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How to Become a Children's Entertainer
Consider becoming a children's entertainer if you enjoy working with children and making them laugh. There are several different forms of children's entertainment, such as magicians, clowns, puppeteers, jugglers, musicians and characters in costume. Once you choose the form of entertainment that best suits your personality and given talents, you can begin concentrating on the business aspect of becoming a children's entertainer.
Study your craft. Children will spot an amateur who is just doing the minimum in order to earn a few bucks. Watch how-to videos, get an internship or hire a mentor in order to be the best children's entertainer you can be. If you want to juggle or become a clown, consider interning with the circus. If you are interested in performing musical or puppet shows, seek an internship with a local theater group. Contact children's entertainers who are already established and ask if you can study under them.
Volunteer to do a few shows for a YMCA or Big Brothers/Big Sisters program in exchange for feedback. The children and the adults watching will be able to provide you with constructive criticism that will help you improve your show and get you ready to perform for pay.
Obtain liability insurance before you take any paying jobs. This will protect you if any accidents occur, such as dropping a bowling pin on a child's head during a juggling act.
Register to receive a tax ID number so you can pay your taxes quarterly. Children's entertainers are considered freelancers, and you are responsible for paying your own taxes, unless you join an organization that is willing to pay you as an employee.
Set your rates. In order to start obtaining entertainment jobs, you need to keep your rates a little bit lower than the competition. Once you have established a reputation, you can increase your rates.
Create several business cards and flyers to advertise your services. Pass these advertisements out at pediatrician's offices, party supply stores, day care centers and elementary schools. These are ideal places for finding parents who want to hire an entertainer for their children.
Tape your first few shows and make copies of them. This will give you some merchandise to sell for additional income. You will also want to look in to having coloring books or T-shirts made featuring your type of entertainment. The more merchandise you have to sell, the more money you can make.
Hand out flyers to all of the children who attend each party/show that you perform. If the children enjoyed your show, they will give your flyer to their parents and request you be the entertainment at their next party.
Acting lessons and public speaking classes may be beneficial if you are shy in front of groups of people.
Be prepared to supply a criminal background check for your clients if asked.
Have a back-up plan in case you get sick. Leaving parents high and dry could result in negative word-of-mouth advertising that could squash your business.
Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. She has received awards for being a top content producer.