Author Topic: Don Caldwell, Star Interview 23rd/27th March  (Read 7789 times)

Graham Lee

  • FiveStars
  • *****
  • Posts: 22863
    • View Profile
    • http://www.grahamleesmagic.co.uk/
Don Caldwell, Star Interview 23rd/27th March
« on: March 10, 2009, 11:23:11 PM »
Don has agreed to do the interview for this week, as if we're both being honest  ;) we are hoping it will wet your appetites to book for either his performance day in Banstead on Friday 29th May or his hands on lecture/workshop in Birmingham on Wed 3rd June.
So please fire away with any questions you may have for Don about the days or anything else balloon related.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
"Lets Improve Our Art"
Balloon Excellence 2012 Award Winner
For Services to the Balloon Community.
http://www.balloonartwholesale.co.uk
http://www.sempertexballoons.co.uk

Petra

  • ThreeStars
  • ***
  • Posts: 326
    • View Profile
Re: Don Caldwell, Star Interview 23rd/27th March
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2009, 08:39:55 AM »
Hi Don, nice to see you here.

I liked your bracelet workshop at TMJ a lot.
I use some of your ideas, except the horse you made for me  :D
I think that one was nicer as a figure, not handy as a bracelet! :lol:  :lol:
I hope I will be able to come and see you.

What kind of figures are you going to teach at the day in england?
(That question is for the english people)
And I heard you will come to holland also, what will you be teaching there?
(That one's for me! )


What's your most favorite figure you aver made, and why?
What do you think is the hardest figure to make and why?

Well that's it, for now...... ;)

Petra
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »

Danny the Idiot

  • FiveStars
  • *****
  • Posts: 1921
    • View Profile
    • http://www.dannytheidiot.com
Re: Don Caldwell, Star Interview 23rd/27th March
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2009, 01:23:40 PM »
Hi Don,
We met at TMJ! I'll be coming to your class in Birmingham, but I have an important question for you....

What would you like to see or do in London when your here?

What will you be doing in the performance day?

cheers
Danny  :lol:
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
Danny Schlesinger
Balloon Excellence Award Winner
http://http://www.CircoRidiculoso.com
http://http://www.DannyTheIdiot.com
Follow me on Twitter at @danny_the_idiot

Normski

  • ThreeStars
  • ***
  • Posts: 389
    • View Profile
    • http://www.normallyentertainment.co.uk
Re: Don Caldwell, Star Interview 23rd/27th March
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2009, 02:12:00 PM »
Hi Donald,

I also had the pleasure of attending ur classes at TMJ and having a shot of tequilla with you on your birthday,(you also gave me ur personal copy of vol 4 ) what i would really like to know is.....................

1) How is your daughter??  :P  ( i owe you:)

2) Who or what inspires your new designs?

3) Who is your favourite balloon artist alive or dead & why

4) Do you care that there are so many "Caldwedians"
running around pretending to be you??? (speak for myself)

5) Can you make the class on 29 may the best one as i cant go to the one in June!!

Thanks

Normski
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »

fairby

  • ThreeStars
  • ***
  • Posts: 449
    • View Profile
    • http://www.twistedfairby.co.uk/
Re: Don Caldwell, Star Interview 23rd/27th March
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2009, 08:34:21 PM »
Will you sign my 'Ripleys Believe or Not' Book on the page you are on with your balloon wedding dress (not you in a dress, if you see what i mean)  :D
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »

Buster Balloon

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
    • http://BusterBalloon.com
Re: Don Caldwell, Star Interview 23rd/27th March
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2009, 10:54:27 PM »
Hi all!  Thanks for having me in for the week.

Here is the first batch of answers from the standard Q & A...


What road led you into balloon modelling?

When I was 3 years old, I was obsessed with drawing, painting, and sculpting.  I loved art!  When I was 5, I saw my first
magic show and became obsessed with magic.  When I was about 12, I became obsessed with comedy and what makes
people laugh.

When I was 18, I discovered balloon twisting.   I realized that I had found my medium because it allowed me to combine
my other three passions.  I was hooked.


When did you get started with balloons?

See above.


