THE HALF MILLION DOLLAR SIP & SEE – Bo in the trenches / by Bo Gerard

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If you don’t know already, a Sip & See is basically a baby shower; except it happens AFTER the baby is born.  This way the guests can see the new arrival, sip some champagne, and of course, bring gifts.

I recently was booked to perform strolling magic at one of these events, and I should have known something was different when the agent said that the client wanted 4 hours.  He said he was told it was going to be a really BIG party.  This agent was hired by a party planner, who was hired by a décor designer, who was hired by the client.  Since I try to stick to my “100 guests an hour” rule as a guide to how long they should book me for strolling work, I assumed there were going to be 100’s of people.  The party was supposedly going to take place in a custom, see-through, plastic tent, in an urban park in downtown Dallas affectionately known as The Dallas Eyeball Park.

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Now let me go on record as saying that I am very grateful to all of the agents and clients who think highly enough of me to book me.  This blog is merely a chronicle of something that I think is truly a one-of-a-kind event.

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When I arrived, I saw that the tent was indeed clear plastic, and the décor company had re-created a city park inside the tent – trees, grass, benches, etc.  There were literally 40 people on hand: party planners, servers, cooks, and helping-hand staff.  There were also, three strolling violinists and a strolling accordionist, all playing separately.  And there was also a bubble artist, a juggler, a caricature artist, 2 face painters, and 4 art-tables with helpers.

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Everyone (including the wait staff) was told to dress in baby blue and white, and we were a thing to behold as we stood waiting for the guests to arrive.  We stood, and we stood…and finally guests started trickling in.  10, 20, 40, 60… and then it stopped.  That was it – 60 guests; 20 of whom were children.  I found out from the Joule Hotel staff who worked the event that the final tab for the party was around a half-million dollars.  That’s around $8333 a head.

In our many years as performers, Gretchen and I have worked every kind of party, for every kind of client, in every income bracket.  Some of our best memories are of home parties that took place in depressed neighborhoods; given by families that probably had to save for a few months to be able to afford entertainment at their daughter’s party.  But at these homes we were treated like honored guests when we arrived, and everyone at the party gathered around and gave their full attention to the show.

Funny which events end up being truly memorable.