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Hello, I’m Tall Paul, New Mexico’s Funniest Family Entertainer, and welcome to my weekly vlog that will give you party tips, tricks and more to make sure you have the best event ever. Today, we’re talking about an entertainment option you can have at your next event. I help parents make their child’s birthday parties the most memorable and fun event all year with magic comedy shows as well as balloon creations. I get asked the same questions many times. So, here are some of the answers.

Q: How much space do you need?

A: I have several different options available and they all require different amounts of space. My most popular show does require some extra space   Thank you Happie. It does require extra… room though.  An ideal size is 8’x8′ or bigger but I’ve managed to work in tiny areas too. My movements may be a bit restricted in smaller spaces but I will work with you. For other types of shows I currently do, I can roam around the party doing magic in your guests hands right under their noses. I may utilize a bit of table space if it’s available. Balloons are also self contained and portable and take up very little room.

Q: Do you need a table?

A: I come self contained with my big show. A power outlet is nice to have access to because it’s not easy to see how much charge I have on some of my sound equipment. After 2 or 3 shows, I’ll certainly need to have some extra power if possible. Again, balloon animals are portable if needed. If there’s a table or something I can put my balloon bag on while I’m making them, It’ll help with not having to bend over all the time, but again, it’s not necessary just helpful. For close up magic, I wander the crowd and work from my pockets. If there’s small amounts of table space available, I may use it as needed. Many times, the magic happens right in your guests hands.

Q: Can you do balloons then magic?

A: It is your event and I can do balloons before my magic show if that’s what you want. I’ve found your guests will be happier and the party runs more smoothly if I do magic first. The magic show has a definite end whereas making balloons doesn’t have an end that’s easily recognizable to your guests. Especially the little ones. If I have to stop making balloons to start the show and some of the children didn’t get one yet, they’ll likely be upset.  The balloons also distract during the show with squeaks and pops. Kids will ask and sometimes demand that they get a new one. I’ve found in my 20+ years of performing at birthday parties and other events, that setting up the magic show, doing the magic, then balloons makes everyone’s life more pleasant.

Many people have never thrown a party before or never hired entertainment for their event. It can be an overwhelming task for even a seasoned pro. Here are some questions that you should think about or ask your party professional before the big day.

Q: How early should I start planning?

A: 3 months in advance sounds like a long time but it really will take stress off your planning. If you are hiring entertainment or using a party venue, keep in mind, there’s lots of parties every weekend and calendars can fill up quickly. I recently had a parent so pleased with the magic show and how much fun the kids had, that she booked me for the following year before I finished packing up my gear. You can download a birthday party checklist below. It’ll help you plan the event and remember everything you need.

Q: What kind of entertainment do you offer?

A: That is a great question to ask. Believe it or not, there’s many different kinds of magic. Most people are familiar with stage illusions. You know, the type of stuff David Copperfield does with large boxes and beautiful dancers. Obviously this isn’t the type of magic that will work in your living room. People are also familiar with close up magic like you’ve seen on TV from people like Shin Lim. As amazing as that is, a 4 year old child won’t enjoy it as much as you will. It works the other way too. Do you truly enjoy the cartoon shows that your child watches? Some of them are pretty good but geared towards children. The same is true with magic. Although a show is family friendly, it may not go over well with children. If you ask your entertainer what type of shows they do, you’ll be able judge for yourself if it’s a good choice for your event. Most entertainers I know are great about being truthful about their services. As much as they would like to take your money, they want you to have the best event ever and will refer other people if they’re not a good fit for you.

My top tip for parents, or anyone, having a party is plan ahead. Don’t be afraid to call or email your entertainer and ask questions. If you call and don’t get an answer, leave a message. I don’t know any professional that will answer a non planned call in the middle of a show. You’ll have a lot of questions but be prepared to answer questions yourself. I’ve gotten calls with people asking how much I charge and refuse to even give me their name so I never knew who I was talking to. Asking how much before giving information yourself is futile. The same exact show can cost more depending on when and where it is. I live here in Albuquerque and my services will be a bit more expensive in Santa Fe simply because it takes 2 hours of driving and gas to get there and back. I’ve done shows all over New Mexico, in Colorado, Arizona, and as far as Oregon, Washington, and Maryland. So Simply asking how much, needs more information. Be prepared to answer these questions.

What’s your name? It’s always nice to know who you’re talking to.

If it’s a birthday, What’s the birthday child’s name? How old will he/she be? This is important because a 12 year old will like different things than a 4 year old.

What’s your email address? I have party tips I like to give to parents who are thinking of hiring me. If you use me or not, I want you to have the best event ever. The most important questions to answer first are, When and Where is the party being held? The event can’t be put in a calendar without a date, time, and location. Your entertainer won’t know if he or she is even available without that info. Your mailing address is important too but that can wait till later. How many children and their age range is a factor in your choice of performer. Again a 12 year old and a 4 year old are likely going to enjoy different things. If you hire a balloon artist, the amount of kids can determine how long the balloon twister is needed or if more than one is needed.

The last tip I have for today is theme your party. In all my years of performing at birthday and other parties, I see the guests have more fun with a theme.

Well, that’s all for today, remember to like and subscribe. I’m Tall Paul reminding you to, Be kind to this day because it’s the only day of its kind.