Problem: You’re painting at a party which is being held at the local bowling alley. Management has several party tables set aside in a quieter corner, but they don’t provide a separate party room. The hostess asks you to set up near the party tables so you can paint children as they arrive and drop off their gifts.
The birthday boy and his friends are having a great time, but you suddenly realize that there seem to be more kids lining up for face painting than the twelve the hostess said she was expecting. In fact, the line is almost double that. You flag the hostess as she goes by and ask her how many guests will be there, and she confirms she’s expecting twelve. Obviously you have a case of party crashers, and since the hostess is busy running between the bowling games and the arcade, managing children, you’re left trying to figure out who is invited to the party and who is not. You wouldn’t mind an occasional extra, but if you paint everyone in the line, you won’t have time to do some of the actual party guests. How can you keep party crashers from joining the line when you paint at a public venue?
Solution: Face painters often encounter a few extras slipping in when an event is held in a public venue which doesn’t have a private room, and you should be prepared for this. One solution is to use stickers or tickets which are handed out by the hostess, but stickers can fall off and tickets can be lost by children, so these aren’t the best solutions, although they should help a little. A better idea is to carry carnival wristbands with you. They are affordable and light to carry in your kit, so you can keep some with you for emergencies.
At the beginning of the party, count out the number of wristbands you’ll need for the number of guests and give them to the hostess to distribute. This is a little extra work on her part, but she will know which children are guests and which aren’t. If anyone asks to be painted and doesn’t have a wristband, direct him or her to the hostess.
Sometimes a parent who is not part of the event will bring a child to you and ask that you paint him, even though the parent knows you’re performing at a private event. No doubt it’s hard for a parent to say no when a child sees a face painter in the vicinity. In some cases, your client will not mind this, but out of respect for your paying customer, you should make any extra people wait until you’ve completed painting the party guests and your time is up. If you have time before you have to leave for your next event, it’s okay to paint the extras, and it’s your choice whether you choose to charge them or not.