Important Questions To Ask When Hiring An Entertainer For Your Child’s Birthday Party

Hiring live entertainment for your child’s birthday party can be a tough decision. There are many good magicians and there are a few bad ones. Some questions you can ask that will help you find the right entertainer for your party are below.

Is their magic show scripted? Most good magicians do not simply “wing it” they have a script and they stick to it. A lot of their jokes and magic will seem impromptu but it is designed to seem that way. Asking if the magician has a script is a good way to eliminate the ones who are not pros.

Do they use sound and music? A great magician will have sound so they can be heard, and music to play that goes along with their act. Also their system should be battery operated so no child can trip on anything.

How is the birthday child treated differently in the show? There should be a plan to honor the child who’s birthday it is. It should make your birthday child a rockstar! If the magician doesn’t have a good answer for this question they may not be a pro. Also what happens if my birthday child is shy and doesn’t want attention? Do they have a plan for that?

Do they have multiple options to meet your budget? A great working pro magician will have at least three different price points to accommodate any budget. If they offer one package, that may not be a pro.

Choosing The Right Entertainment For A Child’s Birthday Party

So you want to do something nice and fun for your child’s upcoming birthday party, and you’re thinking of maybe doing your event at home, adding a bounce house, and not sure what other options are available.

Consider hiring a Myrtle Beach area magician but definitely one who specializes in family entertainment.

Entertaining children for a birthday party can be one of the best ways to satisfy all your guests including the parents as it reaches everyone. We in America work way too much and get very little “quality time” with our children. That’s why a bounce house may not be the best entertainment for your party. Lot’s of families rent them and think they are great ways for children to have fun and they are. Problem is they don’t connect the families for real family time! Yes the kids get to play and have fun, but if you want the children to have fun, the parents to have fun, and make sure no one gets hurt, hire a great family oriented magician.

A well trained birthday party magician is one who knows how to get the families to sit down together and spend time watching the show, laughing and connecting with the kids! Also a great birthday party magician will know how to entertain whatever age group is at your party. This is very important, a group of mainly 3 year olds wants a totally different show than even a mostly 7 year olds show. A great birthday party magician has different ways of doing the same tricks that allows for the different age groups and can cater to them. This is a great question to ask your performer and make sure they can change their show to accommodate.

One more consideration is can the magician entertain the children and let them have the best time all while the children are behaving in the way their age group normally acts? In other words, why if my 4 year old will not be quiet or sit down during the show? That is not your problem once the birthday party magician takes over. If they are trained they can use the situation to their advantage so no child gets singled out during the show in a bad way and every child gets what they want, to have a good time. I personally have never had to stop a show to manage an unruly child, because I am trained to connect with the child who may be in the parents eyes need controlling. Truth is kids are all different and some like to be recognized and others don’t.

A child’s birthday party should be fun and most important “stress free”. Hiring a professional that specializes in families assures a stress free party.

Please Background Check Any Myrtle Beach Entertainer You Hire!

A Serious Plea

I am a Myrtle Beach area magician and I specialize in family and children’s entertainment. A very serious trend has happened in my local area, and while I am very uncomfortable to even discuss it I feel compelled to make anyone aware that I can reach. Please pass this information along and use it anyway you see fit to protect our children. I knew I could not hesitate to get this info out because it could save a child from endangerment and also a business from a lawsuit. If this happened once maybe it wouldn’t be a trend, but twice in the same community? I feel this must be brought to light. So while it pains me to bring up this topic I feel it needs to be said. In our area alone two entertainers have arrest records for inappropriate behavior and one was with a minor.

One of these was a performer at a restaurant, and even gained trust with the parents of a child to lure the child away from the parents and take advantage. In this instance he was arrested sent to jail and the restaurant where the instance happens there was a lawsuit brought against them for not doing an appropriate background check. This performer was a registered sex offender prior to working in this restaurant! This same performer was in the myrtle beach are performing under an alias. The latest restaurant did not do any background check because he wasn’t an employee! As soon as I found this out, (in the magic community this type news can get around) I reacted quickly to get this person out of the restaurant by letting the manager know this mans past.

Another performer that still calls our area his home was involved in many instances of abuse in college and was able to get the cases thrown out of court and plea bargained down. He is still performing under an alias right now. While I have never met him I can only hope he doesn’t do children’s birthday parties! I do not believe he is a registered sex offender.

