William Beatty started out as a teacher that took a clown hiatus for a few years only to come full circle and teach once again.
After learning some basics from a clown back in 1982, he went out and bought some balloons and Jimmy Davis’ One Balloon Zoo. “I love twisting balloons. I learned magic, juggling, etc as a way to supplement the balloon skills, but the main thing was the balloons,” he said noting how he can touch a person’s life with one of the little tubes of rubber.
Two characters he performed as were Dr. Twistin and Beefy the Clown. Dr. Twistin was not a clown per se, but is basically Beatty in a lab jacket. He still performs as Dr. Twistin from time to time. “Beefy was a name that I was called as a kid, so I used it for something positive, my clown name,” he said referring to his auguste character. Beefy has since gone into retirement.
“I have been a teacher since 1980 and teach elementary school. At first, I used the clowning/balloon twisting as a way to supplement my subbing,” Beatty said. He was a full-time entertainer for about five years from ‘87 to ‘92 after which he want back into teaching elementary school.
Many people have had an influential teacher or mentor as a youngster and Beatty had the same experience. “I went into teaching to touch the lives of children forever,” he said. “A teacher I had had a dramatic impact on my life and I want to have that same impact on the students that I have. What an honor to touch kids like that. They remember you for the rest of your life.”
He has also written 11 booklets, three of the more popular ones were: Entertaining With a Twist; Dr. Twistin’s Balloon Air Robics (A 3 Volume set); and Dr. Twistin’s Greatest Hits. He even created a video on how to do soap bubble tricks called Magical Bubble Creations.
In addition, he wrote a regular column about balloons for Laugh Makers magazine from 1992 until the magazine ended publication several years ago. He taught at various clown and entertainer conventions. In fact, he was able to create a very tall hat for a child at one of the workshops. “This was at a three day workshop I did with Laugh Makers and we entertained at the On Center in Syracuse, New York,” Beatty said.
“To end my show, I created on stage a hat. I guess you could say I “cheated’ a little,” he continued. “I created a 3-4 foot hat base for the child. On top of that hat base, I attached several balloons in a string. To keep it above his head, I used 20 helium round balloons that lifted that long string to the top of the On Center. You could see that kid walking around from anywhere in the convention center flow,” he said.
God has been his inspiration, Beatty said. “He gave me the talent to twist balloons, blow soap bubble magic and all that. He gave me the ability to easily connect with kids, whether it’s in my teaching or my entertaining,” he said. “In addition to the entertaining, I also did children’s/family programs at churches. What an honor to use my talents to teach other people about God and His love for them. I do a Jesus on a Cross out of two balloons, but John Holmes created one that is just stunning.”
Nowadays he keeps busy with teaching and eBay. “I have dipped my foot in eBay and see that it has a lot of potential. I play a bit of racquetball too,” Beatty said. “Yes, I still twist balloons and such from time to time. I will never stop doing that.”