“I guess Santas are just like everyone else. Some are nice, some are jerks and most are somewhere in the middle.” A quote from a relatively new Santa.
Yesterday I talked with 3 different people who had complaints either about individual Santas or a group of Santas. That was a lot for 1 day… typically I hear those types of complaints 2 or 3 times a week.
As I sit here at my computer thinking about the complaints I hear regularly about Santas it dawned on me… he was right WE ARE “just like everyone else”… and that’s why I’m writing this.
Maybe portraying Santa Claus IS NOT all about the children… MAYBE IT’S ALSO ABOUT US!
What if we were to be more “Santa-like” ALL OF THE TIME?
What if we were kind, considerate, thoughtful and jolly to ALL people? What if our “Santa personality” wasn’t just an act that we put on with our Santa suit? What if we lived more Santa-like 24/7/365 to ALL people?
Not only would we be serving children and their families we would better serve EVERYONE.
Maybe we should, as a community, strive to improve the way we communicate, the words we use, the tone of voice we use, our facial expressions and vocal variations, our expectations, our belief systems… maybe even our worldview.
Could we become beacons of light? Could we change on the inside as much as we do on the outside?
I’m probably out of line even bringing this up… this obviously goes WAY BEYOND portraying Santa or Mrs. Claus.
What do you think, is this a worthy objective?
Should I develop some sessions and “support group” to help us all more fully embody the character traits that are most love about Santa Claus?
Is the camera your friend? Or public enemy #1?
Learn ways to be aware that you are ALWAYS on “film”.
Learn ways to protect yourself from bad shots and frivolous lawsuits.
Learn tips from photographers.
Also, get tips on creating your OWN photo shoots and posting videos on social media.
You will even learn a bit about using the FREE program GIMP for photo touch-ups.
Register now for “On Camera” with Santa Ed Taylor & Michelle McCarty/Jessica Kringle.
Michelle is a Mrs. Claus with her own YouTube channel. She taught several sessions at the International Santa Celebration in Denver last month… I’m sure we will all learn a lot from her.
The session was held live on Wednesday, May 23, 2018
You can access the recording here: https://the-santa-claus-conservatory.com/on-camera-with-michelle-mccarty-jessica-kringle/ (You must be a member of the Conservatory (at any level, including FREE to access the recording)
Michelle McCarty Bio…
Michelle McCarty (aka Jessica Kringle) is the owner of Crafter’s Countdown, which launched her career as Mrs. Claus through the countdown series on her YouTube channel. Her son, William, is her business partner and is Head Elf.
As her business builds, this single mom is also a consultant for Jafra Cosmetics and has been working in a group home for traumatized youth. She is currently homeschooling the youngest of her three children. Her BA in Spanish and time teaching English in Venezuela has inspired Mrs. Claus to do some foreign language videos for Crafter’s Countdown. She says that she remembers just enough of her studies in French, Russian, and Irish and from having trained as a Vietnamese linguist in the U.S. Army to get herself into trouble, or at least get some laughs.
Michelle is also an author and has written screenplays, a play, three children’s books, a blog, and has two upcoming non-fiction books. Her first book to go to press will be the Crafter’s Countdown Cookbook for her 2018 Christmas countdown. Her 2016 countdown was Crafting with Claus and in 2017 she did Storytime with Mrs. Claus; both of which can be found on the Crafter’s Countdown YouTube channel.
To decompress from her busy lifestyle, she loves to work in her garden, tend her backyard hens, and composting. Did you know that Mrs. Claus was a worm-wrangler?
To find out in which pot she currently has her hand, you can reach her at crafterscountdown (at) gmail (dot) com or @crafters321 on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
FREE WEBINAR – Monday, April 30th I’ll be presenting the “How to Maximize Your Income & Impact as Santa or Mrs. Claus” session that I presented at the International Santa Celebration in Denver.
You’ll learn 9 Proven Tips Santas & Mrs. Claus’ can use to EARN MORE MONEY, INCREASE YOUR IMPACT & HAVE MORE FUN this year.
- Marketing- online & off
- Website- do’s & don’ts
- Create & Negotiate Better Contracts
- Extraordinary Home Visits
- Adult Only Parties
- Building a solid foundation
- Getting TV & Commercial Photo work (anywhere)
To register login and go to the “Hub Page” of your membership level. The registration link is near the top of the page.
