The History Of A Corporate Entertainer

The above video could scare anyone considering a corporate entertainer – but it shouldn’t. Just like your business grows and changes to meet the needs of your clients, so too has my career.

No speaker, corporate entertainer or presenter is good the first time they step in front of an audience. It is a foreign environment that, if it were easy, no one would fear. Yet a fear of public speaking ranks as the number one fear according to the Book Of Lists. That means more people rather die than talk to an audience!  Trust me, the end results are not nearly as bad…

So how can an entertainer gain the skills and confidence to meet your needs and ensure the success of your corporate entertainment? By gaining the experience of thousands of performances, in a variety of performing conditions in front of all types of audiences. The Magical Marital Misery Tour was my learning grounds. The video features an interesting progression of stills from live shows and photo shoots. It was about learning who I was on-stage, and how to interact with my family and my audiences. And in the last picture, you will see that we all came through the process with a smile and experience.

Today, my son is a confident young man attending college to pursue a Masters in Aerospace Engineering. He also has a concentration in Music and is an extremely talented guitar player. (I’m kind of proud of him!) My wife has launched her own career in the corporate world. She is the executive assistant to the President and Vice President of K.C.I. Technologies. Her role in the firm allows her to use skills she developed over years of performing to create exciting corporate events and training sessions for their staff.

On the other end of that spectrum, I picked up the puppets and now use my skills to help clients create personalized comedy for their events. To find out more about how I can work with you to create an atmosphere that relaxes everyone and keeps your people laughing, contact me today.

2012 – A Corporate Entertainer’s Review – Part One

When I look back at 2012, I realize exactly how much I love being a corporate entertainer.  The year was an adventure of locations, events and an incredible opportunity to work with great people.  In the next couple of posts, I want to thank the venues, people and clients who made 2012 so successful.

Heritage-Lancaster-PAJanuary found me performing events close to home.  An after holiday corporate party in Lancaster, PA at the Heritage led things off.  It was the first time I had performed at the Heritage, and the staff was very helpful.  The room was perfect for the client’s attendance and needs, the dinner was impressive, and a good time was had by all.  When people are already in a great mood, it is much easier to make them laugh.  My thanks to Lancashire Hall for making me a part of their employee’s evening.

Baltimore corporate event entertainment The next night I was performing in Baltimore, MD at the newly opened Four Seasons.  Martha Morningstar and her staff did an incredible job making me feel at home.  On the left, we posted a picture of the view out the windows of my “green room”, along with a picture of the banquet set up.  The Baltimore Four Seasons is a first class venue for any corporate entertainment event.

Baltimore Maryland Corporate Entertainment

My client had a wonderful evening and again, the laughs echoed in the room.  Thanks again to the staff and chefs for making my job so much easier!  Of course,  major thanks to OPS for inviting me to entertain their incredible group of people!

During February, I began work on a virtual private lesson Internet course called Learn-Ventriloquism.  Using time released software, my goal was to create a comprehensive course that could teach the proper methods and save the beginner time and money.  The course was scheduled to be released in March, so much of the month was spent recording the videos and coordinating with VA’s to get everything on-line and operating bug free.

At the same time, I took part in  a viral video contest.  Fifteen corporate entertainers were challenged with creating a video, posting it on YouTube and seeing who could generate the most views.  I almost didn’t participate, but decided at the last minute to throw a quick clip together.  You can see it below:

A few posts on FaceBook, telling friends I was in a contest and asking them to share the video, started an avalanche.  The clip went from 180 views to 5,803 views within four days.  Within a week,  it jumped to 34,866 views.  I figured it had to have run its course, but by the end of February, we were over 110,000 views!  I credit that to the fact it was short, had a good laugh and was likely recommended by YouTube itself when they noticed the traffic it received.

And as an update, I won the contest!  My son now has the prize – a Kindle Fire.  So he says thanks to everyone who watched that clip!

A Sure Way To Kill Your Evening

It only takes a few awkward seconds to destroy a perfectly planned corporate event.  This was my experience the other night.  It not only makes you, as the event planner look bad, but sets up your corporate entertainment to fail as well.

