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 Post subject: Re: Shonna Flanigan Interview, 19/25th Jan
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:49 pm
Posts: 1904
Location: England
Hi Shonna
Thank you for taking the time to give such detailed answers to the questions. It has been very nice to read everything and to see your creations.

_________________
http://www.smudgyclown.co.uk


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 Post subject: Re: Shonna Flanigan Interview, 19/25th Jan
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:31 am
Posts: 408
Location: Gettysburg, PA
Hi Professor Twist,

Actually, I have been thinking it would be very cool to make a balloon caricature of the Obama girls, Sasha and Malia. Ever since Obama won, the little girls at my restaurants ask me to make them Sasha and Malia Princesses, so it just became a thought that it would be cool to make a balloon for them. If it could be a dress, that would be even better. :D

Also, Just Marie and I are working on another idea which is more likely to happen. I don't really care much about movie stars or famous people, except they get you noticed. What we would really like to do is a fashion show to promote Breast Cancer Awareness. We would like to make lots of different "Pink" dresses and "Wow" wouldn't it be great to get some celebrities to model them? I would be happy though just having survivors wearing them. Right now I have pitched the idea to a few women who give a lot to charities for tax deductions. I am hoping one of them will like my idea and help us out. It is probably just a pipe dream, but what are we without our dreams??? ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Shonna Flanigan Interview, 19/25th Jan
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:31 am
Posts: 408
Location: Gettysburg, PA
Hi Thelma,
Thanks for the compliment on my interview. I am really nervous being here. I hadn't really visited Balloon Chat before, so I didn't know what to expect. When I saw the list of names that had been interviewed before me, I was really scared to do this. I can't believe that Graham would think that highly of me. :? Maybe I will have to stop calling him Richard. :P

Also, I just wanted to tell you how much I always enjoy seeing you at TMJ when I get to go. You are amazingly fun and funny, not to mention creative and talented. I loved your bikini at TMJ 07, especially when Bibo wore it. :lol: :lol: :lol: I still laugh every time I think about it. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Shonna Flanigan Interview, 19/25th Jan
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:31 am
Posts: 408
Location: Gettysburg, PA
13. What is your favourite/ideal gig to do?
Actually what I like best to do with balloons is go to places where kids don’t usually get a chance to get great balloons. I know that some people don’t like the idea of others volunteering their time because they think it is taking a paying job from them but I really don’t think that a lot of the people I make balloons for would ever be able to pay for what I do. I started doing balloons because I love to make children happy and see people smile. Sometimes after I have been around a lot of bratty kids, I just want to see kids that really do appreciate someone just being nice to them and getting the chance to get their face painted or see a magic trick. The pressure to “earn my pay” is gone and I just get to be “Simply Shonna” and remember why I really love my job. :D
Okay, I love the jobs like Dustin and I are doing tomorrow also. :P We will have 2 hours each to make balloons for about a total of 25 kids. They only expect us to make one balloon per child, so that will allow us 10 to 15 minutes per design. That is nice. We can actually create and come up with ideas on the spot. The parents are paying our top rate and they will most likely ignore us and leave their children and nannies with us until the end when they pay us and tell us how great we are. I hope that they will take the time to look at the presentation Dustin and I are putting together on balloon dresses and costumes because they are the ones who give tens of thousands away at one time for charity. I keep praying that one day, one of them just really thinks we are the bomb and does sponsor a big project for us….again, it doesn’t hurt to dream.
;)

14. What irritates you most at a gig?
One of the things that irritates me the most is when I am in a line-work situation and an employee comes up and tells me what balloons they would like me to make them in my spare time. “What spare time, @#$, I have a long line.” Okay I don’t answer like that, but I think it. ;)
Also it bothers me at parties when most the parents are complimentary but you get that one who can’t stop themselves from complaining about how long it takes to get a balloon. :roll:
Or there is the parent who waits until you have closed your line(que) off and comes up at the end and says they had been waiting all day until you weren’t busy and there wasn’t a line. “Ah, yeah dummy, there isn’t a line because I am finished for the day!”
:x
15. How do you book yourself?
I pray for the phone to ring. ;) I stare at it all day wishing and thinking happy thoughts, you know like the secret. :lol: Okay, I am being a little sarcastic tonight; I am not sure why, but sometimes that happens. :?
Anyway, I am not really good at bookings. I prefer for agents to book me. We don’t get enough jobs through them though, so I am thinking of hiring someone to work in my office. I hate selling myself on the phone. I hate people trying to talk me down in price because the other person they called was less. I have a hard time not telling them to just book the other person then because you get what you pay for especially when they insist they want Dustin or I because they have seen us before and know we are “the best” but they just can’t seem to understand that being “the best” means you are worth more than “Joe Shmoe”. ;)