What’s your best twisting experience?

Several years ago I was lecturing at the JBAN event in Japan.  Following my lecture, one of the attendees asked if he could
take some of the left over balloon creations.

Two years later I was aksed to teach at that same convention, and I met the gentleman who had asked for the balloons.  He
had taken them to a local children's hospital to give to some of the patients.  One of the children was a young boy with cancer.
He was nearly catatonic, and the doctors said he only had a few days left to live.  When he was offered one of the balloons he
immediately went for a huge pig hat.

He wore that hat nearly nonstop for the next month.  He not only survived for several weeks longer than the doctors had expected,
but he was also alert, cheerful, and talkative for most of that time.  He told me that the boys mother wanted to thank me for the time
my hat had given her with her child.


What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you during a ballooning/entertaining session?

Several notable experiences dealing with angry drunk parents while line twisting at baseball games when I was younger.  Despite the
repressed memories I learned a lot at those events.  The therapy is helping.


What do you most enjoy about twisting & why?

The interaction.  Whether it is during a stage show with a huge audience, or making a special creation for one person, the connection
that balloon twisting allows us to make with others always amazes me and makes me happy.


What's your favourite age to entertain?

I can't say that there is one particular age group that I enjoy most.  I really love family audiences.  It gives me the chance to use a variety
of different ages during my show to give it more texture.  I also love that I get to create an experience that the entire family gets to share
and enjoy.  


Do you have the same act but vary the presentation for all ages or do you have set acts for different ages?

Like I said, I like to play to audiences of varied ages, so the show tends to stay the same, but different parts are designed to play more to
certain ages.  There are some moments especially for the younger kids, and some for the older kids, and a lot for the adults to make sure
that they stay engaged as well.


What’s your favourite thing to make at the moment?

My balloon dog, Spike.


What is the most asked for model?

The monkey, it's always the damn monkey.  DAMN YOU MONKEY!


What do you tend to do more of if stuck in the 'balloon production line' model?

Curl up into the fetal position and sob uncontrollably until the line disperses.  This may be why I don't get called for much line work.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
Don Caldwell aka "Buster Balloon"
Comedy Genius, Balloon Twisting Savant, &
Pre-Sweetened Breakfast Cereal Connoisseur
http://http://BusterBalloon.com

Buster Balloon

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
    • http://BusterBalloon.com
Re: Don Caldwell, Star Interview 23rd/27th March
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2009, 11:17:51 PM »
Hi Petra,

I am glad you enjoyed the bracelets, even if you are not going to use the horse as intended  ;)

What kind of figures are you going to teach at the day in england?
(That question is for the english people)


 "The Best of Mad Hatz & Wild Wearables, featuring Don's (that's me) favorite, and most popular wearable creations. From the stupidly simple, to huge show stoppers, these are the pieces that Don (me again) uses in his every day work and the pieces that he counts on to always deliver. You will also learn Don's (still me) secret presentation tips for getting even more impact out of your sculptures. And yes, there will be a few sculptures that Don has not released before."

We have also added a workshop on performance.  It will feature me performing my actual 45 minute family show, followed by a Q&A where we will dissect every element of it.  I will also be teaching some other original material that is not currently in my show, including some close-up and sleight of hand routines.


And I heard you will come to holland also, what will you be teaching there?
(That one's for me! )


We have not worked out the Holland class details yet, but I plan to do mostly balloon hats and other wearables, some magic tricks, and spend about an hour or so on advanced balloon faces.

What's your most favorite figure you aver made, and why?

You can't ask a mother to choose between her children.

What do you think is the hardest figure to make and why?

