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Thursday, April 1, 2010

This past Saturday, I painted faces at a 5th birthday party in River Edge, NJ. It was a great party, but I didn't have time for photos, so there aren't any of those. Sorry!

It did bring up an interesting issue, though, so I thought I might want to give you some pointers for when you're having an entertainer at your party. This is relevant for hiring face painters, magicians, caricature artists, anybody...

The party was at a dojo (karate school), and was amazing fun for the kids. Don't get me wrong, it was great fun for me too! Heck, I used to take karate as a kid myself, so it was fun even to reminisce.

Thing is, the family planned for me to be there right when the party started. So I got there and set up, and was ready to go in a back room next to the party room. What I didn't know was that the parties at that school have a standard format (as well they should, but I'd never before done a karate party), during which the sensei (teacher) has the kids participate in a series of games and exercises for about 1.5 hours before going to the party room.

It included breaking boards, so it was very cool for the kids, and I can't wail 'til my nephew's old enough to have a party like that!

Thing is, for the first hour or so of the party, I was just hanging around, being entertained by the sensei and kids, but not working. It so happened that this particular family wasn't worried about it and was able to add an hour onto my time to make sure that no kids left unpainted. That's terrific, but most families simply can't afford that, and I'd hate for them to be put in the position of having to choose what to do about it. Also, it was lucky that I didn't have another obligation immediately after that party; it can happen that I have five parties in one weekend and can't really stay later at any of them.

All in all, it was great to be there; the family was very nice, the kids were wonderful, the other guests great, and I even got some ice cream cake!

This is just a reminder to the rest of you... when planning your parties, if you don't want an entertainer to have down time, go over the party schedule with your entertainer when booking so you can work out together the best possible way to handle things.

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