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 Post subject: Shonna Flanigan Interview, 19/25th Jan
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:01 pm 
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I met Shonna at one of the first Millennium jams & we seemed to hit it off together straight away. She's a very nice lady even though she has a few annoying habits :D & has a very talented twisting son, Dustin.
I was hoping to chat with Shonna next week at TMJ about how she makes the un-inflated balloon dresses but she may not be able to make it due to a member of her family falling of there stilts & breaking a few bones. Here's hoping things work out for them.
Just sorting out a date for the interview which will probably have to be when we get back from TMJ so around the second week of November.
To see some of Shonna's creations you can have a look at the portfolio page;

http://simplyshonna.balloonhq.com/

or their website pages;

http://adventureinfun.com/

Shonna has a DVD out on the Sempertex odd shapes called B.O.S.S ***

*** I'm pretty sure thats the title although I've misplaced mine at the moment , when I find it I'll give you an update.

Quick update B.O.S.S stands for Bold Outstanding Specialty Shapes


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Shonna.jpg
Shonna.jpg [ 3.87 KiB | Viewed 3137 times ]

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For Services to the Balloon Community.
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http://www.sempertexballoons.co.uk


Last edited by Graham Lee on Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Shonna Flanigan Interview, TBA
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:10 pm 
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Have been in touch with Shonna & we have got a date finalized for her balloon chat interview which will be 19/25th Jan

Graham Lee

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"Lets Improve Our Art"
Balloon Excellence 2012 Award Winner
For Services to the Balloon Community.
http://www.balloonartwholesale.co.uk
http://www.sempertexballoons.co.uk


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 Post subject: Re: Shonna Flanigan Interview, 19/25th Jan
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:08 pm 
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Posts: 408
Location: Gettysburg, PA
First, I would like to apologize for not responding sooner with this interview. My husband and I have been celebrating our 21st wedding Anniversary which is today Tuesday January 20.
For those of you who don’t know me, I would like to share a little about myself and my family Company. In 2004 I started an Entertainment company Adventure In Fun in Gettysburg, PA. My three children, Dustin--14; Alayna-- 13; and Alysa—8 at that time, all started helping me. In the beginning we only offered balloon twisting, face painting, and educational magic, but now we are a full-time full service entertainment company. We spend a lot of time going to conventions to learn more from other talented entertainers. TMJ 04 was my first introduction to the world of entertainment and balloons. Since then we have all learned and improved our skills. TMJ 04 was the best thing that could have helped my business
For now I am just going to answer the questions Graham sent me, but please feel free to ask me anything else pertaining to balloons.

1. What road led you into balloon modelling?
I first started “playing with balloons when I was 19 years old. My mother owned a costume shop which carried some general supplies for entertainers including basic magic tricks, balloons, and face paints. One day when the shop wasn’t busy, I picked up one of the books by Ralph Dewey that we carried and decided to try and make a few. Before that I had already started doing balloon deliveries. I quit doing balloons for a short time from 1990 when Dustin was born to 1997 when Dustin told his school that I was a magician and a balloon maker.
2. When did you get started with balloons?
I started doing balloons full-time in 2004 when my husband quit his job and told me it was my turn to support our family. I had actually started earlier though in 1985 when I started doing costumed balloon deliveries. It was a blast to dress up and perform for people since normally I was very shy.
3. What is your best twisting experience?
My best twisting experience was while working in Shanghai China in 2007. All of the people over there were so happy with anything we made and were very friendly and kind to us. Another really memorable experience was while doing balloons for children in the orphanages in Bosnia.

4. What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you during a ballooning/entertaining session?
I was doing an educational show in Sembach, Germany and I hadn’t judged the stage properly. The space I had to perform in was smaller than usual. I was doing by skit with my balloon bike talking about accidents happening when I fell of the stage and hurt my back. Even though I was in extreme pain, I continued the show and did two more for the day. As soon as I was done, I went right to the emergency room and found out I had slipped a disc. I still had two more shows to do the next day so they gave me lots of pain medication. My husband had to drive 6 hours to come help me since I couldn’t drive while medicated. Because I was so foggy from the drugs, I started to cry when I talked about accidents. It was really embarrassing…..
5. What do you most enjoy about twisting & why?
I most enjoy coming up with new ideas and getting to met new people. I love traveling and getting to see different parts of the world. I never thought that just “playing with balloons” would bring me so much success and allow me to travel more than my husband's past career.I will try up-loading some photos very soon.
Attachment:
File comment: The great thing about making un-inflated dresses is that you can use them over and over. This dress was first made for Alayna to wear at the Fashion Show at Balloon Camp in Vegas. I also got to use it in Shanghai for a Fashion Show produced by Guido Verhoef. My daughter Alayna also wore it just for fun at TMJ 08 It's last use was at a Face and Body art convention in Orlando Florida.
ice for Balloon Chat.jpg
ice for Balloon Chat.jpg [ 79.17 KiB | Viewed 3008 times ]


