About Jon Pessin
How did you get involved in this ballooning business in the first place?
When I was in third grade, I went to a kid's retreat. At that retreat, in addition to way too much junk food and silly games, they had a balloonist who performed during the large gatherings. At the first gathering, that balloonist made a balloon sculpture of the Pink Panther riding on the back of a black motorcycle.
I was *enthralled.* Once the big gathering was done, I went right up to that balloon twister and asked how he learned to do that.
"I practiced," came the reply. "I got some balloons, read some books, looked up some designs on the internet, and I practiced." Well, when I got home, I got some balloons, read some books, looked up some designs on the internet, and I practiced, too.
Fast forward more than a dozen years, and I've been doing this as a hobby ever since. Then, when a couple of friends were looking for entertainment to jazz up the grand opening of their frozen yogurt franchise, I realized. I can do this for a living. I went right out, got some business cards, and embarked on this new, great adventure.
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How long have you been doing this?
I've been twisting balloons since I was a kid myself (see below). I started working with kids not long after, helping out with my church's children's program back while I was in Jr. High School, and I continue helping out to this day. I spent a couple of years as a birthday-party clown (before I grew a beard and put away the big shoes because the makeup sometimes scared the kids). I've been twisting as a business since October of 2014
What are your qualifications?
I have a degree in theater with a minor in music from Millikin University in Decatur, IL. I'm a member of the World Clown Association and am insured under their policy GL00689-05 with Atlantic Specialty Insurance. I'm also a member of the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas.