How To Hire Entertainers – A Guide to Hiring Entertainment for Company and Private Parties

A Word About Agents

In the object ‘How to Plan a Banquet,’ we included a restricted discussion approximately amusement, and our primary advice become to lease a equipped talent agent who focuses on “casuals,” because of this one-day or one-night time occasions, along with events, weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and different
amusing activities.

Some sellers constitute actors and actresses, and unless they’ve a department that handles range acts and bands, they could be of no assist to you.

Some different dealers manage simplest most important sights and celebrities, and except you’re running with a severe price range, they might not be able to help you get a band for Aunt Sarah’s fiftieth anniversary celebration.

A variety agent is able to help you get that close-up magician, band, and on occasion even call entertainers like Reba McEntire or The Temptations. Those focusing on range amusement are now and again known as “full-service” organizations.

How do you inform who’s a equipped agent? That’s a terrific query, because if you requested an agent if he’s ready he’d be a idiot to say anything however “Of direction!”

Having been inside the amusement business for over 40 years, I’ve visible a lot of humans installation save as retailers. Some final, some do not.

A huge percentage of my Marvel enterprise comes from those who either have used my offerings earlier than or were referred by using someone who has used my services.

Finding Talent

Finding your personal enjoyment can be fun. I have spent years looking different acts, bands and attractions, and I in no way fail to revel in it.

The net or the Yellow Pages are a great beginning location. Try the use of a search engine to find what you’re seeking out. You’ll find listings in the Yellow Pages underneath entertainers, birthday celebration planners, leisure bureaus, and perhaps some other classes.

Try a search for some thing like “bands in la” or “juggler orange county” or something is appropriate. See what you come up with.

Beware that a stunning internet site won’t suggest the first-class entertainer. Many internet site are not built via the entertainer or even it’s far, a pleasant-searching internet site does now not translate to amazing leisure.

Referrals from buddies is probably useful to you in case you comply with the reviewing methods mentioned beneath.

Watch your local newspaper for entertainers which can be scheduled to appear for other companies for your place, and make it a point to trap their acts if feasible. Of route, in case you begin going to other activities, you may see some poor entertainment, too. (I guess it holds proper that you have to kiss a whole lot of frogs to find a prince!) But even that can be beneficial, if you are observant and make a note of what made the act top or terrible.

Reviewing An Act/Band

If you’re not operating with an agent, you’ll want to study the act yourself. There are 3 methods of reviewing an act: You can (1) move see the act carry out live, (2) watch a video of the act, or (three) have the act come audition for you.

By a long way the first-class manner is to see the act perform below roughly the identical set of circumstances as your event. Seeing people carry out in Las Vegas to a night time-membership crowd does not imply they may be able to perform for little Gloria’s 10th birthday party (or vice versa).

The trouble with going to see stay performances is that it is simply very time ingesting, and you’ll best be capable of see a confined wide variety of contenders earlier than it’s time to come to a decision. But then again, consider the a laugh you may have!

Watching DVDs is an superb approach, as you can cover numerous ground in an night. Unfortunately, no longer all acts have DVDs or motion pictures, and it would be a shame to remove a topnotch act simply due to the fact they could not deliver one.

Another BIG hassle with video is that many acts supply a brief, edited model of their act. This can be very deceptive. When reviewing an act by using video, I usually insist on (however don’t constantly get) an unedited model of the display. I by no means hire an act based on an edited video. I’ve heard of times in which an act became employed because they had a totally effective video, simplest to discover that during their entire display, the simplest component that was any right became those short time at the video.

Don’t be overly inspired by means of a DVD or video of a film look, guest spot on a TV show, or business. That nonetheless does now not suggest they are able to do the job you want them for.

Unless you’re an agent, you can just about forget about approximately having the act audition for you. Maybe an act will drop off literature. In the case of a magician, mime, or comparable range act, you may get hold of a brief demonstration. However, this small phase in conjunction with its glib pitch can be very deceiving.

Don’t take probabilities; make certain of what you’re buying!

When you communicate to an entertainer at the cellphone, ask him to send his “press package” or literature and a DVD or video tape.

Most range acts may have revealed literature or a complete press package (which incorporates a photograph, biographical information, letters of advice and references or listing of beyond performances).

Please do not be taken in through exact published fabric. Usually, but not usually, you can get a quite correct concept of their level of professionalism by way of the substances they ship you.

