Santa Claus Conservatory - Members

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How to Become a Santa Claus

You probably saw how Tim Allen became Santa Claus in the movie “The Santa Clause”. Well, it’s nothing like that in real life. 😊

Here’s how it happened to me and many other professional Santas I know.

We somehow volunteered (often pretty reluctantly) to be Santa Claus at a function of some sort, a church function, a fund raiser, a community event… and we fell in love with it.

Many professional Santas are retired and they “become Santa” strictly for the love of it. Often, they do primarily volunteer activities… I did that for seven years.

Others become Santa Claus to supplement their income. Many Santas work in malls or other retail shops like Bass Pro. They get to do work they love and earn some extra money while they’re at it.

Some Santa’s want to “take it to the next level”. This is what I’ve done. After 7 years of primarily volunteering as Santa Claus at local events in southern Oregon, I decided to “go all-in as Santa Claus”. I arranged for seasonal housing in Los Angeles and started drumming up business.

I booked some great Santa Claus gigs in Los Angeles, before long I had a Hollywood Talent Agent and I was going on auditions to play Santa Claus on TV commercials.

Santa Claus Chrysler Commercial

TV Commercial Santa Claus

I think I could write a book on “How to Become Santa Claus in Hollywood”.

Well, here’s my Santa Claus resume…

Personal Appearances:

  • Santa Claus Jimmy Kimmel cast & crew party (2016)
  • Santa Claus Ellen DeGeneres cast & crew party (2016)
  • Santa Claus The Late Late Show with James Corden cast & crew party (2016)
  • Santa Claus Montage Hotel Beverly Hills (2015 & 16)
  • Santa Claus International Cinematographers Guild (2013, 14, 15, 16)
  • Santa Claus Motion Picture Editors Guild (2016)
  • Santa Claus Paramount Studios (2016)
  • Santa Claus Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills (2013, 14, 15, 16)
  • Santa Claus Los Angeles Rams (2016)
  • Santa Claus Los Angeles Lakers (2014, 16)
  • Santa Claus Los Angeles Clippers (2014)
  • Santa Claus Los Angeles Children’s Hospital (2016)
  • Santa Claus Mattel Toys (2012, 13, 14, 16)
  • Santa Claus Microsoft/Century City Mall (2011)
  • Santa Claus Pinterest Company Party (2016)
  • Santa Claus Facebook Company Party (2014, 15, 16)
  • Santa Claus Jib Jab Company Party (2014)
  • Santa Claus Riot Games Company Party (2014, 15, 16)
  • Santa Claus US Air Force (2013, 14, 15, 16)
  • Santa Claus USC (2015)
  • Santa Claus Young Americans (2014, 15, 16)
  • Santa Claus The Ebell (2013, 14, 15, 16)
  • Santa Claus In N Out Burger (2014, 15)
  • Santa Claus L.A. County Women’s Jail (2015)
  • Santa Claus 3rd Street Promenade Santa Monica (2013, 14, 15, 16)
  • Santa Claus YouTube Space (2014, 15)
  • Santa Claus ArcLight Cinemas (2016)
  • Santa Claus Wiltern Theater (2016)
  • Santa Claus Old Town Pasadena (2014)
  • Santa Claus Many More Company Parties (2013, 14, 15, 16)
  • Santa Claus Many Events at Country Clubs (2013, 14, 15, 16)
  • Santa Claus Many Foundation Events (2013, 14, 15, 16)
  • Santa Claus Many Home Parties & Private Celebrity Events (2013, 14, 15, 16)

Entertainment Industry Related:

Film

Beverly Hills Christmas 2 Santa Claus
Daddy’s Home (Movie Trailer) Santa Claus
Conversations with God Santa Claus
Santa Stole Our Dog! Santa Claus Ed Asner Stand-In

Television

Jimmy Kimmel Show Santa Claus
The Doctors Santa Claus
Greatest Holiday Commercial Countdown Santa Claus
The Today Show Santa Claus – Guest
MTV’s Ridiculousness Santa Claus
Guilty Pleasures Santa Claus
The Talk Santa Claus – Guest
KTLA News 2015 Santa Claus
Dose Morning Show Santa Claus
That Awkward Game Show Santa Claus
TMZ Santa Claus
Let’s Ask America Santa Claus
Supreme Justice with Judge Karen Santa Claus
KTLA News 2014 Santa Claus
The John Kerwin Show Santa Claus – Guest

