Benny and Cait are party entertainers who own & Entertainment Company; here is a link to it’s website:
Q: What made you decide to start an entertainment company?
Cait: We knew we wanted to be self-employed and wanted to use our creative strengths in doing that, but really got the idea while browsing craigslist for odd jobs. We saw a need for face painting and balloon twisting and it just evolved from there.
Q: What industry did you work in before starting the company?
Cait: I managed a Zumiez and had mostly worked retail, with the occasional nannying job.
Benny: I worked a lot of service industry jobs as well as various performance and writing/directing gigs.
Q: How were you able to finance your business?
Benny: We moved in with my parents to save money while picking up lots of odd jobs over the summer. We got a credit card that helped us with our initial investments. But the overall cost of startup was very low and we were able to quickly grow through booking our first few parties.
Q: What is your oddest party story?
Cait: The party that stands out to me most is one at a daycare. It was outside and the backyard was so tiny, but for some reason, fireworks were brought out. They were lit next to a dead plant and everyone was having to duck out of the way of the sparks, yet they continued to light more! The kids were all very patient and well-behaved, but the parents were trying to cut in front of them in line for balloons and were even trying to use our pumps to inflate the balloons themselves before we could get to them. It was all very funny because I remember thinking how crazy it was that the adults were acting like impatient children and the kids were so respectful.
Q: What do you bring to the party that other companies of your kind cannot?
Benny: We don’t like to limit a customer’s creativity by presenting a limited selection of what we offer, we cater to what the individual party might need. Our name says it all, we’re “AND Entertainment,” as in “AND,” not “Or.” We have a lot of our most popular requests bundled into packages on our site but we have done all kinds of stuff for events in the past! From building Harry Potter Quidditch Goals to leading a Bollywood Dance, if you can dream it, we can achieve it!
Q: What kind of theatrical background do you have?
Benny: I grew up in musical theatre! I had my first taste of the stage at the age of five and continued to perform in school plays, community and independent productions around the Bay Area. Mostly Musicals, But I dabbled in Sketch Comedy and Film work.
Q: What trends in children’s entertainment annoy you?
Cait: We haven’t really been in the business long enough to stumble upon any trend per se, but I will say one of my biggest annoyances is when parents use us as a daycare service rather than an entertainment service and don’t supervise their children. The kids get really excited and want to get into all of our supplies and it’s hard for us to do our jobs when we’re being overrun by unsupervised, sugared-up kids.
Q: What have you done to promote your business?
Cait: We use as many outlets as we can. We post ads on craigslist. We’re listed on ovenues.com & Yelp. We also keep current on Facebook, Instagram, & Snapchat. We really enjoy going to parks and handing out balloons to kids for free and giving the parents a business card when the weather is right.
Benny: Or going out and doing some street magic to promote is always fun! We’re not afraid to do the footwork, We’ve gone to daycares, schools, & local businesses just handing out cards.
Cait: word of mouth is our best kind of marketing.
Q: What does your magic act entail?
Benny: all kinds of stuff! From Card tricks to mentalism/mind reading, our many ever evolving magic shows feature mind-boggling moments to delight, astound & always entertain! Our Goal is to leave smiles on Faces and Wonder in Minds long after we’re gone!
Q: If you could make anyone disappear permanently for the benefit of children everywhere, who would it be and why?
Cait: Betsy Devos! I believe in giving our kids the absolute best education possible, and I feel that that’s been put in jeopardy with her nomination to Secretary of Education.
Benny: I believe that rewarding a bully with a position of power sets a precedent in the minds of Children. Especially if that bully has run on a platform of racism and misogyny. So for our next trick, we’ll work on making the king baby disappear!
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.