Q. What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
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. How did you get started doing this type 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. What types of customers have you worked with?
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 would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
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 questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
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.