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Topic: Kid show birthday
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Oct 13, 2018 11:13PM)
I think I have done my very last birthday party after 43 years of doing kid show birthday events. The children were the worst behaved I have ever seen and most of the cause was the adults/parents. No names, but the birthday mom would let the children do anything they wanted to. There was an inflatable in the yard, right after I packed up and was ready to go, the children demolished the inflatables they had. As in, stomped them to the ground and they were completely deflated.

Have you ever worked a birthday party where the birthday boy and all his brothers (he was 5 & the other brothers were 5-7) were the worst ever? Apparently, the birthday boy and his brothers thought it was great to totally disrobe and run among the guests TOTALLY NAKED during the party. Including the 7-year-old.

The parents said nothing, and did nothing. Besides drink. After the party, and after I found someone to pay me for the event, the dad walked up and offered me a beer to go as I was in my car leaving.


After 43 years of performing magic shows at birthday parties, I think I am done. Did I mention that the party was at a house that would cost you at least $3 million in my city?

Steve

Steve Thomas
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Oct 14, 2018 06:38AM)
I can’t believe you beat me to it. Since my second show yesterday I was going to post a similar thread. I was going to title it “Kidz Gone Wild.” As I was twisting balloons the second hour a child would try to go back behind my backdrop where my unpacked equiptment was from my magic show I finished. I was nearly done with balloons and it started to get worst. I was letting down my backdrop so I can see the kids who were back there so I could tell them to leave from back there. It got worse. Several kids went back behind the same time grabbing my backdrop and magic props. I was getting loud telling them to not go back there because they might get hurt. I repeatedly told them to put my items down. I was hoping one of the female adults in the basement who were watching would help control the kids. They happen to keep silent and just watch. The mother of the birthday children just had a camera aimed at me taking pictures. I guess she was in a panic mood, didn’t know what to do maybe taking pictures incase I would have gotten physical with the children. Next I yelled to her several times “Get the daddy.” She went in the next room to get him. I was surprised he did not come out previously from my loud yelling with my microphone and speakers on. When he arrived he told the kids to stop a few times. They did stop. I heard the father say to the mother, “Why didn’t you do anything?” The mother said to the father, “He was calling you.” The father stayed next to me for a few minutes as I packed up my stuff. It was not easy for me to keep a happy attitude as I packed my equiptment up. I told the father to stay by my equiptment as I took it upstairs out of the basement one at a time.

The house I was performing in was in the millions too. A lot of children from that culture I was performing for are totally spoiled.
Message: Posted by: Gerry Walkowski (Oct 14, 2018 07:49AM)
Steve,

Just curious what control steps you took at the beginning of your show?

I'm not saying that as a way of being smart.

Once in a blue moon I do run into a group here or there that just cause chaos but again, it's not the norm in my case. Last year I worked a country club Halloween party. While the client had praise for my show, I just found the children too spoiled for my taste. (While I wouldn't go back there again if they asked me, that hasn't been my experience at every country club.)

Mike, I'm not proclaiming I have the answer to your post, but could it be the parents had no idea on how to handle this as well?

It would be great to hear how others (Danny Orleans, Scott Green, Silly Billy) handle these abnormal situations.

Gerry
Message: Posted by: aheller5 (Oct 14, 2018 08:36AM)
Never give up ...everyone has these kinds of things happening at parties... once in a while...dont let it stop you from performing the art you love some people have no consideration...you can stop your show and wait..i usually might say a joke to the parents that I'm not a babysitter hahah but last night I had a show and the kids were well behaved it was the adults who were obnoxious and loud...i asked several time to stop they ignored me and kept drinking ....the kids had a blast!!!! Keep doing what you love !!!!!
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Oct 14, 2018 08:47AM)
So sorry to hear about your recent problem show Steve. I think what you experienced is part of a much greater problem going on in entertainment. We are experiencing the results of Gen Xers and now Millenials who were the first generations not raised on live entertainment (theater, bands, live music clubs, live comedy, magic, etc.) like the previous generations. They were raised on both electronic and personal entertainment. The result is the current group of parents do not know proper etiquette and responsibility for a live performance. They text in the theater, during a play, sporting events, concerts, comedy clubs, heck even in church). If they don't know and respect the art of a live entertainment performance, there is no way their kids possibly could. Kids get their behaviors from their parents.

