We saw an entertainer quoting £70 in the local paper. Are you expensive or are they cheap?
Answer: Please don’t be fooled by unbelievably cheap prices. Like any other industry we have cowboys as well. Ask to go see them work first and you’ll probably discover that cheapness and quality rarely go hand in hand. Even if you don’t book me, to ensure you’re booking a professional, you could also consider hiring someone who’s a member of a trade association for that extra peace of mind. I’m a member of Equity which means I have to adhere to a strict code of conduct – but there are many others.
Since you work with kids – have you been police checked?
Answer: CRB checks were replaced completely on the 1st March 2013 to become DBS checks (Disclosure & Barring Service). We can’t check ourselves, you have to check us. However, these checks are only for certain occupations. These occupations are set out in law and you won’t be allowed to conduct a check if their occupation isn’t listed. Occupations where these checks apply tend to be occupations where someone is left in sole charge of children. Entertainers like myself don’t fall under the scope of the DBS because we’re performers and we’re not left in sole charge of children.
How far do you travel?
Answer: I work all over Kent. I’m actually based in Maidstone and most of my work is in Kent and South London. The prices advertised include travel and are fixed for anywhere in Kent. There may be a small additional charge for other areas.
My daughter gets freaked out by clowns so how do you come dressed?
Answer: I’m not a clown (although that’s not what my mother would say!). I’ve tried to make my act modern and steer clear of cliché costumes and red noses so rest assured the children will feel at ease and no one will be freaked out.
How do we pay for a show?
Answer: When booking you don’t have to pay any money upfront – just pay the bill on the day via cash or cheque. I also accept bank transfers and all major credit and debit cards which you can do via the How to Pay page.
What are your cancellation charges?
Answer: If you need to cancel up to 30 days before your booking there won’t be any charges. Cancellation after that will incur the full fee.
My worse nightmare is the entertainer not turning up and me being left with a hall full of kids. Are you reliable?
Answer: Sadly, all too often we hear of people who have been let down at the last minute and predictably it’s always the cheapies or those who aren’t members of trade associations like Equity. So, even if you don’t book me, please hire someone who’s a member of an association like Equity for that extra peace of mind.
Will our entertainer be experienced?
Answer: Yes, all of the team here have at least 10 years experience doing kids’ shows. But just a cautionary tale if you’re shopping around. There are a few entertainer franchise businesses cropping up and one of the biggest complaints I hear from parents and event organisers is that they booked with these companies before and they were disappointed when an inexperienced youngster showed up. Just a bit of Googling around and you’ll soon discover these firms actually advertise – No Experience Required – and I tend to think if you’re paying decent money you’ll want someone with experience who’s performed thousands of times in front of live child audiences.
Can you do your shows outdoors?
Answer: I know there’s a temptation to have your party outside in the summer and it can be a pleasant change for me to work outside. However in my experience garden parties never work as well. The problem is there are normally too many distractions like swings, slides, trampolines and other games and toys around the garden. Also the sunlight itself can be a hindrance because the kids get agitated having to sit in the sunlight watching. And my cool party lighting won’t show up either so all-in-all I suggest you have the show indoors and then if it’s a nice day you could have a party picnic outside after the show.
Shall we invite the children to arrive half hour before the show to make sure they’re all there in time?
Answer: That’s not necessary and not recommended. In reality most children turn up for parties early and when there’s nothing for them to do they’ll just end up running around going crazy. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve arrived at venues to find a hall full of kids going bananas and a Mum or Dad in the corner pulling their hair out. Here’s an example of how things work best. If you’re having a party 3pm to 5pm I’ll arrive at 2.30pm to set up before everyone else arrives. I’ll play background music as the early ones come in, then just after 3pm I’ll start the entertainment.
If we’re having our party in a hall do we book an entertainer or the hall first?
Answer: It’s best to secure an entertainer first. Once you’ve chosen the entertainer ask them what slots they have available and book the hall around that. If you get the hall first you may find the entertainer you want is already booked. The hall and time is irrelevant to the overall success of the party so securing your chosen entertainer should be your first consideration.