Balloon Chat

Uncategorized Boards => The "Star" Interview => Topic started by: Graham Lee on October 10, 2008, 11:34:27 PM

Title: Patty Sorell Interview, 11/18th Nov
Post by: Graham Lee on October 10, 2008, 11:34:27 PM
I'm very pleased to announce that Patty Sorell has agreed to answer the questions on balloon chat.
We are just sorting out the best time as she is very busy at the moment with the organisation and putting together of her own balloon convention in America; Twist & Shout.
More details can be found here about the event;
http://www.balloonconvention.com (http://www.balloonconvention.com)

and this weekend she is off to help out at Balloon Manor; http://www.balloonmanor.com (http://www.balloonmanor.com)

I'll be able to go next year for the first time to "Twist & Shout" as the dates have been changed, this was always on the same weekend as the Blackpool magic convention which is the biggest magic convention in the world, so I always needed to be there but now the date change & flying is not so much of a worry for me :o
I purchased from one of the first Millennium jam's that I went to Patty & Royal's balloon engineering DVD's, I'm sure Patty will plug these when answering the questions.

Patty will answer the usual questions but please ask away with anything else to do with organising one of the biggest twisting conventions in the world.

Graham Lee
Title: Re: Patty Sorell Interview, 11/18th Nov
Post by: Graham Lee on November 11, 2008, 10:31:53 PM
Patty has sent me over some answers to the interview, I shall be putting them up under her name.
Any more questions you have for her please post & I'll forward them onto her for you.
Title: Re: Patty Sorell Interview, 11/18th Nov
Post by: Patty Sorell on November 11, 2008, 10:34:01 PM
1, What road led you into balloon modelling?

1)  Love.  I wanted to spend more time with my boyfriend (Royal) and since he spent most weekends performing as a Mime and Magician, I started to join him.  Tagging along on gigs and doing simple clowning and face painting.


2, when did you get started with balloons?

2)  We started twisting in 1986 when our friend Spunky T Clown (Alan Belanger) suggested its a great thing for clowns to do and the kids loved it.  Our local clown alley had Aaron Hsu Flanders com in to teach the first class and Royal and I both started that same night.



3, What’s your best twisting experience?

3)  My best twisting experience is hard to say.  There have been so many fun people and great events over the past 20+ years.  I guess I would have to say the World Record Project at the first Millennium Jam in Belgium.  There were so many cool creative people from both sides of the pond.  We were all working incredibly long hours, playing music while twisting, coming up with new solutions to how to put  these Soccer Players together.  And the finished piece was AWESOME.  Even though I have participated in many other large projects since, that first one was the best.



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

4) My worst twisting experience is hard to say.  There have been so many nasty people and crappy events over the past 20+ years.  My worst performances are usually when I do something stupid.  Like the time I showed up at a gig wearing two different shoes.  I was rushing out the door and just slipped on two black shoes and ran out the door.  It wasn’t until I got to the site that I realized my mistake.  Luckily for me, the event was in a mall and I quickly bought a pair of (matching) shoes.  I try not ot dwell on  those negative shows I’ve had or the kids who may not have liked my creations, it would only make me quit ballooning much sooner.



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

5)  I most love line twisting.  I am not a performer, I am a twister - a balloon factory, if you will.  I know many Balloon Artists who assert that being a balloon factory isn’t the right way to do balloons, but its what I like.  I enjoy whipping out balloons quickly, making sure as many kids get balloons as possible, it make the time go by quickly.  In addition, I really don’t want to think hard at a gig, if 20 kids want that tiger they saw, I say give the customer what they want!
Title: Re: Patty Sorell Interview, 11/18th Nov
Post by: Dave on November 12, 2008, 08:43:37 AM
Hi Patty,
What inspired you to start the conventions?
Title: Re: Patty Sorell Interview, 11/18th Nov
Post by: cashmagic on November 12, 2008, 10:30:40 AM
I have your new dvd (101) are you thinking about bringing any more out? with you and your fella?
Title: Re: Patty Sorell Interview, 11/18th Nov
Post by: Professor T Wist on November 12, 2008, 07:06:37 PM
Who would you most like to make a model for and why? What would you make them ?
Title: Re: Patty Sorell Interview, 11/18th Nov
Post by: Danny the Idiot on November 12, 2008, 07:44:02 PM
Hi Patty,

What do you look for in an instructor for your event?

