Papillons Entertainment: The Blog

Los Angeles princess characters for parties, plus event planning, event styling, magicians, musicians, puppet shows, balloon twisting, face-painting and more.


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Fintastic Little Mermaid Party Character for Hire

Going “under the sea” for your child’s next birthday party? You could make it an extra flippin’ fun time with a beautiful, authentic, singing “Little Mermaid” character from Papillons Entertainment + Events.

Truthfully, there are so many reasons why you should consider this half-human-half-fish princess to entertain your party guests, but since the character of King Triton had seven daughters, how about we give you…

7 reasons why you should invite this sea-riffic lookalike to make a splash at your upcoming event!


7. She’s Got Gadgets and Gizmos A’Plenty

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You want thing-a-mabobs? She’s got 20! Although they won’t all fit inside her travel treasure chest, she’ll be sure to bring an assortment of human stuff from her collection to share with the human children at your party.

6. She’s Got Whoose-its and Whats-its Galore

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What’s better than a party guest who brings their own dinglehopper? I mean, fork. You know, for partaking in delicious birthday cake!

5. Flippin’ Your Fins, You Don’t Get Too Far

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Sometimes, hosting a party can feel like you’re barely treading water, you have so much to do. With the ‘Little Mermaid’ attracting your guests’ attention, like a school of fishies, you’ll finally have some down time to relax and put up your fins.

4. She Wants to Be Where the People Are

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Big people or little people, it doesn’t matter: the ‘Little Mermaid’ loves meeting new humans. She can’t wait to ask ’em her questions and get some answers (and vice versa).

3. Her Best Friend is a Flounder

ariel little mermaid party character los angeles (4 of 20)

Er… he’s a guppy… or, actually maybe a young clown fish? In any case, she truly likes hanging out with kids. After all, she’s only sixteen herself (so the story says) and she enjoys being a role model to little fishies.

2. She’s Got a Siren’s Voice

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And she’ll sing for you and your guests, too! Just so long as you and your party guests promise not to steal her voice and trap it inside of a shell necklace. Been there, done that.

1. She’s Got Everything

best little mermaid princess party character los angeles

She’s got the look, the sound, and a treasure chest full of magical human stuff that also somehow plays music?! What more could you want? Other than ALL of the princesses…


Use the contact form below to get in touch; our team of insured, expert character entertainers would love to be of service at your next live event, birthday party, or other celebration.

 

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5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Photographer for Your Child’s Birthday Party

So, you’re planning your child’s next birthday party. Yay! Fun!

Maybe you’re planning to hire princess characters to entertain, you’ve ordered a custom cake to match the theme, and you’ve booked the best taco cart in town, plus you’re renting tents, tables and chairs… basically, you’ve got it all covered.

Or, do you? You’ve also got family coming in from out of town, the entire preschool class is invited, and to top it off, your kid only turns 5 once… but you haven’t thought about photos. Why not?

Maybe you suppose you/your spouse/your guests will snap pictures on their iPhones, but what happens when you/your spouse/your guests get too busy wrapped up in conversation (because those princesses are miracle workers who have given you all some much needed grown-up time) to take the photos you were hoping for?

Maybe you asked that one mom from the daycare who said she has a “good camera” to snap shots during the party, but then you get them back afterward, the shots are blown-out, too dark, blurry, or you only got 10 pictures from the whole 3 hour party, etc.

Pro tip: A “good camera” is only as good as the photographer taking pictures with it.

Look, your kid’s birthday party is going to be amazing, no matter what, but at the end of the day, the only thing you get to keep are the photos. This exact moment in your child’s life, this specific grouping of people, and the interactions that happen in the mix, will only happen once. So hire a photographer.

Still need more convincing?

Here are 5 reasons why you should hire a photographer for your child’s birthday party:

1. YOU SHOULD BE IN THE PICTURES

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Photo by Jenna Bryson of Papillons Entertainment + Events.

How can you be in the photos when YOU are the one taking the photos? And if your spouse is holding the camera, then he/she isn’t in the photos. I promise you, your kid wants you in the photos, too. When your baby is all grown up, maybe with a family of her own, and one day she’s flipping back through pictures of her 5th birthday party, she will wish there were more pictures of folks. Plus, you will forever be trying to prove to her you were cool once. Show her. After all, parents are arguably the most important part of a child’s development, so get in front of that camera, mom & dad. It’s fun to be part of the fun.

