Balloonology

How to make a Doll by WINDY BLOW "The Balloonatic"

Since writing on how to make a dog, with only one balloon, in "Magic Magazine" for February 1953, I have had numerous requests in letters, sent c/o the Editor, to tell you how to make other toys with modelling balloons.

The outcome of this was that I let your worthy Editor persuade me (and not unwillingly, I must admit) to write a regular Bal-loonology feature, exclusively for "Magic Magazine".

Now, with the aid of the Staff photographer, who records with his camera, all my moves as fast as I make them, I make a monthly journey to Archer Street, so that you get a series of clear illustrations depicting the technique employed, besides my written description. I will admit, this makes it easier for me to write the article, since pictures minimise the number of words I need write, and greatly helps you to understand the mas-chinations of my typewriter!

This month, I will describe how to make "The Mexican Doll"—which is illustrated in the heading. Looks complicated? Don't you believe it! It's easy! There is nothing at all to it except 3 balloons, a little patience and a ball point pen!

To start off with, inflate all the balloons to their full size, and before you tie the neck, let out just a little air. This gives you an airspace for twisting (see plate 1). Place two of the balloons on one side, for you will require them later on for the body.

Firstly we have to make the head. Plate 2 shows the balloon bent round, almost in half, but the tear end is about five inches longer than the neck end of the balloon. Study the plate, and you will see exactly what I mean as it is shown very clearly. Plate 3, About one inch from the base of the neck end (the shortest side in the illustration) press both sides of the balloon. Twist both sides of the balloon together at this point. The pressure of your fingers helps you to do this. Now, to lock, push the small bit of the neck end through the loop (see plate 4). Next, push the teat end through the loop, (Plate 5), so that it looks just as depicted in plate 6. You have now formed the head, so you can p'ace this on one side for the present.

Take the other two balloons and form a cross, by twisting them together in the centre (Plate 7). When you have done this, join one of the teat ends with one of the neck ends about four inches from the end of the balloons, as shown in Plate 8, by twisting these ends together. This forms the arms. The other two ends are the legs (Plate 9). You have now formed the body of your extraordinary little man!

Now look at Plate 10. This shows how the head is twisted onto the body by means of inserting the one inch end under one of che arms. This move is clearly shown on PSate 11.^ which is a ciose-up of the back view of the head joined to the body. The Balloon Doll is now made.

With paint brush, and Indian ink, or a ball point pen, draw eyes, nose and mouth on the face, and additionally if you wish, buttons on the body. On the semi-circle of the hat, print a child's name and—'voila'—as they say in the "Follies Bergere", you have your balloon doll.

If you wish, you can add a paper skirt, which can be already prepared from crepe paper. The toy looks most effective in rhree colours, and I personally use a white one for the head, and a red and a blue for the body.

If you have any problems on Balloon-o'ogy, and would like my advice, call and see me when next I am appearing at a theatre in your district . If you like, of course, you can write to me c/o "Magic Magazine". Enclose 2-}d. S.A.E. if you wanr a reply by post, otherwise I shall answer your queries in "Magic Magazine". So, until we meet again, with more lessons on "Balloonojogy", cheerio and all the best.

NOTE: In case you missed it. the last illustration is beside the title.

Although I had already studied every book on the Theory of Magic that I could lay my hands on, it was not until Fitzkee's "Showmanship for Magicians" appeared that I first heard of timing and pointing. (Or if I had heard these terms, they had no meaning for me). See footnote.

That does not mean to say that I did not have recourse to careful timing in my shows. But the term I used was "pausing".

All really experienced magicians know when, and when not, to pause, and they acquire their knowledge after years of practice on the stage, without, in most cases, referring to any technical work. In other words, they learn the hard way.

inued from Page 85)

Quite recently, I was informed that many books on the "Art of Acting", explain these terms. So far, I have not read one of them.

If any young magician were to ask me how to gain a thorough knowledge of pointing and timing, I would advise him to make a careful study of Fitzkee's book (published in 1943), and then to obtain as much stage experience as he possibly can. Preferably before a "lay" audience.

FOOTNOTE.—David Devant, like the great showman that he was, timed and pointed his "patter" and tricks with the greatest care, but although I knew him intimately for years, I never heard him use the terms.

if [email protected]®J' The Mlagkall Clbw/im by GERALD SYKES

Herewith a routine that may be of interest to Brother Magis who entertain children, and would like to introduce a stringed puppet in their shows—I have had the pleasure of presenting the routine "Boko, The Magical Clown" to numerous audiences.