What subject would you love to have someone come and teach?


thanks
Danny
Title: Re: Patty Sorell Interview, 11/18th Nov
Post by: Patty Sorell on November 18, 2008, 02:36:51 PM
Quote from: "Dave"
Hi Patty,
What inspired you to start the conventions?




Back in 1999 Tom Myers had his first TJam in Austin Texas, and in the opinion of those that went, it was a huge success.  The only way previously for balloon people to get together was if they lived near you or online with the fledgeling BalloonHQ.  Then came Y2K and Tom announced on BHQ that he wasn’t going to do it again.  That announcement stuck in my head for a few days, I was sad because I knew it wouldn’t happen again for a long time if TJam was allowed to be a one-time only idea.  So I talked to Royal and convinced him this could work.  Then I asked Tom’s permission to run a convention  and he gave me his blessing.  It all went very well and I didn’t lose money!  Once that first Twist & Shout was history, Tom and I decided that it was going to be too much work for either one of us to do a convention every ear, so we had a gentlemen’s agreement for  each of us to do every other year.  When Tom decided he was done with convention running, I took Twist & Shout annually.  I really happy and proud that our program is considered the best in the world!  
Title: Re: Patty Sorell Interview, 11/18th Nov
Post by: Patty Sorell on November 18, 2008, 02:38:20 PM
Quote from: "cashmagic"
I have your new dvd (101) are you thinking about bringing any more out? with you and your fella?


I am considering doing one or two new DVD’s on more centerpiece designs, but I have to wait for this first one to break even first.  I don’t think I’m going to be doing any more with Royal because he is a far better twister than I and should be the star of his own show.  And Royal doesn’t do centerpieces (designing).
Title: Re: Patty Sorell Interview, 11/18th Nov
Post by: Patty Sorell on November 18, 2008, 02:40:36 PM
Quote from: "Professor T Wist"
Who would you most like to make a model for and why? What would you make them ?


I really would rather make some centerpieces for you Balloon Twisters, something to brighten a party for all of you.  Twisters work really hard making other people happy, you deserve to have someone make your day special
Title: Re: Patty Sorell Interview, 11/18th Nov
Post by: Patty Sorell on November 18, 2008, 02:42:03 PM
Quote from: "Danny the Idiot"
Hi Patty,

What do you look for in an instructor for your event?

What subject would you love to have someone come and teach?


thanks
Danny

What do you look for in an instructor for your event?


My Instructors have a variety of qualities, I could pick one overwhelming quality or several of others.  Here are some things I look for:
Name Recognition - are they known in the twister community
Teaching Experience- have they taught at other events or have great books or DVD’s
Unique Twist or Style - have they invented a cool twist or style
Public Posting - Do they put their advice and photos of their work on the Balloon Sites such as BHQ, MBD2 or this forum
Do they offer a perspective that is unique
Are they a Full Time Balloon Artist (without other income from retirement, disability, lottery winnings,  etc.)
Are they an expert in something that the twisters need - marketing, image, business practices, birthday business, restaurants etc.
Can they speak and teach well
I try to keep in mind that this is an international event and so I want teachers from around the world, this year we are having Patrick Van de Ven, Bidou from France and Beating from Korea teaching.




What subject would you love to have someone come and teach?


Business, Business, Business.  I can’t say it enough, if the twisters learn more about the business part of Show Business, then they will all be able to afford to go to at least one convention per year to better themselves, their art and their business.  They may even be able to fund their retirement accounts (even thought they probably never want to retire - they are having too much fun).  Also:  Birthdays, Restaurants, Trade Show work, Corporate Events, The business of booking others to work for you, more marketing....


Title: Re: Patty Sorell Interview, 11/18th Nov
Post by: Graham Lee on November 18, 2008, 02:45:07 PM
6, What's your favourite age to entertain?

