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

A Word About Agents

In the commodity 'How to Plan a Banquet,' we included a bound altercation about entertainment, and our basal admonition was to appoint a competent aptitude abettor who specializes in "casuals," which agency one-day or one-night events, such as parties, weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and added

fun events.

Some agents represent actors and actresses, and unless they accept a administration that handles array acts and bands, they would be of no advice to you.

Some added agents handle alone above attractions and celebrities, and unless you're alive with a austere budget, they will not be able to advice you get a bandage for Aunt Sarah's 50th ceremony party.

A array abettor is able to advice you get that close-up magician, band, and sometimes even name entertainers like Reba McEntire or The Temptations. Those that specialize in array ball are sometimes alleged "full-service" agencies.

How do you acquaint who is a competent agent? That's a acceptable question, because if you asked an abettor if he's competent he'd be a fool to say annihilation but "Of course!"

Having been in the ball business for over forty years, I've apparent a lot of humans set up boutique as agents. Some last, some don't.

A huge allotment of my business comes from humans who either accept acclimated my casework afore or were referred by anyone who has acclimated my services.

Finding Talent

Finding your own ball can be fun. I accept spent years watching added acts, bands and attractions, and I never abort to adore it.

The internet or the Yellow Pages are a acceptable starting place. Try application a seek engine to acquisition what you're searching for. You'll acquisition listings in the Yellow Pages beneath entertainers, party planners, entertainment bureaus, and maybe some added categories.

Try a seek for something like "bands in los angeles" or "juggler orange county" or whatever is appropriate. See what you arise up with.

Beware that a admirable website may not beggarly the best entertainer. Abounding website are not congenital by the amateur and even it is, a nice-looking website does not construe to abundant entertainment.

Referrals from accompany ability be advantageous to you if you chase the reviewing procedures categorical below.

Watch your bounded bi-weekly for entertainers that are appointed to arise for added groups in your area, and accomplish it a point to bolt their acts if possible. Of course, if you alpha traveling to added events, you'll see some poor entertainment, too. (I assumption it holds accurate that you accept to kiss a lot of frogs to acquisition a prince!) But even that can be helpful, if you are advertent and accomplish a agenda of what fabricated the act acceptable or bad.

Reviewing An Act/Band

If you're not alive with an agent, you will allegation to analysis the act yourself. There are three methods of reviewing an act: You can (1) go see the act accomplish live, (2) watch a video of the act, or (3) accept the act arise admirers for you.

By far the best way is to see the act accomplish beneath about the aforementioned set of affairs as your event. Seeing humans accomplish in Las Vegas to a night-club army does not beggarly they'll be able to accomplish for little Gloria's 10th altogether affair (or carnality versa).

The botheration with traveling to see reside performances is that it is actually very time consuming, and you will alone be able to see a bound amount of contenders afore it's time to accomplish a decision. But on the added hand, anticipate of the fun you'll have!

Watching DVDs is an accomplished method, as you can awning a lot of arena in an evening. Unfortunately, not all acts accept DVDs or videos, and it would be a abashment to annihilate a award-winning act just because they could not accumulation one.

Another BIG botheration with video is that abounding acts accumulation a short, edited adaptation of their act. This can be actual deceptive. If reviewing an act by video, I consistently assert on (but don't consistently get) an unedited adaptation of the show. I never appoint an act based on an edited video. I've heard of instances area an act was assassin because they had a actual able video, alone to acquisition that in their absolute show, the alone allotment that was any acceptable was those few account on the video.

Don't be ever afflicted by a DVD or video of a cine appearance, bedfellow atom on a TV show, or commercial. That still does not beggarly they can do the job you ambition them for.

Unless you're an agent, you can just about overlook about accepting the act admirers for you. Maybe an act will bead off literature. In the case of a magician, mime, or agnate array act, you may accept a abbreviate demonstration. However, this baby articulation forth with its glib angle can be actual deceiving.

Don't yield chances; be abiding of what you're buying!

When you allocution to an amateur on the phone, ask him to advanced his "press kit" or abstract and a DVD or video tape.

Most array acts will accept printed abstract or a complete columnist kit (which includes a photo, biographical information, belletrist of advocacy and references or account of accomplished performances).

Please don't be taken in by acceptable printed material. Usually, but not always, you can get a appealing acceptable abstraction of their akin of professionalism by the abstracts they advanced you.

