Article written about Jeff by Magic News Network
Good guy / Jeff Teate featured:
Anyone who has ever tried to tie a knot on a balloon knows how hard it is. That being said we respect those among us that
have perfected not only the craft of tying the knot, but those who can twist the balloons into recognizable shapes. Jeff Teate
is such a person. He has made a career of using balloons to entertain and delight those of all ages. The Baltimore Sun had
a very complimentary feature about the man and his art.
Below is an excerpt:
Teate pulled out balloons like a cowboy drawing his pistol in an old West gunfight. In less than two minutes, in a flash of color and movements, he held up the balloons he'd twisted, turned and contorted into a penguin.
Only the number of wide eyes and astonished looks from the faces in the crowd surpassed the amount of balloons hanging from Teate's multipocketed pouch.
"I just see myself as a guy who likes to make people smile and just happen to have fun doing it," the Churchville resident said.
Mr. Teate traces his love of magic and the allied art to 1985
He was introduced to magic in 1985 while serving in the Army in Louisiana. He visited a magic shop, saw a trick done with invisible cards and liked the trick so much he bought a deck.
He spent years impressing his friends and adding tricks but never started magic shows until he met his future wife, Laura, who was his boss at a property company. Laura now runs the business and from time to time makes balloon sculptures with Jeff.
"Laura liked what I did so much she suggested I go and do a magic show for some kids," Teate said. “ Teate said in 1994I was paid $35 for my first show. I was so nervous, my hands were shaking so bad I could hardly do the show."
He must have fared well, because after the party, a guest asked him if he could do balloons at her child's party. He didn't want to say no, and decided to add balloons to his repertoire.
He had an opportunity to show his talents when he was hired to create balloon decorations for the Ravens’ party after their Super Bowl win in the 2000 Season.
"We made the archways and the sculptures throughout the club," Teate said. "Then we got to go and meet the Ravens and eat dinner with them during the party.”
He's built such a reputation for himself that two nights a week he does his balloon sculpting at area Glory Days Grill in Towson and Glen Burnie.
The Baltimore Sun feature ends with a wonderful touching story about the values secured by the art he performs
Teate made $150 an hour back then for his time, but he says that isn't nearly as rewarding as making a child smile.
Of all his appearances, the ones that mean the most are one-man shows, such as the shows he did for a young man named Justin Kirby.
Justin was the son of Baltimore County police Officer Kirby. One evening, Teate approached Officer Kirby in a restaurant where he was twisting balloons.
"He came and asked me if I had any children," Kirby said. "I told him I had a son at home with Muscular Dystrophy. He asked me my address and said he would come to my house and do a show for my son. I gave him the address, but I didn't think he'd do it. As a police officer, I work with the lowest of people. But two days later, there he was knocking on my door, asking to meet Justin." Teate continued to visit the boy until his death in 2002.
"He would come and do balloons for my son," Kirby said. "I was his dad, but Jeff was his hero."
What a wonderful story, check out the full article in the Baltimore Sun