10 Best Questions to Ask an Entertainer.

As a full-time NYC math teacher, I constantly reinforce the importance of asking questions.¬† If you are confused, you can’t learn without asking questions. (Also, your participation grade in my class will suffer) ūüôā¬†When being booked for an event, I always ask 10-20 questions to make sure I get all the necessary information to provide the best show for the ages of the children. Interestingly, one of the most common questions that I hear from potential clients is “What questions should I ask you?” (which is a great question!).¬† Regardless of the type of entertainer you consider hiring, the following questions¬†may help you better plan your event¬†and ensure that you are getting¬†the best entertainer for your needs.

In no particular order, here are 10 questions that should be asked and answered prior to booking an entertainer:

    1. What age group is the show most suited for? Will my 2-year old enjoy the show for 5-year olds? ¬†I have shows for children 3-15 years old.¬† Every show I do is different based on the ages of the kids.¬† If an entertainer¬†specializes in Bar Mitzvahs or Communions, they might not be the best fit for a 4-year old birthday party. Last month I did a show in the rented our party room of a retirement home.¬† As twenty 5-year¬†olds sat on the floor watching me make the bunny¬†appear, 8 very nice old ladies with walkers shuffled in and watched the rest of the show.¬† In this particular case, the 90-year age difference didn’t matter.
    2. Can you describe the¬†show?¬†What type of magic tricks? What type of songs? Is it interactive?¬† Is there dancing? (I don’t dance or sing.¬† My¬†6th grade students can attest to that).
    3. What does the package include? Ask to hear about all of the options.¬† You don’t want to hire a balloon artist only to find out during the party that your entertainer also¬†makes balloon animals.¬† I bring my bunny to every show, but the snake is upon request.
    4. How long is the performance? Most birthday parties are typically 1.5-2 hours long. A 45-60 minute show is perfect for this timeframe.
    5. How much experience do you have (direct and indirect)?¬†I have been performing at children’s parties for over 24 years. However, I have also spent 4 summers as a camp counselor (Mohawk Day Camp and Summit Camp), I have 2 kids (3 and 7-years old) and I am a full-time NYC 6th grade math teacher at a middle school in New York City.¬† My show is kid-approved¬†for over 24¬†years, but I¬†also have experience working with children that most¬†entertainers do not.
    6. Do they have references? Call, call, call. You would never go to a fancy restaurant¬†without first hearing its reviews.¬†Your child’s party¬†is a once-a-year event; ensure success by asking to¬†call at least 3 people who have hired them in the past 6 months.
    7. What do they charge? Are there different prices for different packages? This seems like a no-brainer, but it might make sense to ask the question from the get-go. If your budget is no more than $200, it doesn’t matter what the packages are, how long the show is, etc. if the children’s entertainer charges $1,000,000.
    8. Are there any specials, deals, discounts?  Some entertainers actually offer Groupons and/or have discounts in local newspapers.
    9. Do they accept credit cards, checks, Paypal, Bitcoins¬†(I don’t really know what those are)?
    10. What are the payment arrangements?¬† Is there a deposit? If so, how much? Is the deposit non-refundable?¬† When is it due by?¬† When is the remaining balance due and how is it to be paid? Can they be paid in pennies?¬†(I was once paid partially in rolls of quarters.¬† The client owned a¬†laundromat ūüôā

There will probably be more questions that come up during the phone call or email exchange, but these 10 questions are a great start to the process of planning your child’s party.¬† When you’re ready to hire a magician for your child’s party, I’ll be ready to answer any and all of your questions.¬† You can contact me at the¬†website¬†or call: 917-886-6364.