Why do I enjoy doing Children’s parties? By Laura-Jayne
“Find a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day.” One of my favourite quotes, and I guess a rather bold statement! No job is without its difficulties and stress from time to time, but I’m extremely fortunate to be a part of a company that allows me to work and find so much reward in doing so. For around 4 and a half years now, I have sung, danced and dressed up in some crazy costumes for countless children’s birthday celebrations. In my time doing so, I’ve learnt so many lessons about entertaining, and generally working in such a fast paced, unpredictable industry. I’m currently training in Musical Theatre, with the aim of attending Drama School in the near future, so I couldn’t really wish for a better way to build these skills around everything else I’m currently involved in.
No end of times has a parent or carer approached me at the end of a party with a somewhat sympathetic smile and a statement along the lines of “I don’t know how you do it”, or “I hope you’re heading home to put your feet up now!”. They often can’t believe when I tell them I’m off to drive to another venue to do it all over again. But I wouldn’t have it any other way! And while a mandatory cup of tea, a face mask and an evening in front of Netflix at the end of a weekend of parties sometimes make me feel I’m a 99 year old trapped in a 19 year old’s body, I do so feeling so rewarded after the craziness of it all.
I entertain children from as young as around 3 years old, with every child I meet having a completely different personality. Some children are fantastically confident, far more than I ever was, as 5-year-old me would be clinging to my poor Mum’s leg in fear of any entertainer or mascot (if you can believe that now!). Seeing a bubbly, lively child thriving from being surrounded by friends, family and their favourite character is wonderful, as it’s essentially the perfect environment for them to bring their personality out further. Equally, I’ve visited just as many, and if not, more children who are yet to find that confidence, and come across a little more reserved. As an entertainer, this often requires a different approach – gentler, and encouraging, but only as much as the child may want. When I chat to parents before-hand and they mention their child is a little shy, I always take this into account. It is such a rewarding feeling to then see them grow in confidence to be up and dancing with their friends, singing, playing and even speaking into a microphone by the end! The Mum of a guest recently pulled me aside after a party and said, “My daughter never gets up to join in at parties, so thank-you.” These are the moments that remind you what an influence you can have in a job like this.
So even with achy feet after dancing in heels, and often finding remnants of glitter pretty much wherever I go, I wouldn’t change any of it for the world, because if I can make even the smallest impact on a child’s confidence, I know it’s all been more than worthwhile.