Commercials

Chrysler ‘PacifiKids: Elves’ Sales Manager / Santa Claus
Meijer – Do You See What I See Mystery Man / Santa Claus
Band Aid Stocking Stuffers Santa Claus
Chrysler ‘PacifiKids: Manager’ Santa Claus
Reddi Whip – I Am Not Your Dad Santa Claus
Chrysler ‘PacifiKids: Great Deal’ Santa Claus
Kohl’s “Celebrate Healthy Lives” Santa Claus
Chrysler ‘PacifiKids’ Song by OneRepublic’ Santa Claus
Urban Home Santa Claus
Chrysler ‘PacifiKids: Stowing & Screens’ Santa Claus
Imperial Woodpecker w/NDA Santa Claus
Visit Palm Springs Santa Claus
Coca Cola – Tinder Santa Claus
Hello Santa Santa Claus
Palm Springs Tram Santa Claus

Print

Ho Ho Ho Holidays Santa Claus Palisadian Post Cover
Sunset Magazine Santa Claus Ashland Visitors Bureau
PhotoFuse Santa Claus Microsoft
Cover Story Santa Claus LA Times
Oregon Dept. Transportation Santa Claus ODOT
Hello Santa Santa Claus JibJab
Palm Springs Tram Santa Claus Phillip Large
Sunday Entertainment Santa Claus Daily Breeze
Santa at Home Santa Claus Colt Seman

Internet

Coca Cola – Tinder Santa Claus Colt Seman
Hallmark – “Secret Santa” Santa Claus Spirit Clips
SnapChat Wizard Rylee Ebsen
FLIR – The Heat Santa Claus Sean Blixseth
JibJab – Hello Santa Santa Claus Clinton Fanelli
Santas Try Xmas Treats Santa Claus BuzzFeed
Santas Try Novelty Candy Canes Santa Claus BuzzFeed
Santa Visits Eliopulos Jewelers Santa Claus Pete Eliopulos
The Try Guys Santa Claus BuzzFeed

I was also the Santa recruiter, trainer and national “Brand Ambassador” for 2 years with “Hello Santa”

I’ve worked with photos studios, open air photographers.

I’m Santa Claus for the “Just BeClaus” sticker emjoi’s with Hallmark eCards.

I’ve appeared as Santa Claus in many parades & Tree Lighting ceremonies.

I was Santa Claus at a Hollywood “Red Carpet” movie premiere at Paramount Studios.

Do you want to learn how to become a professional Santa Claus?

Join us here at The Santa Claus Conservatory.

Santa & Mrs. Claus: Practice in Public

“You have really gotten better.”

Several Santas have recently told me that over the last few years they’ve seen a significant improvement in my videos.

The key words are- “THEY’VE SEEN”.

Jeff Goins’ excellent new book, “Real Artists Don’t Starve” lays out a 3-Part, 12-Point, plan for success as an artist. Point 8 is “Practice in Public”.

I hadn’t heard of this concept until a few days ago but it’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the past few years and continue to do now.

Practicing in public is also something I encourage you to consider.

Part of my practicing in public included the creation of a YouTube Channel and made a commitment to upload a new video at least once a week. I did toy reviews and later little poems. You can see the videos here- http://thatsantaguy.com/

I also regularly post videos on Facebook and I frequently use videos for the weekly tips on The Santa Claus Conservatory website.

All of this, plus the videos I make for other projects I’m working on, and the “on the street” videos I make regularly is “practicing in public”.

By making many hundreds of videos I’m getting better. By making them “in public” I know the bar is higher than if I never showed them to people. This encourages me to “up my game”.

VIDEO IS A TERRIFIC VEHICLE BECAUSE IT CAPTURES EVERYTHING. The looks, the sounds, the ‘feel’.

I can see that I need to practice opening my eyes wider, slowing my speech, smiling bigger and finding cuter poses.

Video has been the single greatest tool to help me become a better Santa Claus performer.

WHY DOES THIS MATTER?

WE HAVE MORE FUN! I’ve found that the better and more self-confident I become in my ability to deliver an extraordinary Santa performance the more fun I have.

Having the words, looks, reactions, etc. at the ready and being confident of the reaction they’ll get allows me to relax and be “in the moment” while performing… and this is MUCH MORE FUN!

If you’re a GOLD or PLATINUM Member of the Conservatory my mentorship is included in your annual fee. I’m happy to coach you and give you my honest assessment of your videos.

In 90 days we’ll be in early November. 🙂

FYI- the “Storytelling as Santa” video recording is now available.