2. YOU HAVE TOO MUCH GOING ON AS THE PARTY HOST

princess ariel pirate princess sofia characters sing happy birthday at birthday party in los angeles, california

Hanging the piñata, putting out more snacks, welcoming guests, shoving food in your face, answering calls from guests who forgot your address, helping the birthday girl with her 3rd wardrobe change in the last 30 minutes, shoving food in your child’s face, finding the dang matches… these are just a few things that will command your attention as the party host. If you make yourself responsible for taking photos, too, you will either miss moments or sacrifice your hosting duties. So relax, and don’t try to do it all. It’s a party!

3. YOU WANT FRAME-WORTHY MOMENTS

birthday girl meets princess sofia and pirate pacific palisades california

Photo by Jeff Drongowski.

Could your guests take pictures on their iPhones? Sure. Will they look good on Instagram? Probably. Will they have an eye for interesting, intimate moments with the expertise to deliver a photograph that screams “blow me up and hang me on the wall”? Doubtful. A professional photographer is going to have a style, an artist’s point-of-view that is unique to him or her, which is part of what you are investing in when you book a photographer. They are going see things that you and your guests won’t see, because they have been training their eye to look for those awesome, frame-worthy moments.

4. A PHOTOGRAPHER HAS AN EYE FOR DETAILS

Over the top Disney princess cake designed by Beverly Hills party planner, made by The French Confection Co. in Burbank, CA.

Photo by Jeff Drongowski.

Ask a guest to snap a photo with their phone of that $300 Frozen-themed cake you special ordered and I am willing to bet they stand about 4 feet in front of the cake table and take one basic straight on photo. Now ask a photographer to take a photo of that same cake and you not only get a wide shot of the entire dessert table, but also a close up of the fondant figurines on top, an epic shot of the enormity of the cake with balloons floating in the background, an adorable shot of the birthday girl straining to blow out the candles, and the aftermath of the cake once it’s been devoured. An event photographer leaves no detail undocumented.

5. EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY… EXCEPT THE PHOTOS

princess birthday party planner beverly hills

Photo by Jeff Drongowski.

You might recall a photographer or event planner mentioning this idea to you in regards to your wedding. But the same is true of your child’s birthday party (or any special occasion for that matter). When the last guest leaves, the party favors are gone, the flowers wilted, and the Disney princess tablecloths are trashed, all that’s left are the memories. But our memories won’t always be as good as they are now, that’s just part of being human. Photographs, however, are the memories we always get to keep.

So be present, live in the moment, be part of the memories… and hire a photographer.


If you’re looking to hire party characters, an event planner and/or event photographer, we can help. Fill out the form below to get in touch:


 


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Princess Belle Visits New French-Inspired Bakery in Burbank, CA. Chic Party Cakes, Desserts & High Tea

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Princess Belle character reads a fairytale to a little girl at The French Confection Co. in Burbank, CA. Photo by Candace Boysen.

Rejoice, o’ residents of the San Fernando Valley: there’s a new French-inspired pastry shop in town and it’s fantastique!

Live like a Parisian, if only for part of an afternoon, with a coffee, colorful macarons, and a maple cupcake to-go (trust me on this one: I’ve self-proclaimed these sweet treats “Pancake Cupcakes” which should tell you everything you need to know, as in, they are amazing) from this adorable Burbank bakery.

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A little girl with tiger face painting in Burbank, CA takes in the eclairs and creme puffs at The French Confection Co. Photo by Candace Boysen.

Both the exterior and interior of the shop are decorated authentically in provincial blue with touches of metallic gold. And the rustic white farmhouse table surrounded by elegant arm chairs make this a sweet spot pour un café avec les amis.

Our team at Papillons Entertainment was thrilled to be part of their grand opening celebration, providing festive party face painting by expert face painter (and company owner, Jenna) dressed in a beautiful French fairytale style ballgown, and princess character entertainment by an authentic French speaking ‘Belle’ from the tale of Beauty and the Beast.

