On Saturday night, October 3rd, Family Weekend was at its peak and a very special entertainer took the stage at the Campus Union.
John Cassidy is known as a talented and accomplished comedian, magician, and balloon artist. His shows include everything from wild balloon sculptures to unreal magic tricks, all blended with goofy comedic humor.
Last Saturday’s display kicked off with an array of large balloon sculptures being passed out to enthusiastic audience members. Cassidy crafted and tossed out a giraffe, a monkey on a tree, Charlie Brown, Road Runner, and a variety of flowers.
He even tossed out some black flowers for the relationships that seemed to be going sour.
He immediately introduced his lovely assistant and wife Jennifer, mentioning that his 2-year-old daughter was sleeping behind the curtain, then jumped right into his first trick.
With balloons popping in the background, Cassidy invited up two young children onto the stage with dollar bills as a bribe. Poking a bit of playful fun at them, and showering them with astonishing air-filled animals, he pranked both youngsters with card tricks and disappearing acts.
This type of trickery and illusion carried throughout the show as he awed various volunteers with speedy balloon sculpting and over the top card tricks. He even dabbled in the matchmaking industry via his oversized deck of cards, and a bit of magic.
His final trick, and most memorable trick, involved him climbing into a red, human- sized balloon in search for the volunteer’s card, the ace of clubs, that had been shoved somewhere in the huge contained mass of air.
Without hesitation, he covered first his head and then the rest of his body with the giant orb and proceeded to push his face into the sides making strange expressions. The whole demonstration could almost be comparable to a ridiculous scene from a horror movie.
Those kinds of scenes that create an eruption of laughter but don’t quite settle comfortably when watching it. After a few minutes of wriggling inside the balloon, Cassidy emerged with none other than the ace of clubs resting between his lips and a roaring round of applause filled the Union.
Cassidy described this trick, and many of his others, as his favorite form of entertainment.
He constantly reminds his audience he may be enjoying the show more than them since he is the one performing all the amusing magic.
“I love every minute of it,” Cassidy exclaimed with his daughter in his arms and the passion radiating fromin his voice. “I got my first magic set when I was six and that was it from there.”
He continued that he started doing small displays and playing with balloons at age nine, showcasing his talents since 1972.
With his determination and appetite for entertaining, he has lead a career filled with success and opportunity.
Since 2000, he has been setting records worldwide in the balloon artistry, finally beating out his “nemesis,”, a German clown, by completing 747 balloon sculptures in one hour.
At that time, he also set the record for most balloon sculptures per minute with 13, and the fastest construction of a single structure in 6.4 seconds.
His resume of venues include multiple Las Vegas clubs, Foxwoods Casino, five performances at the White House, and reoccurring turning shows on Disney Cruise Lines.
With nothing but the desire to continue putting smiles on faces of people of all ages, Cassidy plans on continuing his brilliant performances, travelling with the support of his wife and daughter.