Porcupines, they keep popping themselves.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2009, 02:05:42 AM by Buster Balloon »
Don Caldwell aka "Buster Balloon"
Comedy Genius, Balloon Twisting Savant, &
Pre-Sweetened Breakfast Cereal Connoisseur
http://http://BusterBalloon.com

Graham Lee

  • FiveStars
  • *****
  • Posts: 22863
    • View Profile
    • http://www.grahamleesmagic.co.uk/
Re: Don Caldwell, Star Interview 23rd/27th March
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2009, 11:46:33 PM »
Don,
As your coming over for "The David Grist Memorial Lecture" I was wondering if you had a funny story that you could share with everyone about David. Don't worry if it's not clean :D
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
"Lets Improve Our Art"
Balloon Excellence 2012 Award Winner
For Services to the Balloon Community.
http://www.balloonartwholesale.co.uk
http://www.sempertexballoons.co.uk

Buster Balloon

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
    • http://BusterBalloon.com
Re: Don Caldwell, Star Interview 23rd/27th March
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2009, 01:10:42 AM »
Quote from: "Danny the Idiot"
What would you like to see or do in London when your here?

What will you be doing in the performance day?

:

Hey Danny!

Actually, my favorite thing to do when I travel anywhere is to meet the natives and do what ever the locals do.  I normally avoid tourist attractions (unless there is a good amusement park nearby).  I also like catching local shows.  I really love live entertainment.

As for the performance day, I am teaching everything.  Nothing is held back.  We will start with my actual family show in its entirety, and end with some closely guarded effects that I have not shared anywhere yet.  Magic, comedy, show structure, routining, audience management, and if there is time, my grandmothers secret cookie recipe.  This lecture is actually preparation for the filming of my next DVD which will contain all of my original balloon routines.

Can't wait to see you and the rest of the gang again!
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
Don Caldwell aka "Buster Balloon"
Comedy Genius, Balloon Twisting Savant, &
Pre-Sweetened Breakfast Cereal Connoisseur
http://http://BusterBalloon.com

Buster Balloon

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
    • http://BusterBalloon.com
Re: Don Caldwell, Star Interview 23rd/27th March
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2009, 06:14:10 PM »

11,  Who is your market aimed at?


My marketing is geared primarily toward performing stage, or stand-up balloon shows for large family audiences.  My secondary market is fancy balloon
twisting for private parties.


12, What kind of work do you do mostly - parties? Corporate? Etc

Right now, it is performing my 45 minute family balloon show at schools, libraries, and community centers.


13, What is your favourite/ideal gig to do?

Stage shows, absolutely!  When I began twisting, it was always for a line, and no matter how fast I twisted, or how long I stayed, it seemed that
someone was always disappointed.  Now I get to spend 45 minutes making five balloon sculptures, for three hundred people and everyone has
a blast!  As important as the balloons are to the show, it becomes more about the experience.


14, What irritates you most at a gig?

Pushy, or rude adults.  I have all the patients in the world for kids, and even teenagers.  But I have no time adults who are ill-mannered or
behave badly in front of their own children.  That, and mariachi music.


15, How do you book yourself?

I stand by the side of the highway with a cardboard sign that says, "Will Twist for Food" and they just come to me.

When that fails, I rely on word of mouth and repeat bookings.  I have worked very hard to create a unique style both as an artist, and an entertainer,
and really try to create a unique and magical experience for my audiences.  I know I have done my job when the phone rings.

The same goes for my industry work.  I have never made a DVD or taught a class just for the money.  Everything that I have created has been because
I honestly believed in the material, and that others would find it useful.  And fortunately for me they have.

I can always spot a performer who is in it for the money, and they always have to work much harder at the marketing and sales side than those who are
truly passionate about what they do.

I also find that showcases are great, because it gives potential clients who may not have otherwise had a chance to see you perform live do so.  It also
allows you to target your marketing to specific groups.  I perform at showcases for libraries and schools every year, and am now looking into showcases
for small theaters, which is where I hope to go next.


16, What’s the biggest thing you'’ve ever made?

I have been fortunate enough to have been on the crew for all four Balloon Manors, and will be returning this year for number five.
http://BalloonManor.com


17, What has been your proudest achievement in our wonderful world of twisted latex?

Just the fact that other Balloon Twisters and Entertainers enjoy my work, and find my ramblings semi-useful.  As far as our industry goes,
I cannot thing of any higher praise.


18, What advice would you give to someone starting out, or wanting to increase their business?

If you really want to be successful at anything, you need to be passionate about it.  To really succeed as a balloon artist I think you
need to be passionate about not only learning and honing your art, but about people, and marketing as well.

