Saturday, August 22, 2009

I'm off to see Julia and Julia. Hoping my girlfriend will be motivate to cook by watching it... Anyone think it'll help?

Monday, March 23, 2009

This month’s lucky winner: Cari GongoraYou won a $15 gift card to Tijuana Flats!
To redeem your prize, please email me with your mailing address or contact information.

Come see Mr. Fudge in April!

March 23 Monday Cody’s Roadhouse, Bearss 6pm-8pm

March 24 Tuesday Cody’s Roadhouse, Bearss 6pm-8pm
March 27 Friday Los Vallartas, Wesley Chapel 6pm-9pm
March 28 Saturday Autism Fundraiser at MOSI 8am-12pm
March 28 Saturday Los Vallartas, Land O’ Lakes 5pm – 9 pm
March 30 Monday Cody’s Roadhouse, Bearss 6pm-8pm
March 31 Tuesday Cody’s Roadhouse, Bearss 6pm-8pm
April 3 Friday Los Vallartas, Wesley Chapel 6pm-9pm
April 4 Saturday Autism Event, MacFarland Park 10am-12pm
April 5 Sunday You Do the Dishes, Tampa Palms 1pm-10pm
April 6 Monday Cody’s Roadhouse, Bearss 6pm-8pm

April 7 Tuesday Cody’s Roadhouse, Bearss 6pm-8pm
April 10 Friday Los Vallartas, Wesley Chapel 6pm-9pm
April 11 Saturday Los Vallartas, Land O’ Lakes 5pm – 9 pm
April 13 Monday Cody’s Roadhouse, Bearss 6pm-8pm
April 14 Tuesday Cody’s Roadhouse, Bearss 6pm-8pm
April 17 Friday Los Vallartas, Wesley Chapel 6pm-9pm
April 18 Saturday Los Vallartas, Land O’ Lakes 5pm – 9 pm
April 20 Monday Cody’s Roadhouse, Bearss 6pm-8pm

April 21 Tuesday Cody’s Roadhouse, Bearss 6pm-8pm
April 24 Friday Los Vallartas, Wesley Chapel 6pm-9pm
April 25 Saturday Los Vallartas, Land O’ Lakes 5pm – 9 pm

*I’m still looking for Restaurant to work on Wednesday and Thursday nights. If you know any restaurant owners that may be interested, please let me know.*

Public Events

Event Flyer
You Do the Dishes Flyer

Balloon of the Month!


Restaurant Specials

Cody’s Roadhouse: Free kids meals with purchase of adult entrĂ©e on Monday and Tuesday Nights

Be sure to find Mr. Fudge on Facebook and Twitter too!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Carol of Tampa, FL Asked: How are other people advertising for you?

My response:

You bring up a great point. You can only advertise so much for yourself. In a time of penny counting and number crunching, it is very difficult to get the best advertising bang for your buck. One of the best ways to get advertising very cheap and nearly free is by implementing your friends, past clients, and family.

The way I break up my advertising is as follows:

50% Restaurants

20% Friends and Family

20% Past Clients

10% Paid Advertising

This is a very rough estimate, but it is a pretty good representation of how I advertise. I’ll go through each one individually and then I’ll wrap up all of it quickly at the end.

I don’t go to restaurants to just make a few extra bucks during the week. Though that helps, I go to advertise. There are 2 main things I do at a restaurant that help me get parties and events.

1) Over perform- I make sure I go WAY above and beyond any chance I get. If you want to stand out, then stand out. Make sure you are doing things that others will NEVER see anywhere else.

2) Hand out business cards- Make sure that anyone that takes interest in your entertainment gets a business card. In fact, make sure they get two, one for them to keep and one to give to a friend. (This goes on to the next point…)

Friends and Family:
Anytime you run across someone that likes you or what you do, let them know how to advertise for you. Here are a couple of suggestions to help get your mind thinking along those lines.

1) If someone at a restaurant likes what you do, give them an extra card and as you hand them the card, “And here’s an extra card for anyone you can think of that may be able to use a balloon artist. Bosses, friends, neighbors, relatives, coworkers… In this economy, I can use all the help I can get.”

2) Make a small centerpiece or figure and have them take it to work with a small stack of business cards. My girlfriend Kim took did this for me and ended up getting me 2 events and a free photoshoot. It's amazing how great this can work sometimes.

Past Clients:
Your past clients can be a GREAT asset. As long as you are keeping up with your most favorite clients, you can sometimes solicit their help as well.

1) Send them a Thank You note with a few business cards requesting that they give them to friends and family they may know interested in a balloon artist.

2) Sometimes it pays to reward your clients when they get you additional business. Consider paying “Agent Fees” to past clients who refer you to other events.

Paid Advertising:
Though this is a route I usually choose to avoid, it is possible to get paid advertising without actually paying at all. The following are a few tips and tricks on how to get advertising for free.

1) If you are working an event that is already posting an ad, let them know that you will give them a discount on their event if they put your name or website in their ad. This is a bartering tactic and can work great for some events.

2) Contact your local newspapers or family magazines and ask them about the different events they put on and sponsor throughout the year. You may be surprised to find how willing they may be to exchange your services for ad space in their publication.

