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 Post subject: Patricia Bunnell Interview 18/24th Aug
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:00 am 
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I have another lovely person lined up to answer your questions from 18/24th Aug, I first met.. well infact thinking about it it's the only time I've met Patricia & that was at Diamond jam balloon convention in Phoenix, Arizona last Jan 2007. She is a really lovely friendly person who who loves to share with others & now looks completely different to the publicity picture below, I'm sure she will explain if anyone asks the question.
I have three of Patricia's DVD's;
Country Critters
Twisted Critters Vol 1
Twisted Critters Vol 2

The twisted critters series are all animal hats which are great and reasonable quick & easy to make. Would be great when you need to be quick & very visual with a sea of balloon hats.
I do have a confession to make though, just looking for info about Patricia to post & I see that Vol 2 is still in it's plastic sealed cover from when I came home from the jam so I've had it 18 months & not lookes at it.......oops
Will try & have a look soon, promise.
There are some very good designs on the DVD's and I would definately recommend them.
Patricia's portfolio page is;

http://www.pocketsandfriend.balloonhq.com/

and the website details are; http://www.myfriendandiproductions.com


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 Post subject: Re: Patricia Bunnell Interview 18/24th Aug
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:35 pm 
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Will be asking Patricia the usual questions from the list that can be found here;
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=197&p=1765&hilit=questionaire#p1765

but if you have any others that you'd like to ask please fire away as I'm sure Patricia is keen to answer any questions that come her way :D

Patricia here are the first few questions;

1, What road led you into balloon modelling?

2, when did you get started with balloons?

3, What’s your best twisting experience?

4, What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you during a ballooning/entertaining session?

5, What do you most enjoy about twisting & why?

6, What's your favourite age to entertain?

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 Post subject: Re: Patricia Bunnell Interview 18/24th Aug
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:33 pm 
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Happy Hellos to all my twisted brothers and sisters out there!

I love how computers and forums like this one bring us together...it's like, we're family or something! I'm excited you want to know about me and I look forward to answering your questions.


1, What road led you into balloon modelling?

When we lived in the Seattle area my hubby and I took our children to the Science Center (this is where they have the Space Needle from the World's Fair from 1962). There was a gentleman there busking with his balloons. It looked like so much fun that I thought I'd give it a try. I was fascinated
watching the crowd and seeing how happy it made them.

2, when did you get started with balloons?

It's hard for me to believe this, but that happened in 1990. Doing the math that was 18 years ago!

3, What’s your best twisting experience?

I love what I do so much that every event is a great experience! It would be impossible for me to choose just one event!

4, What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you during a ballooning/entertaining session?

Well, after I had purchased the book "Balloon Magic" by Marvin Hardy I practiced and practiced at home with my children. I gave bags of balloons away to neighborhood children. I thought I was ready to go public but didn't know where or how. I got this brilliant idea that I would go to the mall. I got permission from the manager at the mall to twist balloons there for practice. What I hadn't anticipated was the tips I would receive. So day one went well and I stuffed tips where ever I could find a place. On the way home I bought a cute plastic basket and thought it would be perfect for tips. The next day, I sat it on the floor and began twisting. I didn't demand tips for a balloon. I twisted for everyone regardless of whether they could pay. Later that day I looked up and was surrounded by mall security asking me to leave. They told me I was not allowed to receive money. It devastated me. As I left, I placed all of the tip money I received in the Salvation Army bucket on my way out. To this day, I have a hard time accepting tips because of how humiliating the experience was. If I'm at a paid event I always find out what their policy is on accepting tips.

5, What do you most enjoy about twisting & why?

There are several things that I enjoy about it. One is watching the face of the person receiving the balloon and the response from the crowd. The second is the creativity I'm allowed to use every day. What other job offers me the freedom to play with toys and children at the same time while making money? I try to be able to provide 2 to 3 variations of the most popular animals. You know how it is when line twisting. Someone will ask you to make them a monkey and everyone sees it and that's what they want. They have no idea what you can create so they don't know to ask. It is one of the harder parts of line twisting when you get stuck making the same thing again and again.

6, What's your favourite age to entertain?

All ages! Even the oldest chap has a child inside! Twisting balloons should be entertaining to all who participate, both those receiving the balloon and their guardian. There isn't an event go by where I haven't been asked: "Am I too old to get a balloon"? You're NEVER too old.

I look forward to reading your responses and answering any questions you may have!

Patricia

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 Post subject: Re: Patricia Bunnell Interview 18/24th Aug
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:11 pm 
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Patricia did you ever meet the busker in later years or find out who it was?
I started magic after someone entertained at my daughter's 5th birthday party, her name was Jenny & I've never met her since as I'd like to thank her for changing my life :D :D

More questions;

7, Do you have the same act but vary the presentation for all ages or do you have set acts for different ages?