I do apperceive some actually abundant acts that plan all the time and accept about annihilation in the way of printed materials. Of advance I've aswell apparent some actually outstanding printed abstracts but was aghast if I saw the act. I accept a bandage that I advanced out to a lot of baby weddings and accession banquets, and it took me about a year to get a photo from them. (I'm still acquisitive to get a song account some day.) I've got addition bandage that is actually acme in promotional actual and their bandage is actually tops, too!

Some performers no best use cardboard columnist kits but instead adopt an cyberbanking columnist kit either independent on a DVD they advanced you or artlessly up on their website. That's fine. It's actually a added abreast adjustment of announcement one's self.


It's important, already you've absitively what entertainers or bandage you're traveling to hire, that arrange be fabricated acutely and in writing. I've amid a sample letter you may ambition to use. Some entertainers accept their own contracts, but abounding do not, authoritative it all-important for you to put aggregate down on cardboard and advanced it to the entertainer. I'm not a advocate so I don't apperceive how acknowledged the letter is, but at atomic you accept the advice down on cardboard and you both accept and accede to the terms.

If I'm confined as Agent, I ample out a arrangement based on our conversations, and again advanced it to my applicant for a signature. I try to aggregate as abundant advice as I can about the accident so that I can anticipate any surprises. The entertainers aswell accept a bounden contract.

By the way, this ability be a acceptable abode to acknowledgment that aptitude agents are like biking agents in that they don't allegation you for their services, but instead allegation the entertainers. The abettor is actually searching out for your interests and can draw from endless entertainers and bands, accepting analytic accustomed with what anniversary act does. There is an internet cable account that lists bags of entertainers, who their claimed administrator is (if any), and/or how to ability them. All entertainers are accessible to a full-service agent, rather than just a scattering of acts that the abettor has been able to put together.

When authoritative your arrange with entertainers accomplish abiding that you altercate everything:

  1. Location. Best to advanced the act a map.
  2. Date of performance.
  3. Time and continuance of performance. Bands usually plan 4 hours, with a 10-15 minute breach anniversary hour. Allocution to them about their breach and how abundant overtime will cost. Some bands accumulation recorded music during their breaks.
  4. Put the fee down in writing. I would alternate to pay the act a deposit, although some entertainers and bands crave it. I'm a accountant agent, so an act knows that already I advanced the arrangement their pay is guaranteed. Both you and the amateur are acting on a assurance not yet demonstrated. The amateur wonders if he'll get paid, and you admiration if he'll actualization up! It's the alone arrangement we have.
  5. Method of payment. Acts consistently apprehend to be paid in abounding afterward the performance. If any added arrange are to be made, amuse not alone altercate it with them, but put it in your letter of agreement.
  6. An act will ambition to apperceive your time schedule... what time is the cocktail hour, dinner, etc. and this brings up an absorbing subject: agriculture the act. Usually, if you accept alone one alone accomplishing a actualization afterwards feast (e.g. a archimage or a singer), you should allure him to accompany your accumulation for dinner. However, it would not be accepted of you to augment the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Even bands are hardly fed. If you use the bandage for the cocktail hour, during dinner, and again accept them yield a breach while you accord out awards or conduct added business, then
  7. it would be adapted to augment them during that hour. It's not mandatory, however. (Keep in apperception that a meal is a nice alleviation for the act if they are giving you a appropriate breach on the fee.)
  8. Who food the accessible abode system? Bands usually accept their own equipment; added acts may not. A guitar amateur who sings may crave two microphones. Four singers ability crave microphones and apprehend you to accumulation them. If you're at a auberge or added feast facility, you may be able to get aggregate you allegation from them. Extensive complete systems will accept to arise from a able complete company. Accomplish abiding you altercate this with your aerialist and put it in writing.
  9. Lighting. Again, your ability may accept what you need. Spotlights with an abettor can be busy for about $350. Big concerts will crave the casework of a able lighting company.
  10. Stage? A feast of beneath than 50 humans may not even allegation risers, but if you alpha accepting up in the numbers, you'll allegation to get your entertainers up to area the admirers can see them. A accouterment ability or auberge will usually accept 4' x 8' risers at assorted heights so that you can body a belvedere or date for your entertainment.
  11. Is it outdoors? What if it rains? You should actually specify what you will do. Will you again authority it indoors? The act or amateur has blocked out that day for you and conceivably angry down added work. They are actually advantaged to their fee even if the affairs is rained out, unless you've fabricated added arrangements.
  12. Seating. It's actual difficult for an amateur to accept a ball attic amid himself and the audience. If you're accepting a ball afterwards a actor or added entertainer, allocution with the act about how abutting the seats or tables allegation to be. Maybe he/she can plan on the ball floor.
  13. Does the act allegation a abode to change clothes or set up equipment?
  14. Does the act advertise albums or added commodity at the performance? Some agreeable acts action albums afterwards the show. Is this all appropriate with you?
  15. Parking and unloading. How nice it is for an amateur to cull up in foreground of the YMCA and acquisition a assurance "Reserved for Entertainer." You can't consistently do that, but bethink that some acts accept a lot to backpack in. If the alone parking accessible costs money, you should balance the entertainers. Allocution about it and cover your accommodation in your letter of agreement.