The other result we as an industry are seeing is that live entertainment bookings have been down much more over the last decade-decade and a half more than any other time since the Great Depression. Less live venues, less private bookings, and for the events that still do book live entertainment (like corporate, schools, etc.) the have scaled way back to smaller events and of course smaller budgets in many cases. Also because of this they do not know how to book live entertainment which results in methods like Google and Gigmaster, Gig Salad, etc. which has resulted in many poor or bad entertainers undercutting and bottomfeeding hurting the industry and live entertainment even more.

To many people talent, skill and experience means little. Rather than understand and proudly accept a skilled, live performer that is great with kids, it is easier (and cheaper) to just book a bounce house, a low-end performer, and do-it-yourself things that used to be done by performers such as ipod music instead of a DJ or going to Party City and doing their face painting with a consumer kit.

Sadly, it is all a part of an overall greater picture that seems to be continuing.

Kids parties have always been solid and a staple for magicians, it is sad to see it coming to this. Hopefully, you'll reconsider or just choose another market to specialize in.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Oct 14, 2018 10:25AM)
One thing that might have helped DynaMike, and, other performers who bring in a "THURSTON or BLACKSTONE PRODUCTION" for a birthday party: Karrell Fox, Jay Marshall, and I carried ONE SMALL PROP CASE. We could walk in, open the case, and do a show! We didn't spend time packing up, either. We could just close the prop case, grab the waiter's tray stand, and EXIT, (after getting the check, of course!)

We all had learned, that, "It aint the PROPS! It's the PERFORMER, and his PRESENTATION!

I agree with Mindpro's comments, 101%.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Oct 14, 2018 10:37AM)
[quote]On Oct 14, 2018, Gerry Walkowski wrote:

Mike, I'm not proclaiming I have the answer to your post, but could it be the parents had no idea on how to handle this as well?
[/quote]

Yes, you are right. The "female adult witnesses" had no idea how to handle it. They were not expecting it would happen. They were not preparing for it to happen. The parents only see a magician an average of only once a year. Most shows they see I expect have gone well without the kids getting rowdy.

I was not expecting it would happen either. When the first child was going behind my backdrop continually, I should have gotten a parent to control that child immediately. But I was late and waited for about 7 children to go wild before I shouted for any help.
Message: Posted by: Neznarf (Oct 14, 2018 10:50AM)
Did a camp show once and it was Carnival Day.

The campers/kids were consuming, cotton candy, snow cones and other high in sugar treats.

I tried all the controls I knew but nothing worked.

The kids were cranked up on sugar.

So I got through the show and left.

It was not a fun experience.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Oct 14, 2018 01:04PM)
I always put my Stand-Up Show, including my backdrop, away before I move on to strolling ( I don't do balloons ).

Lately I have not been actively selling my backdrop and music as part of the show. I thought I needed them but I don't. The less I do my backdrop and music the less I want too.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: aheller5 (Oct 14, 2018 07:19PM)
Mary I agree especially for a kids bday you don't need a backdrop..i always wanted to get one but don't see when I would use maybe for a library show but I mainly do bday parties...
Message: Posted by: danfreed (Oct 14, 2018 08:02PM)
We all have those nightmare gigs once in a blue moon, and also gigs that aren't a nightmare, but are still quite aggravating. It's often the parents that bother me more. I haven't noticed it getting worse since I started in 94, seems about the same, though I'm better at handling and preventing issues than I was, say 15 years ago. I won't deal with too much crap anymore, I haven't really had to do this, but I'd pack up and leave if I couldn't maintain a decent performing situation, or switch from the show to something else. I almost never bother with backdrops, though they look cool and fancy things up, I just don't want to spend the extra time and effort, mainly they care about how well I entertain the kids.
Message: Posted by: Gerry Walkowski (Oct 15, 2018 02:47AM)
Several things. . .

