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Messages - Buster Balloon

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Events. Balloon, Magic, Etc / Re: Twist & Shout 2012
« on: November 20, 2011, 12:05:29 PM »
For those who are hoping to attend, I will be hosting this year's stage competition at Twist & Shout along with the lovely and brilliantly funny Shana Brenion of Nifty Balloons fame (she is married to the much less famous David Brenion).

In addition, I will be teaching two regular classes (one on twisting, and one on performing), and a four hour extended workshop on image and branding.

Hoping some of you can make it.  I have not been to Europe since last years Millennium Jam and am missing my friends from that part of the world.

Balloon Chit Chat / Re: Buster Balloon DVD's
« on: September 22, 2011, 06:21:01 AM »
Quote from: "Graham Lee"
Now I will be disappointed if we are only getting a downloadable DVD to view, as Bonnie knows I am a person who likes to have the DVD and case in hand.

Yes, the downloads are just a little thank you.  The actual DVDs will ship toward the end of October along with a few more surprises (I don't want to say too much, but there may be chocolate involved).

Balloon Chit Chat / iTwist Videos
« on: August 12, 2009, 08:14:04 PM »
I have been especially blessed in the balloon world. Aside from good friends and a successful performing career, I have found a great deal of success within the industry as well with my lectures and DVDs.

Now it is time to give back. On youtube, and my website I have started posting brand new free instructional videos. ... kshop.html

There are a lot of basics, plus some of my classic sculptures that I have released on DVD in the past, and coming soon, a whole batch of new stuff that I have never released before.

My DVDs will still be available, and we will be working on a new one soon. But in the meantime for those of you who are jonesin' for something new, or thanks to the economy just can't afford a new DVD at the moment (yes, I know how expensive mine are) hopefully these will get you through.

Thanks for being my friends.

I have been busy the last few months hiding away in my little cave and working on new material.  Aside from teaching some of my classic Mad Hatz & Wild Wearable's, I will be teaching my brand new, never before seen Hulk, Iron Man, and Wolverine Hats and Looney Tunes Bracelets that take only 2 to 3 minutes each, characters from the new movie Up, and for the very first time ever, I will be teaching my Roger Rabbit back pack.

Can't wait to see you all.

I am packed and ready to go.  I have a few new toys and ideas to share that will be taught for the very first time ever at this event including a routine that I created with Todd Neufeld that is very exciting.  I also have a new card to balloon that is a real mind boggler.

I can't wait!

Quote from: "Graham Lee"

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions for the members of the forum and all the lurkers :D
Looking forward to you coming over for the workshops, if anyone wishes to get some more info on them or to book; ... nt=12&pg=1

It was my pleasure.  I can't wait to see everyone this Summer!

Quote from: "Graham Lee"
If latex wasn't your love then what do you think you'd have ended up doing?
When is your next DVD out and what will be on it?
Where can people purchase your new and old DVD's?
How do you store your balloons at home?
What is your setup for the balloons when out working?

Probably a magician, or something else to do with entertainment.  I really do enjoy performing, especially for children.

No idea when the next DVD will be ready.  I normally do one DVD each year, and it is released between August and November.  But my next one promises to be a major undertaking that may take a while.

When it finally is done, you will be able to purchase it, along with with any of my other DVDs through or any of their distributors :D

At home I have an entire walk in closet devoted to balloon storage, including a work table for loading balloon bags.

For my balloon set-up while out working, you will have to wait for The David Grist Lecture in June.  I will tell you it is completely new, and quite evil, and every performer who has seen it so far has been blown away by it.  :twisted:

Quote from: "Danny the Idiot"
Hi Don,

Can you tell us about the Jeff McBride/balloons and magic classes? Will they be going ahead again?

When will you be writing some articles for BHQ (or even here!!)? - I found them very inspiring.

Danny :ugeek:

The first rule of Balloon Master Class is that you do not talk about Balloon Master Class.
The second rule of Balloon Master Class is, You Do Not, Talk, About Balloon Master Class.

Actually, studying with Jeff really is a life altering experience.  There are so many little things about performing that we don't think about or take for granted that Jeff is a Master of!  I have never met anyone who knows how to control, and pump up an audience better, and during master class he holds nothing back.  He and the other instructors are completely willing to share their lifetime of knowledge and experience.

The best part is the works in progress.  Students have the chance to perform a piece, and then get constructive feed back on it from the instructors as well as the other students.  And your piece, as well as the feedback, are recorded so you can study it later.  You also learn an amazing amount by watching the other works in progress a listening to the instructors feedback on those.

We have done the Master Class for Balloon Twisters for four years in a row now, normally in January, but 2010 is still up in the air.  Todd and I may take a year off to start new trouble somewhere else  :twisted:

As for the BHQ articles, I really miss writing them, but being married and reinventing myself (the transition from Don Caldwell to Buster Balloon) has taken most all of my free time the last few years.  But there will be some new projects coming soon that will focus more on marketing, branding, and performance like the old columns did.  Stay tuned.

Quote from: "justmarie"
When you set out to create the characters for Balloon Manor, did you have faces in mind or did you just make them up as you went along?  (They all seem to have their own personalities.)

