Taipei, Taiwan

Professor Bubbles and a Christmas tree. One of the hard parts of being a performer, traveling around the world, is that you can't always be at home for family events.... birthdays, Thanksgiving, graduations etc. One year I was in Taiwan during the holidays. I was in the middle of nowhere, south of Taipei at an amusement park called Jan Fu Sun. I was the only person in the area who spoke English. I had to have instructions written on note cards in Chinese about how to get around. I would show the cards to people to get directions or sometimes to order food or buy things. Of course everything became easier after a while, but not being able to read signs really made my life difficult. So, it was a problem rounding up the necessary materials to decorate a Christmas tree for a holiday card. My search for ornaments took me, by accident, to meat markets,
electronics stores, and to a night market in the sleazy part of town. I probably could have been killed, but, on the whole, people seemed to take pity on an illiterate foreigner and went to great lengths to help me. Eventually I needed a Christmas tree. One of the maintenance men at the park took it upon himself to help me. He cut down one of the park's trees, without permission, and brought it to me. The park manager was not thrilled when he found out, but, to make the best of the situation, the tree was placed on stage next to me for the rest of my stay. People often came to the park to get married. From time to time I would be asked to put a bride and groom in a bubble. It never worked.... the bubbles would pop on the flowing formal wear... but the audiences thought it was the best part of my act!

The first time I got to Taipei I worked at a night club called Sun City. It was like no place I have ever been before or after. Located on the ninth floor of a non-descript building in the middle of the teeming city, you would really have to know where you were going to get there. The theater was a Las Vegas type of showroom. Generally there would be about twelve people in the audience. The cast of the show had forty-six members. Sometimes the twenty dancers on

Professor Bubbles and girl dancers.
stage would be playing to two or three people. Of course, during the Chinese new year everything was different. The audience was packed. My favorite part was at the end of my act when audience members would often give me red-pocket money. Fifty to a hundred dollars at a time! It is considered good luck to give someone a gift of this sort during the new year's celebration.
Professor Bubbles on TV in Taiwan.

After my first week in Sun City, I made an appearance on a national TV show. It was a great time! The host was nutty and we laughed a lot. Everyone was amazed at my smoke-in-the-bubble tricks. For the week after the show, the theater was packed with families.

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