The last evening of a major event was to be comprised of dinner, desert, awards and a program.  The guests had been in extended meetings for three days.  Many had left before the awards dinner.  The rest were thinking of early morning flights and the poolside bar just a moment away.

Prior to the event, I had met with the event planner and banquet manager.  I always advise following dinner with the program before awards are presented.  The decision was made to ignore that advice, and it is my job to follow the wishes of my clients.  We discussed the logistics of moving the onstage podium to avoid interruption to the flow of their evening.  The whole goal was to keep people in their seats and having fun.

As the awards were coming to an end, I realized the hotel staff was not ready to remove the podium.  I quickly got them in motion.  It then became apparent the event planner had never bothered to explain the flow of events to the emcee/employee.

“We’re going to take a quick break to set the stage and then we’ll have some entertainment…”. The program investment was decimated by a single phrase. The words flowed from his mouth and just as quickly, people flowed from the room.  A mass exodus lost over 50% of their guests.  It wasn’t a bathroom pit stop – they never returned.

Guests headed for the bar.  People moved to the side of the room to start conversations.  The evening was officially over.  The break lasted way too long as the emcee then had trouble quieting the room and getting people’s attention – so he introduced me.

I won’t lie.  It was a slow and painful death.  The guests had already determined the evening was over.  I entertained those that wanted to be entertained.  It wasn’t a favorable ending for anyone.

We should learn from every event.  From this, I realized in the future, when an amateur M.C. is used, or the CEO or President intends to introduce my act – I need to talk with them personally to discuss the introduction.  For you, I hope you will take to heart that when you hire a corporate entertainer to entertain your guests, take their advice.  They want your evening to succeed and you to look good.  They know their show and how to create the best possible flow to make your guests thank you!

Politics, Corporate Entertainment and the Variety Arts

Recently, Forbes magazine posted a story about a government agency who was seeking a specialized program by a magician for their event.  A Senator derided them for wasting taxpayer money.  Had the same agency hired a lecturer or speaker, the fee would have been triple what was offered to the magician for the same result, yet no one would have said a thing.

The Senator obviously had a preconceived notion of a magic show.  Based on the criteria the agency required, a magic show WOULD have been a waste of money.  However, if the event planner had found a corporate entertainer who was trained in providing a program that fit their needs AND could engage their audience through entertainment, the value provided would outweigh the expense of a traditional speaker.

This shows a genuine bias in the name of “politics” toward variety artists.  Variety artists are small business people who employ others, service a niche and pay taxes.  As you search for entertainment and sift through countless web sites and videos, you begin to realize exactly how large a community we are talking about.

A professional, corporate entertainer has only one goal for your event – success.  To that end, as a business, they should either tailor their act and material toward meeting your goals, or if they are not a match for your needs, help you to find someone that will be.

When you plan your next corporate event, keep corporate entertainers in mind as a great way to break up the PowerPoint boredom of the regular speaker.  Engage and energize your audience on a whole new level.  Contact our office to discuss your event and how we can help your event be a hit!

Corporate Event Team Interviews

A successful corporate event is like a puzzle.  Many pieces need to fit together in the proper order to create the big picture.  If a piece doesn’t land when and where it is supposed to, or worse yet, is missing, the image is ruined.

In the real world, those pieces are members of your team.  They are the caterer, the concierge, the venue staff, the entertainers, the presenters and speakers, the waiters and waitresses and your company staff.  Making certain you have the right people to fill those roles is a huge responsibility.

One way to ensure you have the right person for the job is an interview.

When a prospective client contacts me with the question, “How much do you charge?” Or “Are you available?”  I prefer to take a step back.  First, what are you planning?  Would my services actually be a good fit?  Let’s discuss your event, tell me about your plans, your company and your goals for the function.  Let’s see if I can envision myself on stage in front of your guests giving you the results you seek.

The interview or consultation call allows us to determine if we both can be successful and enjoy the process of working together.   Making certain you have the right people on your team is always more important that simply filling a spot on your budget.

When you are planning a corporate event and need entertainment, please take a moment to contact my office and arrange a free consultation.  If I am not the corporate comedian for you, I have an extensive list of contacts in the corporate entertainment market.  It would be my pleasure to help you find the right piece to finish your puzzle!