"The Exploratorium's Bubble
Festival has spawned a marvelous series of similar events
worldwide. It was a magical event and the magician that
pulled it all together was Tom Noddy."
Ron Hipschman, Exploratorium physicist
"It was a fabulously successful
event that generated unbelievable press coverage."
Linda Dackman, Public Information Director,
Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA.
"... a highlight in our history
... attendance doubled. Wonderfully enthusiatic atmosphere
Remo Besio, Director, Technorama, Winterthur,
"Tom's Bubble Magic presentation
was the centerpiece of our first BubbleFest and drew
huge and new audiences to our Museum."
Kathleen Conti, Public Programs Manager,
Santa Barbara Museum Natural History
"By far the most successful
event we've hosted is our annual Bubble Festival featuring
Tom Noddy ... and the demand for his shows just keeps
getting bigger! All sold out shows ... brings record
numbers of visitors through the center ... He gives audiences
a good dose of jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring bubble creativity
while cleverly sneaking the educational aspects of bubbles
into the performance."
Karen Johnson, Executive Director, Discovery
Center, Santa Ana, CA.
When we first decided to contact
you the lead organizers of the the event were sceptical
about the appropriatness of featuring a bubbles show
at a business awards ceremony. After the show however
people who came to congratulate me on the choice of entertaiment
talked only about the "Bubble Guy"
"The Bubble Guy was great", "He
was the best part of the evening", "He was
funnier than the comedy group", "We have not
seen something like this before", "We were
sceptical because we did not know, but we are glad you
pushed for it".
Marta Byczkowska, MIT's E-Business Awards Ceremony
In 1982 Tom Noddy brought his Bubble Magic to national television when he appeared on That's Incredible and then on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. That and subsequent Tonight Show appearances were followed by calls from agents offering engagements in Las Vegas, nationwide comedy clubs, and many other show business venues. But Tom focused instead on another idea ... he suggested a Bubble Festival to San Francisco's marvelous and unique center for "hands-on" science education, the Exploratorium.
Tom had previously presented free shows in their small theater to interested visitors to the center and he had picked up knowledge and enthusiasm for the physics, math, and other science aspects of his work with soap bubbles. Now he wanted to use the push that his television appearance had given to launch a Bubble Festival.
Frank Oppenheimer, the director of the Exploratorium, eventually agreed to try this odd idea. It was a happy decision and when local, national and international media responded the result was a weekend event that drew 15,000 enthusiastic people. A subsequent Bubble Festival drew 17,000 people and helped to launch similar events in science centers across America and then in Europe.
The Bubble Festival that Tom Noddy offers is a deceptively simple event:
Tom presents his Bubble Magic “act” (approx. 25 minutes) followed by a question & answer period (approx. 30 minutes). The centers set up a "bubble lab" area where the public has a chance to try their hand at Tom's tricks and their own inventions.
This Q&A period is led by the audience's own questions and interests. They are often seemingly simple how-to questions regarding the amazing tricks that they had just seen performed. But the answers include references to the physics, mathematics, and other science underlying the actions of soap bubbles and films.
While Tom knows a good bit about the science he is quick to point out that "I'm funnier than I am smart". That is to say that he'll push the boundaries of the audience's interest in the subject but in the end he'll use his entertainer's sense of what works onstage to keep their interest ... and go to a punch line or demonstrate the answers with another gorgeous bubble before losing them.
Tom experience and advice on setting up, conducting, and cleaning up the "bubble lab" (a bubble play area) is, itself, invaluable and will serve the centers well long after Tom leaves. This hands-on approach to learning more about the world from these attractive everyday objects is enormously popular.
Tom Noddy's Bubble Festivals have been presented at many many science centers and schools since that time and have spawned a number of other similar events as well as guide books and learning devices. Here is a short list of some of the venues that have hosted the event with Tom Noddy:
Exploratorium, San Francisco
Franklin Institute, Philadelphia
Pacific Science Center, Seattle
Cumberland Museum and Science Center, Nashville
Discovery Center, Little Rock
Roper Mountain Science Museum, Greenville
Discovery Center, Rockford
Discovery Center, Ft. Lauderdale
Discovery Center, Boise
Rueben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego
Museum of Science and History, Louisville
Discovery Place, Milwaukee
Cranbrook Institute, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Pink Palace Museum, Memphis
Arts, Sciences, and Technology Centre, Vancouver
Scitech, Perth, Australia
Technorama, Winterthur, Switzerland
Launch Pad, Orange County, CA
and many more ...
©Tom Noddy and Bubble Magic
P.O. Box 1576 Santa Cruz, California 95061 USA (831) 426-2230
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