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  • LIBRARY SUMMER READING PROGRAM TIPS WHEN HIRING AN ENTERTAINER
  • 8 TIPS WHEN HIRING A BIRTHDAY PARTY MAGICIAN
  • WHY HIRE A MYRTLE BEACH AREA MAGIC

 

LIBRARY SUMMER READING PROGRAM TIPS WHEN HIRING AN ENTERTAINER

Hiring the best entertainer for your library summer reading program is easy when you consider the below 10 tips. My name is Gerry Thompson, also known as Gerry The Great. I am one of the top magicians in South Carolina.  While I would love to be considered for your next event, my real goal here is simple – to give you some good advice to consider before hiring an entertainer for your next library children program.

Here are 10 tips for things you should consider:

#1 Background Check the performer!!! Every industry has one bad apple that can ruin the experience for everyone. So make sure you performer has a real name and always at least Google their name, even better do a complete background check. Also please do not judge the magic community by these bad apples, they do not reflect the reason most children entertainers do what we do, we love performing for kids!

#2 Any Guarantee? Testimonials can be misleading, and are selected by the performer. Do they offer a 100% guarantee that if you aren’t happy, you don’t pay? I have seen entertainers trying to maximize their dollars by charging you the max and getting in and out with no care for the kids. A money back guarantee can show they are committed to making your event the best it can be.

#3 Make sure you find the right entertainer for your event. For example, I specialize in family type entertainment, I love doing library shows in front of children and their parents, and it energizes me. Some entertainers are not a good fit for summer reading programs.  Entertaining children is as much about the stories, interaction, and fun as it is about incredible magic and props. I know some entertainers that will tell you they do library shows, but they may just perform a generic magic show, they do not connect with the children!  Some do corporate magic or walk around magic for adults and they do not know how to connect with children at all.   Some entertainers can do a little bit of everything.  Be sure that the entertainer you hire for your library program is experienced and focused on delivering great kids’ entertainment and education that inspires them to use your library as a resource more often.

#4 What kind of area does the entertainer need for his performance? Can the entertainer do his show in your small library branch and adjust to fit? Large library with a large audience? Are they performing indoors or outdoors? I don’t use power cords for example, my sound system is run by a battery and was built specifically so children wont trip on any cords.

#5 Ask what the show is like.  Do they says they connect with the kids, have a well defined scripted beginning, middle and ending that is all designed to inspire your children to use their library to learn and have fun. Be sure to ask how the entertainer will engage the crowd and make it special for your customers.

#6 Go for the highest quality performer you can afford. There is a huge difference between an amateur entertainer/hobbyist and a professional library performer.  Do they have a themed show that ties into to your objectives? An amateur or hobbyist might have a few tricks that he does well, probably has a love for magic and feels he can just do them in a row and make a show.  However, a professional entertainer studies his or her craft, building his repertoire of tricks and illusions over years.  And a professional entertainer works hard to perfect storytelling skills, timing, comedic flare, and connecting with the audience.  Professional entertainers belong to professional organizations, perform regularly and treat their library shows as a business.

#7 Ask some questions. Professional magicians invest in their business by:

  • Carrying insurance
  • Having professional grade equipment and tricks
  • Professional websites and marketing
  • Belonging to professional entertainment organizations
  • Actively studying, building, and practicing their craft

#8 Just like any other professional service you would hire, looking for discounts and cheap alternatives could be a sure fire way to end up disappointed.

#9 Look for inexpensive resources to really make the program day great. There are great free items on the Internet, look around and use them.  For example, have some fun games ready to play if they arrive early.

#10 Do they offer “stress free” programs or is it going to be a hassle hiring them. Make sure their processes are easy. Do they invoice quickly? Do they provide posters as soon as you book them? Do they ask for lots of help and needs to get the show done? If they need a lot of help from you, find someone else. A true professional will invoice quickly, provide posters and marketing help, and let you know right off that they are in charge during the show… and you can take a break!

I hope these tips will help you in your search for the best kids’ entertainer for your library’s summer reading program.