The session will be video recorded and available to ALL members for the remainder of 2018.
If you are not yet a member of the Conservatory simply complete the green “FREE Member” form on the top right of the website. Once you’re a FREE Member login to register for the session.
You can download the handout here– Attendee Seminar Handout Denver ISC 5
On April 24th 2018 I had an article appear in Voyage LA.
I answered several questions about portraying Santa Claus in Los Angeles, my “roots” in the business and just my background in general.
Check it out and let me know what you think.
FREE Webinar for ALL Santa Portrayal Artists
The live session was conducted Thursday, April 12th, 2018.
We discussed 7 things we can do to enhance your Santaness ALL YEAR ROUND. To access this session log-in at any member level. If you are not a member you can become a FREE member instantly by completing the short form on the right.
This session is NOT about booking more business, it’s about embracing your “Santaness & being more Santa-like All Year Round”.
8 years ago I made the decision to become a year-round Santa Claus… but before I made that decision I had decided to “live more Santa like”.
After many, many hours of thinking about why I love portraying so Santa so much, I discovered it was because of who I thought Santa Claus to be…
I had a vision of Santa…this man who was kind, considerate, fun-loving, thoughtful. The type of person I would aspire to be like.
This session is about having our “Santa Gene” awakened and embracing it… not only to become a better Santa portrayal artist but much more important to become a better person.
We will discuss 7 specific actions we can take to become “MORE Santa like all year round.”
Imagine staying at a first-class resort, having travel & all expenses paid and receiving a check for $41,000… and you get to portray Santa Claus in China to boot!
It almost sounds too good to be true, right? It’s not!
Another Santa I know went overseas and was paid less for the season, only $22,000, but he had lots of time to explore an exotic location and the hourly rate for his Santa appearances averaged a whopping $594 per hour!
Tomorrow, Thursday, April 4th I have 2 “International Santas” who will share their experiences in our Gold Member webinar. You will learn how they booked the jobs, what they did, what they were paid and much, much, more.
This session is for Gold & Platinum members only… but I have reopened Gold & Platinum enrollment for the Spring/Summer sessions SO YOU CAN BECOME A 2018 GOLD MEMBER NOW for ONLY $197
In addition to learning about getting high-paying international Santa jobs, we’ll cover a couple of other things for Santas you prefer to stay closer to home.
Become a Gold Member now you get instant access to 69 recorded sessions, access to the 9 live “core sessions” starting in May and all of the other resources in the Conservatory for all of 2018! JOIN HERE
One of our members told me how getting featured in 3 local newspapers in his rural area helped him book more than 100 appearances.
Another Santa I know told me he was “a bit embarrassed” when he read the article the reporter wrote after what he thought was a good interview.
The media has the power to make us look REALLY GOOD or REALLY BAD…
I’ve had the good fortune to have been interviewed many times for both local and national publications and I’ve spoken with dozens of Santas who have been interviewed for newspaper and magazine articles. Here’s the major take-away…
Take time to craft your stories and refine your language, this will give you a huge advantage during the actual interview.
Writers want their articles to be attention worthy… often this is done by including something unexpected in the article. By knowing this we can provide them with interesting “angles”, stories, perspectives, etc. and by so doing we can increase the odds of our “looking really good” in the article.
By taking the time to identify the 4 or 5 most common questions reporters ask and then WRITING & REFINING your answers again you will dramatically increase your odds of looking REALLY GOOD… and at the same time make sure Santa & Santa Claus portrayal artists are shown in a good light.
As a Gold or Platinum Member, you get access to an entire session dedicated to this topic.
GOLD & PLATINUM Enrollment Re-Opens April 1st
“You deserve the residuals from that.”
I saw the above comment in Facebook Group discussion yesterday and I found it interesting.
Do we Santas EVER REALLY DESERVE residuals? If so, when?
I’ve personally been paid about $50,000 in residuals… and of course, I’m INCREDIBLY THANKFUL.
In one case I was paid over $33,000 for a commercial that I worked 11 hours on… did I deserve $3,000 per hour for that work?
I’ve also worked many days, long, hot, grueling, 14+ hour days, shooting commercials where my hourly rate came out to well under $50 per hour. Did I deserve that rate?
