The Art of War for Face Painters: Don’t Miss Your Gigs


Problem: You’re in the middle of the most hectic season of the year as a face painter, and while you’re thrilled to have a busy calendar, you can’t escape the nagging feeling that you’ve forgotten something important.

On a whim, you skim through your old emails and texts. You’re horrified to discover that you have forgotten not one, but two events which you agreed to do for the upcoming weekend. You’re relieved that you haven’t double-booked yourself and that the event dates haven’t passed by, but it shakes you up that you could have missed both of the events if you hadn’t gone back over your older emails and texts.

Thinking back, you remember that these events never placed on your official event spreadsheet because you were away from your desk when they came in, and you just agreed to take them over your phone. Even though you sent yourself an email reminder for each, you missed them later. You vow it will never happen again, but how can you prevent it?

Solution: A series of fail-safes will keep you from relying on just one reminder, and by implementing more than one of these options, you’ll decrease the possibility of  experiencing one of a performers worst nightmares: the missed gig.

1. Send yourself an email. The face painter in our scenario completed this fail-safe, but possibly due to the volume of emails flooding through her inbox, she missed the ones she sent to herself. It only takes one missed email to cause trouble. Emails are an easy way to send yourself a reminder, but don’t rely on them alone to keep you on track.

2. Set an alarm to go off on your smart phone at a time when you know you’ll be back at your desk. An alarm will help you remember to officially record your new booking on your spreadsheet so it doesn’t completely slip your mind.

3. Use your smart phone calendar to immediately log your events and set an alarm for each one. I log my events in three places: the event spreadsheet on my computer, which has all event requirements and details, a hard copy calendar with just enough info to keep me from accidentally double-booking in case the electronics fail me, and my phone calendar.

4. This is probably the best solution of all. Let a scheduling app for your phone become your personal assistant. Scheduling apps go far beyond a standard calendar in their capabilities. Check out these seven scheduling apps, which range in price from $1.99 to $7.99, to see if one is a good fit for your business needs.

Adding layers to your booking system will take a little extra time up front, but it may ultimately save your business reputation and prevent scheduling disasters, making them a worthwhile investment.

Beth MacKinney is the owner of and primary face painter for Face Paint Pizzazz in the NW Chicago suburbs. She also writes for as the Chicago Face Painting Examiner.