PROPS REQUIRED : Chair with black cloih draped over back and seat, (2 bulldog clips on cloth will prevent cloth from slipping down from back), small chair to seat puppet, clown puppet 12" high with controls hanging over back of chair (my puppet has opening mouth movement, Pelham 38/6), length of white rope, 3-18" silk hanks, mouth organ, scissors, cocktail glass and flap slate with 'Boko' chalked on flap side showing, propped up against front of puppets chair (omitted in snap) and brown paper bag with cut out front, for flap disposal, against chair leg.

Patter and Presentation; (Standing left side of chair—performer) "Ladies and Gentlemen, I should now like to introduce you to a little artisr who has come along with me to entertain you, so it gives me great pleasure to present to you "Boko the Magical Clown", (pick up slate with left hand) "I'm sorry he's resting, but he's had such a busy season and he's rather tired, so we'll let him rest a litte while longer" (Pick up brown paper bag—place slate in and rest againsi leg of chair) "To give a demonstration of his magical prowess I will use these 3 handkerchiefs" (Pick up hanks, draped on chair back) "I tie these two together" (Suit action to words) "And wish to assure you Boko hasn't the faintest idea of what I'm going to do. I tie the third handkerchief, making three tied in all" (exhibit —bunch together, slipping knots, i.e. Symp Silks) "And place them here in front of Boko, who will now give a demonstration of his magic hands" (Pick up Control Bar, Boko sits up, looks right and left, stands up, bows, walks two paces to heap of silks, bends over, makes the magic pass over silks with his hands, straightens up, takes two steps back to his chair, bows, and sits down, Performer rests control over back of chair, and patters) "We will now see if Boko has worked his magic" (pick up silks one by one and drop on floor) "Yes! Boko has worked his magic and untied the handkerchiefs! I'm sure he deserves a ciap" (Make Boko rise, bow, and sit down again). "Of course, that is child's play to Boko we will test him wirh something more difficult, using this piece of rope, so I'll cut it here—here—and here, and coil up like this". (Tom Osborne Rope Trick, Panama). "And place here in front of Boko". (Place coil of rope on chair), "who will now give another demonstration of his wonderful powers". (Repeat movements of Boko, as with silks). "We will now see if Boko has again worked his magic", (pick up rope end and with a flourish show rope held by each end, restored) "Yes, Boko has again worked his magic and restored the rope, and I'm sure he deserves another clap". (Boko bows to applause and sirs down). "Of course, Boko not only has magical hands, he also has twinkling feet, and he loves dancing, so he will give you a demonstration of the very latest dance the Boko Hop!" 'Pick up control, also Mouth Organ in left hand, walk Boko three paces forward, he bows to a toot on the mouth organ, and as performer plays tune (I play to "The Cats Cot the Measles") Boko dances various steps, and finishes dance resting on one knee— stands up, bows, and sits in chair) "I'm sure after that brilliant exhibition of dancing Boko deserves a little light refreshment, of course Boko never buys his drinks like you or I, he just uses the magic pass like this—watch", (Pick up from behind Card Rack or in Opera Hat, Cocktail Glass, cover with Hank, and hold at

Boko's feet, right hand with control, stand Boko up he makes magic pass over covered glass (now filled) sits down again) "And here we have Boko's favourite drink—ginger wine" (Whip off hank), "Drink up Boko". (Hold glass to Boko's mouth, while right hand with control opens mouth, Boko apparently drinks Ginger Wine). "Of course Boko always has a second one to keep the other one company". (Repeat move, uncover glass, but srick a drinking straw in glass which Boko drinks through so he won't choke! Putting empty? wine glass back in hat performer patters) "And now Boko has finished his light refreshment, he will give you a little tap dance on his chair, You ready, Boko?" (Boko sits up climbs up on seat of his chair and to the strains of mouth organ of "Oh Susannah" he tap dances and near end of dance Boko's feet slow up, he sways, and at finish of tune slumps down in his chair, performer shakes his shoulder, he slowly raises his head, his hand gives half a wave and he slumps down again). "I'm very sorry Ladies and Gentlemen, but Boko has had too much ginger wine and it has made him very sleepy, in fact he's gone to sleep, so on behalf of Boko and myself we wish you all, this" (withdrawn slate from paper bag and turning slate round, show words 'A Happy New Year, or what greeting suits the occasion).

Regret if this seems long winded, hope you can follow it. Some practice with the puppet will work wonders. I have worked this routine at private parties and at mixed shows with adults, and it has been a great success, especially with children. Good luck to all magis who give it a trial.

Yours sincerely,

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