8, What’s your favourite thing to make at the moment?

9, What is the most asked for model?

10, What do you tend to do more of if stuck in the 'balloon production line' model?

11, Who is your market aimed at?

12, What kind of work do you do mostly - parties? Corporate? Etc

Dont forget to tell everyone about your excellent DVD's that you sell, what is on them, the cost & how they can purchase them from you ;) :D

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 Post subject: Re: Patricia Bunnell Interview 18/24th Aug
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:44 pm 
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Location: Manchester
Hi Patricia... I love your DVDs...

13. You are mostly known for hats. How did you get into focusing so much on hats?

Martin.

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 Post subject: Re: Patricia Bunnell Interview 18/24th Aug
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:05 am 
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Patricia did you ever meet the busker in later years or find out who it was?
I started magic after someone entertained at my daughter's 5th birthday party, her name was Jenny & I've never met her since as I'd like to thank her for changing my life

I never did learn his name. I would very much like to however and tell him thank you and let him know the impact that he had on my life. Life is funny isn't it? The small things we do that has a ripple effect on others and how we may never know it! I will try to find out who it was now, and be sure to tell him of my success, thank you for the encouragement!

More questions;

7, Do you have the same act but vary the presentation for all ages or do you have set acts for different ages?

I'm a line twister. I would very much like to develop several different acts for other venues. It is a goal that I have...or perhaps a fantasy? I keep telling myself that "when I have a few spare moments I will work on it". I know I must make the time for it to happen. So I guess to answer your question, my act is virtually the same. I may change my patter and interactions with the crowd depending on the age.

8, What’s your favourite thing to make at the moment?

Oh wow...do I have to choose just one thing? I absolutely LOVE to make someone smile! That is the very thing I love to make at any moment. If it's a butterfly, or monkey...as long as the person receiving it is happy then that is my favorite thing! I can tell you that right now I'm having SO much fun playing with all of the beautiful colors of balloons that Sempertex (Betallic) makes in all of the various sizes and shapes. I appreciate so much the fact that they have listened to us and our requests!

9, What is the most asked for model?

For boys...it's usually Ken Stillmans alien hitch hiker hat. Little girls love my butterfly hat.

10, What do you tend to do more of if stuck in the 'balloon production line' model?

That changes from event to event! I think that if someone sees a monkey, then they all want a monkey. I try to know how to make more than one monkey. It gives me an opportunity to break the cycle of production work. The day that I get bored with making the same animal is probably the day I will quit twisting all together. So far, I have never gotten bored with it...whew! I think it's because of the variation.

11, Who is your market aimed at?

12, What kind of work do you do mostly - parties? Corporate? Etc

My market is aimed at corporate events. Mostly fairs, festivals, company picnics, grand openings etc. I'm most comfortable as a line twister. I know this will sound really weird, but I freeze up at birthdays. If I have to "perform" magic or do a show...I feel so uncomfortable. When I line twist I'm aware that there is a crowd around me, watching me at all times, but really I mostly interact one on one with the child in front of me. It really is a goal to create a performance or two so that I'm more at ease with it. This is why I loved your performance piece so much at Diamond Jam. I'm in awe of anyone that has a performance piece.

Dont forget to tell everyone about your excellent DVD's that you sell, what is on them, the cost & how they can purchase them from you

You can purchase my DVDs at http://www.myfriendandiproductions.com I currently have 3 DVDs on the website. Twisted Critters volume 1, 2, and 3. But be looking for some fresh new material! I've got several more that I'm working on. Each DVD is 40.00 plus 3.00 for shipping...yes, even to the UK! If you buy all 3 at the same time they are 100.00 plus 9.00 shipping USD.



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 Post subject: Re: Patricia Bunnell Interview 18/24th Aug
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:14 am 
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Hi Patricia... I love your DVDs...

13. You are mostly known for hats. How did you get into focusing so much on hats?

Martin.

Hi Martin!

I think I'm mostly known for hats, because that is the content of my 3 latest DVDs, Twisted Critters. I do so much more than hats.

It's true though that I love making hats!

As a line twister, my focus is to try to make as many balloons as I can for the children in line. If I don't have to focus so much on a body, I can make a few more animals for the crowd. Also, because the hats are so large and visible, I get more attention! When a child holds a balloon in their hands, it is less likely to be seen by the crowd. I have been challenged to make bodies for the heads I've created in the Twisted Critters series. They are not complicated, and are pretty much the same body for all of the animals that have 4 legs. I wish I could figure out how to present it to those who have purchased my DVDs. I would love any suggestions you might have :D

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 Post subject: Re: Patricia Bunnell Interview 18/24th Aug
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:26 pm 
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Patricia has very kindly donated one of her DVD's as a prize to balloon chat members for a competition which is the very first one on the forum.
The idea I believe, but will let Patricia confirm is for you to come up with a body & leg design for one of Patricia's hat designs? Over to Patricia to confirm I have this right.
If you dont have one of Patricia's DVD's to look at the designs, shame on you :D :lol: Luckily you can see them on her portfolio page;
http://pocketsandfriend.balloonhq.com/i ... ry=&page=1
Every entry will then go into a hat with the winner decided by luck so that this is just a fun competition.
I suggest we leave this up for a few weeks, say 19 Sept as at the moment people are away & more will have a chance of winning the DVD prize.

