Confessions of a kids’ party entertainer

Kinderling News & Features

If you think children’s parties can be crazy and chaotic, spare a thought for the poor party entertainer caught in the middle. Catapulted into a crossfire of sugar-fuelled kids, cake and costumes, these caped crusaders are responsible for amusing tribes of temperamental tots and making sure everyone has a good time.

Kinderling Conversation goes behind-the-scenes and behind-the-mask with entertainer Caleb Alloway, one such hero who’s braved frisky family members, swift kicks to the Bat-bits and more in the line of duty. Here's the five lessons he's learnt on the job.

Listen to Caleb's interview:

1. Beware randy relatives

"I’ve had mums crack on to me. Never a dad, though! Definitely had a grandma once. You never know what you’re going into. The awkward thing was when it came to the photos and Grandma, who was dressed as Wonderwoman, was literally all over me."

2. Dad jokes are a job hazard 

"There’s the bad jokes like “Do you do parents’ parties?”, “Can you take your suit off?” or “Does your mask come off?” It’s hard to tell how serious they are sometimes. I honesty do walk out sometimes, thinking I’m not sure I would want to go back to that family next year. "

3. Not everyone is a fan of the Dark Knight

“I remember when I was dressed up as Batman and I walked into this party. It was in a park and the first thing the dad said to the kid was “Look there’s Batman! Go up and kick him in the crotch!”

4. It’s their party and they’ll cry if they want to

“I once rocked up as Spiderman and the birthday boy wouldn’t leave his room.  He hid under his bed the whole time. His bed was actually up in this loft and he had this silly string and every couple of minutes he’d get up and shoot Silly String down at us – which is kind of fun but when you’re trying to organise the games and the party downstairs…. Everyone knows kids are the hardest audience!”

5. Parents get as competitive as the kids

“You get some parties where all the parents are dressed up as well as the kids. And then it comes to playing games like ‘Red Light, Green Light’, it’s not just Harry and John running, it’s also Grandma and Mum and Aunty Sue and whoever. And they’re in it to win it!