Storytelling as Santa & Mrs Claus

It just seems like Santa & Mrs. Claus should be pretty good storytellers, right?

Yet in the venues most of us work in most of the time it’s difficult to find the time and maintain enough attention to tell a proper story.

So, what do we do? What stories do we tell? When do we tell them? How do we make or stories engaging and also convey a meaningful lesson or moral?

I’ve found that for me the most useful stories are very flexible. Stories that I can tell in 2 or 3 minutes or take 8 to 10 minutes and add more depth when time permits.

This session is for Santas & Mrs Claus’ who want to get better at creating & telling short stories as part of typical Santa visits and in situations where Santa or Mrs Claus is engaging with children/families for longer periods of time.

To attend this session, you must be a Silver Member or Higher. Investment for Silver Membership is ONLY $47 and this session alone will be worth that.

As a Silver member you will also receive access to these additional 6 sessions:

  • “7 Ways to Add Thousands to Your Income this Santa Season”
  • “9 Tips to Earn More & Have More Fun as Santa”
  • “Beard Whitening & Care”
  • “Simple Sign Language for Santa & Mrs. Claus”
  • “Being Mrs. Claus”
  • “Being Santa Claus for Children with Special Needs”

To become a Silver, Gold or Platinum Member & ENROLL IN THIS SESSION – CLICK HERE

Being a Mall Santa- Soup to Nuts

A FREE WEBINAR – Login to the site for immediate access.

Each year hundreds of thousands of children visit Santa at malls and stores each year.

Thousands of Santas have the honor of working on these sets.

This session is geared to those Santas who currently work these venues or would simply like to learn more about being a “mall Santa”.

We’ll talk about everything from how to land a job at a mall or retail location, to the finer points of negotiating a contract, including some negotiation points that may surprise you.

GORDON BAILEY: A luminary in the Santa business will be on the panel. Gordon will share his wisdom, answer my questions and answer questions from attendees as well.

JUST ADDED- STEVE EASTIS: Steve has many years of mall experience. He will add a lot of value to this session.

In addition to Gordon and I, we will have other Santas share some of the valuable lessons they have learned while being mall Santas.

Is the North Pole our Fountain of Youth?

I listen to A LOT of audiobooks!

I have a 22-hour “commute” to & from work. I make this “commute” many times per year, not daily of course, but I average 15 to 20 trips a year. That’s 330 to 440 hours a year! The equivalent of more the 10 standard 40-hour work weeks per year.

I devour audiobooks. Nearly all would be classified as “personal development” topics. Everything from the latest marketing insights, like “Ask Gary Vee” to old personal development standards that I’ve read, and or listened to, many times over the past 40 years. Books like “How to Win Friends & Influence People” and my latest listen “Psycho-Cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz.

One of the nuggets that stuck with me after my latest listen to “Psycho-Cybernetics” pertains to “Life-Force Energy” which Maltz says flows to us in greater abundance when we are “goal-striving”. When we have clear goals that we consistently think about and work towards we get more “Life-Force Energy”. He goes into this is in depth in chapter 17.

Here’s the basic idea:

It is not retiring from a job that kills men, it is retiring from life. (People who fall into an “existential vacuum” after they retire, age very rapidly because they don’t know what to do.)

Life force: Use it or lose it.

Life force is the energy that propels us towards our goals. Create the need for more life and your body will supply it. Faith, courage, goals, purpose, interest, optimism; GROWTH.

This is what gave me the “North Pole as the Fountain of Youth” concept.

Our Fountain of Youth?

When we “become Santa” and discover our North Pole we change… at least all of the “Santas” I’ve met have. We are filled with a new enthusiasm and new Life Force!

Has this been true for you?

For me portraying & performing as Santa Claus is a very exciting personal development project. I have found many ways, and established many “goals”, that I’m sure (now that I’ve thought about it) have boosted my “Life Force Energy”.

These “goals” have developed around becoming better as a Santa performer, better as a marketer, better as an actor, better as a person, and many other things revolving around portraying Santa & living true to my Higher Self.

How about you? Are you finding ways to increase your “Life Force Energy” through portraying & performing as Santa Claus?

Please share your thoughts/story.

7 Ways to Increase Your Income by Thousands of $ This Santa Season

 

Want to earn more income portraying Santa this season?

Join us. You’ll learn:

  • How to add new sources of income from portraying Santa
    Including 1 that added $14,000 to my annual income
    Another that added $12,500 to my annual income
  • How to create a rate structure to increase income
  • How to negotiate better contracts
  • How to book more/better-paying engagements

Yes, over the last 4 years I’ve averaged over $26,000 per year in “extra” income from very unconventional sources.

