Planning to throw a party for kids? Want to do something new, something cool and something a bit less cliche’ than the usual? In New York, a small group of fun people are changing the codes, introducing party favors with cartoon humour and a rock’n’roll twist. Balloon artist Robert Moy, founder of Brooklyn Balloon Company, gives Pirouette a taste of what his parties are like. Not the usual balloon animals and clowns!
What is your favourite fictional character ?
I like Snoopy because he’s so cool. Balloon wise, I like Hello Kitty because I can make a 3′ one fairly quickly and conversely hate Mickey Mouse because he takes so long!
Your best moment in animating a child’s b-day party ?
My first paid gig was for 30 kids and was only 15 months ago. The kids were going crazy sword fighting and the parents were so happy. I was so relieved nobody asked me to make something I didn’t know. My nail was bleeding from all the twisting, but I was really happy.
Your worst moment ?
Making a giant dinosaur balloon sculpture at an ad agency for take kids to work day and the balloons kept popping as I was twisting them. The kids were supposed to help participate, but they couldn’t really help much since none, including the older kids had any experience even using a hand pump. Another time a grandfather kept yelling at me to pick his grandkids as volunteers for the magic show. He kept saying, “I would advise you to pay attention to the birthday girl and her family!” The mom was happy, but the grandparents only wanted me to pick their grandkids and were one of my few unsatisfied customers.
The thing you are most proud about ?
I have the opportunity to make every birthday party special and all the kids happy. If I do a great job then parents are often hugging me when I leave! It’s a lot of fun and I’m really lucky to be doing what I do.
Your best kids party ever?
The members party at Frolic in September with me, Mario the Magician and glitter tattoo artist Laure Fischbach. Mario and Laure are the best and coolest kids entertainers and happen to be good friends of mine, plus it was in Williamsburg where I live.
There’s lots of bad kids entertainers out there and I’m trying to change that.
Your favourite children’s brands and stores ?
Love:) Bathing Ape Kids, Pomme, Makie, Little Marc Jacobs. Can afford:( H&M, Uniqlo. My wife had a great kids tee shirt line called Tiny Kings so she could dress my son. I used to love looking at cool sneakers for my son. Now he’s 6 and only likes those scary light up Sketchers! My favorite kids accessory was my son’s Micro Mini G-bike and helmet 2 years ago!
Your favourite restaurants in NYC ?
Marlow & Sons and Momo Sushi Shack.
A cultural event or film you saw recently that you highly recommend
Non kid related - Rare Exports, a scary Santa movie.
A design object or new product that you cherish?
My iPhone is what I can’t live without. Right now, I covet a vintage top hat for my magic show!
How is life at home, when the party is over?
My 6 year old son and wife are completely tired of balloons! I used to practice a lot and he would shout, “Quiet! Too much noise! I can’t hear the TV!” I would have to go into the bedroom or even bathroom. The unglamorous life of a balloonman dad! Now I don’t really practice much since I do balloons all weekend. Sometimes I have to make something special or new – and have to go into the bedroom and close the door. The squeaking noise is actually quite loud… LOL! I sometimes have use powder lotion at parties. My new thing now is magic, which my son loves, except he want to know how to do it without practicing. There’s very little of it that he can actually do. Ha ha!