16. What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever made?
I was fortunate to be able to work on the first Balloon Manor and this last Balloon Manor. I didn’t make anything big for them by myself, but I helped out with a lot of the different rooms. It is an awesome experience. Rob, Dustin and I have also helped Steve Jones with most of his Balloon Town USA projects. I learned a lot from working with Steve. The first years were the best and he was a great host when it was a small group. When you start involving a lot of people and go larger with a project, the larger the stress on the producers and promoters is. It was great to be involved with these things though. The friendships and connections you make are well worth the endless hours of volunteer work and lack of sleep. It is great to see the final project. :D
The largest thing I have ever made on my own is a Brian Asman style couch. I have made a few for IKEA and different furniture stores here. I love to see the peoples reaction when they sit on the couch. It is very cool.
:D
17. What has been your proudest achievement in our wonderful world of twisted latex?
My proudest achievement so far would have to be being able to get my children involved in the business too. Whenever Dustin comes up with something new, I am like “WOW! That talented kid is my son.” I have been trying hard not to constantly talk about him anymore though because it embarrasses him and makes some balloon people really angry at me. He doesn’t like me to tell our customers how great he is and he also feels really shy about me telling other balloon people he is great because he thinks so many others are so much better than him and he still has a lot to learn. ;)
Alayna and Alysa make me really proud too because they are very independent for their age. :) Okay, they don’t always make great choices, but they love balloons and they love people and they volunteer a lot for the less fortunate. When I see how much all three of them put into the balloon community and the promotion of balloons as art, I almost start to cry sometimes. :oops: (Yes I am a sappy stage mom!) :oops: :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Shonna Flanigan Interview, 19/25th Jan
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:31 am
Posts: 408
Location: Gettysburg, PA
Here are a few dresses from the Shanghai Fashion Show AEMI 08


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File comment: This Red Flapper is my favorite dress
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 Post subject: Re: Shonna Flanigan Interview, 19/25th Jan
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:31 am
Posts: 408
Location: Gettysburg, PA
18. What advice would you give to someone starting out, or wanting to increase their business?
For someone who is starting out in the balloon business, I would suggest that they attend TMJ or Twist and Shout. If they can not afford to go to one yet, then I would suggest attending lectures or Jams whenever they could. I also think it is a good idea to join the different balloon forums, like this one or balloonhq.com
If they are looking to increase their business, then I would say market themselves. If they are capable of making large nice sculptures, then I would make some up and leave them in places that have high visibility with contact information on how to reach you. In the USA, banks and hair saloons usually let you leave nice sculptures in them. I also believe that when you are starting out, it is good to look for agents that book line-work jobs as well as shows. The more you can get your name out there, the more you will get work.

I have heard some other professional twisters say that you should keep your full-time job until you are making enough to quit your job and be okay for 3 to 6 months. Personally, I just made the decision to do balloons and did. I think "need" and "hunger" is a great motivater to get you out there promoting yourself and looking for balloon work. I don't regret the way I did it. ;)
19. What road in latex do you see yourself taking in the future?
I would like to be primarily teaching others and making large promotional pieces or dresses. We are talking about starting up in décor too. I have already bought a lot of the equipment needed to do columns, walls, ect.
I also have been trying to re-write my educational magic shows to include balloons. We want to brand ourselves as the balloon family.


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 Post subject: Re: Shonna Flanigan Interview, 19/25th Jan
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:31 am
Posts: 408
Location: Gettysburg, PA
20. What is your personal goal when you set off to work? Is it money or to entertain etc?
That depends. Basically I use to do balloons as a hobby until 2004. When my husband and I temporarily separated, I had to find some way to support my children. I never really had ever gotten any training in anything else when I was younger. Until I had married my husband, I was basically just a party girl. I started modeling and performing when I was 17 years old. I married my husband thinking I would never have to work or be anything other than a wife or mom. My magic, balloon skills and face painting were for my own enjoyment, not for anything else really. So, I guess for awhile, my mine goal after 2004 was to make money. Now that we have developed a successful business, I am focusing more on the entertainment and art of balloons. My husband joined us in our business in 2006, and we have all been working together to become better entertainers and artist. We are constantly adding to our skills.


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 Post subject: Re: Shonna Flanigan Interview, 19/25th Jan
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:49 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:31 am
Posts: 408
Location: Gettysburg, PA
21. What are your balloon goals for the future?
I would really like to put on a large educational project about Gettysburg and the Civil War to raise money to help “Teens in Trouble” or “Children with Disabilities” or “Balloon Artist Mother of Three”.
Like I mentioned before, I am currently trying to find someone to sponsor a fashion show for Breast Cancer Awareness.

22. If you could start all over again, would you change anything?
Nope. Everything I have been through has made me who I am today. It seems that all the bad things I have been through have made things really better in the end. Our trails in life are what we learn from for future success.


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 Post subject: Re: Shonna Flanigan Interview, 19/25th Jan
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:08 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:31 am
Posts: 408
Location: Gettysburg, PA
23. Who is the most famous person you have made a balloon creation for?
The most famous person I have ever made a balloon for is Don Francisco for the Sabado Gigante Show. The next most famous would be “Flash”


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 Post subject: Re: Shonna Flanigan Interview, 19/25th Jan
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:08 pm
Posts: 326
Location: Netherland
Hi Shonna,

I like reading your post, they are very interesting.
After I saw the amazing dresses on the pictures you posted I'm wondering where you get the inspiration from. Do you look at normal dresses or is it just your imagination?

:idea: I think it would be cool to have a picture with 2 models : 1 with a normal dress and 1 with a balloon version of the dress!

Petra


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