Are You Raising Your Christmas Performing to the Next Level?
Hi folks and welcome to 2017!
By now, it is likely that you have started to recover from one of your busiest seasons ever. Your gear is getting cleaned and stowed, you are prepping taxes, and you’re looking at what your plans are for the upcoming year. We would like to offer the following tips to make your next season even more amazing.
- INVEST IN YOU, YOURSELF. For every dollar or hour that you put into new gear (costumes, bling, props, hair-care), consider matching that with investments in yourself as a performer. Remember, a $2000 dollar suit is wasted on a bad performer. But a great performer can rock a $70 dollar suit. The suit may have magic, but it’s the performer that brings it to life.
- START NOW. Every year, I seem to run out of time. Being a Christmas Performer requires a fair amount of admin, planning, and preparation. All of that eats up time. But the truth is that being a great performer requires training, practice, and feedback. You really cannot rush it. Decide what your goals are for next season and start working on them now. Set some milestones. Check in every quarter to see your progress.
- EVERY SEASON, UP YOUR GAME. We are lucky. Our audiences are often extremely happy with what we offer: Meet and greet, photos, asking what they want for Christmas, and handing out presents. But for those of us who do home visits and special events, we can have returning clients and events that repeat each year. Simply using the same performance pieces over and over could lose you clients or cause problems if you forget something. Many of us find the need for new offerings and content each year. Christmas Performers are expected to be excellent. How do we become excellent? It’s all done with training, practice, and feedback.
- HONEST EVALUATION. Look back through your calendar, photos, and messages. What could have gone better, and what went really great? Which kinds of gigs do you want more of for next season, and what will it take to make them awesome? If you were lucky enough to have someone who saw you perform regularly, sit down and talk with them. Did you need better vocal projection? Did you occasionally forget the words or lyrics? Was your singing a challenge? Did you run out of material? Or did you run over time? Were there any fumbles working with another performer? Do your evaluations and then think about what you can do to ace this upcoming season.
- SET PERFORMING GOALS. Did you have language issues? Did you wish you could speak some Spanish, Armenian, or maybe use sign language? Do you want to have some new stories, songs, performance bits with props or magic? This all starts with setting goals. Decide on the kinds of gigs you want. Look at your target audiences and research them. Then look at what training you need, find others to practice with, and get feedback. Do all this long before the season starts.
The Christmas Performer Community is facing some interesting challenges. We are seeing increased demand for strolling Santas, competing bids for Santas during the prime weekends, and an ever-growing number of venues. Some clients will take almost anybody and put them in a suit. But as Professional Christmas Performers, we need to set the standard. We work to find out all the details. We send clear contracts and show up on time. Our costumes and props are top notch. We look, smell, and sound great. We deliver unique, solid, and genuine performances, delivering magic to our clients and audiences. Some of the new people being brought in may see this as a way to make a fun, quick buck. And some of them will see this as something they want to do for the foreseeable future. Let’s welcome them and show them why Professional Christmas Performers are so in demand. Thanks!
The Obligatory Shameless Plug: Many of you saw my classes at Branson and throughout Southern California. Christmas Performer Workshops (CPW) is about taking your Christmas performing to the next level. There are many great schools and programs that teach about the business of Christmas Performing. CPW is the only program that focuses on the skills for Performing—helping you bring your unique characters to life, as well as re-thinking our Christmas Performer Community. By all means, go to one of the great schools and the numerous events available to us. But if you have a group of Santas and Mrs Claus colleagues who want to raise their game as performers to the next level, give us at CPW a shout. Christmas Performer Workshops are unique, fun, and will help you on your journey as an A-List performer!
Feel free to contact us here or at Santa@SantaTrue.com and please feel free to re-post this article!