Bubble Magic with Tom Noddy!
About a year ago now I met one of the coolest people I know; Tom Noddy. I had the good fortune to be on the same stage with him and being the easy going and friendly guy that he is it was extremely easy to walk up, introduce myself and find myself becoming friends with him almost instantly.
Tom does “Bubble Magic.” What’s that? Tom plays with bubbles professionally. You know, that sudsy soapy stuff that comes in a little container with a cheap plastic “wand” the you give to your kids and the run around spilling it everywhere while they blow bubbles at the family dog.
That’s the stuff.
But how do you build a professional career out of doing that? Well, in Tom’s case you decide you don’t want to live the life of a corporate or factory drone, get yourself organized and prepared to spend some time living on the road because you want to see the world, and in order to save enough money to make it doable you find ways to entertain yourself at home while you finish out your last year or so of punching a clock.
And cheap and easy ways to entertain yourself at home include spending all your time playing with toys like yo-yo’s and paddle ball and…. bubbles!
First you spend a lot of time just playing. Then you spend a lot of time getting good with them. Then you spend even more time figuring out things that most people never spend the time to do. And somewhere along the way you get seen doing something incredibly cool with bubbles like bouncing a smoke filled one off your arms, making breakdancing caterpiller bubbles, volcano bubbles and even a bubble cube! Once you’re seen doing that on television you become known as “The Bubble Guy.”
Yesterday I spent the day with several friend and we learned “Bubble Magic” from Tom. Tom pointed out a lot of amazing things both artistically and scientifically about bubbles and just how cool they really are. For example did you know that the reason why you see all those colors on the surface of a bubble is because the film is actually thinner then wavelengths of light? The different colors show you the different thicknesses of the film so they colors act as a sort of topographical map of the bubble itself.
But for my purposes it’s good to know that there is a historical avenue for bubble blowing as a part of my Carnival project. There is an example of children blowing bubbles from Bruegel’s painting “Children’s Games” as well as a number of other historical images that fall within our SCA historical period. And given how much fun everyone was having I think it will become a fairly consistent part of our “playtime.”
One of our members was already spinning ideas of how to create her own bubble act and that is a good thing!
So, who is Tom Noddy? He’s a man of great talents, wonderful patience and a good friend.