by Don Caldwell
I would like to apologize to all of the non-magician readers this month. For those who are not familiar with the conjuring arts, most of what follows is going to be complete gibberish.
As of late, I am trying to make my interactions with the people who I twist for more magical and entertaining by incorporating what magician Eugene Burger refers to as, “Magic along the way.”
So, I have Spiderman balloons double stuffed inside of blush man face balloons in my bag, so that I can transform Peter Parker into his heroic alter-ego (check out the color changing balloon idea at http://www.balloonhq.com/column/caldwell/jul05/ )
I have a number of balloon related magic tricks loaded and in my bag, just waiting for an opportune moment, such as Arthur Tivoli’s Balloonofish http://www.hanklee.org/xcart/product.php?productid=6935&cat=0&page=8
…and Kevin James’ Super Animated Card In Balloon of Death (worth owning for the name alone) http://www.kjmagic.com/catalog/effects02.html
I am also going back and studying my rope magic again after being destroyed by Shirley Ray’s performance at Diamond Jam. “Daryl’s Rope Routine” and “The Elegant Rope Magic of Tabary” are especially inspiring. As Marvin Hardy pointed out to us both, “Any trick that can be done with a rope, can be done with a balloon”.
But some of the most exciting ideas I have found, surprisingly, are inspired by silk magic. Why? Because un-inflated balloons fit into and work with many of the same devices and techniques used for silk productions, vanishes, and transformations.
If you are not familiar with silk magic, I highly recommend reading, “Rice’s Encyclopedia Of Silk Magic Volumes 1 thru 4” Especially volume 4!
One of my favorite routines I have developed is a version of the classic color changing hank routine using a dye tube.
The Princess Test
I begin by spiraling a pink, a gold, and a lilac 260 together into a large Princess wand. I then take out an 11″ rose round. I begin to blow it up and explain that this is a special balloon that changes to match the personality of the person who it belongs to. I deflate the balloon and hold it in my closed fist, then I blow on it. When I open my hand and inflate it again, it is covered in polka dots (I must have a spotty personality).
I deflate the balloon and hold it in my closed fist once again, then I have the child blow a kiss at it. I open my hand, and blow up the balloon to reveal that it now has Disney Princesses printed on it. I tie it off and attach it to the wand before presenting it to the little Princess.
As I mentioned above, I use a dye tube for this. As the color changing hank is not mine to teach, and this is not a magic forum, I will not go into the mechanics here. But, if you are not familiar with this item or it’s handling, there are other ways. The same effect can be accomplished with a change bag, or with any number of other methods available from your local magic dealer or in most beginning magic books. And honestly, the method is not what is important. The important thing is that you have taken a simple balloon sculpture, and turned it into a unique and magical experience.
See you next month,