Thursday, August 11, 2016

JiggleMan at the Windermere Public Library

I got to the Windermere Public Library just before 10am. A large white Colonial building was locked. I backed up and realized that I was trying to get into the Windermere Town Hall. The Library was actually behind the town hall. The tip off was a bronze sculpture of a child reading a book. There was a woman waiting at the front door. "Is it locked?" I asked. "They open at 10am, and not a minute earlier." she replied. As we waited, parents and their children started to arrive. There were rocking chairs on the porch and tat young boys rocked excitedly. They had seen JiggleMan the year before. The mom explained that JiggleMan entertained the parents as well as the kids.

The door to the library opened and the kids rushed in like they were Black Friday shoppers. The event was going to take place in a separate meeting room but the glass doors were closed. I waited with parents and their kids in the hallway. Tisse MalIon arrived and then Banks Helfrich. He signaled me to come in a bit early to set up. Banks is JiggleMan. Tisse began blowing up large balloons with an electric blower. The kids in the hallway pressed their noses up against the glass doors and shouted with excitement each time That she started to fill a new balloon. One mom joked, "Who needs a show, just blowing up the balloons is enough."

Banks put a line of masking tape on the floor to mark the leading edge of his stage. He quickly changed into a black jumpsuit with baggy black shorts in the bathroom. Tisse announced, "I'm going to let them in" "No, give me a minute." Banks replied. He did a handstand and seemed to stay there forever. I sketched quickly. I could hearth kids in the hallway shooting the obvious. "He's doing a handstand Mom, look!"

Tisse opened the doors and the kids sat on the floor behind the masking tape line. there was excitement and squirming as they all settled in. JiggleMan entered from the back of the room, walking a bit like a penguin in straight lines in all the open gaps in the audience. I was reminded of Charlie Chaplin. The kids were already enthralled. He ultimately found a front row seat, and waited along with the kids. Then he walked up to the boom box and adjusted the music, Shaking his bootie when he found a beat he liked. the kids loved his antics.

The show is a high energy romp with plenty of fun props. A pink balloon was bounced off the walls and balanced on JiggleMan's head. He ran from the balloon as if in a slow motion chase scene.  The entire room of kids was shouting with delight. They were as fun to watch as the show itself. JiggleMan pulled out an electric blower and proceeded to clap at it and shake it, to turn it on. The kids shouted excitedly that he needed to "turn it on!' When he did, the blast of air hit him in the face, contorting his features to comic effect. The blower was stood on end and small balloons were suspended in the air flow as if by magic.

The larger balloons were used to even larger comic effect. I don't want to give too much away, you have to experience JiggleMan for yourself. I had a blast! Mark your Calendar,
Thursday, August 11
11:00am JiggleMan @ Southeast Branch Library
Friday, August 12
10:30am JiggleMan @ Herndon Branch Library
Saturday, September 17
2:00pm Free JiggleMan Show @ Hiawassee Branch Library (Orange)
Wednesday, October 12
10:00am JiggleMan @ Lakeland Square Mall
4:30pm Free JiggleMan Show @ South Trail Branch Library (Orange)
Friday, October 14
10:30am Free JiggleMan Show @ Southwest Branch Library (Orange)

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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