Successful birthday party themes.

birthdaycakeAs a birthday party entertainer in Greenville, SC, I have done thousands of birthday parties. I would like to share some ideas for making the most of your birthday party theme.

First of all, this is NOT a list of ideas for themes. There are hundreds of resources available on the internet and books.  Instead I want to give you some pointers on making the most out or your child’s birthday theme.


Plan Early

Birthday parties really should not come as a surprise.  They will happen every year, on or about the same day.  Please don’t wait till the last minute to plan the party. Starting off with a theme idea will help everything else, such as the food, the decorations and the entertainment to flow much better.

If you give yourself the luxury of time, you can be on the lookout for resources for your party. One mom knew that she was going to be doing a mad scientist theme for her sons birthday party.  She was ecstatic when she found an educational store that was going out of business and managed to get plastic test tubes for a nickel each.  Early planning will let you make (and check off) a to do list.


Don’t Forget Who the Party Is For

When picking out a theme, remember that the party is for a kid.  You as a parent may love the idea of a space theme, but your child may actually want a pony theme.  Also bear in mind the child’s age. Really young children may not be able to grasp the idea of following a treasure map.  And older children will be insulted by games that they perceive are for younger kids.


Start Simple

Start simple with your party theme. You can always expand later.   Again it is proper to consider the child’s age.  For young children, don’t hire an entertainer with an overly long show.  The comedy magic show from Joy Set Entertainment is actually made up of several mini shows that flow together.  Party segments (games, food, presents) should last no more than twenty minutes. Likewise a smaller amount of food should be used for little kids.  Save your really BIG theme ideas for milestone birthdays.  Think about it, do you really want to invest a lot of time and money into a fourteen year old party, knowing that the Sweet 16 is coming up soon?


Communicate with your entertainer

When a parent books a party with Joy Set Entertainment, we always ask about the theme.  It helps us to structure our magic show, balloon twisting, face painting, or other entertainment elements.  Here are some of the things that your entertainer may want to know.  Do you want the entertainer to dress or act in accordance with the theme?  Do you want the balloon sculptures or the face painting to stick with the theme or is it okay to veer away from the theme?


Believe in the theme yourself

Here is the best advice for having a great party theme.  Have all the adults be a part of the party. Believe in the theme yourself. If you are having a pirate theme, then the dad could be the Dread Pirate Purple Beard. Remember the mom with the mad scientist party? All the adults were lab assistants to their sons and daughters. And the kids loved it. As an entertainer, I love to get the adults involved with games and music at a child’s birthday party. Don’t just have a party for your kids, have a party WITH your kids.

When a (Balloon) Man Loves a (Facepaint) Woman

C and PFirst of all, you need to know, I proposed to my wife, Paula, on April 1st.  It was a real ring and a real proposal, but not many people believed that it was not some elaborate April Fool’s prank.  Fortunately, my timely proposal did not frighten off my Paula.  Nor did it phase her when just a few months after we were married I informed her that my life’s calling was to be a clown.  In fact, she decided to join me.  That was over 18 years ago, and now in addition to clowns, our business also offers magicians, face painters, balloon artists,  jugglers, stilt walkers, jugglers, and all kinds of other family friendly entertainers in Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, and other areas of South Carolina.

We celebrated our first Valentine’s Day at Taco Bell.  We already had an event scheduled that night.  So rather than trying to fight the crowds and wait a long time for our meal, we decided to “run for the border.”  We pretty much had the whole restaurant to ourselves.  I brought a tablecloth to make our booth a little fancier and then adorned it with an electric candle.  I even brought along a music system to play romantic tunes.  I vividly remember the entire staff at Taco Bell staring at us as we whispered sweet nothings to each other between bites of our Burrito Supreme.

I am a very blessed man to have such a wonderful and supportive wife.  Paula helps keep Joy Set Entertainment running smoothly and is an integral part of Joy Set being such a successful and well respected business in the Upstate of SC.  On holidays, we both may be out doing singing telegrams, painting faces, making balloon dogs, or literally clowning around.  Yet we always find a way to still make the times special for us and our family.  A great big I LOVE YOU to Paula.  Thanks for being my girl, my wife, and my best friend.

How many balloon creations can you make?

