Busking as a Balloon Artist
I have over 10 years experience of performing as a balloon artist – either busking or paid gigs at a variety of events – nationally and internationally. So, my guaranteed way of a successful busking day is to set up my balloon rig and start making balloons. Balloon busking gives me all the basic ingredients of attracting an audience – colour (balloons), sound (squeaker or popping of balloons) and movement (the making of the balloon). These are the 3 main ingredients of street performing and getting your first people to stop.
Deciding on change
Mario Morris and I love the freedom that busking gives you – we plan to continue busking around the world – when not in paid gigs – and to be quite honest with you – I’m bored with balloon modeling/busking. I want my own busking street show! I want the freedom that it will bring me. It’s not to say that I won’t incorporate balloon modelling into or after my show – after all, I know I can make good money from balloons. But I want a challenge and a change for next time we go off touring and busking.
I started creating and experimenting with creating a show of magic and storytelling at the beginning of 2017. The seeds of change had been sewn and in the winter of 2017, I cultivated those seeds allowed them to grow!
A Student of the School of Busking Street Theatre & Busking Course
In fact, in 2017 I decided to attend the School of Busking as a student and completely immersed myself in the course, finishing in me performing a straitjacket escape on the streets of Cardiff on day 3 of the course. Day 3 is the day when the students put together all they had learned from Mario Morris over the past couple of days in the workshops and lectures and perform their show on the streets. Terrifying, exhilarating and satisfying – just some of the emotions I felt after doing that show in front of my peers and a street audience.
The Aftermath of Attending The School of Busking Course!
Attending as a student taught me SO much. To be part of a group of peers with the same hopes and fears, learning from each other and from Mario Morris, showing our vulnerability as performers, supporting each other and then over the coming years – watching each others performance journies as time goes by – is fascinating and invaluable. Friendships and bonds were made that weekend that I know will last a lifetime.
The Performance Journey Continues
I have not done a straight jacket escape since that weekend – performing a straight jacket escape was as far a challenge as I could throw myself! By pushing my creativity – it gave me the foundation and courage to put together a show of my own. A show with the type of magic and effects that I felt comfortable with.
From this experience, I created a storytelling show and a magical balloon show that I now performed probably close to a hundred times in front of audiences – not all busking, but mostly paid gigs. A wonderful experience that I am truly grateful to have had and continue to have.
My More Recent Busking Experiences
I am continuing to take what I have learned onto the streets. Mario Morris teaches 3 effects can be enough. Mario Morris also teaches – attracting an audience – overlap your material – character development, go slow and much much more.
I am taking these principles and continuing to learn. I am playing with 3 simple effects and my character. And I’m having great fun doing it! Till next time!