The first thing you notice when you walk into the theater is the smell of soap, followed by a faint stickiness on the carpeted floors, and a tacky coating on the armrests of the seats.
When the lights come up at the Gazillion Bubbles Show, it quickly becomes clear what’s going on. Powerful fans blow tiny soap bubbles into the audience by the thousands. Little kids giggle; bigger kids scream. And like a magician, 27-year-old Melody Yang pulls out her wands.
She uses water-based vapor (she calls it “smoke”) to create bubbles that erupt like volcanoes, and some that launch into the air like rockets. She brings kids on stage and makes huge, tubular bubbles that can encase five of them inside.
“People love it. It’s just something that is so universal,” she says. “It’s something that takes you back to your childhood because a lot of the times when we see a bubble we see it when we’re very young, and we’re just like ‘what is that?’ You know, it puts us back in the moment.”
Yang grew up on this stage. Her parents, Fan and Ana, have been performing together for decades, and over the years they brought Melody and her brother, Deni, into the act as well.
“Me and my brother would walk on stage and he’d put us in a bubble,” Melody says of her father, “and then he would slowly teach me and my brother the routine.”
Now, the Yangs take turns performing in New York, where they share a space with the Tony Award-winning musicals Avenue Q and Jersey Boys, and in venues around the world.
The family has set more than a dozen world records, for everything from Encasing the Largest Land Mammal in a Bubble (an elephant) to fitting the Most People Inside a Bubble (181 was their record) to making the world’s Longest Soap Bubble Wall (a 166-foot, 11-inch bubble), a record that still stands. Their records not only prove that the Yangs are bubble experts, but also that there’s a record for just about everything.
Watch the video above to see the incredible bubbles Melody makes—and to learn some of her tricks for making them at home.
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