Do you still practice balloons at home?

Have you ever been attacked while inside a 6' balloon?  ;)


1)  Michelangelo said that he did not tell the stone what to be, but that it told him what it wanted to be.  The balloons do the same thing.  I usually start with very clear idea of what I want, but rather than force the balloon, I look at what it does on its own along the way.  If a technique does not turn out the way I expected I just improvise, and that becomes part of the sculptures personality.  There are no mistakes, just opportunities.  In fact the adorable little squirrel on Mad Hatz Vol. 5, started out as an idea for making bosoms for female sculptures.

2)  Sometimes, but I have to be really inspired.  I tend to get bored, and easily distracted twisting alone.  That is why I find balloon jams so useful.  It is always much more fun to play with others.

3)  Yes I have.  Tell Sydney and The Loganator that I said Hi!  ;)

Quote from: "lollypopandpatch"
Hi Don

Love your work and can't wait to meet you and take your class in May (have all the DVD's so far).

My question is .............. have you ever wanted to make something out of balloons but have not been able to get it right ...... your Achilles heel ???

Sharon a.k.a LollyPop

Not for the last 10 years or so.  One of my early goals as a twister was to be able to make anything that anyone requested, and for a while I actually built my reputation on it.  We would play "Stump The Balloon Guy" and I would offer a dollar to anyone who could.  It broke up the monotony of line twisting, and it made me get really good really fast.

Quote from: "Parcival"
Hi Don,
When are you going to Holland? At what event? So I can travel from Belgium with the speed of light to follow your class..I loved your classes at TMJ 2008. I met a legend! I'm not worthy.. :)

I will be lecturing in Holland on June 1st, but don't have any other details yet.  I will keep you all posted once I know more about the venue and all.

Quote from: "colin myles"
HI Don,Great to see you on Balloonchat, the interview has been very intresting so far.
I would like to ask one question if I may.
 Do you consider yourself to be only a twister, or do you ever do any decor work ????
such as centrpieces for large scale events. ??????????
If you do such work I am sure everyone would LOVE to see the pictures  :twisted:
I look forward to seeing you in May

NO, NO, NO, NO!  I would never stoop so low as to do DECOR!  (unless I was at Millennium Jam and a certain gorgeous blue eyed blond with a sexy english accent asked in that cooing way of hers that she knows I can't resist, and again at BACI... then I might come around).  But you can't prove it!

By the way, how much would it cost to suppress such photos, if they did theoretically exist?   :oops:

The truth is I personally find decor dreadfully boring to do.  Just like  traditional line work, all of that repetition drives me bonkers.  Even weaving makes me a bit twitchy after a while.

Quote from: "Pam Pearce"
Hope fully we will meet up when you are in the UK - I have diaried it.

In the meantime Please keep me smiling and laughing.

Kindest Regards


That's what I'm here for.

What is your personal goal when you set off to work? Is it money or to entertain etc?

To entertain, and to create special moments and memories for my audience.  I know that if I can do that, the money will always follow.  

What are your balloon goals for the future?

I am in the process of building my small family show, into a full theater show, and creating a line of merchandise to sell after the show.

If you could start all over again, would you change anything?

I would have studied business and marketing much earlier, and I would have pursued performing as a full time career much earlier too.  And that really hot girl who I was just friends with in high school, even though we both really liked each other, but I was too busy being the nice guy and comforting her when the jerks she dated broke her heart, I would totally make out with her.

How would you like the future of balloon modeling to develop?

I would like to see our art taken more seriously by the public and by other artists, and just a little less seriously by us.

Who's the most famous person you have made a balloon creation for?

I made Kermit the Frog for Brian Henson, son of Jim Henson and the head of "Jim Henson Studios".  I also got to twist a Betty Page balloon for Olivia, the world renown pin-up artist, and a Mary Poppins balloon for the wife of one of the Sherman brothers who wrote the music for the film, as well as Winni the Pooh, and many other Disney classics.

How do you keep the enthusiasm going & what still excites you about our great world of latex?

I love the fact that there is always something new to play with.  Balloon twisting and balloon entertainment are both so new in the grand scheme of things, that I cannot imagine them becoming stale or boring anytime soon.  Especially when you look at magic, juggling, theater, painting, and sculpting, all centuries older than our art form, and yet they see new innovations all the time.  It is very exciting.  I really think we are still in our infancy.

What inspires or is your thought process in coming up with a new design?

A)  I see something like a cartoon character or a toy and decide that I HAVE to try to make it out of balloons.

B)  Every time I learn a new technique or find a new kind of balloon or accessory, I play with it, experiment with it to see what it is capable of, and usually discover several new sculptures in the process.  Thelma Levett showed me two new techniques at Millenium Jam las year, and I spent the next 5 hours in the jam room playing with them.

Who would you like to work with dead or alive?


What makes you laugh?

People who think they know, or have seen everything, and Sponge Bob.

Quote from: "Professor T Wist"
Hi Don, who would you most like to make a balloon model for and why? What woud you make them ?

Funny you should ask, I am going to be doing that very thing soon.  Unfortunately I am sworn to secrecy on the project, at least for now ; )

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