I think we've all had a show, or a few shows, like Steve Thomas described at some point in our lives. When that happens, I think the best thing you can do if you can't stabilize things is just cash the check at the end of your performance and move on to the next show. Great football teams still lose a game here and there, but they move on to the next game the following week. That's life.

Over the years I've had a occasional show bomb or a show whereby controlling the kids was very difficult. When these things happened, I did my best Monday morning quarterback analysis and tried to learn from those mistakes.

Mindpro, I enjoyed your post. It depressed me, though. :)

Are we all doomed?

Thanks,

Gerry
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Oct 15, 2018 08:44AM)
Steve has been doing this for a long time and I’m not sure he could have changed anything under those conditions. He is right that the parents are different nowadays than they were just a few years back. Hard to blame the kids when they are being raised the way they are today. I agree with Gerry, sometimes you just need to cash the check and move on.

But I will throw this out just to add to the discussion. Kids act different at daycare, school, or church than they do at home. Why is that? Knowing that ‘why’ can help. Think about it.

Now I’m not saying you should act like a teacher and demand they sit still all the time. But you do need to relay that teacher likeness to them early on. Let em know that you are the boss for the next few minutes.. Not an easy thing to do in a fun way, but the kids do need to understand upfront that things are about to be different. The ground rules are needed today more than ever. Maybe do it in a teacher like tone of voice to get their attention. Remember how you could tell when your parent or teacher was serious. They didn’t have to explain it, you just knew by that voice.:)

Yep younger people are changing fast nowadays, I feel for those dealing with their kids.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Oct 15, 2018 09:47AM)
I should raise my fee and bring an assistant to maintain and instruct the children before, during and after my show. She will give the rules to the children as I am setting up. She will bring a kid to the back of the room to remind the kid of the rules if he is getting rowdy. She will make sure no kids are around my pets or props after my show.

In the past I would have a person be a clown for the kids. I would train her to do face painting and balloons. She kept the kids under control by doing face painting for 30 minutes as I set up my equipment. She would keep the kids under control again, this time with balloon twisting as I pack up my props.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Oct 15, 2018 10:20AM)
Terrible idea! So put the new inexperienced girl assistant in the line of fire with the same kids you don't want bothering you. Putting her in the line of fire to save your a** is only temporarily measure anyhow. It doesn't correct, fix or change anything. If she doesn't/can't handle them well they will likely be even worse by the time they get to you. If anything it can wind the kids you even more and create more problems.

Sacrificing an assistant is not a solution.

I also don't think raising your price to accommodate this is a solution as it can likely create or raise different problems and expectations.
Message: Posted by: MaveriQ (Oct 15, 2018 11:38AM)
Just curious. Does anyone communicate expectations to parents hiring for kids parties? Not sure what that would look like, but some way of saying during the hiring process that you'd like an adult present? Politely saying I am hired to perform, not parent.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Oct 15, 2018 11:49AM)
[quote]On Oct 15, 2018, MaveriQ wrote:
Just curious. Does anyone communicate expectations to parents hiring for kids parties? Not sure what that would look like, but some way of saying during the hiring process that you'd like an adult present? Politely saying I am hired to perform, not parent. [/quote]


Yes, idea is to have the parents on your side going in.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Oct 15, 2018 11:58AM)
I agree. Success as a performer has more to do with the business behind your performance. I often find that most could curtail many of the common problems by addressing these things upfront as part of the sales presentation and booking process. This works for all levels of entertainers in all markets.

