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Posts tagged ‘Children’s entertainer’

A New Skirt for the Kids Entertainer and Puppeteer, Diane

2012 and it’s back to business, back to being a London Children’s Entertainer and puppet lady extraordinaire…

Time to brush off the cobwebs of 2011, throw out the old and bring in the new.

I’ve just taken down my Christmas tree, well better late than never. I was loathe to take it down this year as my darling granddaughter Erykah-Rose was totally fascinated by it and did the most marvellous Donald Duck impressions upon spotting the robins that nestled within its’ branches. I put it up rather late too as the life of a Children’s Entertainer in the Festive Season is rather a busy one and your own celebrations tend to have to wait. So the tree overstayed it’s welcome with permission.

Such a cutie!

So that was the old out.  Or was it?

I looked at my skirt that was hanging up, waiting for the next outing at a Children’s birthday party and I saw it with fresh eyes, horrified fresh eyes! My goodness, all my hard work of being a puppeteer/ children’s entertainer and face painter  in 2011 showed in that skirt. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.

Evidence of the wear and tear of life as a kids entertainer

Still can’t see it? Let me zoom in for you.

The scars of hard work.

See the patches and tears? That comes from kneeling on the floor.  I do that rather a lot when behind a puppet booth when I’m performing a puppet show at a child’s birthday party. Even before the show starts, I do like to sit on the children’s level, it goes with my child-centred philosophy of playing with children rather than merely performing at children. But all this getting down to floor level  does take its’ toll on my clothes: my shoes have dents in the toes. Strange side effects from my job!

Anyway I digress. It was time to use the lovely sewing machine that  Santa ( well, my lovely partner) had bought me for Christmas. Out with the old skirt, in with the new and improved puppeteer /entertainer skirt.

Ta Da!

So here it is.

As you can see, I’m rather partial to a bit of applique ( who wouldn’t want a fire breathing dragon on their skirt? )

I’m sure over the course of 2012, the skirt will evolve. I’ll add bits and pieces to it, inevitably given my obsession with all things crochet, it will acquire a crochet embellishment or two, but this is the start of the new skirt.

I think it’s rather splendid, don’t you? It sure beats having to power dress for the office! This is my sort of power dressing: dressing with imaginative power, the super power to charge little minds with creative visions and fantastical imaginings.

The skirt is on its’ maiden journey today. I’m off this afternoon to entertain , paint faces and do a puppet show in a traditional style puppet booth for a lovely 4 year old girl’s birthday.  I shall wear my skirt with immense pride!

 

Here’s to a splendidly creative 2012. I’m off to breathe fire into the New Year.

Toodle pip.

 

 

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Banana selling point

All successful businesses need a USP : a unique selling point. For the last 15 years or so I’ve thought that it was my ability to combine entertainment and fast face painting into one party package. This saves lots of money eliminating the need to book a separate face painter.

Fantasy eye make up for big girls

A fast and pretty butterfly

I suppose not many entertainers can offer that, hence the unique part of the USP.  I’m always complimented on my fast and delicate face painting. Of course, there is always a slight compromise on detail when it comes to speed but I do try and make the face painting as detailed and delicate as I possibly can in the time allotted. Do stop by my website to have a look at the different packages I offer including face painting. They start from as little as £140 for 90 minutes.

Well that was up until today.

What changed?

Well let me set the scene.

I was in full swing, entertaining some lovely London children at a delightful 5 year old girl’s birthday party( thank you for inviting me Asha), raising giggles and smiles all around. As per usual , I was starting the entertainment off with my baby monkey puppet, Twinkle. He is a very well loved and remembered character in my repertoire, one of the very few shop bought puppets that I use.

Twinkle, my very cheeky baby monkey. A dear friend.

Actually, before I get to the crux of the story, let me tell a little bit about my current Twinkle. He isn’t the original one that I bought around 10 years ago from that massive toyshop in Regents Street, London. He  belongs to a girl who now must be in her teens. She was one of my little clients who had fallen in love with Twinkle and had begged her mum and dad to buy her one from the same shop. So they did, lovely parents that they were.

