BubbleMania

Crystall Ball

In search of the perfect liquid sphere?
I've learned a lot and share some here!
Bubble-FAQs

BUBBLE FUN ANSWERS
Common Questions Asked of Casey Carle

C - A - S - E - Y

Special note from Casey: "Thank you to everyone who has helped me become a nationally recognized and award winning performer. Your enthusiastic recommendations and repeat bookings are greatly appreciated. Thanks for not bursting my .... um ... my .... what's that word again? I'm pretty sure it starts with a 'b'... Oh well - thanks a lot anyway!"

  1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

  2. HOW/WHY DID YOU START PERFORMING WITH SOAP BUBBLES?

  3. WHAT'S YOUR BUBBLE SOLUTION? IS IT A SECRET?

  4. HOW DO YOU TOUCH AND HOLD THE BUBBLES WITHOUT POPPING THEM?

  5. WHY DO YOU WRAP STRING AROUND YOUR BUBBLE WANDS?

  6. HOW MANY TRICKS WITH BUBBLES CAN YOU DO?

  7. CAN YOU PERFORM YOUR SHOW OUTSIDE?

  8. WHERE CAN WE SEE YOU PERFORM?

  9. WHY DO YOU SOMETIMES COVER YOUR SOLUTION AND UNCOVER IT A MINUTE LATER?

  10. WHY DO YOU USUALLY WEAR GLOVES IN YOUR SHOW?

  11. HOW DO YOU DO SUCH AMAZING THINGS WITH SUCH SIMPLE TOOLS?

  12. WHERE CAN I GET THE FOG MAKING DEVICE YOU USE IN THE SHOW?

  13. CAN WE HAVE BUBBLEMANIA! AT A BIRTHDAY PARTY OR DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER PARTY IDEAS?

  14. CAN YOU TEACH ME HOW TO BE A BUBBLE ARTIST?

  15. DO YOU HAVE A SUGGESTION FOR A GOOD SCIENCE PROJECT?

  16. WHAT BOOKS WOULD YOU SUGGEST FOR LEARNING MORE ABOUT BUBBLES?

  17. DO YOU OFFER ANOTHER FORM OF BUBBLE ENTERTAINMENT?

  18. WHERE CAN I FIND ADDITIONAL SOAP BUBBLE INFORMATION ON LINE?

Also, frequently asked personal question of Casey Carle can be found here.



WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

My wife and I live in East Haddam, CT. A small town in central Connecticut. It is very rural with lots of farms and woods and dirt roads. As of this writing there are no 3-color traffic lights in East Haddam. There are no fast foods joints. There are no buses or traffic jams. We live on a single lane dirt road with a creek running through our property. (A bubbling creek of course!) It pretty quiet. Which is nice when your work is creating a LOT of noise such as laughing, clapping and cheering :0)

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HOW/WHY DID YOU START PERFORMING WITH SOAP BUBBLES?

In college I knew I wanted to work in theater - be any part of a stage show - so I learned to be an actor, a director, a stage manager, and did some of this professionally. What I really liked was being an actor in plays for children. The zanier the play the more I liked it. So a friend thought I should go to Clown College (for real!) and get into the circus. I didn’t want to wear the makeup but I loved physical comedy so I went, got hired to perform and while clowning with The Ringling Bros. Circus in the late 80s I tried juggling, magic, unicycling, but what I liked best was using bubbles to make people laugh and to make them go “wow!” My bubble act in the circus was the first of its kind and I was the first person in the history of the world to put people inside bubbles as part of a circus routine. When I left the circus and started doing my own show so many people liked it that I knew it was going to be “my thing”. But even then I had no idea just how big of a “thing” it was going to be!

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WHAT'S YOUR BUBBLE SOLUTION? IS IT A SECRET?

The solutions I use in performance took me over 2 years to perfect when I first started bubbling in the late 80s. They are what we call in the biz a “trade secret”. In fact, I use variations on my formula to have consistency with different tricks. Since you do not need your bubbles to perform "on cue" I offer very good solutions for people to try at home or school. Check out the simple recipes and helpful hints on my "secret solutions" page.

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HOW DO YOU TOUCH AND HOLD THE BUBBLES WITHOUT POPPING THEM?