In conclusion:
The most I pay for advertising is the cost of my business cards. Beyond that, I make sure to utilize every possible free advertisement that I can.

I try to keep a solid 5 close friends, relatives, or customers that are actively spreading the good word about my skills and services. Even with all my active advertising that I do myself, it is amazing how much more powerful a referral is over that of a phone call or promo package.

In fact, I’ve found that about 50% of my business actually comes from referrals. What does that teach me? I need to keep my relationships alive and well and educate my friends, family, and clients on how to advertise for me.

So, Carol…I really hope that has answered your question. As for everyone else, please feel free to send your questions in. I’d be more than happy to give you my opinion and help in any way that I can.

Your Balloon Man,
Mr. Fudge

Friday, February 27, 2009

Jonas Brothers Event!!

Come see the Jonas Brothers concert in 3D!

Regal Cinemas at the Citrus Park MallFriday February 27th from 6pm - 7pm
Your Balloon Man, Mr. Fudge, will be entertaining before the 3D experience begins! Be sure to stop by and see him so that you can get your balloon!

Come dressed to impress because this is the Red Carpet experience! We’re talking red roses, tuxedos, and an actual red carpet!

All who show up tonight and over the weekend will be given exclusive discounts for your next party or event. Be sure to receive your coupon at the box office this weekend. Hurry though… This is a limited time offer and you can only get coupons while supplies last.

Hope to see you there!
Your Balloon Man,
Mr. Fudge

Monday, February 16, 2009

Overview of an Article

This post is to discuss the link below. It is a post on that covers how to book restaurant gigs.

How to Book Restaurant Gigs

The article is very simple and short. I am a little biased, but I think it has enough information to get into a restaurant, but I know it doesn't have anywhere near enough information to keep one for any length of time.

There is definitely a difference between getting a restaurant to try you out and getting them to keep you for an extended period of time.

Different companies have taken different approaches on this subject. I am going to take only one aspect of how to manage this issue and discuss my views on it. I will be talking about having a single entertainer every week at a location verses having different artists show up on a rotation.

One Artist

Having one artist at the restaurant on a regular basis is great because:
-The restaurant will know your name
-The restaurant will get used to seeing you there and will come to expect it
-Patrons get used to seeing you and only you and consistency helps lead to more regulars

The hardest part I've found about being the only one at the restaurant is that:
-You must always keep it fresh and innovative
-Tips will lower slightly due to the fact that you become routine after a while (So keep it fresh!)
-My personal favorite... You must always be the one to show up at the same time every week without fail.

A Team of Artists

The benefits of having a team is that:
-Everyone shares responsibility of covering the gigs
-Variety is offered to the restaurant
-Everyone can be themselves and there is less need to innovate

Using a team can also be a bad thing. For instance:
-There is no way of knowing how well the other members of your team are doing
-One can mess it up for all of you
-There is less work for every artist on the team
-Quality is very difficult to maintain

Restaurant Entertaining Etiquette Question

So I've been a restaurant balloon twister for over a year now and I'd like to think that I have the basics down. Simple stuff, like smiling, be entertaining, and being able to make what people want is nice too. Then there is the side of pleasing the management and establishment. Don't get in the way of the servers,be professional while entertaining, and don't slow down business.

I had an issue with the last point recently. One of my "rules" is to not approach people when they have gotten their check, ESPECIALLY in a busy place when there are customers waiting to be seated.

Well, that is exactly what happened. I made balloons for a table of kids and next to them was a nice adult couple. I involved them in the performance and at the end just took a moment to tell them that we had a balloon twister every week at that location. Their change/bill came back and I moved to exit but the woman said that she wanted a balloon.

I did a fairly quick balloon (not a speed twist, but not a long performance) and moved on.

Later, the manager asked for a moment of my time. He asked me to not approach tables who have their check.

I bent my rule ONCE, because they ASKED for a balloon and management was aware and not pleased.

NOTE: Managers are busy and may only see 1 minute of all of your work. If that minute gives a negative impression, that is what they will remember.

So to novice restaurant workers: YES, management will notice if you are slowing down business.
To seasoned artists: How could I have handled these patrons more suitably?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Balloon Convention Time!

I'm off to yet another balloon convention where I can buld up my skills and improve my ability to entertain with balloons. This time I'm heading off to Las Angeles, California where I will be attending Twist and Shout, a major balloon convention put together by Royal and Patty Sorell.

My big goals are to network and meet other balloon artists from around the world and to help solidify my business plan for the rest of the year.

If you have not already attended one of these balloon conventions before, I highly recomend them. Though the McBride Master Class was much better in helping with business principles, I feel that the balloon artist run events are very good at teaching valuble information as well when it comes to entertainment.

Likewise, I plan on attending Diamond Jam this year as well. However, I'll have to wait and see how that turns out. As of right now, I'm not sure what the details are for the convention at the moment. Last year I was an instructor, but I do not believe I'll be taking part the same way as before.

Well, I'm off to work for the last time this week before I head to the convention. So, yay for twisting balloons!