The next time I was invited to the little girls house to entertain for her birthday party, she ran up the stairs anxiously telling me to wait. She came charging down the stairs in great excitement, clutching her ‘Twinkle’.

‘Please can we swap?’ She pleaded. I couldn’t possibly turn her earnest request down. How could I disappoint such a sweet little girl? So we swapped, despite her monkey looking very well cuddled.

I only hope that she wasn’t expecting that now she had the ‘real’ Twinkle that he would talk like he talked when I used him at parties. She would be so disappointed.

So I was at the point in the routine that Twinkle plays tunes on a plastic banana. ( It’s hard to explain, suffice it to say it’s very silly) . He plays Happy Birthday to the birthday girl on the banana. It was at that point that it hit me!

THIS IS MY UNIQUE SELLING POINT!

What other London Children’s Entertainer wishes happy birthday to their client with a monkey playing tunes on a banana? Who else could top this triumph of silliness?

The Magic of the Party Entertainer: That’s the way to do it!

It’s something I hear quite often in my work as a London children’s party entertainer: ” How do you do it?” I heard it asked of me today at a lovely local party for a  sweet five year old girl, it was followed by , “Do you have magic powers or something?”.

Magic powers? Maybe, if you consider energy to be magic powers.

Let me explain.

The mummy in question was intrigued at how I managed to have a bunch of five year old boys and girls sitting patiently waiting for a puppet show. There was no fighting, no screaming, no chaos, just calm anticipation and a big buzz of excitement going around the room too.

This question is asked of me often.

It is a wonderful feeling for me to walk into a party full of excited children and have them quickly sitting down, calm and focused and eager to participate in silliness and stories.
Do I have magical powers?

Not in the Harry Potter sense, no.

What I do have to my advantage is what I call ‘Stranger Power’ plus a certain calm assertive energy that is useful for leaders and dog owners!

 

Stranger power is something I’ve observed whilst I’ve been entertaining children over the past 18 years. What do I mean by it? Well, when I walk into someone’s home, I am expected to take control of the party . I become a stranger with a position of authority over the children. They see me as fun, ( I’m often found lying down with the children playing Sleeping Bunnies

See the little bunnies sleeping

as well as hopping up and down ) but they’re not totally sure of who I am .  Therefore they regard me with caution, rather than pushing the boundaries of someone that they are familiar with. So, if I ask the children to do something in a certain assertive tone, like magic they cooperate.

Children view me with a certain positive suspicion. My attire ( ribbons in my hair and very bright sparkly clothes)

Silly ribbons but serious about partying.

suggest a fun , possibly silly person, they see Party Entertainer/ storyteller/ puppeteer when they look at me,  which gets their playful juices flowing, but then they meet my energy.  After encountering the wonderful Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan on the television ( and becoming a total disciple) I’ve worked on maintaining  a calm assertive state when attending children’s parties. This works totally in my favour as I am able to direct the proceedings of the party  in a calm but fun way.

No one needs chaos. No one likes chaos.

Today I face painted butterflies and vampires on the faces of five year old’s .

The vampires ( boys in this instance) decided to chase the butterflies ( girls). Screams ensued as well as a little bit of chasing round the garden. I continued to paint faces until I heard the tone of the screams turn from excitement and fun to hysteria, then it was time to change the energy before the fun turned to tears.

I used my calm assertive energy ( and my god-given booming voice) to gather the children to sing happy birthday and calm was restored once more without the vampires feeling they had been reined in.

The secret is keeping control without the children being aware that that is what you are doing. Walking that tightrope  between keeping things calm and becoming a party pooper can sometimes be tricky, but I think I’ve got it down to a fine art now.

If that makes me magical, then so be it!

Abracadabra!

