So you're planning your child's big day and you want everything
perfect for their birthday party. You've decided on a theme, picked
the day, and now you're deliberating how to make this the most
memorable birthday ever. How about hiring some entertainment? But
where do you begin? Here are a few suggestions to help you navigate
your way through the maze of decisions and questions you may
What type of entertainment should you
There's clowns, magicians, balloon artists, face painters,
ventriloquists, character actors, puppet shows, circus acts,
caricature artists, and many other options. The age of the birthday
child and/or party guests should dictate who is going to fit your
needs the best. Ask your potential entertainer which age groups are
best suited for their show. Do they offer a variety of skills for
an audience of all ages? How long is the show? Attention spans vary
according to age and the length of the entertainment will test
their mental endurance. A well seasoned performer will know exactly
what the limits of his/her audience is. Just ask them. They're a
wealth of knowledge.
Where do I find amazing
Most entertainment businesses have relatively small advertising
budgets so you may not find them in the usual places like phone
books. You could start your search on the internet, but that's not
always going to simplify things. Just because your internet search
doesn't turn up any local leads doesn't mean that your town is an
entertainment black hole. Consider talking to people you know. Word
of mouth can be a goldmine of information. Post an inquiry on your
favorite social network. Stop by your local party supply store for
decorations and party favors and while you're there inquire about
local entertainers. They may even have a business card to give you.
When you finally decide, book your entertainer as early as
possible. This will ensure that you get the day you want. Calendars
fill up quickly, especially weekends. It's not uncommon to book a
performance 3-6 months in advance. I highly recommend it.
What should I expect?
Entertainers are contractors just like the people who mow
your lawn or clean your house. A high level of
professionalism should always be expected. Arrival in a
timely manner, well groomedl of
, and prepared. When you're asking about their rates please take
in to consideration the amount of training, personal investment in
costumes and props, and dedicati
on to their art form. Prices will vary depending on travel
distance, length of show, and services rendered. A common
ke people make is assuming that it will always be an hourly rate.
Strolling entertainment for example is usually an hourly rate
versus shows which are based on package prices. Although tips are
never expected, they are certainly appreciated. A great entertainer
always pours their heart and soul in to every performance and a
gratuity is a fantastic way to show your appreciation.
How do I prepare for the big day?
Most variety artists are self contained and will bring all the
necessary equipment. Ask them how much room they will require. I
highly recommend doing any formal presentation indoors. There are a
million distractions ranging from the weather to your neighbor's
barking dog that can ruin a great performance. Acoustics also play
a very important role. A ventriloquist for example may be very
difficult to hear outside but can entertain a living room full of
family members easily. An area should be selected where the
audience will gather for the show. Children can always sit on the
floor leaving available seating for the adults. You may need to
move a coffee table but remember to keep it simple. We're there to
make things easier for you, not to complicate your busy day.
Sit back and enjoy the show!
Here are some tips to maximize your event planning.
1. Avoid food or drink during the performance. Many acts
require a lot of physical participation from the kids. This could
very well save you from some carpet disasters.
2. Always have at least one adult present during the show
to monitor and intervene if necessary. A good performer will be
skilled at audience control. However, it only takes one unruly
guest to derail a perfect party.
3. Limit distractions by turning off the television,
locking up pets, and asking adults to take their conversation
4. Consider having your entertainment at the very
beginning of the party. This allows your performer to start and end
on time which gives you more flexibility for the remainder of the
5. Most of all, have fun! Variety artists all have one
thing in common. We love to entertain. Our job is to help you and
all your guests remember your special day forever.
Keith Ramsay is a Richland firefighter, father of 3, and
owner/operator of Fired Up Magic Entertainment Services based in
Kennewick, Washington. He's been wowing audiences with his variety
arts skills for over 20 years. His award winning talents have
earned him accolades from performers all over the world and he was
recently chosen as a finalist on AMC Networks newest reality show
called "Showville" which premieres this spring. To discuss the
details of hiring world class entertainment for your special event
please visit www.firedupmagic.com or
Comment with your questions for our Birthday Party expert OR
your best birthday party idea to be entered to win a birthday party
package from Fired Up Magic (some restrictions may apply.)
Winner will be announced on March 31! Good LUCK!
Looking for a unique & inexpensive birthday gift? Nico &
Zoe Toys has got it! The Wonder Ball by Channel Craft is a great
gift for just $8! Yes, it is just a ball of yarn, but the game is
endless! Unwind your Wonder Ball to find little charms, beads, and
trinkets spread throughout. Once you've got to the end, use the
enclosed handbook for instructions on string games, knitting, and
more. This little ball of yarn is sure to give hours of
Every year, Channel Craft brings to market old favorites, toys
and games that bring back memories, toys to inspire new creative
thought, and unique games that bring joy to all ages.
Box is 4" x 3" x 3," ball is a bit smaller.
Nico & Zoe Toys is located at Knight Street in Richland. For
more information, visit www.nicoandzoe.com.
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