Poppin’ Penelope ‘brings latex to life’
Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 19:07
Usually sporting an authentic, colorful, vintage dress and black and white saddle shoes, Poppin’ Penelope entertains people of all ages with her vibrant personality, unique sense of humor and balloon-twisting abilities.
Penelope can twist almost anything you can imagine. She is a member of the Balloon Brigade, a group of entertainers based in Omaha who are comedy magicians, balloon artists, face painters, stilt walkers, jugglers and even hypnotists.
“I really, truly love my job, and I get to play dress up,” Penelope said. “I cannot imagine myself doing anything else.”
Penelope didn’t start off in the entertainment business, even though it runs in her family. Penelope’s great grandfather and father were both magicians. Her brother, the Amazing Arthur, who started the Balloon Brigade, is a magician and balloon artist.
Before joining the Balloon Brigade, Penelope served coffee at Festival Foods, managed her own errand-running business, sold roses at a bar and worked at a bagel shop. When Penelope’s brother talked about an upcoming performance he was doing, she balked at the idea of becoming an entertainer.
“At first, I made fun of my brother and thought to myself, ‘What a loser,’” Penelope said. “But later I realized that is exactly what I wanted to do.”
Today, the married mother of one travels around Nebraska and surrounding states doing shows. Penelope said her only regret was not starting earlier. She likes performing all the different acts, and does not necessarily have a favorite.
But making time for family proves to be difficult due to the demands of the occupation. Days off are few and far between, which is tough, Penelope said.
“You have to be [okay with it] because you are self-employed,” Penelope said. “You cannot just up and leave. Once you turn down work, they are going to find someone else. Then they will find someone else every time.”
Penelope said making time for family, especially seeing her son, was easier when he was younger. If a babysitter was needed, it would only be for a couple hours. Now that her son is nine, Penelope said she is thinking about adding him to the act.
“We are getting to the point where he is old enough to [participate],” Penelope said. “So I think we are going to get an escape routine where he has to escape a straitjacket.”
For more information about Penelope and the rest of the brigade, you can go to their website, theballoonbrigade.com, call them at 402-597-2579 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.