Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. My most common jobs? I don't think I have a common anything. But within the realm of uncommon, I frequently paint faces at events and children's birthday parties. I have painted at clothing optional resorts, I have painted Pirates for Gasparilla, I have painted a models for fashion shows, dancers for shows and with chocolate for performance. I perform comedy hypnosis shows across the country for all kinds of corporations, schools and festivals along with library shows across the state. See what I mean about common?
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. When hiring any kind of performing artist, ask lots of questions. Ask for references. Ask to see examples of their work. If painting, ask how many kids they can paint in an hour. Ask what kind of paint they use. Ask what kind of glitter. Ask how long they have been performing, are they full time. Ask what kind of training they have had. Ask a performer what they love about their work. Are they insured, professionals will carry insurance. After you have asked all the questions, trust your gut.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. I think it is important to know what you want for your event. What are you trying to get. A memory, ease, less stress, fun....what do you really want that day. Not so much as what kind of entertainment, I can help you determine that, but what is your goal for hiring entertainment. This may sound simple, but it is very important. For instance, in the case of a birthday party, do you want to be able to watch and participate in what is going on or do you want the kids entertained so you don't have to think about it and are free to be with the other adult guests. It makes a difference. It is good to know the ages of children and how many so that I can recommend things I know will work. This is where my experience makes a difference. I know what makes an event a success. I will ask you all about your needs and desires ( some you did not even realize you needed or desired) cover all the bases so you can relax and enjoy.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. My work stands out from others because I am the whole package. I am an artist, entertainer, business person and comedian. I have over 20 years of experience and I am respected by my community and other performers. My goal is to provide outstanding service and to make a difference in the lives of others through laughter and art.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I love my job because I get to laugh and create laughter and art for others. I make a difference in the lives of people....whether it is a small child who needs a moment of attention or an adult who wants to escape the stress of everyday life just for a while. I create memories and laughter. What's not to love?
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. People ask me,"How do you do that?" (when twisting balloons or doing magic) My answer is ,"With my hands, silly. I tried doing it with my feet and it is just too hard!"
People ask me how I got started in this business. They also ask me if this is all I do. It is! I am a full time variety entertainer! I like to do a variety of things to express the artist in me. I have just never been the kind of person who does one thing all their life.
The way I share my talents always has to have making a difference in the lives of others as a part. Whether it is to make a whole audience laugh, or help someone change their lives or let one child realize she is special and unique while painting her face...those are the things that I live for.
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. One of my favorite stories is about a little girl that comes to my weekly performance at Chick Fil A. She always wants to be some kind of princess and she always hugs me. Before she leaves, she comes up and curtsey's, hugs me and tells me that she will miss me all week. This is what I get to do to make a living. What a gift in my life.
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. I wish customers knew that every time I go out I want to make a difference for them, to make their lives just a little better..and mine too. I try to give them more than they are expecting and a great memory.
I want them to know that this is not a hobby, it is how I make my living.
I want them to know there is a difference in performers. If you want to pay K-mart prices you will get K-mart quality. But don't expect to get Nordstrom quality at K-mart prices.
I want them to know that it may seem we make a lot of money in a short amount of time. But consider, we have had to invest in training, props, gas ( gas!!!!) costumes, supplies, paint, balloons, licencing, insurance (the good ones will have this),and more. Remember that while we are full time, parties and events mosly happen on the weekends and we do not work 40 hours a week at a 100.00 an hour. ( I wish) When it all comes down we make a very reasonable wage.
Having said the above, your tips make a difference. If you think the performer has done an outstanding job tell them, tell your friends and give them a tip that matches the value you place on joy they have just given you.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I have always loved performing whether I was making people laugh or inspiring them with a song. I love to play, laugh and make great memories. So becoming a professional clown, a comedy hypnotist, a character performer, a face artist was just another step in expressing myself as an artist.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. As an artist I am always continuing my education. I have taught at the Face and Body Art convention in Orlando Florida and I have been student there too. I gather with other artists to share and create new work. I take art classes outside of the art to stimulate new ideas. I am a member of some groups online to keep up with the newest trends in face and body art.
Q. Describe your most recent project, what it involved, how much it cost, and how long it took.
A. My most recent project was painting a model with chocolate for a Chocolate Event at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. It started out that I was just going to paint a model with regular paint, but then I collaborated with the group I was working for and it ended up as the chocolate painting with the model resting on a baby grand while some one played it. I love the spontaneousness of my art. I used a warmer, with some cruets filled with white, dark and milk chocolate, cleaning my brush with vinegar. It cost me around 15.00 for the supplies and I had a blast. I painted for about 2 hours while people walked by watching. They loved it.
Q. Write your own question and answer it.
A. How have you been involved in your community. I have participated in my community in many ways through the years. I have been a member of the Girl Scouts, leading 4 different age troops ( before I had children). I was a trainer for the Girl Scouts. I was also a trainer for the Red Cross teaching canoeing, sailing, swimming, life guarding and CPR for over 20 years. I have worked with feeding the hungry through various religious organizations.