Ah Ha! I say, "Ah Ha" because this may be the most important "secret" to manipulating these spherical beauties. Bubbles pop when something dry touches them (the dry object absorbs water and makes a hole). But something wet (soapy wet is even better) can touch the wall of a bubble without without taking any water away from the bubble. [Think of how a dry sponge absorbs water quickly but a drippy wet sponge cannot absorb any more water.] Using a wet straw you can blow bubbles into, onto and around another bubble. Start with a good solution and then practice, practice, and one other tiny thing... practice. Good luck.

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WHY DO YOU WRAP STRING AROUND YOUR BUBBLE WANDS?

As a performer it is necessary that my bubble tricks happen when I need them to happen. ( It would be a boring show if it took me 10 tries to do just one trick!) The cotton string absorbs more solution than the hoop alone which allows me to create bigger and longer lasting bubbles on cue, with less dipping. Try it. It helps, but is not necessary for good bubbling.

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HOW MANY TRICKS WITH BUBBLES CAN YOU DO?

I’ve never really stopped to count but it’s got to be nearly a hundred. There are lots of interesting things I can do with soap bubbles that are not part of every show. Most of my shows are around 45-50 minutes long. But I have enough different stuff with bubbles (and comedy) to do a show for 90 - 100 minutes without repeating tricks.

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CAN YOU PERFORM YOUR SHOW OUTSIDE?

Nope. Breezes are a big problem for someone who specializes in manipulating bubbles. It is great fun to make bubbles float around outside. (I suggest making them at sunset near a body of water!) But in my show to control and build them into fascinating sculptures and expect them to be where I need them for the bigger tricks they cannot blow away. A lot of the bubble tricks you might be thinking of trying should be done inside. Smaller sculptures you can do over a kitchen counter. For bigger bubbles the garage or basement or enclosed porch are a good place to put down a old blanket or tarp to catch the mess.

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WHERE CAN WE SEE YOU PERFORM?

My list of Public Show Dates and Locations* is right here on my website, and is updated regularly. But only public shows.

(*This list does not include the hundreds of programs a year that are closed to the public, such as school assemblies, banquets, corporate events, etc.)

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WHY DO YOU SOMETIMES COVER YOUR SOLUTION AND UNCOVER IT A MINUTE LATER?

Evaporation is happening all the time. I tend to use the same solution for many days. Those few minutes in the show add up to many minutes in a day and a few hours in a week. That amount of evaporation of water from my solution will affect the ratio of ingredients and change the formula. Especially under hot stage lights!

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WHY DO YOU USUALLY WEAR GLOVES IN YOUR SHOW?

First let me make this clear: YOU do not need to wear any gloves to be a successful bubble manipulator and artist. In 2006 and after 18 years of professional bare-handed bubbling, I experimented with and then decided to continue wearing nitrile gloves. (They are not latex or vinyl). The reasons: 1. Human skin exudes natural oils. Oil and water do not mix. I'm keeping these oils out of my formula as they can negatively effect a solution that is used for multiple shows. 2. When handled a lot, dish detergent and, therefore, soap bubble solution will dry out the skin on bare hands, i.e. "dish pan hands"!. For me this can become quite severe, especially in dry winter air. The gloves help a great deal. And when I'm happy the bubbles are happy!

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HOW DO YOU DO SUCH AMAZING THINGS WITH SUCH SIMPLE TOOLS?

The best bubble makers are those made or found around the house. All you need is something that can get wet and has some sort of opening in it. I use some simple store bought wands and hoops in my show but the rest I made or had made. Explore. At the very least try using old shoe laces, cardboard tubes, plastic soda can holders, little green produce baskets and wire coat hangers stretched open. But of course the messiest and therefore most fun bubble makers can be found at the end of your arms! Your hands can be used as some awesome bubble makers. Roll those sleeves up and stand by with towels! [And hand lotion for that "skin-so-dry-it's-gonna-crack" feeling a few hours later - Yowza!]

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WHERE CAN I GET THE FOG MAKING DEVICE YOU USE IN THE SHOW?

The device I use has been customized from a commercial product available online. HOWEVER the one you can buy does not look like the one I have, nor can you use it the way I do without making a lot of MAJOR and difficult changes to it! But if you go to www.zerotoys.com (or google fog toys) you will find a number of gadgets for making safe fog. But you will have to figure out how to get the fog into the bubbles! I cannot help you there.

