Tonight, Monday, March 16, Wild Wing Cafe Cool Springs brings back family night. Located at 545 Cool Springs Blvd. (behind the Shell and Exxon stations) , Wild Wing will be providing family fun events and kids eat for a buck with the purchase of an adult meal. There will be movies for the smaller kids, and The BalloonGuy” Scott Tripp. See Scott work his magic tonight at 5:00 p.m. at Wild Wing Cafe.
We sat down and asked Scott a few questions:
WS: Why Balloons?
BG: I made my first balloon animal in 1994. I actually began as a juggler, and performed as a juggler, unicyclist, stilt walker, fire eater, and magician. When I first learned balloon sculpting, I learned the basic dozen or so figures, and didn’t really get bitten by the balloon bug for another five years or so. At the time, there was one company making professional-quality twisting balloons in one standard size in a total of eight colors. Balloon twisting was all about making simple one-balloon creations that didn’t leave much room for creativity or artistry. Luckily, I got involved at just the right time! Balloon twisting exploded over the next two decades, and I was luckily enough to be right in the middle of it! I currently stock 35 colors of balloons from two different professional-quality companies in a large assortment of sizes, a great increase from those early days! I’ve also been fortunate enough to network with the very best balloon artists all over the world, allowing us to share ideas, designs, and performance tips to help improve the art. I’ve even been able to work with the balloon manufacturers to develop new balloons and products, helping me earn the “Balloon Excellence” award under the “Trailblazer” category in 2014.
WS: What do you love most about what you do?
ST: I find it hard to single out a “favorite” thing about being a balloon guy. I don’t really “clock in” or “clock out” as a balloon twister- Balloons have crept into every facet of my life. They are my profession, but they also remain my hobby and my obsession. I collect old and rare balloons and memorabilia, produce digital videos for other balloon artists to use as training materials, and fill notebooks with ideas and constantly experiment to find new ways to use balloons or even produce new balloons. At one point I even had a makeshift balloon laboratory in my basement, where several new concepts emerged, including some available commercially today. I think of balloons and shapes and colors at all times, and this allows inspiration to emerge from new and unexpected sources. I might see a dog toy at a supermarket or a graphic on a T-shirt or poster, and I’ll get an idea for a new balloon sculpture. New cartoon characters are introduced all the time, and my customers are alway a great source for new challenges.
I guess if I had to pick a favorite thing, it would be that moment when I get to take all of those hours of solitary practice, experimenting, and visualizing, years of experience and training, and unleash it in a ten-minute surprise-filled performance table-side for my customers. I love the challenges, the interactions, and the surprises while I make balloons for a family. Sometimes I get a rowdy party table, and I’m able to focus everyone together in a single activity, or I might get a small, quiet table that I get to “Wake up” and turn their night into a party. One moment that I really enjoy is when I get a table that isn’t particularly interested at first. It might be all adults or teenagers who think balloons are just for kids. I love to turn over a table like this, and make balloons that they can’t put down, balloon games that they’ll fight over, or balloon hats that give them a character that actually changes how they act. Balloons are just a tool. Just like a pencil, paint brush, or a carpenter’s hammer. But their potential is unlimited.