Last year I had a Santa send me an unsolicited, and totally unexpected, $500 check as a thank you for advice I gave him. Advice that allowed him to earn thousands of more dollars than he otherwise would have earned.

You will learn 7 very specific things, proven things that I and other Santas have done to significantly add to our income, things that you too can likely use to increase your income this Santa season.

 

Silver, Gold & Platinum members of the conservatory get FREE access. Simply login to access the registration link.

 

I AM NOT guaranteeing that YOU, if you attend this session, or watch the recording, will increase YOUR income by thousands. I hope you will, and I’ll provide you with ideas and share experiences that I’m confident you will find helpful.

But ultimately it will be up to you and the community you serve to determine your income.

 

TODAY’S Santa Claus is NOT what he used to be

Santa Claus today hears and does things that he would never have heard and done 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago. How about this…

“Santa, we’re live on Facebook, quick talk to the people.”

 “Santa, can you make me a video I can use on Social Media to promote my product?”

“Santa, what do you charge for a ½ day commercial shoot?”

Since the iPhone came out 10 years ago things have changed dramatically for professional Santas. Even in the last 3 or 4 years internet based opportunities like video chats and commercial YouTube videos have come to age.

Not only has portraying and performing as Santa Claus significantly changed in the past few years but how Santa’s get work has also changed.

Amazon and other online retailers have siphoned off customers from many malls. Consequently, there are fewer mall jobs and many pay less than they did a few years ago.

On a positive note, direct booking websites like Gig Salad & GigMasters have popped-up and they’re allowing Santas to book their own gigs and retain the 20 to 100%  “booking agent fee”.

Another new income source for Santas, even Santas in small towns, is “Internet commercials”, these are often produced local production companies and small business owners and they can be a great new opportunity for Santas. I’ve personally done several of them.

After being a “volunteer Santa” for 7 years in Southern Oregon I decided to become a full-time “paid” Santa. I launched my new Santa career in Los Angeles.

I started in LA with zero connections and in the past 7 years, I’ve…

  • Appeared at hundreds of Home Parties and Visits including A-List celebrities
  • Appeared at hundreds of company parties including Facebook & Mattel Toys
  • Appeared in dozens of community & organization events including the Rams & Lakers
  • Conducted hundreds of video chats including several with the media
  • Been featured in many Internet commercials
  • Appeared in 18 local, Internet & national TV commercials, including commercials for Chrysler, Reddi Whip, Band Aid & Kohl’s earning my SAG-AFTRA card
  • Appeared on many local and national TV shows including Jimmy Kimmel
  • Been in 3 movies

THE TIP- Make sure your Santa training is up to date.

As a GOLD or PLATINUM Member, you will learn from me and dozens of other Santas, proven ways to have fun, deliver an extraordinary performance and how to build a solid Santa business in today’s fast-paced, ever-evolving world. Join us.

WARNING! Practice Does NOT Make Perfect

Contrary to the popular adage, practice does NOT make perfect. Practice makes PERMANENT. PERFECT practices makes perfect.

Of course, in the world of Santa & Mrs. Claus portrayal, there is no such thing as being PERFECT… but there is such thing as getting BETTER.

I KNOW I can definitely get better and each year strive to improve, and I plan to continue do this for as long as I portray Santa Claus.

By the way, I don’t strive to improve to get more bookings or to charge more money… I do this SO I CAN HAVE MORE FUN AND BE MORE FUN AS SANTA CLAUS.

In order to get better, I constantly look for ways to improve MY PERFORMANCE.

When it comes to your portrayal of Santa or Mrs. Claus WHAT are you practicing?

Do you have a “routine” for home parties? How about company parties?

Do you have a go-to story or 2 that you can use to build engagement while extending your stay?

How about your “performance skills”? Are you refining your language? Developing engaging questions?

KNOWLEDGE ALONE DOES NOT MAKE YOU A BETTER SANTA!

Being extraordinary as Santa or Mrs. Claus is NOT about WHAT YOU KNOW… it’s about WHAT YOU DO!

Learning more “Santa history” does not make you an extraordinary Santa or Mrs. Claus.

Being extraordinary is based on the impact you have, the impression you make, the quality of photos and the videos you’re captured in and the fun you help others have. In short, your PERFORMANCE.

What are you doing and practicing to improve your PERFORMANCE this year?