I do recognize some simply splendid acts that work all of the time and have without a doubt nothing inside the manner of printed materials. Of route I’ve additionally visible a few truly terrific published substances however changed into disillusioned once I noticed the act. I even have a band that I ship out to a number of small weddings and installation banquets, and it took me almost a yr to get a photo from them. (I’m nonetheless hoping to get a music list some day.) I’ve were given any other band that is actually tops in promotional material and their band is sincerely tops, too!

Some performers no longer use paper press kits however as an alternative select an digital press package either contained on a DVD they send you or virtually up on their internet site. That’s exceptional. It’s surely a greater modern method of promoting one’s self.


It’s vital, as soon as you have decided what entertainers or band you are going to hire, that arrangements be made honestly and in writing. I’ve enclosed a sample letter you could desire to apply. Some entertainers have their own contracts, but many do not, making it necessary a good way to placed everything down on paper and ship it to the entertainer. I’m not a attorney so I don’t know how enforceable the letter is, but at the least you have got the information down on paper and also you both recognize and agree to the terms.

If I’m serving as Agent, I fill out a contract primarily based on our conversations, after which forward it to my purchaser for a signature. I try to collect as an awful lot statistics as I can approximately the occasion so that I can prevent any surprises. The entertainers also get hold of a binding contract.

By the way, this is probably a very good region to say that talent agents are like tour agents in that they do not rate you for his or her offerings, however alternatively fee the entertainers. The agent is clearly searching out to your pastimes and may draw from endless entertainers and bands, being fairly acquainted with what each act does. There is a web subscription carrier that lists lots of entertainers, who their personal supervisor is (if any), and/or how to reach them. All entertainers are available to a complete-service agent, as opposed to only a handful of acts that the agent has been able to prepare.

When making your arrangements with entertainers make sure which you talk the whole thing:

Location. Best to ship the act a map.
Date of overall performance.
Time and duration of overall performance. Bands typically work four hours, with a ten-15 minute wreck each hour. Talk to them approximately their breaks and how much beyond regular time will value. Some bands supply recorded tune in the course of their breaks.
Put the price down in writing. I could hesitate to pay the act a deposit, although some entertainers and bands require it. I’m a licensed agent, so an act knows that once I send the contract their pay is guaranteed. Both you and the entertainer are appearing on a believe not yet validated. The entertainer wonders if he’ll receives a commission, and you surprise if he’ll display up! It’s the handiest gadget we’ve got.
Method of payment. Acts continually count on to be paid in complete following the performance. If some other arrangements are to be made, please not only speak it with them, but positioned it on your letter of settlement.
An act will want to know a while time table… What time is the cocktail hour, dinner, and so forth. And this brings up an exciting situation: feeding the act. Usually, if you have simplest one man or woman doing a show after dinner (e.G. A magician or a singer), you need to invite him to enroll in your group for dinner. However, it would now not be expected of you to feed the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Even bands are seldom fed. If you use the band for the cocktail hour, throughout dinner, after which have them take a destroy while you provide out awards or behavior other business, then
it might be appropriate to feed them at some point of that hour. It’s now not obligatory, but. (Keep in mind that a meal is a pleasant comfort for the act if they’re providing you with a unique wreck on the charge.)
Who materials the general public address device? Bands normally have their very own system; different acts won’t. A guitar player who sings may also require microphones. Four singers would possibly require microphones and expect you to supply them. If you’re at a hotel or other dinner party facility, you’ll be able to get the entirety you want from them. Extensive sound structures will must come from a professional sound agency. Make certain you talk this with your performer and positioned it in writing.
Lighting. Again, your facility may have what you need. Spotlights with an operator may be rented for round $350. Big live shows would require the offerings of a professional lighting fixtures employer.
Stage? A ceremonial dinner of fewer than 50 human beings may not even want risers, however whilst you begin getting up within the numbers, you’ll want to get your entertainers as much as wherein the target market can see them. A catering facility or hotel will typically have 4′ x eight’ risers at various heights so that you can build a platform or stage to your enjoyment.
Is it outside? What if it rains? You must really specify what you may do. Will then you definately preserve it indoors? The act or entertainer has blocked out that day for you and perhaps became down different paintings. They are truely entitled to their fee although this system is rained out, until you have made different preparations.
Seating. It’s very difficult for an entertainer to have a dance floor between himself and the target market. If you are having a dance after a comic or different entertainer, speak with the act about how near the seats or tables want to be. Maybe he/she can paintings at the dance ground.
Does the act want a place to exchange clothes or installation equipment?
Does the act sell albums or other merchandise at the performance? Some musical acts offer albums after the show. Is this all proper with you?
Parking and unloading. How high-quality it is for an entertainer to pull up in front of the YMCA and discover a signal “Reserved for Entertainer.” You can not continually do this, but remember the fact that some acts have loads to hold in. If the most effective parking to be had fees cash, you must reimburse the entertainers. Talk approximately it and encompass your selection to your letter of agreement.
There are lots of factors to inquire about. Take time to photo to your thoughts precisely how matters may be. If there’s a query in your mind about some thing, ask. Ask the lodge, the band, the act, the agent.