Gerry the Great (Gerry Thompson) is a Myrtle Beach area magician that has done hundreds of shows for children ever since his first paid magic show at the age of twelve.  He is a member of The Fellowship Of Christian Magicians and The International Brotherhood of Magicians.  Find more about Gerry the Great and his company at www.SandyShoeEntertainment.com

 

8 TIPS WHEN HIRING A BIRTHDAY PARTY MAGICIAN

Hiring the best magician for a great birthday celebration is easy when you consider the below 8 tips.  I am able to help you with this process because I am a Myrtle Beach area magician, I have children (who are also magicians) and I was a child who loved magic.

My name is Gerry Thompson, also known as Gerry The Great. I am one of the top magicians in South Carolina.  While I would love to be considered for your next event, my real goal here is simple – to give you some good advice to consider before hiring a magician for your next birthday party.

There are many things to consider when hiring a magician in your area. And there are also many things you may be concerned about that actually are not a problem for a professional birthday party magician. Here are 8 tips for things you should consider:

#1 How do you know if they are any good? You can look at their reviews, also look to see if they belong to any magic associations Like the International Brotherhood of Magicians, Society of American Magicians, Kidabra, Fellowship of Christian Magicians, etc. Look for verified resources from sites like Google, their website, Twitter, FaceBook, etc.

#2 What kind of magic do they specialize in? For example, I specialize in children’s birthday shows, I love doing kids’ birthday parties and it energizes me. Some magicians are not a good fit for this type of magic entertainment.  Entertaining children is as much about the stories, interaction, and fun as it is about incredible magic and props. I know some magicians that will tell you they do kids’ birthday parties, but they may just perform magic, they do not connect with the families!  Some do corporate magic or walk around magic for adults and they do not know how to connect with children at all.  Make sure you find the right magician for your event. Some magicians can do a little bit of everything.  Be sure that the magician you hire for a children’s birthday party is experienced and focused on delivering great kids’ birthday party magic shows.

#3 What kind of area does a Magician need for his performance?  Most magicians will need to be near a wall and facing outward to avoid any bad angles.  Let them know if they are performing indoors or outdoors.  If your party is outdoors they may need to bring different tricks to avoid weather issues (like wind!) to ensure a great performance.  A professional magician knows what to bring if he is asked to do the show outside. Consider keeping the show away from noisy items like bounce houses or other distractions to maximize the show.  If having a DJ or Band, be sure to let them know when the magician will start so that they can make a great introduction and help gather the group for the big show!

#4 Don’t be afraid to ask what the show is like.  In my shows I connect with the kids, I have a well defined scripted beginning, middle and ending that is all designed to enhance the birthday child’s day and make them feel special.  They get a special time with me at the end of the show where they are presented with a special present. And all the kids get a free magic trick to take home and a lollipop.  Be sure to ask how the magician will engage the crowd and make it special for the birthday child.

#5 Go for quality. There is a huge difference between an amateur magician/hobbyist and a professional magician.  An amateur magician or hobbyist might have a few tricks that he does well, probably has a love for magic and feels he can just do them in a row and make a show.  However, a professional magician studies his craft, building his repertoire of tricks and illusions over years.  And a professional magician works hard to perfect storytelling skills, timing, comedic flare, and connecting with the audience.  Professional magicians belong to professional organizations, perform regularly and treat their magic shows as a business.

#6 You get what they charge. Going right along with quality is the old adage “you get what you pay for”; except in this case what a magician charges can be very telling.   It is wise to be wary of any magician that charges a cheap price.  Professional magician rates will vary from area to area and the professional may cost a bit more, but it will be worth it. I personally have gotten calls on the day of a child’s birthday party and the hobbyist magician cancelled and did not even provide a backup! When the mother told me how much the magician’s fee was, I knew he was not a full time working professional magician. True professional magicians are never the cheapest, and they shouldn’t be!

Professional magicians invest in their business by:

Carrying insurance

Having professional grade equipment and tricks

Having professional websites & marketing

Belonging to professional entertainment organizations

Actively studying, building, and practicing their craft

Just like any other professional service you would hire, looking for discounts and cheap alternatives could be a sure fire way to end up disappointed.  When booking children’s entertainment review the list above and demand the best for your child’s birthday party!