I only ask anyone reading this article to consider that one bad apple does not spoil the bunch. We have many great magicians, balloon artists and face painters in our community. Just know that perverts and sex offenders will always try and find jobs where they can be near our children. It is our job as parents and business owners to at least run a background check and also Google their name. To make sure you know the person’s real identity and that they are not operating under any alias. After the manager of the restaurant was made aware of this performer’s past, he got rid of this performer. Later I went back and asked him if he would ever hire another magician, his answer was “probably not” I urged him to reconsider, because this is why no other entertainer would let him know, they are afraid of losing work. For me I can’t stand for this.

I believe if we are great at what we do the work comes, and I have seen this happen time after time. I encourage you to seek out and hire quality entertainment for your various events and parties, just do a little digging first!

BTW my full name is Thomas Gerrald Thompson, nickname is Gerry Thompson, and I perform as “Gerry The great” and my friends just call me “Great.” Google me please!


Hiring the best entertainer for your library summer reading program is easy when you consider the below 10 tips. My name is Gerry Thompson, also known as Gerry The Great. I am one of the top magicians in South Carolina.  While I would love to be considered for your next event, my real goal here is simple – to give you some good advice to consider before hiring an entertainer for your next library children program.

Here are 10 tips for things you should consider:

#1 Background Check the performer!!! Every industry has one bad apple that can ruin the experience for everyone. So make sure you performer has a real name and always at least Google their name, even better do a complete background check. Also please do not judge the magic community by these bad apples, they do not reflect the reason most children entertainers do what we do, we love performing for kids!

#2 Any Guarantee? Testimonials can be misleading, and are selected by the performer. Do they offer a 100% guarantee that if you aren’t happy, you don’t pay? I have seen entertainers trying to maximize their dollars by charging you the max and getting in and out with no care for the kids. A money back guarantee can show they are committed to making your event the best it can be.

#3 Make sure you find the right entertainer for your event. For example, I specialize in family type entertainment, I love doing library shows in front of children and their parents, and it energizes me. Some entertainers are not a good fit for summer reading programs.  Entertaining children is as much about the stories, interaction, and fun as it is about incredible magic and props. I know some entertainers that will tell you they do library shows, but they may just perform a generic magic show, they do not connect with the children!  Some do corporate magic or walk around magic for adults and they do not know how to connect with children at all.   Some entertainers can do a little bit of everything.  Be sure that the entertainer you hire for your library program is experienced and focused on delivering great kids’ entertainment and education that inspires them to use your library as a resource more often.

#4 What kind of area does the entertainer need for his performance? Can the entertainer do his show in your small library branch and adjust to fit? Large library with a large audience? Are they performing indoors or outdoors? I don’t use power cords for example, my sound system is run by a battery and was built specifically so children wont trip on any cords.

#5 Ask what the show is like.  Do they says they connect with the kids, have a well defined scripted beginning, middle and ending that is all designed to inspire your children to use their library to learn and have fun. Be sure to ask how the entertainer will engage the crowd and make it special for your customers.

#6 Go for the highest quality performer you can afford. There is a huge difference between an amateur entertainer/hobbyist and a professional library performer.  Do they have a themed show that ties into to your objectives? An amateur or hobbyist might have a few tricks that he does well, probably has a love for magic and feels he can just do them in a row and make a show.  However, a professional entertainer studies his or her craft, building his repertoire of tricks and illusions over years.  And a professional entertainer works hard to perfect storytelling skills, timing, comedic flare, and connecting with the audience.  Professional entertainers belong to professional organizations, perform regularly and treat their library shows as a business.

#7 Ask some questions. Professional magicians invest in their business by:

  • Carrying insurance
  • Having professional grade equipment and tricks
  • Professional websites and marketing
  • Belonging to professional entertainment organizations
  • Actively studying, building, and practicing their craft

#8 Just like any other professional service you would hire, looking for discounts and cheap alternatives could be a sure fire way to end up disappointed.

#9 Look for inexpensive resources to really make the program day great. There are great free items on the Internet, look around and use them.  For example, have some fun games ready to play if they arrive early.

