| Show and Tell |

Nechama Farkas

The talent behind The Amazing Bubble Show

 

Nechama Farkas, of Lakewood, New Jersey, is the talent behind The Amazing Bubble Show, a truly magical experience that proves that making people happy is as easy as blowing bubbles. She brings her shows across the Tristate area, entertaining groups of all backgrounds, for everything from summer camps, schools, and birthday parties, to special events for Chanukah, Purim, Lag B’omer, Rosh Chodesh, and more.

How did you get into this unusual profession?

I really don’t know exactly where the idea came from! Years ago, my mother sent a big bubble wand for my children. We started playing with it and having a great time. I wanted to go to the park with the wand, and I ended up asking my husband to come along with us. At the end of the day, I suddenly couldn’t find the wand… or my husband. It turns out he was standing on top of the car, using the wind up there to blow bubbles! I was amazed by how much fun you could have with bubbles.

Also, when I was a young child, I saw a kid in a bubble at a science museum and somehow put the two ideas together. One thing led to the next, and I started performing bubble shows. (Two years ago, my husband began performing shows for boys’ camps, too.) What’s especially amazing is that I was always shy as a kid; I never wanted to perform on stage. Here I am now, performing for hundreds of people. It doesn’t make sense.

What also doesn’t make sense is that before I became an entertainer, my mother would ask, “Why don’t you put on some kind of show?” Years later, I finally asked her why she had encouraged me to perform when I was never a performer.

“I always saw in you that you would be good at it,” she answered. Her belief in me led to me believing in myself. Today I have a parnassah from it.


What makes bubbles so magical?

Bubbles transform any child into a happy child, no matter what’s going on. There’s something addictive and contagious about bubbles — in a good way, of course. When you make a good bubble, you want to do it again and again. You want to see if you can make it bigger or last longer. You want to see if you can pop more next time. You want to push it to another level, experiment with it. Once you start, you just keep going.

 

What do you do at a bubble show?   

A bubble show is about 45 minutes of nonstop bubble tricks and action. I have a whole curriculum that builds momentum and includes lots of fun, audience involvement, volunteers, and some science, like surface tension and colors, depending on the age in attendance.


People inside bubbles!That must be a favorite

Yes, everyone loves seeing people inside bubbles. I can usually get four or five kids inside a bubble, and if the kids are very young, like three-year-olds, I can sometimes fit seven. Kids have to be able to stand very still for this, frozen in place. It’s a real highlight.


What’s your personal favorite? What do you enjoy about the bubble shows?

I like working with the smoke bubbles: regular bubbles that have smoke inside. When they pop, the smoke comes out. I also love doing the tricks. I use a light box to project colors onto the bubbles, and I also have fun with the “trampoline bubble,” which looks easy, but isn’t! I think my record is 24 bounces on my bubble trampoline before the bubble burst.


What do you enjoy about the bubble shows?

I love seeing children’s faces light up, seeing them have a great time. Where else could I do a job that brings so much joy to people? I also think it’s so cool for kids to watch people — and not machines — doing interesting things. You can do so many tricks with your own hands. I love the ruach at the shows; there’s so much excitement in the air.


Do you have any funny stories from your shows?

I once was performing in Williamsburg on Rosh Chodesh Adar, and the G.O. wanted to do their song first. We were on this makeshift stage, which was really a bunch of stage tables grouped together. The tables were shaking so much as they danced, and I stood there, watching my bubble solution sloshing around. After I gave my introduction, the whole table flipped over behind me. The bubble juice all spilled out. Try making bubble tricks without bubble juice. Help!

Hashem just put an idea in my head to say that it was all part of v’nahafoch hu. Luckily, I had more bubble solution with me. I went on to perform one of the best shows ever; I made so many jokes, I don’t even know what I said. Everyone thought the whole thing was planned….

What makes a bubble so colorful?
If you would hold up a sheet of bubble film, you would see many colors moving on it. Even though it appears to be a very thin film, it’s actually made of different thicknesses and layers. It’s constantly moving, with some places thicker and some thinner. The thicker areas project red and green, while thinner areas are blue and yellow. Of course, there’s a whole rainbow in between. The light shining on the different thicknesses creates different colors.


Will you share some bubble-blowing tips?

The most important factor for bubble making is the environment — which none of us have any control over. The best weather for bubble play is humid weather, the shvitzier the better. The bubble film is constantly evaporating, but the extra moisture in the air slows down the process. It makes you enjoy that weather more now (it certainly changed my whole attitude!). Right before it rains and right after are great times to make bubbles.

The weather is obviously something I can’t control, so I do all my shows indoors, often with the air-conditioning off. (Don’t worry, my audience is having so much fun, they don’t even notice!) I’m constantly spraying the air so I can make bigger, long-lasting bubbles.

You can do it too!

Bubble Fun

This recipe is great for at-home bubbles. (Just don’t store it in a drink bottle; you wouldn’t want someone to drink it accidentally, chas v’shalom.)

To make your own bubbles:

You can prepare this recipe in advance (works best when it sits). It can last for months!

You will need:

1 cup of blue Dawn Ultra dish soap (or yellow Joy)

6 cups of water

Now Have Fun

Bubble play is best done on a table outdoors. Be careful not to do it over grass because the bubble solution can kill your lawn. Pour bubble juice into large shallow plates with sides or a bucket for use.

  1. Twist a pipe cleaner into a lollipop shape to create a bubble wand
  2. Twist a wire hanger into a large bubble wand
  3. Older kids can blow bubbles out of straws of various widths
  4. Cut yarn or string a couple inches longer than the length of four straws. String two straws onto it (which can be done easily by sucking the string through the straws). Knot this like a necklace. Then, holding a straw in each hand, open it like a square frame. Dip the frame into bubble solution and blow through it to create large bubbles.
  5. Cut faces or shapes into a Styrofoam bowl or plate, dunk in bubble juice, and blow.

Keep blowing!

Did You Know?

No matter what shape a bubble starts out, it will always become a sphere when it is flying in the air.

If enough bubbles join together, they can form hexagons, squares, or other shapes.

(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 818)

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