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?
Title: Re: Patty Sorell Interview, 11/18th Nov
Post by: Patty Sorell on November 18, 2008, 02:59:41 PM
Quote from: "Graham Lee"
6, What's your favourite age to entertain?

6)  My favorite age to twist for is 5 - 10 yrs old.  Under 5 and they  
don’t always understand what's going on, over 10 they have a tendency  
to be a bit jaded, they think they know it all.  The ones in-between  
still have a sense of wonder about the balloons and that's cool

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

6)  My favorite age to twist for is 5 - 10 yrs old.  Under 5 and they  
don’t always understand what's going on, over 10 they have a tendency  
to be a bit jaded, they think they know it all.  The ones in-between  
still have a sense of wonder about the balloons and that's cool

7)  Since I don’t “entertain”  my act is the same for everyone


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

8)  My favorite thing to make is a mermaid, its really easy but the  
customer thinks is difficult

9, What is the most asked for model?

9)  The most asked for sculpture I have is my 1 balloon tiger that is  
holding a mouse in his mouth

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

10)  See answer #9, if a kid sees that, they want it

11, Who is your market aimed at?

11)  My market is actually aimed at different people, depending on  
what I am doing.
If I am twisting , I like the 5 - 10 year olds. For Facepainting, I  
love doing girls of all ages. For my balloon decor, Moms are the ones  
making the purchases so I market to them and If I’m producing Twist &  
Shout, My marketing efforts are aimed at the mid to high level  
Twisters and entertainers


Title: Re: Patty Sorell Interview, 11/18th Nov
Post by: cashmagic on November 18, 2008, 04:52:40 PM
I would love to see a pic of your 1 balloon tiger that is
holding a mouse in his mouth
Title: Re: Patty Sorell Interview, 11/18th Nov
Post by: Graham Lee on November 18, 2008, 08:20:35 PM
Patty, some more questions for you :)

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

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?
Title: Re: Patty Sorell Interview, 11/18th Nov
Post by: Patty Sorell on November 18, 2008, 08:51:08 PM
Quote from: "Graham Lee"
Patty, some more questions for you :)

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

12)  I prefer to do Corporate work, where there’s lots of people and  
lots of kids wanting what I have to offer.  I’m not so good at a small  
birthday party where I have to fill an hour and there are only 6  
kids.  I know what I’m good at and I know what I like to do, so I know  
enough to say no thank you to those parties where I’m less than  
confident about my “performance” or lack thereof.  I’m more than happy  
to let other do those sorts of jobs and I admire those who can fill an  
hour for only 6 kids, but that’ll never be me and my style


13, What is your favourite/ideal gig to do?

13)  My ideal gig...A 3 or 4 hour gig where I arrive 15 minutes early,  
set-up my area with no one around bugging me to start early.  A line  
of 5 - 10 kids at any given time (more stresses me out and less leads  
to boredom).  The kids leave on time  and so do I.

14, What irritates you most at a gig?

14)  Parents usually are the source of most of my irritation at a  
gig.  When they are dictating to a child what he or she should get,  
when they start fights because their child was first, or when they  
have a nasty attitude when its time for me to leave and they waited  
until is was too late to get something.  I find that the parents feel  
their kids are so special that they are entitled to whatever I am  
offering.  And many times they don’t appreciate that I have already  
been at this event for hours without a break.
15, How do you book yourself?

15)  For Performances, I get booked mostly through Royal’s company  
Royal Events & Entertainment.  For Decor, I book my own events which I  
get through lots of word of mouth and my website  
(http://www.balloondesigns.com (http://www.balloondesigns.com))

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

16)  The Biggest thing I’ve ever made has always been as part of a  
large team,  I have been part of:
The Guiness Record attempt Belgian Soccer Sculpture
Larry Moss’s Flying Octopus in Sodus NY
All of Larry Moss’s Balloon Manors
2007 Balloon Town USA with Steve Jones

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

17)  My proudest achievement is creating the Twist & Shout Balloon  
Convention.  I am really proud of how the convention has grown  
throughout the years as well as the many Balloon Artists who come from  
around the globe to improve themselves and their art form.