Princess face painter Los Angeles Southern California

Jenna Bryson, expert face painter and small business owner of children’s event planning company Papillons Entertainment, sets up shop at The French Confection Co. in Burbank. Photo by Candace Boysen.

A little girl receives a tiara face painting by Papillons Entertainment's princess face painter during the grand opening at The French Confection Co. in Burbank, CA.

A little girl receives a tiara face painting by Papillons Entertainment’s princess face painter during the grand opening at The French Confection Co. Photo by Candace Boysen.

The patisserie’s owner, Mallory Rajan, tells us that making chic, trendy cakes for birthday parties and special events is how The French Confection Co. got it’s start. After building up quite the loyal customer base, she opened the storefront to spread cheer to even more people through her rich, made-from-scratch European style sweets.

And if you’re looking for an adorable venue for a small party, Mallory says that she is looking forward to making the shop available on Sundays once or twice a month for high tea and other special events; it could be the perfect spot for an intimate bridal or baby shower.

Perhaps we’ll see you there? Send us a note via our royal messenger and let us know if Papillons can help you plan & execute the perfect French-themed party with a princess character experience, sweets & treats from TFCC, and more.

The French Confection Co. is located at 3118 W. Burbank Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505. Contact the shop directly for cake and other chic dessert orders.

Photos courtesy of Candace Boysen of Silence of the Lens and used with permission.

 

 


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8 Great Princess Characters For Parties Los Angeles

We are all about our princess parties at Papillons Entertainment, which means our princess characters have got to be polished and practically perfect before we will send them out into the world to make the children of Southern California lose their little sugar-infused minds.

And that is our goal, first and foremost: We aim to make children’s dreams come true by captivating their imaginations with authentic, immersive, theatrical princess performances. And I must stress the word performances, because that’s what our princess characters provide; not a random set of generic activities (like twisting balloons, which is fine as an activity in and of itself, but much better suited to a character like a clown, or silly superhero).

frozen belle snow white cinderella characters for parties Los Angeles

Our princesses don’t do balloons. We do much more than that. #sorrynotsorry

Now, you might be wondering why? Why don’t our princesses do balloon twisting, or do things like parachute games? I’m really glad you asked; this is an important question! And the answer is very simple. Just think about this: When was the last time you read a fairytale in which the princess was twisting balloons?

In Charles Perrault’s Cinderella, the author never wrote, “When she had finished her work she used to sit amongst the cinders in the corner of the chimney and make balloon animals.” The Fairy Godmother never asked Cinderella to, “Go into the garden and bring me a parachute.” Although, I’ll admit, that would all be pretty funny to read.

But that’s the thing. It’s funny! Because it’s weird. Why is it weird? Because it’s inauthentic, which is a fancy word to say that it’s not true to character. Children think it’s strange to see a beautiful, royal character, like Cinderella, trying to make a balloon animal. They watch her struggling with the thing… wincing at the possibility of the balloon popping in her pretty face as it squeaks in her gloved hands. And then as a result, the children start to question her very being. “How do you know how to make balloons?” they ask. “The real Cinderella doesn’t have balloons,” which is always followed by the dreaded, “You’re just a person in a costume!” GASP!

And with that, the fantasy is over. Because when children disbelieve, they lose attention, and when they lose attention, they get bored, and when children get bored at a birthday party, you’ve now all of the sudden got 20 rambunctious children running through your house, which is exactly what you were trying to avoid by hiring a princess character in the first place. Right?

Which brings me to our second goal: We believe a character, whether it’s a princess character or a storybook character or a superhero character, should provide such engaging activity that you and your adult guests get to enjoy the party, too.

princess characters for parties los angeles

We want you to have an uninterrupted grown-up conversation. We want you to be free to watch the fun, and savor the taste of the catering you spent your hard-earned money on. We believe your enjoyment, as mother or father of the birthday kid, and the enjoyment of your other adult guests, is just as important as the enjoyment of the children. But one facilitates the other: If your little guests are truly engaged by the entertainment, your big guests will have a fun time, too. And that’s what we want. We want a win-win for you!

