Balloon Animals

The world of balloon entertainment, by Dale Obrochta

Parent Pays $300 For Babysitter

2013 07 13 12 36 51 448 576x1024 Parent Pays $300 For BabysitterKids are running amuck, a boy is standing on the couch swinging a hockey stick, and a girl is running around showing off her pink ruffle to anybody who will pay attention to her. I think to myself, “I am a babysitter this afternoon”.

The event started by me being greeted at the door with a warm smile and a woman thanking me for showing up. She booked the party on Monday, five days earlier, and was worried that I was not going to show up. As we walked into the Chicago bungalow the question was, “Where do you want to do this?”

I was told this was a last minute party and there was going to be around seven kids. I was escorted to a finished basement, where the host informed me she would “send the kids down”.

Tearing down the hardwood stairs are six boys and two girls. The peace and quiet of the basement was no more. Periodically the host would appear to grab a bottle of wine from the wine cooler, but other than that, I was the supervising adult.

As the treadmill spun, toys distributed around the room, discarded potato chips on the floor, and the repetitive question of, “Is it my turn yet?” filled the room.

To end the party, while the kids contentedly shoveled pizza into their mouths, the host requested three more balloon figures for kids who did not arrive at the birthday party. I gathered my stuff and the extra balloon figures and headed up the stairs. The father escorted me to the living room for payment and the wife proceeded to requested two more balloon shields.

As I walked to the car, I thought, “What’s next”?

Here are just some of the client types I have worked with over my career.

  • Clients that treat you like you’re the babysitter
  • Clients that have last minute requests
  • The indecisive client – keeps changing their mind
  • The detailed client – has everything themed and choreographer
  • The obliging client – whatever the entertainer wants, it’s fine
  • The controller – they dictate what balloon figures should be made
  • The invisible client – they are so busy socializing that they have somebody else pay you at the end of the event
  • The you snooze, you lose client – they hired you for a given time period and if someone cannot make their event when the entertainment happens, sorry no balloon for you.

These have been some of my experiences.  What good/bad types of clients have you had the experience of working with in your career?

 

 Parent Pays $300 For Babysitter

About 

Chicago Corporate Entertainer, Dale Obrochta is a professional balloon artist who amazed audiences with his comedic balloon entertainment. Available for 1st birthday parties, grand openings, trade shows, and corporate events. (708) 744-0234

On July - 17 - 2013

5 Responses so far.

  1. Thad James says:

    I think we have the same client list! On the other hand, my best birthday moms will not only stay in the room, but will control the children and make them say “please” and “thank you”.

    The controlled parties with good kids are better than any monetary tip.

  2. Mary says:

    I have to add Rude Parents to the list. There are areas I absolutely WILL NOT take a booking in anymore simply because I had one-too-many rude parents (overlapping the Babysitter Parents.) I may look silly, and you may be paying me, but I expect at least the same respect as any of your guests.

  3. OK, Now please tell us how to handle these. Especially when you forget to tell them your expectations up front. Or you did and they forgot.

  4. Joanne Dorme says:

    I actually have it in my contract now! “The performer is not responsible for line control or childcare. Please inform parents or have a responsible adult on hand for this.” Now they ask one of the parents to stay with me or even hire a babysitter. I added this after I stopped face painting to rescue a toddler who managed to get on the other side of a fence which was a sheer drop off a cliff!!! Not one parent noticed till they saw the clown take off running!!!

  5. Jamie says:

    OMG the very first party I had was a princess party. The decor looked like something straight out of pinterest but for whatever reason, the Granmother had decided to serve chili and nachos. The first child to greet me had tomato sauce dripping all the way down her princess dress. All the adults sat in the kitchen and the Grandmother only left the kitchen to herd the children back into the screened porch. I would have panicked had I not already pre made most of the balloons. I’m still new to the game (Only been twisting 8 months) so this blog is amazingly helpful and totally relatable. Thank you!

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