Halfway Through – time for a poll

I have been doing this blog as a discipline for myself, and it has been a pleasure to have a few folks out there reading along, especially the esteemed author of the book himself.

I just spent a night on the road, and though I did some twisting, it was not for the blog, but for my godson and his sister. A great afternoon was had by all!

As I answered the question “how did you get into this?” I had to laugh, because I get that a lot in my life. I’ve pursued a lot of hobbies, including but not limited to, guitar and mandolin, reef fish keeping, wine and beer brewing, cheesmaking, beekeeping, concert poster collecting, writing, filmmaking, magic, and now balloon twisting. (Anything to avoid lawn mowing, seriously.) It’s never surprising to my friends and family that I have a new hobby. They all joke about my adult ADD, which is not a diagnosed condition for me, and not to make light of a serious condition, but I think the shoe fits. The neat thing about twisting is, there’s always something new to create.To get bored with twisting is to get bored with life.

With twisting, something different has clicked for me. A good number of those things listed above are now in the past. What makes twisting different for me, are a couple things. First, I’ve always had a passion for magic, and performing. Unfortunately,  I didn’t always have a passion for being professional about it. Over the last several years, I’ve been taking the production of an act much more seriously. Twisting is lending itself to my own creativity more than magic, though I believe i will always blend the two.

The other element is how versatile it is for so many situations. I have two small children of my own, so I don’t need to leave the house for an appreciative audience. I will be actively seeking more performing gigs than I have been with magic, but still I will spend more time twisting for free than not. This will be for the benefit of my church and its community activities. I want to gig to make that other stuff possible. If my day job disappeared tomorrow, I might pursue full time children/family entertainment, but for now it will remain a (hopefully) profitable sideline.

So here’s the short answer to how I got started: last summer, I was planning the last day of an outdoor day camp our church runs in the community with help from staff of our regional summer camp. We had lined up, somewhat by chance, a bounce house, my magic show, games, and some facepainting. It started to look like a carnival. I thought “don’t I have a book on beginner balloons around somewhere?” I dug around the magic box, and there was a paperback from waldenbooks. The night before the carnival, I went to Party City and got a cheap pump and a bag of balloons. I learned a dog, sword, teddy bear (after an hour of trying to discern what a pinch twist was), hat and heart. The next day the kids got 5 choices, that was it.

Less than a month later, I was at the beach with a big family group vacation, studying Captain Visual, a borrowed copy of Addi Somekh’s Balloon Hat Book and watching Mark Byrne and Don Caldwell DVDs. A 4th birthday in the group turned into an opportunity to make balloons for all the kids. I was a brand newbie at this, but they loved what was made for them. And I was hooked.

So what’s your story? How did you get into this? I feel like I discovered a whole parallel world that I never knew existed. It’s somewhat like Harry Potter or Twilight, right in front of me all the time, but I never saw it. I had to fall down the rabbit hole, and now here I am.

Where/when did you fall down the hole?

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One Response to “Halfway Through – time for a poll”

  1. Jechoniah Says:

    Wow, the part about a million hobbies to avoid mowing the lawn is is my biography too. Add to that a million websites and it describes me to a T.

    I started twisting so I could have some fun at my son’s birthday party. There weren’t a lot of kids and I didn’t do a lot of twisting but I read a whole bunch of message boards and scoured you tube. I twisted a little at school on those dreaded day before vacation classes where the kids are way too excited to get anything done. Those days are traditionally reserved for tests or movies, but isn’t balloon twisting way more fun?

    Anyway, at this point, supporting a family of four on a teacher’s salary, I have not been able to get any books or dvds yet so vicariously ready captain visual through your blog has been a big help. Thanks 🙂

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