|Posted by Diana McCurtain-Talbert on April 13, 2018 at 10:55 PM||comments (3)|
I wanted to take an opportunity to talk about the work we do as clowns, magicians, face painters - anything that falls in the category of our family friendly entertainment.
Recently, there has been a rash of businesses, coming into our cities and reaching out to us in an effort to recruit us to do work for them. In theory that sounds great. However, as we found out more about these companies, we have found that they are coming in and lowballing the rates and trying to get many of us as their "talent" for 50-60% less of what we charge.
I know that we have seen mom and pop establishments go by the wayside due to larger establishments coming in and taking over. They start out looking bright and shiny, with lower prices and the list goes on. However, many of these types companies are not going to put the same tender, loving care into their business that we as small self employed businesses do. The quality is often times lower, the customer services sometimes not as good, and unfortunately that reflects on all of us.
So, as I think about these companies coming into our cities, we as small busineses need to be aware that while customers are shopping around, they very likely are talking to these folks, then coming back to us and trying to get us to lower our prices to get their business.
I have to say, I am very polite to these people, always letting them know that I do not negotiate my prices. I am very happy that they found a better rate and I wish them a very happy and successful event.
I have heard stories from people who went with the lower rate, then were sorry that they did. I have had people call me to let me know that their lower rate person never showed up, and never offered a refund. I have had customers who called at the last minute (like within an hour of the event) begging me to find my way to their party because the person that had given the lowest price called and cancelled at the last minute.
Unfortunately, as the saying goes, sometimes you get what you pay for.
As I post this message, to my fellow performers, entertainers and artists, I say be true to your calling. Value what you do, and try to keep your pricing in line with those other professinals around you. Everybody wins when this happens. If you value yourself, your customers will value you as well.
To the customers looking for the performer, entertainer, and artist. I ask you to remember, this person has put a lot of time and engergy into what they do. They have spent countless hours practicing, and perfecting their skill. They have invested a lot of money in costumes, tools, and professional equpiment, marketing etc. They are worth what they are asking.
To the larger businesses who want to come into our cities, please don't lowball us. You make everyone look bad, and you do a great disservice to our industry. Come into the market by all means, but understand that to get the talent you are looking for, you must charge a higher price so that you can be fair to the people you are trying to hire. For us this is not just a business, this is a passion.
Thanks for listening.
Til next time, Keep Smiling!
|Posted by Diana McCurtain-Talbert on February 18, 2018 at 9:00 PM||comments (0)|
I wanted to take a quick opportunity to share with you a little bit about my journey into this world I call clowning.
When I decided to become a clown I never truly dreamed I would be doing it 12 years later. You see, I became a clown as part of a ministry at my church. As, it turned out we didn't do much with it there, but it opened a whole new world for me.
Since beginning this journey I have gone to trainings and conventions in at least 10 differnt states and 2 countries. I have won awards in makeup/costume and in various other things such as skit performances. I have clowned in schools for drug awareness, churches, and prisons. And I been in parades, and peformed on stages all over the place. Plus, I have made some lifelong friends along the way.
I've learned new skills which I can use to make people smile as I offer those in volunteering, and I have also taken these same skills and made a business out of it. At first my "business" started as an effort to support my volunteerism, however the more comfortable I got with my skills the more I started getting work. I haven't made this a full time career, though there are many people who do. For me this work of love is something I do because I find joy in it.
I will say, that this skill has served my son well also. He started clowning with me when he was 10 years old. Today at the age of 22 and as a full time student, this is what he does for extra income. In one to two parties a month, he can make as much as his friends who have to work a lot of hours, while trying to juggle being a full time student.
Why am I sharing this with you? If you have any interest in becoming a children's entertainer, I will be offering a 9 week clown school beginning on March 19, 2018. The great thing about clown school is you can take the skills you learn and use them as a clown or as a character, or as a balloon twister, puppeteer, facepainter, storyteller, the list goes on.
If you are at all interested in becoming a clown/children's entertainer. Consider signing up today. I have spots for 8 students, as I do try to keep the classes small.
Until next time,
|Posted by Diana McCurtain-Talbert on February 11, 2018 at 8:00 PM|
Planning a big event can be a very daunting task. Whether you are planning a birthday party, corporate event, school event or anything else. Your goal should be to get what you pay for.
As a professional entertainer, my goal is for my customer to have the best experience they can - even if that means I refer them to someone else. Here are some of the things I have learned that a customer should be aware of as they plan their event:
1. Be specific about show-up time, what is available to the entertainer (chairs, tables, inside, outside etc.). Also, if possible plan to leave parking very close to the entrance. Most entertainers have a lot of equipment to carry, and set up. This makes it easier for a quick setup and easy departure.
2. Plan for your entertainment to come at least 30 minutes to an hour after the guests have arrived. A lot of guests arrive late, this will allow you to get the most out of your entertainment.
3. Be as specific as possible about the numbers you are expecting. This will allow your entertainer to be honest about what they can and cannot deliver.
4. If you are hiring someone to be "in clown" makeup, don't be afraid to ask for a website or pictures. There are some entertainers who have invested alot of time, money and education in the Art of Clowning so that they can hold the art to a high standard. You as the customer want to make sure you get things like good makeup and costuming.
5. Let your entertainer know the age range they will be entertaining. Some entertainers/clowns cater to very specific ages and therefore their performance may be great for some and may lose others.
6. Remember: Whether you are hiring a clown, magician, facepainter, puppeteer etc. these entertainers have spent a lot of time, and money on education, marketing, costuming, supplies etc. Most of us do not negotiate or lower our prices to get the job. We generally try to set a price that is fair, and consistent with others who are doing a similar quality of work.
7. If you are asking for more than one entertainer to be at your event, it is important to know that the price does not go down just because you hired two people. Most entertainers work independently and therefore each needs to make as close to their normal rate as possible.
8. If you want photos with your entertainer, plan that in to the time you are scheduling. Often times your entertainer has multiple events on the same day. They may not be able to stop for photos during or after they complete their work because they may be racing off to the next event.
9. Try to plan in advance, especially if you want someone who will be performing some type of routine. Most performers like to run through their show before hand and get things set up so that they can have a smooth show.
10. If any payment is due at the end of the entertainer's time there, be prepared to pay as they arrive or immediately after they are finished. It can be somewhat awkward for your entertainer to find you and ask for the payment. It can also make them late to their next event if they have to wait for you to get the payment together.
If you are a person looking for an entertainer, I hope this helps you in your planning and preparation. If you are an entertainer, I hope this helps you as you work with your customer to provide them all the information they need for a memorable time!
Til next time,