We must remember most people (especially those working in consumer markets) do not think as we do as insiders. They likely have no ideas of many of the issues, concerns, and problems we face and to be truthful - never will. They would likely never figure these things out on their own, which is why we need to address these properly and effectively, to present these concerns to them. I have done this for years and often have people thank me for it as it makes their event better. They will say things like "I had no idea about...until you told me." They don't know what they don't know.

We must also take the time to think from their perspective as well. They often have many of their own things and responsibilities going on which takes them even farther away from our needs and issues as well in the thick of the event. Another reason for dealing with as much of this as possible in advance. Especially when the dynamics are in their favor, such as in their home, their perceptions become different than if having the event at a venue.

Part of doing what we do is educating our clients in the process. We can't assume they will know things or worse yet we can assume they have common sense. Common sense isn't so common anymore.

So yes, I agree that we can do preventative and educational things to prevent many such things. We need to spend as much (if not more) on these behind the scenes aspects as we do the actual perofrmance.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Oct 15, 2018 03:22PM)
[quote]On Oct 15, 2018, Mindpro wrote:
Terrible idea! So put the new inexperienced girl assistant in the line of fire with the same kids you don't want bothering you. Putting her in the line of fire to save your a** is only temporarily measure anyhow. It doesn't correct, fix or change anything. If she doesn't/can't handle them well they will likely be even worse by the time they get to you. If anything it can wind the kids you even more and create more problems.

Sacrificing an assistant is not a solution.

I also don't think raising your price to accommodate this is a solution as it can likely create or raise different problems and expectations. [/quote]

You misread it. I will post it again: "In the past I would have a person be a clown for the kids. I would 'train' her to do face painting and balloons. She kept the kids under control by doing face painting for 30 minutes as I set up my equipment. She would keep the kids under control again, this time with balloon twisting as I pack up my props." I mentioned I trained her. I used a man also in the past. I did not use a boy, girl or teenager. I used an adult with common sense. I would train them again now when I do it again. If it worked before it will work again.

Dealing with the prices I got an one hour silver package and a two hour gold package. The gold package cost more. People still purchase it. The second person helped me make more money in the past by speeding things up so do more gigs for that day. She would start the package soon as we arrived at the venue as I was setting up. I did not have to worry about any children being around me as I was setting up. The same as I was packing up because she had them under control. We would arrive at 3pm and leave at 5pm. When I am by myself for a two hour package I am there approximately 3 hours. I cannot remember my price I had for the second person, but it sure did help.
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Oct 15, 2018 06:17PM)
I love stories like this…only because I’ve been there and done that!

Forget all of your kid control suggestions, contracts and ‘expectations’ of behavior, there are some situations where NOTHING will work.

Over the weekend I had the birthday mom tell her 2 year old to ‘go up on stage and stand with the magician while he’s trying to do his show! Its so cute!’ Sure enough another 2 year came up. I tried to tell them to sit down but another adult told me, "Its okay, that’s his cousin!” Yeah, lets have everyone come up whenever they want!

I try to laugh at it and thank my lucky stars I only have to put up with it for 45-minutes….and get paid well!

