One thing that's essential to a party is entertainment. Well, that's easier said than done! If you're a hands-off type of person, you may wish to have a clown come in to amuse your guests and make your party extra-special.
Don't be intimidated, get involved. There are several things to consider when hiring professional services. If this is your first time, the tips below will help you begin your search to find the best clown suited for your type of party.
One size does not fit all (and I'm not talking about shoes!) Clowns all have their own talents and skills that they will use to entertain at parties. Among them include magic shows, puppet shows, slapstick comedy, face painting, juggling, and balloon sculpting or twisting. Children will enjoy the puppet show, juggling and face painting while adults will probably prefer more slapstick comedy. The magic show and balloon sculpting will most likely be a hit with both groups. Therefore, it's important to choose the right clown for your audience.
Before you start, have all of the information about your party handy so that the agency can determine the services that you will need and pinpoint the cost. What type of party are you having? Where will it be? How many guests will attend? Will they be children, adults, or both? What activities do you think will be a hit at your party? Do you have a preference for a male or female clown? Is anyone allergic to latex (balloons?)
Besides giving information, you should gather it. Don't be shy, it's your turn to ask questions. Can you pick the clown? What if this particular clown is ill or has an emergency and can't show up? Will you be notified? Who will the replacement be? Are the skills comparable? Are you insured? Furthermore, you should find out if you need to provide any props (most clowns bring their own) and what works well for a stage area.
Unless you hire someone experienced in the industry, your party could be a flop. That's why you should find out just how good the agency and clowns are at providing the best possible experience. There are several ways to do this. If you don't know anyone personally who has used the service, ask for references and check them out. Most people will be happy to tell you if they're pleased. Of course, the deck may be stacked because you'll probably be given names of customers whose party went well.
The above is good advice but there's nothing that compares to seeing for yourself. If you can, try to observe the clown in action, entertaining at a special event or party. Ask where the clown will be performing next and try to make that show. If it's a private party, you will need to get permission to attend. If this doesn't work, go to the agency's web site and look around. You may find more references, information, and possibly some videos of their clowns doing what they do best, performing.
A child's birthday party is one of the most popular events for which clowns are hired. A word of caution: Don't make the mistake of hiring a clown if your child does not want one. Also, you may not get the reaction you anticipated from your younger guests. Some kids are not familiar with clowns and could easily be frightened. Some may develop a phobia. If you don't want Bozo to be the villain, check with other parents before hiring. If you have any doubts, ask the clown to wear minimal makeup to look more "human." This request certainly won't surprise any clown.
If your child is a big fan of clowns, go all out and have a clown theme for his or her birthday party. Some of the children may enjoy dressing up as clowns and receiving clown-related invitations and party favors. Decorate in primary colors with red, yellow, blue balloons and streamers. Make a homemade flyer or poster announcing the clown act. Remember to take pictures to capture the event. This party is surely one you'll want to revisit when you walk down memory lane.
Compare services, recommendations, and prices. Book well in advance. Clowns are in high demands on weekends, particularly in the afternoons. You will probably need a clown for about one hour. If you're looking for face-painting, realize that it is time-consuming and requires a great deal of patience. Young kids may get restless. To prevent this, have another activity ready for those who are waiting. Some will do the activity, some will prefer to watch the faces being painted.
Get everything in writing. Take home a signed contract that includes every detail. Paperwork is standard procedure for professionals so there should be no problem. For your protection, pay any advance fees with a credit card if possible. Finally, if you're happy with the services that were provided, spread the word. Many local businesses and individuals rely on word-of-mouth to be successful.