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The Midweek

July 4, 2012

The two were among a handful of children totally engulfed in a bubble during Hinckley library last Thursday night. The 45 minute show sponsored by local motion was part of the library’s summer reading program.

Billing himself as a “bubbleologist,” one of the only two in a 10 state area Ben Jimenez dazzled the crowd by creating what he called “bubble magic.” Mixing art and science he created bubbles within a bubble, smoke bubbles, bubble sculptures, spinning belt bubbles, square bubble and for his finale actually put a child in a bubble.

Jimenez, who was born in Sterling and now lives in Evanston, has been creating bubble magic for the past three years, performing about 150 shows a year at schools, churches, birthday parties and libraries throughout the Midwest. Just last week, he said, he decided to give up his regular job helping disabled people to find jobs to perform on his full-time basis.

At most of his shows, which are all family oriented, Jimenez said youngsters start out fascinated by the bubbles. By the end, however, it’s usually the adults who are the most caught up in his bubble making ability.

“Bubbles are for watching, popping,” he told his attentive audience, who were instructed not to get too close.

Throughout the program, in which he frequently brought young people out of the audience, he talked about how he had to learn his craft from reading books he checked out from his local library.

“There’s no one to teach you this,” he said.

Jimenez said he has both an indoor and an outdoor show. Outdoors, he can create larger and more elaborate bubbles because he has more room to operate. Inside, a lot of factors will affect the bubbles, such as the air-conditioning system and the air quality.