I find it interesting that this seems to happen most often with the ‘super rich’. I don’t want to stereotype it because the ‘super rich’ can be the nicest people you would ever want to meet sometimes. But it is interesting…..
Message: Posted by: danfreed (Oct 15, 2018 11:26PM)
That is true Ken, sometimes nothing will work, people be crazy! One of the craziest situations was showing up to a party and the room I was supposed to do the show in had a bubble machine going. It must have been on for a long time. The floor had a tarp on it to protect it, the tarp was tucked under the furniture. It was so slippery it was like an ice rink - it was dangerous. It was the only room big enough and outdoors wasn't an option due to the weather. I asked them to remove the tarp and clean up the area cause I was afraid of slipping and getting soap on my props. They looked at me like I was being fussy. They wouldn't do it, said it would take too long or whatever.
I should have refused, and to this day I regret doing the show. Kids were slipping and getting hurt, and I was afraid the whole time,and didn't want to be associated with kids getting hurt. I didn't want to disappoint the kids or end up with a bad review, and didn't want the drama with the parents, so I did the show. But I should have left, or just done balloons in the kitchen or whatever.
Message: Posted by: MaveriQ (Oct 16, 2018 05:52AM)
I did a Christmas Eve party just last year for 25 or so kids. Mom hired me, Grandma hired Santa. The big guy showed up 15 minutes into my show. I like to think I'm pretty good, but I'm not compete with Santa on Christmas Eve good!
Message: Posted by: aheller5 (Oct 16, 2018 10:26AM)
Hahah great story maveriQ I can def see this happening..See steve I hope you understand it happens to all of us!!!
Message: Posted by: derrick (Oct 16, 2018 04:17PM)
I once had a wealthy couple hire me for their daughters 6th birthday party. As I attempted to set up my show she continually attempted to go through my props. I finally asked the parents to please ask the birthday girl to give me a little privacy so I could set up the show before guests arrived. She looked at me and said I don't have to mind. The parents, who were in the room, didn't correct her. I was a bit taken back by this. I said to the little girl if you don't mind me and stay out of my props I won't perform at your birthday party. She again said I don't have to mind. Again, this was said WITH HER PARENTS IN THE ROOM. I finally said, I don't have to perform your show either. I began packing up my props, thinking surely the parents would take charge of their child. NOPE! They let me pack up my show and leave. To the make the story even more amazing, the next week they were back to see me with their daughter at the restaurant where I performed walk around magic on family night. That's the worst I've ever experienced.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Oct 16, 2018 04:35PM)
[quote]On Oct 15, 2018, Dynamike wrote:
You misread it. I will post it again: "In the past I would have a person be a clown for the kids. I would 'train' her to do face painting and balloons. She kept the kids under control by doing face painting for 30 minutes as I set up my equipment. She would keep the kids under control again, this time with balloon twisting as I pack up my props." I mentioned I trained her. I used a man also in the past. I did not use a boy, girl or teenager. I used an adult with common sense. I would train them again now when I do it again. If it worked before it will work again. [/quote]

I didn't misread anything. If you are having problems with it yourself there is no way someone new to all of this could handle it even if you trained them. That is still throwing them into the lions.

It is an art and science to working with wound-up, untended to kids that only comes with experience, and even then, as one can see by all of the posts and horror stories, it still can be a challenge. It would be easier to find and train someone to do your prep and breakdown for you and then you - the one with experience and skill, deal with the uncontrolled kids.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Oct 16, 2018 10:37PM)
No problem, I will explain it to you in a clear manner. The kids do not get rowdy at every show I do. It can happen once from 30 to 50 shows. If I train the right person, they will be experienced after show many shows. It is harder when I try to handle two things at once. If I had a helper, she will watch the kids while I am doing one thing, packing my props.

If I have her be a clown, she will be keeping the kid's attention while I unpack/pack my props. Kids can get bored and rowdy from doing nothing.

Excuse me for not being as clear the first time.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Oct 17, 2018 08:44AM)
I (and everyone else here) understood completely, no need to clarify. Of course, it doesn't happen at every show, if it did there would be no kids performers. All I was saying is there was so much incorrect with your line of thinking on this, from putting a new, inexperienced person in the line of fire, to having her be a clown which, today more than ever before, are uninviting to kids and often even scary to many.

You can keep explaining it all you want over and over again, it still is a poor idea regardless of how you try to justify it. And she wouldn't likely last long anyhow, so at best it is a band-aid solution. As you can see here, guys with decades of experience still fear and have difficulty with this when it happens, a newbie would have an even worse time. Excuse yourself for your defensiveness.

Of course, if you want to go ahead and do it. When it blows up on you it will only affect you and your image and reputation with your clients.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Oct 17, 2018 09:54AM)
I continue to agree with Mindpro.

"Band-Aids" are a rather poor way to patch up a show.

I haven't met or seen DynaMike work. But. from what he has written, I feel it's safe to make a few assumptions.