#7 Kids will misbehave, so what!  If the magician you hire is a great children’s entertainer, then they will know how to handle a rowdy crowd or when a child becomes a little disruptive.  A professional kids’ party magician expects this as they know it will be a group of children!  It doesn’t mean that the child that acts out is bad…it just might mean that they want attention.  A professional kids’ magician will know how to handle it.   For example, with older children, I also have a few rules laid out in the beginning that helps them understand how the show will go and since they like to always be right, they help me make sure the show goes along as planned.  For younger children, I keep it fun, funny and mysterious – the little ones love to try to figure everything out.  No matter the age, I always treat children with respect and never talk down to them.  Magic is fun, creative and something that makes every kid THINK!

#8 If the parents stay, let them participate too!  I know, I know you pay a professional to “take over so we can relax”.  But a birthday party is a great way for parents to engage with their child by just having fun with them.  Most parents are so busy during the week that finding quality time to just have some fun with their child is hard.  Encourage the parents to sit with their child and really get into.  Easy, fun and all eyes are on the big show that you brought in for your child.  It makes your child and his party entertainment the main event.  Help the magician by not allowing parents to sit in the back of the room and talk amongst themselves.  It can disrupt the show, and it doesn’t allow for the connection with their children.  One of the best scenarios is to work with the magician to place the children on the floor in front and chairs behind them for the parents. I like to play an “ice breaker” game before I start sometimes and really get the families playing together.

#9 Look for inexpensive resources to really make the party great. There are great free items on the Internet, look around and use them.  For example, my website has free printable magic birthday invitations and coloring pages. And my team can also prepare games to play as well as decorations.

I hope these tips will help you in your search for the best kids’ birthday party magician for your child’s party!

Gerry the Great is a Myrtle Beach area magician that has done hundreds of birthday parties for children ever since his first paid magic show at the age of twelve.  He is a member of The Fellowship Of Christian Magicians and The International Brotherhood of Magicians.  Find more about Gerry the Great and his company at www.SandyShoeEntertainment.com.

 

 

WHY HIRE A MYRTLE BEACH AREA MAGICIAN FOR YOUR PARTY?

Are you planning a party and looking for something old that’s become new again? 

Lots of people have forgotten how much fun hiring magical entertainment for your party can be.  For a while, having a Myrtle Beach magician at your event was out of favor.  Not anymore, with movies such as The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Now you see it, and TV shows like Wizard Wars, and Penn and Tellers Fool Us, more people are now hiring Gerry The Great (a magician from the Pawleys Island area) than ever before.

It really has never gone out of style – we are seeing magic more than ever in movies and on TV.  And, in the Myrtle Beach area, we are so blessed with live theater that feature awesome magicians.  It really seems to get a buzz going when it comes to magical entertainment.

Here are some ideas for booking a Myrtle Beach Area Magician:

  • Close up magic for an intimate dinner party
  • Birthday Party Magician for your children 
  • Corporate magic to enhance your booth at a trade show or as main event entertainment
  • Balloon artist for your next children’s event 
  • Face Paining for your next children’s event or corporate day

Here are some items you may want to consider and ask when booking your Myrtle Beach Area Magician:

1. Does the magic act include comedy and music? Not all do.  And the more audio and visuals, like music & comedy, the more entertainment value for your event.

2. Does the entertainer do a special presentation for the birthday child? Some entertainers spend loads of time honing their act to do special activities like special presentations with birthday cards, custom magic kits and even money.

3. Are there great testimonials? Does their website have good feedback? Look for bad reviews.

4. How versatile and how many options do they offer? Are there different packages for different budgets? You may only want a 30 minute magic show, or a magic show that includes balloons and face painting.  Or you may need to get a break on pricing if you have a long event, need multiple entertainment options, or have a special requests.

5. Do they offer themed parties? You may want a princess or superhero theme. Some magicians offer great themes and may work with you if you have a special request.

6. Do they offer stress free packages? Some offer the philosophy of “I’m in charge you can relax” while others may demand you are there to police every child’s movement. This could be a sign of someone who is new to doing magic shows.

