Tuesday, March 24, 2009

THE HISTORY OF BALLOON CLOWNING IN CIRCUS


My friend Ralph Dewey is working on a book about the history of balloon twisting and many of it's early stars. He's asked me for information about the acts of Dime and Connie Wilson and of Blinko and Maran...




I've told him what I know of the two acts, which isn't much. I'm hoping some folks out there might be willing to share their memories of Dime & Connie and Blinko & Maran, both as acts and as fellow performers, for inclusion in the book.



And I'm hoping our pal Billy Vaughn is out there and might be willing to chime in on his recreation of that style of classic circus clown come-in.




4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have worked with both Dime and Blinko and would gladly share what little I know.
Billy Vaughn

Little John said...

I use to say, “I don’t do balloons, and I can’t walk stilts.” This was my motto only because these are things that will take you away from the opportunity to be funny. You can be very funny with balloons, and I seen masters on leg extensions, but I’d rather play a mean ukulele, and take a slap into a standing back flip; so there is a list of four things that I can’t do. But anyway, I think it is our friend Harpo who does the best Balloons that I have ever seen, he once gave my wife a rose balloon sculpture with the sweetest latex scent. I remember Terri, my wife, bought a stack of balloon books for her Jester gig at King Henry’s – I think that they were written by someone named Dewey.

Rob said...

Balloons are just another vehicle for performance. The stereotype of a guy making dogs and swords is just as bad as a lot of the stereotypes of clowns out there. Balloons are a very versatile medium, and most people don't even know half of what is possible, including performance. Mr. Dewey has an extensive collection of balloon, and clowning books and is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. I hope that this blog post leads to more information for his project.

Wes Brock said...

When I look into the history of Balloon I found that it started back in the time of the aztec peopl they would sacrifces animals and people they would disinbowel them and take the bladders and intrails and blow them up a form them into animal shape and burn them.

Of course e might want to double check this....if its true it would be really weird in his book!