Like way too many magicians. who do kid parties. His show appears to be too prop heavy, or too "trick oriented".

I learned, when I was a teenager, in the '40s, doing "whatever kind of date that I could book". that, "stage conditions" were RARE. I was "hiding behind the piano" to load silks, etc.

I had learned what I knew--and, could DO, from a few kid books that mainly showed tricks with "cans, pans, tubes" etc. I decided that, I would learn PRINCIPLES for tricks that needed GENERIC PROPS, which needed NO SET UP, or ALMOST NO SET UP. THAT. has "made" my performing life, for well over 50 years", practical, and fun.

I studied all the books on PERFORMING, that I could find. (Maskelynne & Devant, Tarbell, Fitzkee, et al.

--In an old "SPHINX" magazine, I found, on the editor, Dr. A. M. Wilson's "op-ed page, a quotation on the mast head: "Magic is an art that sometimes instructs, sometimes amuses, but. always entertains." I believed Dr.Wilson! But, after seeing a few other magicians, perform, I realized that the good doctor, was WRONG!

Then, I "discovered" some writings of R.L. Sharpe. He had written: "Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks, are strangers to magic. Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained." I memorized THAT!

I produced a show, that has had a "few" revisions, over the years, but. has clung to Sharpe's philosopphy.

I wrote a rather strict criteria for the tricks/routines, that I could use, and, I produced a program that could ENTERTAIN almost everyone, and, be performed, almost anywhere.

I've never been "at liberty".
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Oct 17, 2018 10:53AM)
[quote]On Oct 17, 2018, Dick Oslund wrote:
"Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks, are strangers to magic." [/quote]


Some great thoughts here. This is the problem I have with kids entertainers. Through my agencies and coaching I have probably worked with over 300 kids performers and booked 2500-3000 kids events. I also get submissions for representation or coaching from probably 30 kids performers a month. The one thing I see in so many kids magicians is they are not performers or entertainers, but just being executors of purchased tricks.

They rely on the tricks for everything - laughter, amazement, engagement, etc. I have always been from the school that the tricks are just the tools you use to entertain and that the entertainment comes from the performer, not the tricks.

It should always be entertainemnt and personality first, and the tricks used only to enhance that. Before we rep any performer I have a test they must pass. This test came about from an actual incident that happened to me many years ago. I was performing when due to an accident nearby the venue and entire part of town lost all power. The room I was in had those emergency lights come on over the exit doors and in two other places throughout the room. To make a long story short the manager of the venue asked me to keep performing to keep everyone in there so they weren't wandering around the venue in the dark. So I had no sound system, no props or accessories, and couldn't perform any of my normal show. It was just me and my talent. I did 45 minutes and it was one of the best shows I had done. Furthermore many audience members also came up to both me and the manager saying the same too.

As entertainers, we must not rely on our tricks, props or anything else to provide the entertainment value. They can be enhancers, but the true entertainment must come from yourself. Sure props, backdrops, visual illusions, and such are great, but it is when you can work out of a briefcase with your talent and abilities and a few enhancers that you really could still do without, that you pass this test.

Too many people stay in the beginner level mindset of "I can buy this trick and that trick and can use it to perform." Sure that's how everyone STARTS, but very few ever leave it to go on and become true performers. They remain reliant on these tricks, effects, props, and accessories. I call it the default approach.

