With this being our first birthday issue, we thought we’d get in party mood. Meet Balloon Man FuDD, a.k.a. Daniel Ravia, a man with the enviable job of making shapes out of balloons. By Samantha Cummings.
Early bird or night owl? “Night owl for sure. It does not help when days get so hot though. Life has a way of making you wake up, even more so when the kids wake you!”
Favorite accessory? “I have a few. My magic growing penny (magic trick), my apron full of balloons and my scissors. A sharpie or two is great as well.”
Favorite faux pas? “One time while coming back from a video game convention in Los Angeles, I was stopped by Border Patrol and had my car searched. Because of the odd nature of some of my magic props, I had some explaining to do. They even went so far as asking if I used my balloons to put drugs in and then swallow them, or worse, to get them across.
“And I gave pretty much an impromptu magic lesson for those Border Patrol officers. Not only did I have to explain and show some of my tricks, I also made four of the dog handlers balloon dogs.”
Who is your dream balloon customer? “I guess the ideal customer in dreamland would be someone who did international parties or trade shows and flew me around [the world] to decorate and entertain at those functions.”
If I wasn’t Balloon Man FuDD I would… “Be working in a restaurant, more than likely: cooking, ice carving or running some kitchen. I have had many jobs but cooking has been a staple throughout my life until balloons. I’ve worked as a painter, a body piercer, pizza delivery driver, at Bookmans, in call centers, at a video game store, as an ice carver, dishwasher, cook and kitchen manager, among many other things.”
If I could change one thing I would… “Have started working on learning business stuff. Marketing, sales, the art of putting myself out there without the balloons in hand, it’s something I have been trying to grasp and implement in the growth of my balloon biz.”
The making of a giraffe out of balloons…