Like many other entertainers (hypnotists, DJs, caterers, party venues, and interactive game companies) I turn into a vampire the beginning of June each year. It’s high school grad parties, baby! Just yesterday I talked with my friend and professional juggler Alex Zerbe. He’d done a grad night in the San Juans and, after doing his show at 3:00 am, spent the rest of the “night” sleeping in his car in line for the ferry to return home. No wonder he was exhausted for the next two days trying to get his body back in tune!
I chatted briefly with hypnotist Tammy Barton-Harris at the Centralia HS grad party. I’ve worked the county fair circuit with Tammy and her dad, Jerry Harris, several times. They are both fantastic. And high school grad parties are ideal for hypnosis. I wrapped up my show about 3:00 am as she was coming in to set up. She had just driven down from another show in… Bellingham. Yuck!
But I’ll say this: high school audiences are the funnest around. They’re mature yet full of energy, and playful and not afraid to hold back. They’re with their friends that they’ve literally grown up with, so there’s a lot of good-natured kidding and goofing around. Everyone knows everyone else, and that makes for a real cohesive audience.
At the private party for Life Christian High School grads in University Place one of the moms showed me class photos of several of the grads when they were in elementary school together. Far out.
Most shows are either repeat clients (the Centralia HS parents who arranged to have me come this year had a daughter graduate two years ago when I performed for them) or they’ve seen me at another event (Life Christian HS). However, Stephanie with Forest Ridge High School found me through Gigmasters. Gigmasters is an online booking service for entertainers. They are heavy into online advertising and show up high for searches.
“Jeff was great! Would definitely recommend him. In fact, next year’s room parents have already expressed an interest in Jeff for Grad Night 2012! He was a pleasure to work with and the girls really enjoyed the show!”
-Stephanie Nicols, Forest Ridge High School grad night committee
This time of year I also perform for a lot of end-of-the-year celebrations, too. Yesterday I performed for Illahee Junior High in Federal Way. These kids were fired up! Good luck keeping them tame for another four days 🙂