What really concerning is it happens to magicians the most. Comedians grow out of the stock jokes or easy laughs and evolve to actual material, concepts, and writing. Singers and musicians go from covers to their own creations, and so on. I think the mentality is "I can just get 6-8 tricks together and become a kids magician. Again, great to start, but you can easily tell who has moved beyond this with the type of undersdtanding you (Dick) mentioned above, and who will be 5, 10, 25 years or more down the road still doing the same thing and approach.
Message: Posted by: Russo (Oct 17, 2018 11:06AM)
Reminds me when Wife and I were hired by Bullocks Dept. Stores, to do a 15 min.show for Mickey Mouses Birthday( early 70's) -We built a large Birthday Cake that held 4 (kids)tumblers - after producing the tumblers from the cake- did our Show - BUT Mickey was stranded on the San Diego Freeway, we were asked to stretch the show another 20 minutes- so we did - I don't remember how - . Haveing experience and able'ness( a word??)I guess!! we did have fun - and the Managers were Very HAPPY
Message: Posted by: danfreed (Oct 17, 2018 04:37PM)
Most people don't have the talent to be a really good entertainer (or maybe it's often just a lack of no in-person training/mentoring from someone else who is really good). That's why so many people think they are good clowns because they are wearing a clown outfit and do face painting and balloons, but are not entertaining at all.
Message: Posted by: Gerry Walkowski (Oct 18, 2018 03:07AM)
There's some great observations and other stuff here. It's pure gold!

Gerry
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Oct 20, 2018 11:10PM)
[quote]On Oct 18, 2018, Gerry Walkowski wrote:
There's some great observations and other stuff here. It's pure gold!
Gerry [/quote]

I agree, this is a valuable thread!

One thing I do to reduce poor behavior at my shows is to almost entirely eliminate performing at peoples homes. The reason for this has a lot to do with what Mindpro discussed regarding client perspectives. Performing in such unfavorable conditions also can negatively impact your brand image. The Great Zucchini is known in the Washington DC area for his stringent and seemingly quirky demands regarding performing conditions in homes, where the host is told to rearrange furniture, cover toys with cloths, switch to another room, cover windows, no adult talking etc. it was written in a Washington Post article and I personally witnessed it. It is his way of protecting his brand image and creating expectations. I do not feel with my age and personality I could pull that off, but I have experienced enough dogs walking through my set, poorly behaved kids and such that now I explain that in-home shows are a poor fit with my performance.
Message: Posted by: Dustin Baker (Nov 19, 2018 01:56PM)
I did roughly one birthday a week for about three years, and I only had issues on one occasion.

I did the show in an open auditorium at a school, with children standing (I was told there would be rows of chairs - they didn't pay for those).
I was doing the show for 30 kids ages 4-10 (they told me it was 10 kids around 6-7yrs)
There was no parental supervision at all (I was told there were plenty of parents, and there were - outside).

Basically, nothing about the venue was what it was described to be and the kids were running all over the place through the whole show.
About half way through the show, I have a section where I make a balloon sculpture for one of the kids (it's mostly a gag routine). After the balloon sculpture was done, the kids rushed forward demanding their own balloons.

For the balloons, they were happy to form an orderly line and wait patiently for their turns.

The parents saw nothing wrong with this.

Granted, that's one out of maybe 200 kid shows over the period when I was doing it regularly, but it was a weird experience.

[quote]On Oct 13, 2018, Stevethomas wrote:Did I mention that the party was at a house that would cost you at least $3 million in my city?
[/quote]

Cost of a house isn't a super reliable measuring rod anymore - not since the '08 collapse.
Tons of people in really high end places are renters and lots of the houses got sold for pennies on the dollar.
Having class and having money are also largely unrelated now.

I must disagree with Mindpro's assessment that Gen X (currently in their 50s) and millennials' (currently in their 30s) lack experience with live performance, this is simply untrue. Stage performance is seeing a new renaissance largely driven by millennials, and it's reviving many theaters and off-broadway productions. Forbes had an article earlier this year about small stage productions becoming more profitable and more viable than they've ever been. The art is evolving, largely at the hands of millennials.
Message: Posted by: TrickyRicky (Mar 22, 2019 10:49AM)
Mindpro---you are right on with your post.
I too have had many performances over the years with parents and children behavior and mind you, a few of these were uncountable, but you learn to do the best you can.
I've had the same problem as Steve been through. You win some and you lose some, as long as you win most you're doing well.
As Mindpro posted--use the props to entertain the children and you will do a good performance.
Tricky Ricky