After spending 25 days in Los Angeles, I flew home to Southern Oregon last Thursday.
Friday was spent playing & making a Thanksgiving dinner with my wife & grandkids. That evening my son, daughter & son-in-law joined us for the amazing celebratory feast.
As is our custom we each took a couple of minutes and shared some of the things we are thankful for.
Late last night on my l flight back to Los Angeles my mind drifted to many other things I’m thankful for…
I started to make some notes…
- I’m so thankful for the space you grant me in your email inbox.
- I’m thankful that so many Claus portrayal artists all over the world are inspired, uplifted and empowered by what I share. This has truly been a gift in my life. Thank you.
- Because of you, I am inspired to keep going, to keep writing, making videos and hosting webinars, even when I’m tired and my schedule is full.
- Because of you, I’ve learned that serving and helping others in our Worldwide Claus network fuels my soul.
- Because of you, I’ve experienced that what you give out comes back to you in wonderful ways.
- I’ve also experienced a few Clauses who seem determined to tear me down… they’ve provided me with the opportunity to practice acceptance… and I’m thankful for who they have helped me become and the actions they’ve inspired me to take, like starting the Worldwide Santa Claus Network.
Special Note: The Worldwide Santa Claus Network “Founding Member” opportunity ends on or before December 8th. To learn more CLICK HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.
- Because of you, I am filled with gratitude.
- Because of your willingness to portray a Claus and embody that Claus Spirit,
- Because you are one of the few daring souls who is letting your heart lead the way,
- Because you are willing to learn and grow,
- Because you are willing to BE that avatar of kindness, generosity & goodwill.
- Because of you, I am inspired, uplifted and empowered.
- Because of you, I am deeply grateful.
- Thank you for allowing me to be part of your journey.
- I have learned so much because of you.
- I am better because of you.
- I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Keep shining your light this holiday season and throughout the new year. Don’t allow anyone to dim your light. Stand strong. Be proud of all you’ve done and who you’ve become. And know that I appreciate you.
All the best,
Tuesday, November 5th at 5:30 Pacific Time
Your computer, smartphone or tablet
PART 1: A virtual “Season Launch Pep Talk” for Santas & Mrs. Clauses worldwide
LOGIN TO WATCH ‘On-Demand’
PART 2: The launch of SOMETHING BRAND NEW for the Worldwide Santa & Mrs. Claus Network
TO BE COVERED:
You will hear several tips Santas across the country have shared on interacting with children, appearing at home & business parties, appearing at large community events, a bit about malls & retail shops, interacting with the media… even a few things you can do this year to make next year even better… and that’s all in the first 30-45 minutes…
The second 30-45 minutes will be a demo of what is nothing short of a revolution in the Santa community…
The formation of a worldwide network of Santas & Mrs. Clauses dedicated to helping each other, with no organizational politics… This network is dedicated to increasing public awareness of Santa being available to appear at everything from small home & neighborhood parties to large corporate & community events.
As a community, we will increase the national & international awareness of Santa & Mrs. Claus bringing the personal embodiment of the Christmas Spirit to thousands, and perhaps millions, of more people every year.
I’m SO excited to see this effort become reality in time for this Christmas season!!!
Of course, this session will very likely be ‘overbooked’. The maximum attendance at the live session is 100. If you can’t get in on the live session the video recording will be available ‘on-demand’ by Wednesday. 11-06.
What, if anything, would make this your best Christmas season ever?
What special thing or things would you like to do this season as Santa?
These are what I call my ‘Key Questions’…
I don’t use them to establish goals as much as to gain clarity about what is important to me about what I’m doing… that clarity seems to shift my focus.
In 2004, my second season portraying Santa, (I was a volunteer Santa from 2003- 2010 in Ashland, Jacksonville, Medford & Grants Pass, Oregon) I wanted to be in the local parades and do the countdowns at
local Tree Lighting Ceremonies. At the time the Santas doing these things were typically reluctant volunteers wearing very inexpensive costume shop Santa suits that came with a wig & beard.
Every year from 2005 through 2010 I wanted to create bigger events and add more fun activities for the communities I served. In addition to the parades & Tree Lighting ceremonies, I spearheaded efforts to provide free photos with Santa. These events were run by volunteers and local business sponsors covered the hard costs.
So when I ask those questions to myself during those early years my answers usually had to do with more people, more activities (in addition to free pictures with Santa we had carolers, roasted chestnuts, horse-drawn wagon rides, hot cider, etc).
As the years passed everything grew… and the communities of Jacksonville & Ashland, Oregon loved our Christmases… and they still do (although I haven’t been there since 2010).
After the 2010 season, I decided I wanted to try my hand at being a “paid Santa”. So the answers to my key questions shifted. I still wanted to do some volunteer work for sure, but I also wanted some paid work.
By that time I had discovered a couple of Santa Groups and subscribed to their email lists (this is just about the time I was getting on to Facebook). As luck would have it, Santa Tim Conahan sent out an announcement about being a Santa at the photo studios at Walmart & Sears… and they were looking for a Santa in my area, Medford, Oregon. I applied for, I landed the jobs. I was probably the only local guy to apply.