Last edited by Simply Shonna on Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:04 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Shonna Flanigan Interview, 19/25th Jan
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:31 am
Posts: 408
Location: Gettysburg, PA
One of the best things about un-inflated dresses is they can be washed and worn again and again....
Attachment:
File comment: This dress was first made for Alayna to wear to her Homecoming Dance. It was also used in Shanghai China. Alayna then wore it at TMJ just for fun. We added inflated fairy wings to it for a "Body Art Ball" in Orlando Florida this Jan.
n511760028_5476927_8894.jpg
n511760028_5476927_8894.jpg [ 29.85 KiB | Viewed 3001 times ]


Attachments:
File comment: This dress was first made for Alysa to wear in Vegas at the fashion show. She has since worn it to a school dance and then in Orlando for the Body Art Ball.
l_77ead522ec4b4f50b0c27d583a3043c6.jpg
l_77ead522ec4b4f50b0c27d583a3043c6.jpg [ 37.31 KiB | Viewed 2997 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Shonna Flanigan Interview, 19/25th Jan
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:31 am
Posts: 408
Location: Gettysburg, PA
I am really not good at this computer stuff! I keep trying to add more photos to the previous posts, but I can't quite do it...
I am glad that balloons are easier to work with than computers!LOL

My Fire and Ice dresses have gotten a lot of use. They were both first made for Alayna and her friend just to wear to the Fashion Show at Balloon Camp. Later they were featured in the Fashion Show in Shanghai produced by Guido Verhoef. Alayna then brought them to TMJ 08 for people to see how they were made at Graham's request.
Their last use was in Orlando for a Face and Body Painting Convention in Orlando, Florida. Now I am retiring them for awhile. I have a lot of new dresses I want to show, but I am waiting for the proper venue.


Attachments:
File comment: The Body Painting was done by the Wolfe Brothers.
the dual (2).jpg
the dual (2).jpg [ 87.54 KiB | Viewed 2999 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Shonna Flanigan Interview, 19/25th Jan
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:31 am
Posts: 408
Location: Gettysburg, PA
These are the dresses I made while there in Orlando. I am not very good with inflated weaving. When asked about one of my worst twisting experiences, I should have told about making Alysa's dress.

For some reason my figure nails kept splitting at this convention and by the time I started on Alysa's dress, I had a handfull of split ragged nails. I kept popping the dress as I was making it. I felt like quitting and just crying, but I needed to make Alysa a dress to wear. Now I need to make her a new dress to make up for the mess I made of this one!LOL.


Attachments:
Alysa's Dress for Orlando two.jpg
Alysa's Dress for Orlando two.jpg [ 49.41 KiB | Viewed 2976 times ]
File comment: The Body Painting was done by David O'Connell. My model is Kellie Murphy.
Witch from Orlando.jpg
Witch from Orlando.jpg [ 100.27 KiB | Viewed 2969 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Shonna Flanigan Interview, 19/25th Jan
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:31 am
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Location: Gettysburg, PA
The first dress I made was for the Fashion Show in Shanghai produced by Paul Bellanger. I really wasn't prepared to do it and didn't want to make one, but I think it turned out pretty good. My original plan was to bring it home for Alayna as a present, but the Chinese government wanted to keep it. At least it got me a TV interview....


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1st dress Shanghai China.jpg
1st dress Shanghai China.jpg [ 83.06 KiB | Viewed 2953 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Shonna Flanigan Interview, 19/25th Jan
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:31 am
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Location: Gettysburg, PA
My second dress making experience was with "Just Marie" Dadow in Miami, Florida for the Sabado Gigante show. Dustin and Alayna went with us. It was a sur-real experience being on TV and being treated so well while we were there. I would have to count that as one of my "top ten" balloon experiences.


Attachments:
File comment: This was made by the Dream team of Just Marie, Dustin and me.
l_ae05aa7fbe618870b5ff5b7fff1df6fc.jpg
l_ae05aa7fbe618870b5ff5b7fff1df6fc.jpg [ 22.74 KiB | Viewed 2932 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Shonna Flanigan Interview, 19/25th Jan
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:31 am
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Location: Gettysburg, PA
6. What is your favourite age to entertain?
If I am making balloon sculptures, my favorite age is 8 and older because they can appreciate the different things I am making and have more patience. When I am doing a show, I like the kids to be between 3 and 12 because the say the funniest things that make me laugh.