I’m not sure what we DESERVE doing commercial, TV, and movie work… I do understand that “working actors” do a LOT of work that they are not directly paid for, acting classes, headshots, wardrobe, memberships, auditions, callbacks, rehearsals for auditions & callbacks, hold time when “on-avail”, etc., etc., etc…
The union (SAG-AFTRA) want their “working actor” members to make a living wage while putting in so much unpaid time & effort. The industry, at least those still doing union work, wants quality actors to be available to the entertainment industry. Paying residuals helps maintain a pool of quality candidates to choose from.
I’m NOT a “working actor”, I’m a Santa performer who occasionally gets an acting job. Due to the uniqueness of the Santa character (our look), union jobs can ALWAYS audition NON-UNION candidates (however they must pay them scale on union jobs) so Santas who are SAG-AFTRA members are always competing with non-union Santas for union jobs.
Don’t get me wrong, my union dues are current and I’ve taken acting classes and workshops and incurred all of the expenses I mentioned above… but “acting” consumes relatively little of my time & effort, I may get 20 or 30 auditions/callbacks all year… working actors regularly do 15 to 40 PER MONTH!
I have a lot of time available to earn other income, real working actors don’t, their “side hustles” are often low paying jobs that give them a lot of flexibility to do auditions, accept acting jobs, etc.
A COUPLE OF THOUGHTS…
I ALWAYS want to feel fairly compensated for my work. Sometimes the money is only a part (sometime a small part) of my compensation, the learning experience, the contacts, the project added to my resume, etc. makes up a significant part of my compensation (especially when I was just getting started)… but again, I want to feel that I’M BEING FAIRLY COMPENSATED.
Sometimes I’m paid MORE than seems fair for my time… in these cases I look at things a bit differently…
I look at the BENEFIT that I brought to the job. In many of my commercials my “air-time” is a mere 4 or 5 seconds… but those few seconds “make the spot”… and the client benefits… perhaps selling millions of dollars in additional products… and my few seconds may have been partially responsible for some of this revenue… and perhaps the value I bought to the commercial is better measured by the result appearance created and NOT how much time I spent. But mostly this is just rationalization…
One thing for sure… in my case, I’m a working Santa Claus, NOT a working actor, I DO NOT FEEL THAT I DESERVE RESIDUALS. I know there are MANY Santas out there who would do the job just as well as me, and do it for no residuals… heck, I would probably do the job for no residuals. I’m just thankful to be able to benefit from the residual system when I can… and I appreciate it immensely.
If you’re interested in getting on TV consider Platinum Membership in The Santa Claus Conservatory & be sure to attend my session in Denver if you’re going to ISC Denver.
Workshops Session #8: Saturday from 2:45 – 3:45
Maximize Your Income & Impact: Lecture
Facilitator: Santa Ed Taylor
Description: Learn 7 Proven Tips you can use now to earn more money, increase your impact and have more fun portraying Santa or Mrs. Claus this year.
Theater actors talk about “Post Show Depression” or PSD. Several years ago at a Christmas party my wife and were hosting while visiting with a local community theatre actor I mentioned how I feel a bit blue after the Christmas season… she lit-up.
For the next 10 or 15 minutes we talked about PSD, she explained how common it is amongst theatre actors… I was relieved in a away, I had a “thing”, something with an actual name and something somewhat common amongst performers.
In recent years I haven’t experienced PSD at all. I think the primary reason is my awareness of it and that I have a “next thing” I move quickly into.
If you think you might get afflicted by a bit of PSD you might find this article helpful.
Tomorrow, January 25th, at 5:30 PM Pacific Time I’m hosting an “Open Q & A” session for Santas & Mrs Claus’.
No question is off-limits and all participants will be able to both ask & answer questions.
Some topics already in the queue pertain to:
- Adult only parties
- Photo Studios
- Parades/Tree Lighting Ceremonies
- Out of season parties/events
Dozens of Santas have already registered so I’m sure there’ll many more questions and topics addressed.
2018 GOLD/PLATINUM Winter Enrollment CLOSES Friday, January 26th and classes start Thursday, February 1st. Learn more & enroll here- http://the-santa-claus-conservatory.com/