Tim also posted about jobs in several locations working for Microsoft. I applied for a position in Los Angeles, and after a couple of Skype interviews, they hired me.
Just to take a moment to connect the dots… the answers to my Key Questions had to do with earning an income portraying Santa and 3 paying jobs came along, so far, more came along as the season progressed, but my point is, the questions helped me gain some clarity about what I wanted to do… the “stuff”, in this case, the paid work, followed.
So after 2011, I decided I liked being a paid Santa and I wanted to do more of it, but I didn’t want to work in a mall… what else is there?
Back to my ‘Key Questions’…
What, if anything, would make this my best Christmas season ever?
What special thing or things would I like to do this season as Santa?
The answers had to do with earning more money & doing more volunteer work (2011, my 1st year in LA was the only year since 2003 that I did no volunteer work as Santa).
I’ll spare you the year to year from 2012 to the present… but appearing in major parades & Tree Lighting Ceremonies, fabulous Home & Company parties, Entertainment Industry events, TV shows, movies &
commercials, doing “Santa Magic” photos, making appearances at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and doing a lot of wonderful work for not-for-profits, ALL of this, 100%, is the result of me asking myself my Key Questions… and without really establishing them as ‘goals’, but just allowing myself to be guided by the clarity of my intentions.
So, we’ll end where we started…
What, if anything, would make this your best Christmas season ever?
What special thing or things would you like to do this season as Santa?
FYI… one of our sponsors Thermapparel is having a special sale on their unique cooling vests. I like these vests because they add very little to my girth.
Save 15% with code: OCTOBER19
Regular price = $269 / Sale Price = $229
Now through October 31, 2019 https://www.thermapparel.com/santa
Last week’s Santa Claus Insurance session with Bill Peel was very insightful and it also raised many questions.
For many years I, and many of the Santa’s I know, have bought our Santa Insurance through Kaercher Insurance so I asked Allen & Jacqui of Kaercher if they be willing to join us for a short Q & A session.
They said they would be happy to and we have scheduled the session for TOMORROW, Tuesday, October 8th at 5:00PM Pacific Time.
Yes, this session will be video recorded and available ‘on-demand’ on Wednesday, 10-9.
Also, here’s a look “behind the curtain” of the GOLD Membership Level
Does Your Santa Claus Insurance Policy Provide Coverage For…
Theft? Are you covered if during a “Breakfast with Santa” your props are stolen while
you are taking pictures?
What if your Santa suits are damaged while at home or on set?
What if a child slips and falls on the presents next to your chair, requiring dental or medical expenses of $40,000 or more. Are you covered?
What if you have Mrs. Claus or Elves join you for a special party, are they covered under your Santa Claus Insurance policy?
Say you accidentally double book an evening, and the host of the event you can’t attend incurs expenses finding substitute entertainment. Are you covered?
What if a location where you are appearing requires that your policy name them as an Additional Insured and provide a copy of the certificate. Can you quickly access a certificate of coverage?
Learn the answers to these and many additional questions from Bill Peel. Bill is Second Vice President at USLI, which is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and an
A++ rated company that supports its products with financial strength and stability.
In his role as Second Vice President, Bill has:
- Been a Personal Lines Team Leader
- 12+ years of insurance experience
- Led the sales efforts for USLI Home Based Business Product
- API (Associates in Personal Insurance)
- AINS (Associates in General Insurance)
- Property & Casualty License in Pennsylvania
Bill is looking forward to sharing his knowledge about Entertainer’s Liability Insurance for Santa Claus performers during this webinar.
The session is scheduled for Tuesday, October 1st at 5:30 PM Pacific, 8:30 Eastern time.
If I should have a last-minute conflict (at this time of year there are often last-minute TV & movie auditions & shoots), we will conduct the session at the same time on Thursday.
AVAILABLE ‘On-Demand’ – Click Here
In one way or another, I’m ‘connected with’ well over 3,000 Santas & Mrs. Clauses across the country & around the world… rarely does a day go by when I don’t talk with at least 2 or 3 Santas or Mrs. Clauses, and on many days it’s 10 or more.
I can’t tell you how many times Santas have told me that they’ve had clients, customers, photographers, etc. tell them “You’re the Best Santa Claus I’ve ever seen.”
When I hear Santas mention this I ask, “What do you think it was that caused them to say that?”
Their answers are all over the place, I hear things like “I was on a roll”, “My beard looked really good that day”, “They loved the way I answered the questions their children asked”, “I think they just liked my smile.”
So what can we do to be the best Santa people have ever seen?
In The Santa Claus Conservatory I refer to this as “being extraordinary”… and to me, that means we EXCEED the expectations of those we interact with.
We are more authentic then they expect, better groomed, more kind, considerate & jolly, smell better, use better language, are more responsive, tell better stories and tell them better, take better photos… and videos… ALL of this, not necessarily all at once, but each of things at different times makes us ‘the Best Santa they ever seen’.