7. Do you have the same act but vary the presentation for all ages or do you have set acts for different ages?
I have different acts for different ages and themes. I do not like to do the same thing at parties because usually I have already been seen by the same children just a couple of weeks prior. I like to change what I do all the time. I mean my same “simple” style is there, but I try to only make balloons that match the theme of the party I am doing and only make each balloon once. That is why it is important to be able to make a butterfly, or any design, several ways. :) I also change my magic tricks if possible. I don’t want the kids to get tired or bored of seeing the same thing.
8. What is your favourite thing to make at the moment?
I love to make balloons out of specialty shape balloons. You can do the coolest designs really quick and since they are larger balloons, they tend to last longer. I love to go to parties and hear the parents say that their children still have my balloon from 3 weeks ago and it still looks good. Betallatex/Sepertex, is a great balloon.
9. What is the most asked for model?
That really depends on the theme of the party. In all honesty I try not to repeat the same balloon at any event unless I am doing line work. If I am doing line work, I would have to say kids ask for a flower or sword the most. Once they see the specialty shape designs though, they start asking for only those.
10. What do you tend to do more of if stuck in the 'balloon production line' model?
I make a lot of Rabbits, Bears, Mice, Dolls, Butterflies, Snails, and Aliens. They are the designs on my DVD. I think my DVD has been discontinued. At least I hope it has. I never received any compensation for them and I was told by the producer of them that he never sold any,(Strange thing is, people tell me all the time that they have my DVD and loved it.) so I now have put all my designs on a CD. Dustin and I have worked together to make about 15 different CD’s now. For each Specialty Shape we have included at least 10 proven and useable designs. We have also made CD’s for different Holidays and Themes. I would also like to suggest to any of you if you are going to make a DVD with someone, please get every thing you agree upon in a contract, even if you are really good friends with the person making it for you. Remember marriages end all the time; the same goes for friendships. :cry:
11. Who is your market aimed at?
My main market is for people who want to have FUN! I prefer to do High End Birthday Parties were I only need to make 5 to 10 balloons per hour. Actually right now we are aiming for promotional work and corporate work. I will always want to do parties and school shows though because kids are truthful and funny. If you suck they tell you, if they like you they tell you. If you get an applause, you know it is real and you have done your job. :D Chilren are the most precious gifts there are. I hope I always am fortunate enough to get the opportunity to speed time with children, mine and others. ;)
12. What kind of work do you do mostly - parties? Corporate? Etc
Currently we do a lot of corporate parties or Promotional Events. Birthdays are big for us too. I do not feel like I am good at marketing, so I just take what comes and I am happy when something big lands at my feet. I need to learn how to market us better. One day I hope to be doing shows with my whole family. Most of you don't know my husband, but he is really funny. When we get a show together, I will be the straight guy and he will the funny one. I really want to be able to perform with my children. I want to keep them as close to me as possible for as long as I can. ;)
13. What is your favourite/ideal gig to do?
I would love to be asked to make dresses for my own fashion show. I am beginning to get the hang of the inflated dresses. (Never try to make them with split nails!) I also like using balloons like fabric. Being part of the different Fashion Shows has been a real pleasure and blessing. I feel very honored to have been able to work along side artist like Debbie Stevens, Sofie VanDewyer, Just Marie, Colin, Rie, Ken Stillman, Micha DeHan, and my own son Dustin on different projects. The friendships I have gained from these experiences has been priceless. ;)
14. What irritates you most at a gig?
I hate when wealthy people treat us like we are servants and less than them. I know that a lot of the people I work for are millionaires, but I don’t believe that just because a person has money he has the right to treat people poorly. I can’t stand mothers who try to insist I give their child a second balloon or that I stay to do “just one more”. I would rather never go back to some of these clients than pamper and spoil there child more. RUDE is RUDE no matter how much money someone has. :x


Attachments:
File comment: This is one of my favorite designs with a large bear head.
s1240328851_268741_5235.jpg
s1240328851_268741_5235.jpg [ 4 KiB | Viewed 2873 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Shonna Flanigan Interview, 19/25th Jan
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:33 pm 
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Location: Surrey, England
Hi, hope you had a good wedding anniversary.

My question is who would yoummost like to make a balloon model, or dress for and why? What would yu make them ?

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