Twenty reasons I love being a London Children’s Entertainer

  1. Being a London children’s entertainer,  I get to work in my home town but in different places every day. No drab office for me!
  2. Being a children’s entertainer I raise smiles on my way to work , because of number 3…
  3. Being a children’s entertainer , I get to wear silly clothes to work.
  4. Being a children’s entertainer, I get to perform for the most honest audience: children.
  5. Being a children’s entertainer, I get to blow raspberries and wiggle my bottom for fun. At 47.
  6. As a children’s entertainer,  I am my own boss.
  7. Being a children’s entertainer, I get to play with puppets and get paid for it.
  8. Being a children’s entertainer, I get high fives and spontaneous cuddles for tips.
  9. Being a children’s entertainer, I can dye my hair pink if I wish and still be employable.
  10. Being a children’s entertainer , I get to sing for people who won’t judge me like Simon Cowell.
  11. Being a children’s entertainer, my homework is making up stories and keeping up with Kids television.
  12. Being a children’s entertainer, I get offered cake , champagne and sausages as part of my work perks. ( Occupational hazard, I call it)
  13. Being a children’s entertainer, I get to inspire the future leaders of the world.
  14. Being a children’s entertainer, I get to gild lillies every time I paint those sweet faces.
  15. Being a children’s entertainer, I get to impart calm and focus to chaotic situations.
  16. Being a children’s entertainer, I often get hugs from tearful parents at the end of the party. Tears of joy, I might add.
  17. Being a children’s entertainer, I get to have a reason to make elephants from milk cartons. And knit six foot pythons.

    SSSSsssssssssssss

    I was once a plastic container

  18. Being a children’s entertainer , I witness true love every time I see parents smiling at their hopping children playing Sleeping Bunnies.
  19. Being a children’s entertainer, I can fulfill my dream to be a fairy, vicariously through my puppet Fifi the Baby Fairy.
  20. Being a children’s entertainer, I can dispel the myth of the 30 second attention span. Children can focus for a good hour if you give them real interaction.

Diane is Diane Goldie from Diane’s Puppets , a London Children’s Entertainer.

Diane Goldie : London Children's Entertainer

Pirates aren’t just for boys you know!

Children's entertainer Diane makes all of her own puppets

My beautiful mermaid Marina is a feisty lass. She dons a fake beard and pirate clothes to outwit my pirates and steal back the treasure. She uses her brains to bamboozle the pirates and her considerable fighting skills to engage in hand to hook combat with the other pirates .

She can certainly hold her own with the boys.

She is a girl after my own heart.

Diane makes all of her own puppets.

Imagination: Children’s gift to our mundane world.

The more I work as a children’s entertainer doing puppet shows for London’s kids birthdays, the more I am entranced and inspired by the breadth and scope of children’s imagination.

My most memorable moment was a comment I received when a child was staring intently at me at a party.

Before I continue, let me explain, when I turn up for birthday parties, I’m not dressed in regular clothes but in clothes that are designed to appeal children: bright colours, sparkles, texture, shine and sometimes even bells for an audio element.

This is my look: In my hair I tie in a myriad of ribbons of every single colour of the rainbow, some fluorescent and some metallic. Sometimes children ask me if my hair is real, that should give you an indication of how many ribbons I have tied. I tie in a bell or two so my head jingles when I nod it.

I wear a sequined top ( gold or bright pink) and a purple cardigan ( or cyan blue with pink sequins sewn on) .

I wear  a purple skirt with colourful teardrops or leaves hanging off of it, interspersed with strands of ribbon of all hues. A purple rose hitches the skirt up on one side. Depending on my mood I may also wear a frilly purple and sparkly bustle complete with more bells.

On my legs, rainbow striped socks or purple tights. I don’t wear clown make-up. I don’t consider myself a clown but a ‘puppet lady’. I’m aware that my job relies on children being able to make a rapid character assessment of me to allow the trust that is so important with any work with children. I only usually have about half an hour maximum for this to happen so I avoid any possible pitfalls, like heavy make-up  face paint.

So apart from my face, you might say when I’m at work, I  look a little unusual.

So back to this young fellow staring intently at me. He stared for quite a while, perhaps even a full five minutes before saying:

” I know what you look like” …

I held my breath. It was normal to be called a silly lady, a clown, funny lady, etc, so I wondered what version of insult was coming next. Ah .. me of little faith!

“You look like a melted rainbow!”

My heart melted. This was pure  gold. Poetry at it’s finest. And from the mouth of a young child, no older than 5 years of age.

So when children ask me what I am dressed as, I always say: I’m a melted rainbow.

Don’t you just love them?

Children: so inspiring.

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