#10 Do they offer “stress free” programs or is it going to be a hassle hiring them. Make sure their processes are easy. Do they invoice quickly? Do they provide posters as soon as you book them? Do they ask for lots of help and needs to get the show done? If they need a lot of help from you, find someone else. A true professional will invoice quickly, provide posters and marketing help, and let you know right off that they are in charge during the show… and you can take a break!

I hope these tips will help you in your search for the best kids’ entertainer for your library’s summer reading program.

Gerry the Great (Gerry Thompson) is a Myrtle Beach area magician that has done hundreds of shows for children ever since his first paid magic show at the age of twelve.  He is a member of The Fellowship Of Christian Magicians and The International Brotherhood of Magicians.  Find more about Gerry the Great and his company at

Ten Tips For Planning A Client Appreciation Day

As a family entertainer in the Myrtle Beach area I get lots of different calls for many different type customer appreciation events. I will tell you that I have seen the good and the bad. And the good has nothing to do with how big the company is or the budget that is spent! I’ve gotten calls for a magician entertainer from well known large corporate clients and they had no idea how to budget for their event. But I have also gotten calls from smaller local businesses that knew exactly how to have a great customer appreciation day for their clients and potential clients. What I am saying is you don’t have to be a huge corporation to put on a great event, you just need to do some effective planning. Here are ten tips for having a great client appreciation day:

  1. Budget, Budget, Budget! No matter the size of your budget, have one and stick to it. Make sure your event has uniformity. I’ve seen events with very expensive catering, terrible entertainment nowhere to sit, and no shade. Be careful not to overspend on one item (Like advertising) so that you can afford to hire me! (the entertainment) Seriously, I charge a fair rate for my magic shows, balloon artists, and face painters, but I had a very well know corporate client tell me they could not afford me and then I see they rented a huge digital billboard to advertise the same event! Another corporation that asked me to discount my services severely because they spent their whole budget on a promotional item to hand out and didn’t have enough left over for the entertainment!I work hard to get new clients and all of our artists love to entertain. But we cannot do it for free or next to nothing. This is our business not our hobby.
  2. Consider adding a charity component to your event. This will show your clients and potential clients that you are including them into a community that cares more than just about business. One of my customers has a silent auction and they ask other local businesses to donate “baskets” for the attendees to bid on. This is an easy way to raise money for your favorite charity. Allow the charity to come and speak at the event to enlighten the community about their good work. You can ask your local golf courses for greens fees and carts, ask local spas and hair stylists for free productsin order to promote their businesses. This connects them to your event and also may get them some new clients too.
  3. Provide great food and entertainment. Some of the best events I have done included walk around magic, Elvis impersonators, a massage specialist for example. Consider a local catering company if it is in your budget. If not do something low key like bringing out your grill from home and making hot dogs and hamburgers.
  4. Do a thank you speech. Make sure to say something to thank the clients, welcome everyone, and introduce your employees and your family. Make sure everyone knows you appreciate them and that you cannot run your business without their help. And don’t forget to remind them that you really appreciate their referrals. This is the one thing you should be “bold” about.
  5. Promote, Promote, Promote! Make sure you market the event to everyone you are targeting as customers. Start early, make flyers, invitations, and if you don’t have an advertising budget, simply ask your clients to put the event in their calendar every time they come in.
  6. Do your event annually, make it bigger and better every year. If you’ve never done an appreciation event, start small and make it fun. Think outside the box. One of the best customer appreciation events involved me doing magic in the waiting room of a dentist office! The clients had a great time seeing magic before and after they went into to their appointments.
  7. Consider doing an employee appreciation event. One of my clients (a hair stylist) hired me to perform magic and our face painter to entertain her employees. They all spent the night in sleeping bags in her salon and they had a great time.
  8. Use professionals or don’t offer services like face painting or balloon animals. I cringe when I see a non professional using paints and pens to “face paint” children. Not only do the face paints look terrible they may be unsafe too. Our face painters use only the best allergy free face painting products available. They are designed to wash off very easily. There’s nothing worse than seeing bad face painting on your clients children at your event.
  9. Take breaks, and give your employees breaks too. Make sure your client appreciation event is not too strenuous on your employees or the may not want to help you with it.
  10. Have fun, connect. Don’t forget to take some time to have fun, enjoy getting to know your clients more. Above all be authentic and your client appreciation event will certainly be a success guaranteed!