One of the most challenging parts of a children’s entertainer’s job is often eliminating distractions. This is probably the one variable which a professional kids’ magician or children’s entertainer has no control over.
You have a perfect act, but if you arrive at a gig and the party is already is in chaos, then you are fighting a losing battle. This post is not a winge, but more of a guide for mothers who want to put on their own party and make it run as smooth as possible.
These are probably the most common distractions children’s entertainer’s face:
Scatter balloons. Not only are they noisy, children fall over them, play with them whilst the performer is performing, whack their friends over their heads, pop them and more. As mentioned in my previous post – the sound of a pop makes most small children jump out of their skin when they are not expecting it and before you know it they are crying. Do you want that? No way Hose! So how do you eliminate this, as mother’s want to give the party a party atmosphere and have seen it done at other parties. You could hang them up, hang them in a net above everyone to fall down at the interval, play a game where all the kids’ have to put them into a target, use bunting or other decorations instead.
A stage. Classic children psychology unfortunately applies to a stage in the hall. If you say don’t run on the stage, they run on the stage, if you don’t say anything, they will run un the stage and more than likely hide behind the curtains, get themselves snared up with the curtain rope and pulleys or worse. How to get round this? Whilst stages are great – who likes to be looking up at an entertainer with a cricked neck? I like to get more on the same level as the kids. So there are essentially 2 options. 1. Cordon it off. 2. Choose a hall without a stage. Trust me, choosing a hall without a stage and paying £2 more will be the best extra £2 you spend as you won’t be telling-off your child or other children in front of other parents….
Bouncy castle. I love bouncy castles at parties as this gives early arrivals the chance to have a good play before the rest of the kids arrive. Equally so, it’s great fun at the end of the party or if the kids’ finish their food early. So why then is this a distraction? These thing are blooming noisy. Not only that, you show has to be pitched absolutely perfectly so as not to lose the interest if anyone, not even for a second. That’s all it needs, one second of a lack of interest and the enticing hiss of the bouncy castle will take them back onto it. Before you know it you are losing children hand over fist from you show, in exactly the same way as if you agree to one child going to the toilet. The best way to get over this is to simply turn it off when you start, re-inflate it over dinner, and then let it down again before you start the final segment of your show.
Next post I will introduce the second half of this, tackling the thorny issue of wild children and talkative parents. To add some thoughts and comments, please do email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you……