How to Shop for Entertainment for your Party

Shopping Tips

Looking for that special Entertainer for your party!

Todd (134)As Arizona’s Premier Entertainer, I receive countless of phone calls every day from just like you looking for an entertainer for their special occasion. After 32 years in the business, I have heard every horror stories that you possible could imagine about bad performers and booking agency’s who have ruined someone’s special day, and my heart goes out to these people who have suffered these horrible moments. This is why so many have turned to a professional like me with years of experience and dedication to my craft. I want your party to be a success, and with my years of experience I have learned a thing or two that I would like to share, to help protect yourself an insure a truly amazing party for you and the ones you love.

Keep this in mind when you’re shopping around:

  • Internet friend or foe?       The Internet is a very cool and great innovation, allowing us all to search for what we need, and information to educate us for the future; however it’s not always a place of honesty and truth, as I have found out over the years. Many entertainers have amazing web sites that almost look like an infomercial, promising the moon, at a rate that defies possibilities.       But if you look deeper, you sometimes find that all that glitters is not gold. Over the years I have heard horror story after horror stories from people who thought they were getting a professional entertainer for their event, but ended up with a nightmare, the magician who wasn’t funny, who was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. The clown that wasn’t shaved, and was even rude to their guest.       Or the costume character who took their mascot head off to have a cigarette in plain view or the children.       Trust me I have heard them all, and that is why I tell people, anyone can create a great web site, but few have the years, training, experience, and five star reviews to back it up. Always research any information you find on the internet, to validate its authenticity.
  • It never should be about price alone. A birthday comes once a year, and for children it’s mostly magical between the ages of two to ten, after ten you hand them cash and send them off to the mall. So if you’re going to have an entertainer at your party, have the best, the BMW or entertainers! Prices of birthday clowns and entertainers in the Valley vary widely; you have heard “What you pay for is what you get”. Full-time professionals offer a performance that reflects years of experience and a large investment in props and training. You’ll find that there are only a few truly gifted full time entertainers in this valley that I would call masters of their traits. A professional’s livelihood is based on their reputation and delivering a quality show each and every time they perform. Surprisingly, you’ll find that a small extra investment of just $25-$75 to hire a professional is the best money you can spend to ensure that your child’s big day is a major success.
  • Deal directly with the performer, not an agency. I’m not a lover of agencies and here is why.       Most offer everything from magicians to bounce castles, even costumed characters. This is NOT the place to hire a professional entertainer! In most cases, the employees they provide are paid minimum wage have little or no training in dealing with children or entertainment, and are hardly motivation to provide a professional show of any kind. Make sure you speak directly to the artist/entertainer who will be coming to your party. Any performer who is skilled enough to perform a quality show will definitely not be employed by an agency. I am a professional clown of 32 years, I have spent years in building up my reputation as Arizona’s premier children/family entertainer, investing in props, equipment and training, mastering in family entertainment like Magic, Face Painting and Balloon Art, but mostly in making sure your party is filled with laughter and joy for both the children and the adults.
  • Is the show age-appropriate? Most Children Entertainers, have a target audience, like myself I target ages 2 to 10 years old. That said 80% of my show is for the children and 20% goes over their heads and is meant for the moms and dads (like Disney does). You will find many performers who are so desperate to work they will claim that they are children performers when in fact they are performers for adults or retirement communities, and at a children’s party this can be a disaster! No small child wants to see sleight of hand card tricks, and you don’t want knifes and fire at that party either! Ask questions:       Are you insured? Do you work with fire? What age range is your show tailored for? Do you have references? The more questions you ask the better, leave nothing to chance.
  • The performer should anticipate your needs. An experienced performer should be a resource of information, even if I’m not available for your event, it’s my job and pleasure to help you find the information you need for your special event.       Two often I’m already booked and not available for an event, mostly because some people will call me the week of their party or the day before, keep in mind I usually book out about two to three months in advance, Santa starts booking appearances in June and July, by Sept I’m 100% booked. But with me, I will always try to help by giving you referrals of other performer I know in the valley that may help you party be amazing. Since I have done 1000’s of parties over 32 years, I can anticipate almost any question or concern you might have, so by the time we are done talking, I should be able to address every possible question you might have. This is the type of professional you are looking for, the same goes for my web site. When you go to a professional’s website, does their website reflect the same professionalism as the show, or is it amateurish? Are they on Facebook, Youtube, and what kinds of reviews are you finding? Are you getting just a price, or a feeling that this person will do whatever it takes to insure you and your guest have a wonders experience!
  • The bottom line is value. These years you never get back with your children, they are priceless! A professional entertain is one who will make sure that these memories are captured for a life time. Don’t waste your time and money on someone who may not deliver, amateurs may mean well, but that it, they are amateurs still learning the skills needed to be a professional. The savings from hiring an amateur rapidly disappears if that amateur arrives late, has dirty props and costuming, or embarrasses you with a sloppy, boring show. A professional entertainer is your assurance of a fun and memorable experience that you’ll remember with pride for years to come. Capture and cherish these moments for a lifetime, they never come again.