by L'il John
Todd Watson is a Canadian entertainer who performs under the name L'il John. He makes balloon sculptures, and he does a terrific job of it. On these two videos Todd discusses his approach to entertaining children with balloon twisting and he also explains some great balloon sculptures.
Volume One begins with a comparison of how a typical worker might approach the job of making balloon animals for a bunch of kids versus Todd's approach of turning the balloon twisting into an interactive show. Todd's approach certainly makes sense, since he gets an enormous amount of mileage out creating each sculpture. Next is a discussion of balloon basics, including how to blow up a balloon and a quick and sure-fire method for knotting the end of the balloon.
Using a 1-2-3 method, Todd explains how to twist several simple animals, including a dog, a bunny, a giraffe, and a daschound. The tape ends with three sculptures which are a little more advanced: a parrot, a 3-petal flower, and a very cute version of a famous mouse from Anaheim.
Volume Two continues the discussion of more advanced sculptures. Included are the Energizer Bunny, a lion, an airplane, a motorcycle, and a snake (a very cute sculpture). Todd then explains how to make a rubber ball out of a balloon (this is pretty cool), and how to place the ball into other a balloons and make interesting sculptures from them.
The tape concludes with instructions on how to make a balloon caterpillar and how to turn it into a butterfly.
I have never done balloon animals, nor will I ever do balloon animals (it's not my decision - it was part of my parole agreement), but if I were going to learn to twist balloons, these tapes would be a fine way to start. The production values of the tapes are not great, and some of the camera work is a little funky, but Todd does a good job of explaining what's going on. Most of the more complicated sculptures are shot from two different angles, and this helps the learning process immensely. Highly recommended for anyone wanting to learn how to make balloon twisting entertaining.
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