He's built such a reputation for himself that three nights a week he does his balloon sculpting at area TGI Fridays and Pizza Hut restaurants. According to Grams, that's unheard-of in the business.
"Most people in the balloon sculpting business do it part time because they are afraid they can't make it on what they can bring in," Grams said. "But he has three restaurants that have him work every week. The average person does three, four shows a week. Jeff performs hundreds of times in a year."
Of all his appearances, the ones that mean the most are one-man shows, such as the shows he did for Justin Kirby.
Kirby was the son of Baltimore County police Officer Larry Kirby. One evening, Teate approached Larry Kirby in a Pizza Hut 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 multiple sclerosis. 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."
The 42nd Annual Havre de Grace Art Show runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Aug. 21 at Tydings Park. Jeff Teate will perform magic at 11 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. Saturday, and at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 21. He will make balloon sculptures throughout both days.