Friday, September 24, 2010

Being Santa and Booking Santa

Santa as we know is one of the most in demand characters during the Christmas season. Santa is the man!

We start getting bookings as early as June and as late as a couple of weeks prior to an event.  We have Santa arrive in style - in a sleigh drawn by ponies or horses, reindeer (yes, reindeer), in a rickshaw and in a parade with other characters like Care Bears, Harry from Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs, Fairy tale princesses and Christmas icons. We can even have Santa appear during a magic show in an illusion box!

Booking Santa sometimes can be challenging. Booking a Santa with real beard is more challenging. Aside from finding an actor who can look the part, we have to find someone who can think on their feet, fast. Though everyone has a list of automatic replies, kids just sometimes ask the darnest things. Some older kids would want to test if you’re the real deal and they’ll ask silly questions. Be prepared, do research and have a solid story. Others would like something extravagant or something immaterial as a present. In these instances, Santa doesn’t make promises parents can’t keep.

Santa needs to keep it “cool” and magical. Even if Santa sits in a mall for the entire month daily for hours end, Santa has to be cheerful, energized, always generous in giving out that hearty, “ho, ho, ho!”

Santa needs to look sharp – suit crisp and clean, glasses (and beard) in place and make-up properly done. Ask parents or Santa’s assistant to hold food or drinks kids might be holding before sitting them on your lap. You don’t want them all over the suit!

Working with the photographer is necessary. Santa’s eyes shouldn’t wander, look at the camera. Put your hands up, well, not really up, up. Just make sure they’re in the photo – one in a wave the other could be in the kid’s shoulder. Advise the photographer to let you know if Santa needs to fix the suit.  Kids (and parents) will be very happy to take home a nice photo with Santa.  

Be in character and costume at all times when in public. Be jolly!

Don’t wait too long, Santa gets booked pretty fast.  So book now! 

And don't forget, other characters would love to join Santa too - Mrs. Claus, elves, Sugar Plums, Snow Princess, the toy soldier and more! Sphere Entertainment offers fun, lively, interactive shows too for your Santa's arrival.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sphere Entertainers Going the Distance

Literally, we are going the distance. Our talented and seasoned performers are participating in this year's International Kite Festival in Singapore happening this weekend (Sept. 18 & 19).  Leading the group is our very own Patricia (Pat) Silver.  She is multi-talented and a multi-instrumentalist.   She has authored a best selling book on face painting.

Jeff hill brings comedy and magic to the East.  His act includes thrilling fire eating and escape routines.  His magic is contemporary, youthful, over the edge involving the audience.

Paul Wildbaum breaks language barriers as the "Comic Cameleon."  In his non-verbal performance, he will create many characters with a specially designed hat and many objects with a fan.

Noam Markus in traditional make-up and white gloves provides audiences an interactive and fun Mime Encounter!

Monica Walsh transports audiences in a busy street to the world of opera with her soprano voice singing opera and classics.

Kate Mior demonstrates her prowess for comedy and physicality as Angelica, a living statue.  She warns, "Don't be fooled by this angel's ethereal beauty and elegance!"

Archie the fat clown transforms right before your eyes and towers over the audiences with his inflatable suit!

We're always excited sending performers overseas and showcase Canadian talents!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Meet the Cast!

We were thrilled to debut our program - Shrek, Stompin' the Swamp at the Capital Ex in Edmonton!

Our very talented performers are well rehearsed and are delivering an awesome program! Kids were on their feet dancing with Shrek and Fiona as they choose their special dance song.

It's very warm in those costumes, but the cast is having a lot of ogre-sized fun!

In the Shrek costume is Tom King, Sphere Entertainment's production manager.  He is a full time actor, dancer, voice-over artist and clown and has performed on stage, TV and films in Los Angeles, New York and Toronto.  You can see him behind the scenes managing one of our shows, in costume or narrating many of Sphere's many performances, or on TV performing in commercials, docu-dramas or TV shows.  Tom began his career in sunny California.

As Fiona is Alexey Solodkiy, a profressionally schooled dancer from St. Petersburg, Russia. He has toured extensively as a member of Thompson Cruiselines Entertainment and in 2004 was invited to dance with the Ontario Ballet Theatre's tour of the Nutcracker.  He enjoyed the experience so much he returned in 2005 and again in 2007 and decided to stay in Canada.  He has since then been part of Sphere Entertainment's staple performers for character shows that tour across Canada.

Frankie the Funky Fairy is played by Allison Villa.  She's excited to be back in Toronto after spending three adventurous years singing and dancing for Carnival Cruise Lines.  Allison recently returned from playing "Rizzo" in a whirlwind tour of Grease in Japan and currently performing in I'm a Soulman Blues Brothers Tribute show.  Allison is a graduate of Randolph Academy of the Performing Arts.  Her other passion is aerial silks.  But I don't think we will be seeing her enter the swamp from the air.

Alternately, Shannon Coulter plays the role Frankie.  She started performing and training at a very young age both in the US and Canada.  Since graduating from Sheridan College Music Theatre Program a year ago, she has toured with Little Red Theatre and made an appearance in a CBC documentary last summer.  Most recently she was a Bollywood dancer in a short film (1812) that was presented to her Royal Highness, The Queen of England.  Shannon is very happy to be a part of this amazing show!

Stompin' the Swamp promises to entertain all ages!

Come watch and meet Shrek!  Here are our confirmed appreances to date:
September 18 & 19 - Mom, Pop & Tots Fair, Edmonton, ON
October 16 - MBM Baby Show, Barrie, ON
November 6 & 7 - Baby and Family Fair, Vancouver, BC
November 27 to January 2 - Casa Loma, Toronto, ON

Check each venue's website for timing.
Visit our website for more updates and entertainment for your events!