Some more questions Patricia;
13, What is your favourite/ideal gig to do?

14, What irritates you most at a gig?

15, How do you book yourself?

16, What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever made?

17, What has been your proudest achievement in our wonderful world of twisted latex?

18, What advice would you give to someone starting out, or wanting to increase their business?

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 Post subject: Re: Patricia Bunnell Interview 18/24th Aug
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:53 pm 
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Patricia has very kindly donated one of her DVD's as a prize to balloon chat members for a competition which is the very first one on the forum.
The idea I believe, but will let Patricia confirm is for you to come up with a body & leg design for one of Patricia's hat designs? Over to Patricia to confirm I have this right.
If you dont have one of Patricia's DVD's to look at the designs, shame on you Luckily you can see them on her portfolio page;
http://pocketsandfriend.balloonhq.com/i ... ry=&page=1
Every entry will then go into a hat with the winner decided by luck so that this is just a fun competition.
I suggest we leave this up for a few weeks, say 19 Sept as at the moment people are away & more will have a chance of winning the DVD prize.

Thanks to Martin because he is the one that inspired the idea for a contest. I would like to see your designs posted here on BalloonChat. I don't care how many times you enter, as long as you have a different body for each of your creations. Your name will be entered once for each creation. I'm excited to see what you have to post!


Some more questions Patricia;

13, What is your favourite/ideal gig to do?
LOL...My favoutie/ideal gig? Wow...well I would love it to be outside. The weather should never be hotter than say 78 to 80 degrees fahrenheit (you'll have to convert to celsius). I want a short line of say no more than 6 kiddo's waiting at a time for a balloon. Each child would know exactly what they want and their preferred color when they get to me. OK...so this is my fantasy right?

Sigh...on a realistic note, I love fairs and festivals. I prefer to be booked solid and paid well.



14, What irritates you most at a gig?

First, rude and impatient parents. I've had too call security before to break up fights between parents all because they couldn't stand to wait another 5 minutes. Second, closing a line. I think it is the hardest part of my job. I watched one mother pinch her little girl to make her cry so that I would believe she was upset about not getting a balloon! Poor girl, she didn't deserve a pinch. I made her something quickly and told the mother that I was going to call authorities and report her for abuse of a child. Boy did she skidaddle fast! Third, annoying pre-teens trying to impress their friends. Not all pre-teens are annoying.

15, How do you book yourself?

Word of mouth. I used to market myself, but not much anymore. I think people are so fascinated by multiple balloon creations that they don't want one balloon twisters anymore. I pride myself on being unique and being able to make nearly everything I'm challenged with. I don't have my number in the phone book. Honestly...I have a business card I hand out when I'm twisting.

16, What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever made?

David Grist's Motorcycle. Man I miss him. I wish I could tell him how awesome his talent was, and how much he improved my skills!

17, What has been your proudest achievement in our wonderful world of twisted latex?

Well...receiving the Dewey Award is probably tops on my list!

18, What advice would you give to someone starting out, or wanting to increase their business?

1. Invest in yourself, you and your business are worth it! Investing in books, DVD's and Jams are the best way to grow your skills. Forums such as this one are a wonderful resource to see how your skills match up with others and how you can improve them. Go to Jams. Local and otherwise. I know that they seem expensive, but this is where you will get serious growth.

2. Set goals for your twisting skills. Be specific about your goal ie, I want to be able to twist two new creations a week.

3. Challenge yourself. Look at photos on the internet of other peoples work and try to figure out how they made it. If you do this already, then look at pictures of animals and try to make up your own creations. Can you make more than one cat or dog, etc?

4. Look professional. This goes beyond clothing and grooming. What is your set up? Is it organized, clean and tidy? Do you show up 15 minutes early for your event?

5. Determine your market. Do you prefer birthdays over fairs and festivals? You not only need to market differently, but you can twist things things different for each venue as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Patricia Bunnell Interview 18/24th Aug
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:39 am 
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Hi there! Im always curious as to how other artists aquire their balloons and how often they stock up? I am very spoiled to have All American Balloon Supply to have merged with Mayflower. So how do you get every size of every color?? :mrgreen:

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