Q: When is the proper time to notify an entertainment company that you've changed the time of your event and/or invited an extra hundred people or so to attend and/or that you want specific customization done to the show?
A: The day before the event.
Wrong! Wrong! Wildly, wildly incorrect and no no no no no, what's more!
And yet, an unfortunately common answer.
Christmas has me by the throat. Everything is scheduled down to the second and the wrenches are flying with abandon, lodging themselves merrily in every well laid plan I have made.
I understand. I do. Completely. Hiring entertainment companies is not something most people do on a regular basis. Hey, that's not a problem! Nobody's expected to know exactly how to go about it or how things progress from the booking stage. That's fine. That's what we're here for! We're here to help. Give us a call. We'll answer any questions you might have. Anytime. Really. No, please. Call. Don't make assumptions. It's not a bother, we'll explain everything. No no no, please don't presume. Really, we're paid to handle it, let us handle it. No don't try to make these decisions on your own and then throw them at us at the last minute. We've done this before, we know what works. We know what doesn't work. Please don't do this. Stop it. No don't have a committee meeting I beg you. Please. C'mon - one lousy phone call!
They don't call.
I try to climb inside their heads to get an idea of what's happening in there sometimes. I go right to the very back of their brains and through the dusty, cobwebbed door with a stack of broken chairs heaped in front of it marked "entertainment company". Inside I find shelves as high and as far as the eye can see, each overflowing with clowns and magicians and other colorfully costumed characters. An intercom crackles, sending their little imagined version of me scurrying. For the record I don't actually scurry, and how dare they put me in that ugly cardigan? Okay fine, most of them have never seen me in real life, I suppose I can be forgiving. But really, the over-sized tortoise shell glasses? Couldn't they have imagined me some contacts?
Off little imaginary me goes, rolling a ladder with a top that disappears at the vanishing point along the towering shelves. She's clutching a little piece of paper that notes this client needs five more performers than they booked for, and they need them an hour earlier than scheduled. No problem! Up the ladder she scurries (yes, she scurries along both the horizontal and the vertical planes) until she reaches the appropriate shelf. She plucks off the appropriate number of appropriately costumed performers, and hurls them down into something resembling a laundry bin on a rail. Zoom! Off goes the bin along it's underground track which connects it directly to the hotel where they're holding the event. Voila! Another successful production.
Really, when you look at it that way, giving our company a whole day's notice is rather generous.
12 hours ago