     December was a very busy month for this Greenville balloon artist!  It is hard for even some of my balloon twister friends to believe, but I did some form of entertainment almost every single day from Thanksgiving until the end of 2012.   Joy Set Entertainment was contracted at Roper Mountain Holiday Lights.  In addition to making balloon decoration, we twisted Christmas themed balloons every single night at this Greenville, SC tradition.  Look for updates later on at this website.  We also did balloons and face painting during the weekend games at the Greenville Road Warriors.  There were lots of Christmas parties that hired Joy Set Entertainment this year.  And of course we had many birthday parties where we entertained with our award winning clowns and comedy magic or provided balloon art and face painting.  Whew, we are just a tad tired.

Many times when Joy Set is out doing balloons, we get asked “What can you make?”.  The obvious answer is balloons.  I also usually tell people that I stopped counting around 497 creations.  It is actually kind of hard to guage just how many different balloon creations Joy Set makes.  Do you count a golden retriever, and a dalmation, and a boston terrier as three different balloons or just under the general heading of balloon dog?

For many years I carried around some small laminated cards that had pictures of various balloon animals on them.  And I must admit that sometimes when I am pressed for time, I miss those balloon menu cards.  However, for the most part, I enjoy having more freedom with my balloon creations. I am an artist, and the balloons are my medium of choice.  So maybe we should rephrase the question.  Would someone ask a painter how many different paintings they could come up with?  Or would they ask a writer how many books they could write?

How many balloon creations can I make?  I can make many different balloon creations, from simple to complex.  And I guarantee that if you give my company an opportunity, we can make a balloon creation that will make you smile.  How many balloons can you make?

A Typical Day in the Life of an Entertainer

Recently I spoke at a school for their Career Day.  I love Career Day.  I get to share all the amazing things about being a full time, family friendly entertainer in the Upstate of SC.  But some of the questions, got me to thinking more about my own life as a sometime clown, sometime magician, sometime face painter, sometime balloon twister ….

  • What is the best thing about your job?
  • What is the worst thing about your job?
  • What is a typical day like for you?

Now that is a good question.  What IS a typical day like for me?  One thing that I do miss just a little from a “normal” job is structure.  So I find myself constantly trying to evaluate my business to see how to get from point A to point B and onward.  So today my day started off by making a list:

  1. Make a to do list (alright I can check that one off already)
  2. Inventory balloons for upcoming birthday party programs and Christmas programs
  3. Send out contracts for early 2013 events.
  4. Work on library show
  5. Clean living room (its not all fun and games)
  6. Update blog on

I actually got about half of my list completed today.  I would have gotten more done on my list, IF my list had included “watch a rerun of Knight Rider and Google how to cook salmon.”  Other things that I accomplished today:

  1. Talking with other entertainers about what they were doing today.
  2. A dumbbell workout at home.
  3. Taking my kids to and from school
  4. Helping my oldest daughter with a school project
  5. Saying “NO” 15 times to a persistent sales person

A typical day for me is atypical.  One day I am sorting 67 pounds of balloons and getting ready for a television appearance, and the next day I am riding a bike with my youngest daughter.  But that is okay.  I love what I do, and I do what I love.  And the day to day surprises are just part of the fun.  And now it looks like I can cross #6 off my list!

After Thanksgiving Day Sale

I have mixed feelings about all of the sales in the days after Thanksgving.  Part of me is excited about all of the adrenaline with the HUNT for the perfect gifts.  But then the realistic side wonders is it worth getting up at 3 AM and trampeling on others to try to get a solar powered toaster?

We at Joy Set Entertainment want to help our loyal customers too.  So we are offering a limited number of $50.00 vouchers towards ANY of our services for just $25.00.  That means that you could get a singing telegram or costumed character for less than half price.  Here is the way it works.  Use this special “Buy It Now” Button to make a $25.00 deposit.  Make certain you fill out all the required information, because when you cash in your deposit, it is worth $50.00!  Only one certificate per person.  Sorry you can not combine them.  We love you, but we are not that crazy!  And as always, we encourage you to contact us as early as possible to secure your choice of event dates and times.

This offer is limited in number of certificates available and will be removed at any time on November 25, 2012.  This offer must be purchased online.

 Sorry, this deal has expired.  For additional money saving offers, “Like” us on Facebook.