By the way, we don’t know what Santas they have seen so the bar may be very low, I remind myself of that when I get this compliment, I don’t want it to go to my head.
On occasion, Santas tell me they think I’m the best Santa they’ve ever seen, and I try to gracefully accept the compliment, and again I don’t know what Santas they have seen…
and while I do consider myself an extraordinary Santa, I see myself as one of a large and quickly growing network of extraordinary Santa & Mrs. Claus portrayal artists and I can’t imagine that there aren’t dozens & probably hundreds who are “better than” me.
I don’t sing, dance, play music or perform magic… many Santas do… many speak multiple languages, have better memories, etc., etc., etc.
All of these things can be used to create extraordinary Santa & Mrs. Claus experiences.
I see my strengths are my authenticity, my fun & casual demeanor, my smile and my sense of humor… (I strive to make the most of what I see as my strengths while doing what I can to minimize the negative effects of my weaknesses, like my squinty eyes, one being slightly crossed, my lack of skill at singing & dancing, etc.).
From a business perspective, I see my strength as my professionalism. I’m very responsive and present myself professionally on the phone & in email. Again striving to exceed the expectations of all I interact with.
Being called the “Best Santa Claus I’ve Ever Seen” is a high compliment… one I’m honored to receive, it lets me know I’m doing some things right but I always remember Hollywood’s longheld popular truism, “you’re only as good as your last picture”. This concept has been expressed in many ways:
- You’re only as good as your last performance.
- You’re only as good as your last time at-bat.
- You’re only as good as the last song you wrote.
- You’re only as good as your last press release.
- Etc., Etc., Etc.
Well as Santa & Mrs. Claus we too are only as good as our last appearance… fortunately for many of us Real Bearded Santas that can mean every time we’re out in public. 🙂
If you’re not yet a Gold Member of The Santa Claus Conservatory now is the perfect time to join, or upgrade your membership… if you are a Gold or Platinum Member now is the perfect time to watch or re-watch the sessions on working with photo studios & doing TV work. In fact, I just booked a TV shoot yesterday. 🙂
Here’s to you hearing “You’re The Best Santa Claus I’ve Ever Seen” many times this holiday season.
Here’s a list of resources that I’m confident will help Santas of all experience levels build their skills, confidence & business.
The first thing on the list is this article you can share with local photographers. It does an excellent job of showing photographers what’s possible and also emphasizes the importance of having and paying a premium for an extraordinary Santa.
The article is titled “How This Photographer Made $10,000 in One Day Shooting Santa Sessions“
“Santa Claus Engagement Agreement”… Mine is available as a Word doc download.
“Doing Good as Santa Claus”… in this session, you will learn from 3 extraordinary individuals, John Scheuch, Mark Ramsey, Dutch Schrap.
John is the president of Santa America and he’ll share some of his experiences with children in hospice care, children with autism & grief. Mark & Dutch both have their own foundations that do amazing work.
“Storytelling & Upping Your Santa Game”… Santa Michael Wubker walks us through his typical “Home Visit” including the story he tells.
FREE American Sign Language (ASL) Booklet created by Santa Thomas McDonald Santa’s ASL Signs 30 and an entire ASL session taught be Kat Imhausen
GOLD MEMBER SESSIONS
“Maximize Your Income & Impact” Santa Ed Taylor – This is the same presentation he presented at the International Santa Celebration in Denver.
“Social Marketing & More” with Santa Mark Ramsey
“9 Do’s & Dont’s for Santa & Mrs. Claus”
“Storytelling Session” with Santa Ed Taylor (+ 2 other storytelling sessions)
“Being a Mall Santa: Soup to Nuts”
“7 Ways to Increase Your Income by Thousands of $ This Santa Season”
“18 Common, Costly & Embarrassing Mistakes Made by Pro Santas & Mrs. Clauses”
“101 Questions for Santa & Answers” with Santa Joe Pridgen
“12 Ways Santas Have Earned More Money”
“18 Common Santa Mistakes Session”
“2017 & 2018 Santa & Mrs Claus Debrief Sessions”
“Up Your Santa Game – Rapport Building Techniques for Santa”
A link to a comprehensive page of equipment suppliers/vendors.
And much, much, more… all with 100% Money-Back Guarantee… monthly payments are available.
Become a Gold Member now in time for this year and have access for 12 full months.
This session is brought to you by Hire Santa, it’s open to ALL Santa and it’s recommended for all Santas who would like to work in Mall or Retail stores through Hire Santa.
The live webinar was conducted on Wednesday, September 11th.
**Attending this session is not a guarantee that you will be placed by Hire Santa.
To watch this session “On-Demand” simply login. If you have a Bronze level membership or higher you will see the access link.
If you are a FREE Member follow the directions here & Hire Santa will pay for your upgrade to Bronze membership… you have no obligation to work with them. CLICK HERE