparky’s rescue with pre-inflated ones, or learn one handed tying. Maybe a bit of both migt be funny

  • Nick Chapman

    I’m considering mixing magic with balloons as its my background. Im working on a routine I call the frog princess.
    I have a frog balloon which is made whilst telling a story. A young girl is on stage with me. We discover the frog is not a frog after all. She is a princess locked into an evil spell and she was changed into a frog by a nasty witch (I dont like witches they are so mean)!
    To unlock the spell, the girl must kiss the frog.
    After kissing the frog, small sections pop and new sections move up into place as it transforms into a beautiful princess.
    I’m playing with the idea of smoke and lights appearing grin the balloon during the transformation too.
    I have other ideas too which are just theoretical. For example, producing a balloon pump with a 260 attached in the style of a wine bottle production from a silk handkerchief. I’ve tried this a few times in performance – needs some work! I like the idea of the being nothing, then suddenly a pump which you immediately pump a balloon up with.
    For large shows, producing a david grist style balloon motorbike in the style of a stage illusion. I’ve played with a couple of methods and this is problematic, but it’s something to aim for!
    I guess my real idea is be creative. Think, think, think. Nothing comes immediately so neither will a balloon show. Take your time thinking about how great YOU can make your show!

  • Karen Climer

    I perform my balloon show primary at libraries, so I tend to base my show around the annual theme. Each year, the libraries have a summer reading theme. My favorite one was two years when the theme was Fizz, Boom, Read. That year, I did a show that was science tricks involving balloons. I did the bed of nails. We put a 11″ round on a bed of sharp nails and miraculously, it doesn’t pop. Then we pile books on it to see how many it takes to pop the balloon. Usually at around 15-16 encyclopedias, the pile become unstable before the balloon pops.
    Another cool balloon science trick involved water balloons. I would blow up a 5″ round, hold a lighter to it, and the balloon pops. No surprise there. Then I did the same thing with a 5″ water balloon. The water balloon will not pop. It will char where the fire was, but it won’t pop. To make it even more fun, I held the water balloon over a kid’s head. I also gave him a shower cap and windshield wiper glasses for his protection.
    Probably my favorite routine to perform is the Hobson balloon bag. You make a balloon dog and pop it. You take the scraps of a balloon and put them in a paper lunch bag. Then you use magic and the dog reappears as a regular balloon dog. I do this with Bigger Magic Wands. This is a prop that is no longer made. There are 7 magic wands ranging in size from 6 inches to 15 feet. The first time, the magic doesn’t work because we need a bigger magic wand. You use the second one. It still doesn’t work because we need a bigger magic wand. etc. etc. As I said, the prop is no longer made but you can easily make various size wands out of balloons. Start with a puny 160 wand and make several sizes up to a big 646 wand.
    Also, since I’m at libraries, I promote reading and the library. I like to tell stories. My all-time favorite is the Three Little Pigs. The costumes and houses are made out of balloons.It’s fun because the kids know that story. The audience repeats the lines verbatim. I also use stories they might not know. This year, one story is Three Hens and a Peacock. (Go to your library if you want to know what it’s about.)
    I create a new balloon show every year, but it always include the climb-in balloon. This is a great selling point. People hire me because they want to see it. The media comes because they want to see it. It’s one thing that people have probably never seen before. If you’ve never done it, get Larry Moss’s book. He explains everything you need to know to do it.

    • Nick Chapman

      Great ideas. I did the Hobson balloon bag once the kid cried! I toned my performance of it down after that!

      • Karen Climer

        I’ve done it dozens of times. One time I had a kid cry. She was very young, probably 4. Since then, I’ve made sure to pick an older kid, at least 8 for that one.