Well, in reality, that turned into smooth. Just spend months looking at acts and days negotiating and a few weeks wondering in case you blew it. (Or deliver a call to a ready expertise agent and allow him fear approximately the difficult stuff!)

Perhaps a great rule to recollect is “You get what you pay for.” A buddy referred to as me and wanted Mariachis for a Church Mexican Fiesta. I quoted him a rate for five Mariachis for two hours, but he went out and employed his personal for less. He referred to as me up later just unwell approximately it. He had referred to as a set marketed somewhere and were given a low rate…And low first-class. It’s not a new tale.

Don’t look for the bottom charge; look for fine. If you cannot have enough money top exceptional, it’s possibly higher no longer to have amusement in any respect as opposed to to hire an act that makes you and every body else squirm of their seats.


Sample Letters


Makers Of The Unbreakable Widget

1842 Los Albany Street, Los Angeles, CA 90023


February 31, 2009

Freddy the Magic Man

1234 Count Me Out Street

Pasadena, California 93345

Dear Mr. Magic Man:

This is to affirm our arrangements with the intention to entertain at our annual installation ceremonial dinner to be held October 32, 2009 on the Rancho Cucamonga Holiday Hotel, 2345 Hotel Ave., Cucamonga,

The ceremonial dinner will begin with the cocktail hour from 6:00pm to 7:00pm at which time we will sit down for dinner. We could be extremely joyful if you would be a part of us. Please allow us to know if you will prefer the fish or the steak.

We have a deejay who will provide you with a microphone on a microphone stand and the hotel has arranged to place up a 8′ wide by 6′ deep by means of 2′ high platform, with stairs at one give up, a good way to perform on. Your 30 minute overall performance of comedy and magic should begin after dinner, approximately 8:15pm. I could have a $750 take a look at equipped for you at the belief of your overall performance. Please additionally convey me your parking ticket for full validation.

Please sign a copy of this letter and return to me to solidify our arrangements.

Most truely,

Marta Stuart


From: Freddy The Magic Man

To: Marta Stuart

Everything looks excellent! I’ll be there. I’d prefer: Steak ______ Fish ______




Helping to improve life through making an investment

2356 Nobody Street

Lancing, Ohio 98823


February 31, 2009

Leon Huge

Big Band From Cleveland

1902 Go Jump Street

Pine Grove, Pa 69903

Dear Mr Huge:

Thank you for agreeing to have your eight-piece band play for my daughter’s wedding ceremony on July 14, 2008 at the Forrest Glen Country Club, 2323 Country Club Drive, Lancing, Ohio from 8:00pm to midnight. As we mentioned, the band is to complete their set-up by using 6:00pm and you’ll play recorded track through your sound device from 6:00pm to eight:00pm for the cocktail hour and dinner.

You also agreed to behave because the emcee introducing the bride and groom and the whole wedding ceremony birthday party as they enter the room at approximately 6:30pm. I will e-mail you the line-up at least per week earlier than the occasion. Please kick off the dance set at 8:00pm with the Father /Daughter dance “Isn’t She Lovely” and then invite the entire wedding celebration to join them on the dance floor at the quit of that track and play “Celebration.”

I remember the fact that the band will play 4 forty five-minute units each hour and you may provide recorded song for the duration of your breaks. I can have a check for $2,450 geared up for you whilst you arrive. I will also reap complete validation for all your musicians if you may gather their parking slips. I can have sandwiches, sodas, espresso, iced tea and fruit juice within the destroy room at 7:00pm for you and the band. Please check in with Diane on the Country Club and she or he will display you the spoil room.

Please signal below and return a replica of this letter to ensure we are at the identical web page.

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