Keys to Success at Birthday Party Shows

Tips to Make your Birthday Parties Really Shine   By  Norm Barnhart

This article starts a series of keys to help in your success with Birthday Party shows.  Naturally many of the ideas can transfer over other venues.

Invite the mom or dad to come up close and get a good shot during the show.

Key #1 – Make Memories

People take a lot of photos during my show.  These photos will be looked at and cherished as they remember the big party. If you’re like me, however, you’ll notice that many photos are taken at bad moments. Maybe a prop is blocking the view for the camera. Possibly my eyes were closed at the moment of camera flash. Maybe the person with the camera was standing and, as they took the picture, I was looking down at the children on the floor, which from the view of the camera looks like my eyes are closed. My arm may be blocking the camera’s view of the child. Possibly the back of my head is toward the camera because I turned momentarily to look at the child by my side.

I like to make sure the parents have at least 3 good photos of me with the birthday child (many more pictures if possible). During the show, I will “freeze” moments for the camera. I’ll say, here’s great shot, get your camera ready. I’ll ask the child to hold up their hands like they are amazed as I look like I’m pulling the hot dogs out of his ear for a recreation of that surprise moment. We’ll pose a few pictures with the bird.  I’ll coach the child by saying, “look amazed,” “say WOW,” or “act surprised!”  This will leave them with a few good action shots, where the camera actually caught the action.

After the show I’ll bunch all the kids together for a big “ta-da” pose with big smiles and hands extended.  In the center of the group is the birthday child holding the wand and wearing a magic hat. I’m in the back row smiling and waving.  We will also pose a photo of just the birthday child and myself with a bird on his shoulder or on his finger. These shots will look great and be cherished.

Two other great shot ideas before we move on. Have the kids pose with their balloon hats on their heads and the person taking the picture stands on a chair shooting down on the assembled colorful group. Another fun shot with boys and sometimes girls is to have them take a shot as a group smiling and then take a shot with scary faces.  This brings lots of laughs and some parents will show this picture at work when asked how the party with a dozen 9-year old boys went.

Key #2 – Reward the Person that Invited You.

One golden key that I love to use is to see that the person who hired me gets a hug.  This seems like a simple gesture, but it packs amazing results. At the end of the show, after all the posed pictures are done, I always softly say or even whisper to the birthday child, “I hope you had fun, how about giving your mom and day a big hug.”

At one party the grandma, who hired me, came up to me as I was on my way out and said, “He (the birthday boy) gave me a hug after your show, so I know he liked it.” She didn’t realize I suggested to the boy that he hug her, and I never told her, I let it seem spontaneous. Just take a moment and think about this, a hug is a wonderful gift.  We can bring families together, help kids remember to have a thankful attitude and it makes the person who hired you like you even more. She went on to say that her grandson is usually very reserved, so she believed that show of affection from him indicated that my show was extra good. It made me look good. It also helped this youngster to have a thankful heart toward his Grandmother.  Cool!

2 Responses to “Keys to Success at Birthday Party Shows”

  1. Paul Brewer Says:

    Great advice! I always bring a gift for the child to give their Mom as a thank you for “making it your birthday” and ask the birthday child to give it to her with a hug. ”magician”

  2. Norm Says:

    Thanks Paul, You have a great idea here! It is good to encourage love and a thankful heart.

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