7. How long have they been doing magic shows for kids? Easy one to ask – and be sure to listen for the right answer.   It shouldn’t be “not that long” or “I am new to entertaining children.”  All of the Performers at Sandy Shoes Entertainment deeply care about giving great service to their customers. We work extremely hard to connect with our audience and provide great value when we are given the privilege of performing at a client’s event.

 

Ten Tips For Planning A Client Appreciation Day

As a family entertainer in the Myrtle Beach area I get lots of different calls for many different type customer appreciation events. I will tell you that I have seen the good and the bad. And the good has nothing to do with how big the company is or the budget that is spent! I’ve gotten calls for a magician entertainer from well known large corporate clients and they had no idea how to budget for their event.  But I have also gotten calls from smaller local businesses that knew exactly how to have a great customer appreciation day for their clients and potential clients. What I am saying is you don’t have to be a huge corporation to put on a great event, you just need to do some effective planning. Here are ten tips for having a great client appreciation day:

  1. Budget, Budget, Budget! No matter the size of your budget, have one and stick to it. Make sure your event has uniformity. I’ve seen events with very expensive catering, terrible entertainment nowhere to sit, and no shade. Be careful not to overspend on one item (Like advertising) so that you can afford to hire me! (the entertainment) Seriously, I charge a fair rate for my magic shows, balloon artists, and face painters, but I had a very well know corporate client tell me they could not afford me and then I see they rented a huge digital billboard to advertise the same event! Another corporation that asked me to discount my services severely because they spent their whole budget on a promotional item to hand out and didn’t have enough left over for the entertainment!

I work hard to get new clients and all of our artists love to entertain. But we cannot do it for free or next to nothing. This is our business not our hobby.

  1. Consider adding a charity component to your event. This will show your clients and potential clients that you are including them into a community that cares more than just about business. One of my customers has a silent auction and they ask other local businesses to donate “baskets” for the attendees to bid on. This is an easy way to raise money for your favorite charity. Allow the charity to come and speak at the event to enlighten the community about their good work. You can ask your local golf courses for greens fees and carts, ask local spas and hair stylists for free productsin order to promote their businesses. This connects them to your event and also may get them some new clients too.
  2. Provide great food and entertainment. Some of the best events I have done included walk around magic, Elvis impersonators, a massage specialist for example. Consider a local catering company if it is in your budget. If not do something low key like bringing out your grill from home and making hot dogs and hamburgers.
  3. Do a thank you speech. Make sure to say something to thank the clients, welcome everyone, and introduce your employees and your family. Make sure everyone knows you appreciate them and that you cannot run your business without their help. And don’t forget to remind them that you really appreciate their referrals. This is the one thing you should be  “bold” about.
  4. Promote, Promote, Promote! Make sure you market the event to everyone you are targeting as customers. Start early, make flyers, invitations, and if you don’t have an advertising budget, simply ask your clients to put the event in their calendar every time they come in.
  5. Do your event annually, make it bigger and better every year. If you’ve never done an appreciation event, start small and make it fun. Think outside the box. One of the best customer appreciation events involved me doing magic in the waiting room of a dentist office! The clients had a great time seeing magic before and after they went into to their appointments.
  6. Consider doing an employee appreciation event. One of my clients (a hair stylist) hired me to perform magic and our face painter to entertain her employees. They all spent the night in sleeping bags in her salon and they had a great time.
  7. Use professionals or don’t offer services like face painting or balloon animals. I cringe when I see a non professional using paints and pens to “face paint” children.  Not only do the face paints look terrible they may be unsafe too. Our face painters use only the best allergy free face painting products available. They are designed to wash off very easily. There’s nothing worse than seeing bad face painting on your clients children at your event.
  8. Take breaks, and give your employees breaks too. Make sure your client appreciation event is not too strenuous on your employees or the may not want to help you with it.
  9. Have fun, connect. Don’t forget to take some time to have fun, enjoy getting to know your clients more. Above all be authentic and your client appreciation event will certainly be a success guaranteed!

Gerry the Great is a Myrtle Beach area magician that has done hundreds of birthday parties for children ever since his first paid magic show at the age of twelve.  He is a member of The Fellowship Of Christian Magicians and The International Brotherhood of Magicians.  Find more about Gerry the Great and his company at www.SandyShoeEntertainment.com.