Passion is what will push you to always keep studying and learning.  Passion is what helps you endure the hard times.  Passion is
separates the good, from the great.


19, What road in latex do you see yourself taking in the future

The one no one else has thought of yet.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
Don Caldwell aka "Buster Balloon"
Comedy Genius, Balloon Twisting Savant, &
Pre-Sweetened Breakfast Cereal Connoisseur
http://http://BusterBalloon.com

Buster Balloon

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
    • http://BusterBalloon.com
Re: Don Caldwell, Star Interview 23rd/27th March
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2009, 06:19:30 PM »
Quote from: "fairby"
Will you sign my 'Ripleys Believe or Not' Book on the page you are on with your balloon wedding dress (not you in a dress, if you see what i mean)  :D

I would be honored to sign it for you, but I must warn you that the moment I sign anything the re-sale value drops drastically!
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
Don Caldwell aka "Buster Balloon"
Comedy Genius, Balloon Twisting Savant, &
Pre-Sweetened Breakfast Cereal Connoisseur
http://http://BusterBalloon.com

Professor T Wist

  • FourStars
  • ****
  • Posts: 860
    • View Profile
    • http://www.professortwist.co.uk
Re: Don Caldwell, Star Interview 23rd/27th March
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2009, 06:25:15 PM »
Hi Don, who would you most like to make a balloon model for and why? What woud you make them ?
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »

Buster Balloon

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
    • http://BusterBalloon.com
Re: Don Caldwell, Star Interview 23rd/27th March
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2009, 02:35:00 AM »
Quote from: "Normski"
Hi Donald,

I also had the pleasure of attending ur classes at TMJ and having a shot of tequilla with you on your birthday,(you also gave me ur personal copy of vol 4 ) what i would really like to know is.....................

1) How is your daughter??  :P  ( i owe you:)

2) Who or what inspires your new designs?

3) Who is your favourite balloon artist alive or dead & why

4) Do you care that there are so many "Caldwedians"
running around pretending to be you??? (speak for myself)

5) Can you make the class on 29 may the best one as i cant go to the one in June!!

Thanks

Normski


Hola Normski!

1) She is great.  Thanks for asking.

2) Mostly cartoons, as well as studying other artists.  Michael Godard, Gris Grimley, Eric Pigor, Basil Gogos, Olivia, John K., Tex Avery, and Wyland just to name a few.

3) David Grist.  His impact on this industry was, and continues to be astonishing, and the fact that he did it in such a short span of time makes it all the more amazing.  Beyond his twisting skills, his humor, warmth, and sharing deeply touched all who met him.  Truly one of a kind.

4) Harry Anderson said, "The only thing you ever really own, is what you eat.  And even that is only a loan".

I am deeply flattered that so many people are inspired by my work.  And the ones who really subscribe to my demented ramblings, also know how much emphasis I put on being unique, and being yourself.  For me, the highest praise is seeing someone using one of my sculptures, or routines, or even marketing ideas, but doing it as themselves.

5) Yes, but don't tell the others.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
Don Caldwell aka "Buster Balloon"
Comedy Genius, Balloon Twisting Savant, &
Pre-Sweetened Breakfast Cereal Connoisseur
http://http://BusterBalloon.com

Pam Pearce

  • FiveStars
  • *****
  • Posts: 1058
    • View Profile
    • http://www.balloonsandtunes.co.uk
Re: Don Caldwell, Star Interview 23rd/27th March
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2009, 09:33:24 AM »
I have to say I have not thought of any questions to ask Don, but I am loving reading this interview.

We may not be in the same league but we do have a very similar outlook on what we do in this industry, and it is refeshing to read.

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

Pam
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »

Buster Balloon

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
    • http://BusterBalloon.com
Re: Don Caldwell, Star Interview 23rd/27th March
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2009, 04:20:53 PM »
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 ; )
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Guest »
Don Caldwell aka "Buster Balloon"
Comedy Genius, Balloon Twisting Savant, &
Pre-Sweetened Breakfast Cereal Connoisseur
http://http://BusterBalloon.com