What to do at a Party 


Tips and Hints for Professional Family Entertainers

Big hint: If it's fun for you... 

We're going to give you the simplest outline that can be effective. This is so easy. When a performer can't do something like this without looking at notes, it appears as though they don't respect anyone's time. Practice enough  that you can move seamlessly from one of these simple activities to the next. 

Collect on arrival?

You can handle collection of your fee according to the environment and your instincts about that particular person, but we do suggest that if you aren't paid in advance, that you just quickly  and positively confirm the amount and length of time that you are staying. Collecting up front may help you feel secure, but it makes it almost impossible to get a tip.

Music Provides Structure

Many beginning birthday party clowns and costumed characters get much of the structure for their time from the music that they play. Radio Shack sells a simple adapter cord that allows you to plug a small tape or cd player into a solid-state guitar amplifier. This kind of compact PA system may not provide stereo sound, but it can be effective for what you need- mainly that everyone can hear the music. Having music allows you to dance a little bit before you introduce yourself.

After you introduce yourself and have paid attention to the birthday boy or birthday girl, you can move right into playing games. Music based games include Hot Potato, Musical Chairs or Musical Corners1,  balloon limbo, Odd One Out2, and "The Freeze"3. Simple dances can be fun, especially with costumed characters, such as The Chicken Dance, and the Hokey Pokey.


Chase Games

If the children are old enough to run without being hurt, and especially if they're too old for some traditional games, try playing "Duck, Duck, Goose" or "The Blob"4. We like these games better, because the heightened drama gives us a chance to play 'in character"

Your Character

Anyone who can smile and run a party, or perform any task for that matter, when they don't feel perfectly happy or enthusiastic, knows what it is like to be "in character". Even if you're not a clown or costumed character, you may act differently that you usually do, and that's OK. As you lead parties, you'll notice what kinds of mannerisms and spoken phrases that your audience finds entertaining. and you can begin to act that way consistently. The character that you develop may be very much like you are, or entirely different, but the idea is that anyone can can develop an entertaining personality with just a little bit of experience.

And Balloons, of course..

Four to six games and balloons should be sufficient to fill a one-hour show. There are many internet sites that can introduce you to balloon sculpting.

Don't Forget the Simple,
but Important Moments

When all of the children have a balloon, gather them together for cutting the cake, singing Happy Birthday, and for one more picture. This is a good time to make your exit. Look for a good opportunity to give the birthday child a sincere compliment, and remind the child that someone thinks that they are special.