Recently, Rave It Up interviewed international bubble artist, Melody Yang while she was here in Sydney, Australia for the Gazillion Bubble Show.
Now Melody, bubble artistry isn’t something we immediately think of as a career to pursue so we’d all love to know, how did you get into it?
I actually was born into the business. Both my parents are performers. They each started off as street performers and had various acts like juggling acts, magic acts, kung fu acts and then my father came across bubbles, and then he started experimenting with that and when I was born he had already designed like a small version of a bubble show and then myself and my brother started learning that too and we started doing shows and galas and circuses and on cruise ships and stuff like that.
That’s incredible, and was there any other careers that you wanted to pursue with your life?
Yeah actually I’m doing acting right now so I’m doing both and they kind of go hand in hand in a way. I’ll actually be filming a few things when I get back to New York.
Do you sometimes feel like a big kid with this job?
I do but honestly for me I just feel like this is one of the best jobs in the world for me, because you know I get to travel the world showing people the beauty of it and it’s something that you would think is so simple but there’s a lot more to it you know? I mean I do feel like kind of a big kid when I’m performing on stage but at the same time kind of a scientist too because there’s a lot of science involved in it too.
You were born into this, but do you know if your family had any difficulty with trying to get people interested in coming to the shows and trying to make a career out of this?
Yeah especially when we first moved to Canada. They were like “How are you supposed to make a living out of this?” and I mean that’s why we flew to Europe. We flew back and forth to Europe a lot to work at a lot of those galas and theatres because they’re more about variety shows and stuff like that, and not so much in Canada. Maybe only in Montreal or something like that but it wasn’t enough for us so we had to do a lot of travelling which helped us, and then from there we built an entire production out of it and brought it to New York. We’ve been running it for over ten years now.
How do you practise bubble art, because all of us have gotten the little bubble mix when we were younger but nothing as extreme as what you guys are doing?
Well it really comes over time. The more and more I practise, I’m always learning something new and it’s always different depending on where I am and the way I mix my liquid. I have different mixtures depending on what tricks I do and different instruments and tools, so it’s constant experiments and after a while you get the hang of it and you learn how to manipulate it a lot better, especially when there’s a different environment. If the air is too dry or there’s a lot of wind. You know it comes with experience.
Did you learn all the science behind bubbles before you actually tried it?
I didn’t because of my father. He did explain it all when he was training me but the science of it came from experience, so if I had to work in a venue or somewhere where it was really dusty then I had to figure out a way of how I can clear up the space or add humidity to the air with a humidifier, so it’s just many things or how I mix the liquid. If the air is really dry, I would have to add a certain ingredient to make it more elastic so it can be a little bit more thicker and stretch a lot more wider.
We love our funny stories here at Rave It Up so have there been any embarrassing moments or any major mistakes made on stage during your career?
The only way you learn is sometimes you gotta embarrass yourself but yeah I’ve had moments when it’s constantly popping and it’s like “Can she even do her bubble tricks?” and like I swear I can but you know it’s just the conditions but afterwards you get used to it, like you learn how to do the trick a lot faster and to be able to complete the trick before it bursts and then you learn how to read the bubbles in a way you know how many seconds you have before it bursts, so I mean there have definitely been times and I mean most of the funniest times are usually when we have the audience interaction with the kids and some of the things they say are really hilarious and you don’t know what to say after that.
You have performed some bubble magic that has set about 17 Guinness World Records. How does that feel?
It’s awesome, I mean, it’s cool because it has everything to do with bubbles. I mean, all of it. All of these records have something to do with bubbles like the most bubbles inside a bubble, the most people inside of a bubble, the world’s largest living land mammal in a bubble, the world’s largest bubble so the imagination of this is endless so it’s really cool.
Did you deliberately do those tricks to set a Guinness World Record or were you just doing your job and you were lucky enough to set one?
Oh no. It was more like to come up with the idea and then also, even like the most people inside a bubble was between me and my entire family. We did that together. We needed each other, and we were able to fit 181 people inside of a bubble.
Is there any record that you haven’t set yet that you would like to set?
I would. My father did work with an elephant once but I would like to do something with animals too because I’m a huge animal lover. I have two huskies and every time I play with bubbles around them, they actually go wild and they love it so I would love to do something with dogs too.
Now you do feature in the Gazillion Bubble Show so for the readers that would like to come along and see the show, what can they expect?
They can expect to have an entire auditorium filled with bubbles. I mean the show, it’s really not just for kids, it’s for everyone. We have parents walking out of the theatre loving what they had just seen. You’ll have me on stage and you’ll get to see me manipulating the bubbles, creating different tricks with bubbles, small bubbles and planetary bubbles and putting people inside bubbles, bringing the audience on stage. Everybody gets a chance to pop bubbles of course. It’s great and also the people who participate, we send them home with bubble toys.
Is it true that you’re wanting to encourage children with this show to express their creativity and use their imagination through the magic and science of bubbles?
Yes because it’s easy to look at something and see that things are very simple but if you just put your mind outside the box and with something like this you know, with bubbles you don’t expect that you can create so much and once you come to the show, you’re surprised at how much you can really do with bubbles and how much creativity and art went into all of this. This is like a perfect example for many kids out there to see, that if you really just think outside the box and you try to make something work, you can definitely do it.
In the show, you guys also have laser magic that has never been seen before. It’s great to see you combining bubbles and lasers. How did that idea come about?
We update the show as much as we can. We try to keep up with technology as well but it’s a bubble laser effects segment and it’s with myself. You see me moving the laser lights and then the entire audience gets blasted with the bubbles and the lasers, and the effect looks really cool because once you see the lasers hitting the bubbles, it really makes you feel like you’re under the ocean and it creates like this sparkling effect in the air. We kind of want to take the audience into another world, like under the water or into a galaxy. Just bring them into another dimension, pretty much of bubbles.
Even though you’ve already achieved so much, what else can we expect from you and the Gazillion Bubble Show in the future?
Well at this moment, we are designing and creating a theme park in Asia. My father is building a bubble theme park, so our next venture is to enter the amusement park world with bubbles.
When can we expect that?
It’s still in the works but I think it should be by next year. Right now, it’s in Vietnam and we’re also working in the US with Sea World.
What advice would you give to those wanting to get into bubble artistry?
Continue to practise. Continue to try out your tricks in different environments and trying different mixtures and from there, like I said, think outside the box and try different tricks and try something else you know? Add a different touch to it, add your own style, add something that not just brings out the bubbles but brings out yourself as an artist too.
As a closing statement and what is probably the most important question, knowing what you know now, what would you tell your 14-year-old self?
Just as long as you know within yourself that you’re determined and you have that vision. Have that vision in your head constantly every single day and that will be enough to motivate you to get you where you are, and that’s how it is today for myself.
If the listeners would like to contact you or find out what you’re up to, where should they go?
The Gazillion Bubble Show is at Sydney’s Theatre Royal until July 10, 2016. Tickets are available at ticketmaster.com.au