Everybody stepped back and there I was, standing alone. Congratulations, you win! You have been volunteered to make a balloon sculpture.
I am exaggerating, but I do have a person who makes sure I get to show off my skills. I have made free balloon figures for people’s birthdays, teachers, my son’s Valentine’s Day gifts, Halloween, and just recently a bride and groom for a neighbor’s niece.
I have been fortunate enough that none of these balloon sculptures has interfered with my entertainment schedule, but it does interrupt my personal time. The stuff that I do when I don’t have anything planned for the day, like watching TV, cleaning my office, rough housing with my boys, or just goofing off and doing nothing.
You may be wondering how I get these wonderful, non-paying gigs. My wife gets them for me. She likes the personal touch, and since she likes what I do, she periodically asks if I can make a little something for this or that person.
Now that is a problem. For a professional balloon artist, you just cannot make something simple and little; it must have a “wow” factor. Which means thought, time, and skills are going to be involved. When the project is complete, she is off to deliver her gift.
I am sure she will volunteer me many more times, and like always I will comply with her wishes. So keep an eye out for when I post a picture of 25 of these or 20 of those. It’s just me complying with the wife’s wish to have something made for one of your kids events.
3 thoughts on “Doing Free Gigs”
Years ago I started taking “a little something” with me when I went to various places. I met my ophthalmologist when she chased me into a stairwell to say what great balloons I had left for another doctor in her practice. The staff at the radiology clinic looks forward to my annual mammogram appointment because I usually bring in a nice balloon piece that will likely appeal to the ladies. They take all the business cards I have with me, and I hear from them later. I have 5 farmers markets that bring in good tips all because one pretty Saturday I didn’t have any paid gigs so I went to the park next to the market and made free balloons. I took my time, practices new designs, made connections, and have never looked back. I choose when and where to share my gifts for free.
Does your wife work outside the home? If so, ask her how many times she’d like to go into work for free….lol. Many times people think that we do this as a hobby (although I’m sure your wife knows you do it as a living)…..and they don’t realize that it takes a lot of time to make these wonderful sculptures, as well as the bucks it takes to produce them. And I’m sure you all know that if you donate something like this to a non-profit otherwise, all you can take off your income tax is the cost of the balloons and your gas to deliver it….NOT what you would have charged for it (and the delivery) otherwise. I, too, do my freebies, but I choose them, not my husband (and he has asked just like the people on the phone otherwise.)
Dale, I understand your point. I get the same request. “Honey, tomorrow is Millie’s birthday and she loves mermaids….” Neighbor’s anniversary, friend’s get well soon, etc, etc. I’m always happy to oblige and make a special sculpture.