There are affluence of things to ask about. Yield time to account in your apperception absolutely how things will be. If there is a catechism in your apperception about anything, ask. Ask the hotel, the band, the act, the agent.


Well, really, that was easy. Just absorb months searching at acts and canicule negotiating and a few weeks apprehensive if you blew it. (Or accord a alarm to a competent aptitude abettor and let him anguish about the harder stuff!)

Perhaps a acceptable aphorism to bethink is "You get what you pay for." A acquaintance alleged me and capital Mariachis for a Church Mexican Fiesta. I quoted him a amount for 5 Mariachis for two hours, but he went out and assassin his own for less. He alleged me up afterwards just ailing about it. He had alleged a accumulation advertised about and got a low price...and low quality. It's not a new story.

Don't attending for the everyman price; attending for quality. If you can't allow top quality, it's apparently bigger not to accept ball at all rather than to appoint an act that makes you and anybody abroad agonize in their seats.


Sample Letters


Makers Of The Unbreakable Widget

1842 Los Albany Street, Los Angeles, CA 90023


February 31, 2009

Freddy the Abracadabra Man

1234 Count Me Out Street

Pasadena, California 93345

Dear Mr. Abracadabra Man:

This is to affirm our arrange for you to absorb at our anniversary accession feast to be captivated October 32, 2009 at the Rancho Cucamonga Holiday Hotel, 2345 Auberge Ave., Cucamonga,


The feast will activate with the cocktail hour from 6:00pm to 7:00pm at which time we will sit down for dinner. We would be captivated if you would accompany us. Amuse let us apperceive if you would adopt the angle or the steak.

We accept a anchorperson who will accommodate you with a microphone on a microphone angle and the auberge has abiding to put up a 8' advanced by 6' abysmal by 2' top platform, with stairs at one end, for you to accomplish on. Your 30 minute achievement of ball and abracadabra should activate afterwards dinner, about 8:15pm. I will accept a $750 analysis accessible for you at the cessation of your performance. Amuse aswell accompany me your parking admission for abounding validation.

Please assurance a archetype of this letter and acknowledgment to me to coalesce our arrangements.

Most sincerely,

Marta Stuart


From: Freddy The Abracadabra Man

To: Marta Stuart

Everything looks great! I'll be there. I'd prefer: Steak ______ Angle ______




Helping to advance activity through investing

2356 Nobody Street

Lancing, Ohio 98823


February 31, 2009

Leon Huge

Big Bandage From Cleveland

1902 Go Jump Street

Pine Grove, Pa 69903

Dear Mr Huge:

Thank you for accordant to accept your 8-piece bandage play for my daughter's marriage on July 14, 2008 at the Forrest Glen Country Club, 2323 Country Club Drive, Lancing, Ohio from 8:00pm to midnight. As we discussed, the bandage is to complete their start-up by 6:00pm and you will play recorded music through your complete arrangement from 6:00pm to 8:00pm for the cocktail hour and dinner.

You aswell agreed to act as the emcee introducing the helpmate and benedict and the absolute marriage affair as they access the allowance at about 6:30pm. I will e-mail you the agency at atomic a anniversary afore the event. Amuse bang off the ball set at 8:00pm with the Father /Daughter ball "Isn't She Lovely" and again allure the absolute marriage affair to accompany them on the ball attic at the end of that song and play "Celebration."

I accept that the bandage will play four 45-minute sets anniversary hour and you will accommodate recorded music during your breaks. I will accept a analysis for $2,450 accessible for you if you arrive. I will aswell access abounding validation for all of your musicians if you will aggregate their parking slips. I will accept sandwiches, sodas, coffee, algid tea and bake-apple abstract in the breach allowance at 7:00pm for you and the band. Amuse analysis in with Diane at the Country Club and she will actualization you the breach room.

Please assurance beneath and acknowledgment a archetype of this letter to accomplish abiding we're on the aforementioned page.


Sammy Claws



Everything is as agreed. We will be there.


© 2007 by Al Lampkin