Off to the restaurant,
Jonathan Fudge
Your Balloon Man

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pop Lines for the Balloon Entertainer

What happens if a balloon breaks? What do I do if I make a mistake while twisting?

Well, here are a serries of pop lines you can use if a balloon happens to pop while you're performing. If you think of anymore, please feel free to include them.

When a balloon pops, hold up the deflated carcass and proclaim, "Look! A dead worm..." Then, looking at the child, "You didn't want a dead worm, did you?"

Occasionally when a balloon pops, I'll just shy away and move on to make the next one. I'll soon stop and say, "What are you afraid of?! I'm the one at ground zero."

"That was a weasel!"

If the balloons are being particularly loud and squeeky, you can turn to your table with, "I wouldn't be suprized if this one pops." Immediately after, make a loud squeek and say, "Boom!"

"Aren't you glad I'm not working with Dynomite?"

"This is why I'm not a brain surgeon"

"May he rest in pieces."

"I always wanted to be a pop star!"

Well, that's all I have for now... Any other fun or exciting ones you can think of??

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Your Balloon Man

I've been workin on my website recently and I would love for each of you to visit.

It is my business website that I'm trying to use to advertise my services. If anyone has any suggestions for what I could do to improve it, I would greatly appreciate it. I am still starting out with the whole website thing, so I could use any suggestion I can get.

If you were my client, what would you want to see on my website?
What are you looking for when booking an entertainer for your event?

Thursday, January 22, 2009


So, I expected to have regulars when I started working at the restaurant I am at, but I didn't expect them to start coming so quickly.

If you look two posts back with the pictures of the parrot and the bunny that I made, those are brother and sister and they came back in again. Also, the girl that was playing her DS and is holding the mouse... She is a regular too.

What's this tell me??

Well, I should definately be careful what I say and to whom. Anyone at any table could be a potential regular. And out of those, there are plenty of life-long clients that I may be able to nurture as well.

This post isn't meant to be very long. It was just something that I realized and wanted to share.

Do any of you have regulars at your restaurants? Are you a regular at a restaurant? And what do you think keeps people coming back week after week?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

And they say guys with balloons aren't cool...

I totally was able to pick up 8 or so gorgeous Hooters girls while I was in Vegas. How'd I do it??

With Balloons! That's right... I twisted about 10-15 bracelets while I was there to eat and they just flocked over one after the other. Now, don't get me wrong... I wasn't picking up numbers or anything (I don't think my girlfriend would appreciate that very much), but I was able to sit and chat and talk with a number of them for most of the night.

The best part of the whole night?? Well, to start off, I got a Free photo and Hooters frame to take home.
And more??
Of course! I also was able to make a balloon from Mr. Bobby Slayton and pulled some free tickets to his show. So, that was awesome!

That's a picture of him being happy that I made such a crazy-Huge balloon for him. (Notice how he also gave me one of his CDs. So, that's REALLY awesome!) I can't wait until I'm able to listen to it.

Cody's Roadhouse Photos

Okay... I feel like I've been slacking on the photos lately. So, I'm going to add a few in here to show everyone that I am indeed still twisting balloons.

This is a Tweety Bird I made for a young lady tonight...

I also decided that this lovely young lady would make a great princess. She also made a fantastic helper. She walked around with me and waved to everyone, making sure they were having a great meal. So, that was pretty awesome.

This young man wanted a special parrot. So, I got creative.

This is a Nemo Bracelet. She didn't want to get into the picture herself, but she was more than happy to be a hand model. Who knows?? Maybe she'll make some money in it one day...

And this pretty little lady was completely and utterly torn between watching me and watching her video game. It was definately fun harrassing her as I twisted a balloon for her.

And lastly, this bunny was a great little figure I picked up and tried out. It went over so well that I have made bunches of them since.
Oh!!! And for those that care, I'm totally working on a new website. So, be sure to check it out.
Your Balloon Man,
Mr. Fudge

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jeff McBride Master Class

So, for those that haven't heard of it, Jeff McBride's Master Class is an absolute must for any serious entertainer.

All I have to say about it... Wow!

I'll have posts about it soon. I have to finish typing my notes into my computer. Once that is done, I will focus on a more thorough post.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Yappy New Year!

It's officially New Years!

And to stick with the custom of having a new year's resolution, I am making a list here of a few things I would like to do this year. Some of these are goals and yet others are plans.

Fun/Enjoyable Work:
-Attend Jeff McBride's Master Class in Las Vegas
-Attend Twist and Shout in California
-Attend my cousin's Quince
-Go on a Disney Cruise

Balloon Business:
-Get a restaurant of my own and work there on a regular basis
-Build and employ a marketing strategy that will help me gain more clients

-Get, or at least get started on, my Degree

-Watch the full series of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis
-Keep up with my blog regularly
-Start (a better) website and maintain the proper SEO for it
-Learn SEO so that I can do it myself
-Start some type of business where I can make some money on the side (it can't hurt, right?)
-Learn to play Chess
-Learn to walk on a slack line

Well, that's more than enough to keep me busy for the next year or so. For those that follow this blog, keep me on my toes and keep me accountable with this stuff. I need all the help I can get.

And to the rest of you...

Happy New Year
And my you be blessed with great things!