How I Started as a Magician and Balloon Twister

Started by tkd27, December 28, 2020, 02:51:45 AM

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It's been a while since I've visited Balloon Chat, but I decided to drop in and see what's new, so hello all! I think this "How Did You Start Balloon Twisting" section is new since I was last here, so I figure I'll share my story. First, let me say that these days, I perform myself as Magician Matt Matthews and also run a party agency, The Party Troupe, for face painters, balloon twisters, and more.

I've been in to magic my whole life. My father used to buy me magic tricks off an Adams spinner rack from a local hobby shop when I was a kid and I remember watch Penn and Teller TV specials back in the 90s. I loved Pen and Teller because they so often revealed how the trick was done. And for me, that was what I found so exciting - learning how the magic was done.

But magic was always just a hobby. I never really had the guts to perform it for real people. I did a couple of birthday parties - my nieces, done for free, and my mom's co worker that I did for $50 - but never really did it professionally. Then, about seven years ago, I was a new dad and money was tight. My wife and I were both working full time jobs, but we weren't making ends meet. My wife was just at the end of her rope and said she didn't know how we were going to do it financially.

So I said, "well, I guess I can try to start doing magic shows on the weekend." And so I started trying to learn, for real, how you entertain kids. On that journey, the idea of doing balloon twisting cropped up a few times. I had always read on the Magic Cafe that balloons were a great upsell, and I also came across a few balloon routines that could be done during a magic show. So, my ADHD kicked in and, even though I was supposed to be learning how to do magic shows, I started learning the all new hobby of balloon twisting.

What happened was, balloon twisting solved my big "magic show" problem. Remember how I mentioned how I never had the guts to perform magic shows? Well, balloon twisting doesn't really take guts the way magic does. So I quickly transitioned myself to a balloon twister first and foremost. I ended up using a magic show as an upsell on balloon twisting, and with magic being the secondary thing, it took a lot of the pressure off of that. The way I saw it, if I bombed as a magician I would finish with the balloons and I'd kill it. But of course, doing magic so much (it was an easy upsell) led to me getting really good at that, and now I'm back to being a magician first and foremost (there's just better money in that than balloon twisting, unfortunately).

I still do balloon twisting all the time - most parents will add balloon twisting on to their magic show - but I keep it to more simple balloons these days. Still better than dogs and swords, but things like simple aliens, cats using a heart for the face, etc.

And that's my story of how I started.