Are watching or re-watching the sessions or STORYTELLING, SIGN LANGUAGE, BEING SANTA FFOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS?

How about the Gold Member sessions on Becoming Extraordinary, Performing at Community Events?

 

The GREATEST GIFT from Santa Claus

My 39-year-old son is with me in Los Angeles right now. He’s been going with me everywhere, doctors’ appointments, shopping, classes, on walks… everywhere. He’s seen people ask to get photos with me. He’s seen me interact with children, parents, and employees in restaurants and stores, he’s seen me interacting with people on the street, parking attendants and other drives on the streets & freeways.

For the past 20 years, he’s primarily seen me in our small town of Ashland, Oregon where I know, and am known by a lot of people. In that small town environment the friendly relationships seemed natural but here in the hustle & bustle of the “big city” it was unexpected.

He said, “I can’t believe how nice you are to everyone, and how nice everyone is to you.”

I’ve long said that for me the best thing about portraying Santa is BEING Santa in my day to day life. I’m not over the top with it I’ve just developed the habit of having a “resting smile” and whenever I make eye contact with anyone I increase my smile and perhaps ad a nod.

From there it’s all reaction. I simply be me. No phony voice or forced Ho Ho Ho’s. I be respectful of space and keep the volume of my voice normal for the environment. Yes, there is a Santa element but it is as close to being me as I can make it.

Now let’s look at the last sentence backwards. I could say that I am making myself as close to Santa as possible. WWSD? What would Santa do?

Santa has added a lot to my life. Many unbelievable experiences.

I’ve had many magical experiences as Santa. I’ve delivered gifts in The Projects, to the children of inmates in a Women’s Jail, made visits at the Children’s Hospital and for Make A Wish. I’ve been at incredible parties in Beverly Hills & Malibu mansions, been on TV and in movies… but the most transformational experience, the Greatest Gift that I’ve received from portraying Santa has been in allowing me to become more as I envision Santa Claus as being kind, generous, just, considerate, empathetic and of course JOLLY.

Just as my resting face is now a slight smile, my resting personality is tipped to the positive, to the optimistic, the happy, the jolly.

Cultivating a Positive Upbeat Demeanor

How do you always stay so positive?

I just read a message asking “How do you do it? How do you always stay so positive, so upbeat?”

I decided answer via this video.

First, I’m not ALWAYS, so upbeat and positive. I have my moments. Times when for a brief time, I’m stuck in the problem or angered or upset by the way things are.

I do believe that I stay in these negative states for less time than many do.

When these “stuck” or unempowering states of mind come up, which is increasingly less frequent as the years go by, they typically stay with me for a matter of a few minutes. Not hours, days, weeks… or longer, like they do for some.

I think some of my “positivity” is innate, God-given, I think I was born with it. Some is a matter of upbringing, and some is a matter of beliefs I’ve consciously adopted over the years.

Of course, we can’t change what we were born with or how we were raised, but we can change our beliefs and the meaning we give to the events of our lives.

We can decide to view the world from a perspective that allows us to experience more joy. A perspective that is 100% correct and accurate and at the same time much more empowering.

Many years ago I began to consciously question my beliefs. I challenged my beliefs and the meaning I had associated with the events of my life. I discarded beliefs and meanings that were inaccurate or incomplete. I developed many new beliefs that I can now say have served well.

My earliest teachers “personal development” teachers were Napoleon Hill and Earl Nightingale. Later Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, J. Parker Palmer, and many, many, others.

As you’re watching this I’m preparing for my 700-mile commute from home in Southern Oregon to work in Los Angeles.

During this 10+ hour commute, I’ll most likely listen to several books on tape, I’ll probably re-listen to The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, the 4 Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz and Loving What Is by Byron Katie.

I’ll spend time listening and thinking. Thinking about how I can implement what I’ve heard to be a better husband, a better father and friend and of course how I can be a better Santa Claus and a better performer.

I’ll spend hours thinking about how I can serve more people and have a larger impact… and how I can add more significance to my life.

These 10+ hour drives are, at least at times, a time for deep thinking.

But not all deep thinking… At times I’ll be listening to the Allman Brothers with my widows down and the volume, my hair and beard being whipped around by 85 degree winds.

Enjoying the moment.

Whatever you are doing on this fine day I hope you too are enjoying each moment. Whether you’re accumulating or sharpening your tools, or simply letting your hair down, be there. Not worried about the future, or unhappy about the past… be present in the now and be grateful for what is.

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