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CAN WE HAVE BUBBLEMANIA! AT A BIRTHDAY PARTY OR DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER PARTY IDEAS?

Casey is not available for birthday parties and other such small private family affairs. However Seth and Christina are available for many such events in and around NYC, northern Jersey and southwest CT. Seth performs for ages 5 and up. Christina performs for ages primarily under 5. Doug sometimes does smaller events in the Syracuse, NY area as well.

Fun and easy bubble activity (ages 5 and up): Wet down a table or counter surface with bubble mixture (use cookie sheets if you like) and use wet straws to blow bubble domes onto the surface . Create bubble sculptures by blowing and sticking different size bubble domes together until they look like something recognizable, i.e. mickey mouse, snowman, lady bug, caterpillar, flowers, etc. Keep any part of the straw that touches the bubbles wet! They still eventually pop (the evaporation factor!) but you can have some fun before they do. You can also use my Soap Bubble Home Workshop video as a teaching guide or as a play along activity. See next question...

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CAN YOU TEACH ME HOW TO BE A BUBBLE ARTIST?

I can’t come to your home but you can bring me up on your computer screen! As of Fall 2009 there is a Home Bubble Workshop Video on this website. Created in 1996 (when I had hair) to teach children 5-10 (and their parents) how to build beautiful art with soap bubbles at home, using simple tools and without making a mess. I’m joined by fellow bubble expert and funny man Doug Rougeux. Together we will make you laugh while helping you do amazing things with soap and water (besides washing dishes!)

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DO YOU HAVE A SUGGESTION FOR A GOOD SCIENCE PROJECT?

Oh yea! I love science! Anyone who's seen my school or science center show can attest to that! There are tons of bubble-ology ideas to explore for educational purposes. And you'll have so much fun you may forget you're learning! Search your library or book store index for general books on "soap bubbles", "bubbles" and "science". Also check out my book list here. Here are some places to start and some hints to get you started:

  1. Which dish soaps make the longest lasting bubbles?
    Prepare solutions of each and establish a good test.
  2. Where do all the colors in a bubble come from??
    Hint: Try comparing bubbles to rainbows, is it the same effect? Experiment with a prism and bubbles side by side.
  3. Why are floating bubbles spherical no matter what shape you use for making them? ?
    The answer has to do with the efficiency of nature. Can a cube bubble be formed?
  4. Can I change the color of a floating bubble by adding something to the formula? ?
    Probably not, but prove it by trying food coloring and tempera paints.
  5. Does detergent (soap) weaken or strengthen the surface tension of water? Is there a difference between dish detergent and bar soap??
    The answer to this one will lead to bubblier bubble baths!)
  6. How are different kinds of bubbles used or found in our everyday lives?
    ?Remember: a bubble is simply trapped gas. (ex: basketball, soda pop!)
  7. Can I freeze a bubble? ?
    Three ways: one requires dry ice, the second a freezer, and the third simply the great outdoors.
  8. Why do bubbles pop when in contact with something dry??
    It has to do with absorption of water making a hole in the soap film.
  9. Look here for links to other Bubble Science sites.
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WHAT BOOKS WOULD YOU SUGGEST FOR LEARNING MORE ABOUT BUBBLES?

I co-authored a hands-on science book published by Innovative Kids back in 2003 that sold for nearly 5 years, earned a "Teachers’ Choice Award" in 2004 but is no longer available. Bummer dude :0( It was fun autographing books at my shows. But no worries, for a list of other engaging titles go here.

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DO YOU OFFER ANOTHER FORM OF BUBBLE ENTERTAINMENT?

Glad you asked!

2009 marked the debut of a bigger, wetter, funnier, even more amazing bubble show called "Bubble Time: The Dawn of Undiluted Joy!" It's comedy, character and brilliant bubbling with my good friend and fellow bubblemaniac, Doug Rougeux. The first ever stage show to combine the talents of two top-notch comic bubble entertainers.

This show is only for theaters and performing arts centers. Like I said, it’s a BIGGER show and it’s meant to play to audiences of 500 to 1500 people. We’ve played NY City, Chicago and a two week tour in India. Learn more here.

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WHERE CAN I FIND ADDITIONAL SOAP BUBBLE INFORMATION ON LINE?

I've discovered quite a few resources on line. Take a look at my Links Page, but don't forget to bookmark this site first!

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