  • Karen Climer

    For the contest, I’m supposed to say what I do to get in front of my target audience. I perform my balloon show at libraries. In Florida, where I live, the Florida Library Association has a performer’s directory they publish each year. I make sure to get a listing in that. They have a performer showcase that I try to get in. They select about ten performers each year. I have performed in that twice in the last five years. I send a postcard to all of the librarians around the state. A few weeks later, I start calling the librarians. I don’t email them. I pick up the phone and actually call them. I start with the ones I’ve perform at, and get those booked. Then I call the rest of them.
    I also give a discount to libraries if I can do two shows in the same day in the same county. Often, I’ll call Library A and pitch them. They want the discount, so they start calling other branches in their system. A few days, later they tell me that they want to book Library A and Library B. That is great because they got B for me. I didn’t have to do it. Even though I’m giving them a discount, it is worth it to me to have two shows in a day and to get the additional business.
    After I perform at a library, I give them a survey and a self-addressed stamped enveloped. The survey gives me a lot of testimonial quotes that I can use in the future. The survey also asks if they plan to book me next year.
    Lastly, I have a good website. I don’t think many librarians stumble upon my website. But I am sure that once they get my postcard or see my ad in the directory, they go to my website for more info. I think it’s important that it looks good.
    Thanks Zivi for this podcast. I’ve been enjoying it.

  • Christopher Brian Martinez

    So I recently have been building my new business from scratch, from my skills and what i offer to learning website design and trying to keep up with learning the ropes in this biz. At the moment I’m just a balloon twister, actually I’m not just a balloon twister, I’m a twister with dreams who has a heart that overcomes. I plan on pursuing my vision for my balloon company and along that journey I wish to pursue creating and performing a children show. I know very little at the moment on entertaining kids with an entire balloon show, but that might be because I see already the vast amount of knowledge and work behind it, so I feel a bit small starting out standing before this mountain I wanna climb. I am a magician, but it has only been a hobby for a very long time, I am the kind of guy who performs on the street approaching people randomly and doing shows on a public bus in front of the entire bus load. So I got confidence to perform and expeirience to know how to become through practice. Currently I’m focused on getting started as a high quality twister, but I dabble a bit in learning varieties of the biz of balloons. So far I’m investing my time in going to Jams out here in So Cal and talking with the pro’s, not being afraid to approach and ask questions and share ideas. I also started diving in you tube videos and plan on slowly purchasing works of David Brenion and buster balloon as well as eventually others who I’ve heard through balloon podcast. Slowly my mind is increasing in the vision that is coming together on making a show happen, and in the other areas that are included such as business aspects of how and whom to sell the show. Inch by inch I grow, and I am persistent in planting and watering this career. I will continue to reach out towards sources of healthy growth including every contest I can get involved in that’s prize offers treasures such as what this one rewards. So as for designing my show my places of study and gathering material is from community (web or from jams), cartoons, library books and the web, and simply thinking, brainstorming my imagination away with creativity and knowledge, creating and generating strength and hope to these dreams. Well that’s kinda where I am with my show, which is, in the gathering of intangible materials from tangible places so I can apply it when the time arrives for me to “realitify” it, (make it happen) and share it with an audience. Well, thank you Zivi and Mr. Andrew Smith on providing this opportunity. Also good luck to the rest of ya, these rewards look rich in awesome and I’m sure will benefit our work. And lastly, my hopes just wanna say, “may this post be a seed in which i increase!”

  • Craig TwistandMake Cash

    Who won ?

  • Wow, what great ideas from everybody. Thank you for listening to the PODcast and taking the time to contribute and comment to this post below. Some great ideas. I have decided to send something to each and every one of you. Christine Maentz received a gift a couple of weeks ago but the rest of you…please send an email to Andrew@BalloonBizz.com with the title Balloon Artiste PODcast and confirm your email address with your registered name below and I will get something back to you.

    Sorry its taken me a while to get back to you all and follow these comments. In the middle of a very big project and I have had to focus on getting it out the door.

    I wish you all every success and please feel free to contact me directly on the email above if you have any questions. I will help you in any way I can.

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