Okay, so now you know a little more about how we do things at Papillons Entertainment. I’m passionate about what we do here, so yes, this was/is a long post. And I know you might be thinking, “Sheesh! They take their princess parties WAY too seriously.” And you are correct. We absolutely take our princess party-ting extraordinarily seriously. Because our passion gives our clients an invaluable service: PEACE OF MIND. Our clients get peace of mind when they book with us, thanks to our obsession, thanks to our attention-to-detail. Our clients don’t worry about what the performer will look like, or what they princess will do at the party, or if the princess will capture the children’s attention. Our clients relax, move on, and concentrate on other things… like enjoying a bite to eat and catching up with a friend.

We understand that this might be too much for you. We might not be the right fit for you. You might be looking for something basic, and that’s totally cool! But if this resonates with you, please read on to explore our…

 8 Great Princess Characters for Parties, Los Angeles!

1. The Sleeping Beauty

sleeping beauty princess party characters los angeles

She is the woodland princess of our dreams… literally, right? Because she fell asleep? Get it?!

Silly jokes aside, this is the divine, dancing, darling princess in the luxurious pink dress whom children adore. She uses her imagination to play, loves to twirl about on adventures through the woods, and thanks to her three fairy friends, she’s even got a touch of magic. Click here to watch a video of our Sleeping Beauty casting her spell on happy children.

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2. The First Princess Sofia

First princess Sofia party characters Los Angeles

She’s meant to be a child princess, so the performer should look as young as possible. We believe we have the youngest, most adorable looking performers who play Sofia that you will find in the greater Los Angeles area. They are all extremely petite (5’2″ or shorter, with extra small body types), all have beautiful blue eyes, perfect smiles, and sweet voices. And yes, they all sing her songs, too!

Sofia will teach children everything she has learned so far about being a young princess, through dancing, a royal game with her sweet squirrel friend, and magic, too, as children help her prepare for her big upcoming enchantments test!

sofia first princess party character los angeles

3. Cinderella

Cinderella princess character for parties

I don’t know about you, but Cinderella was my favorite growing up. In fact, my mom likes to tell the story of the time she asked me to clean something up on the floor, and my response was, “No mommy! Not like Cinderella!” Kids are so funny… but Cinderella still holds a special place in my heart.

To keep the magic of Cinderella alive, just like we do with our other princess and storybook characters, we are very picky about which cast members play this beloved classic. One of our cast members has even portrayed Cinderella on a famous stage for a very famous company whose name we cannot mention here… I’m sure you can guess.

As Cinderella for our company, our ladies lead an easy-to-follow ballroom dance, sing songs, perhaps play a group game of “pass the pumpkin,” and even bring a little bit of Fairy Godmother’s magic to the party for a very special surprise, just for your birthday girl (or boy! no gender bias here).

Princess Cinderella party character dances with 4 year old girls in Los Angeles at Roxbury Park, Beverly Hills.

4. The Sea Princess (a character inspired by Ariel, and Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid)

sea princess ariel character for parties los angeles

This photo above (and below) was from an honest-to-goodness highlight of my life: this was the day I played The Little Mermaid (turned human Sea Princess) for the daughter of my personal hero. If you’ve ever listened to any Disney princess songs, such as the princess tea party soundtrack, then you will know the voice of Susan Egan. Now, if you’re a big Disnerd like me, you will know Susan Egan as the original “Belle of Broadway.” Yes, she originated the role of Belle in Beauty and the Beast, The Musical. And she is the woman who taught me how to sing, as I listened to the soundtrack over, and over, every night as a girl.

jenna susan egan little mermaid princess ariel character susan egan los angeles

But I digress! So, Susan’s girls know that she “is Belle,” and like most kids, they are fascinated by mermaids, thus Ariel was invited to the party. But it’s much better to perform in the ball gown — there’s so much more a performer can do as the human version of this character. As The Sea Princess, our performer leads dancing, under-the-sea-inspired group games, an enchanting show & tell segment with her “Gadgets & Gismos Galore,” and singing (but of course)!

little mermaid sea princess ariel character for parties los angeles

5. Rapunzel

tangled princess Rapunzel party character los angeles

As a performers who play princesses at parties for a living, we love miss Rapunzel, because she is so multi-talented, and so are we; our performers get to show-off so many of their abilities as Rapunzel.

Little girl in awe of Rapunzel character for parties Los Angeles

A common reaction to our princess “Rapunzel”.

Because this character was locked in a tower almost her whole life, she had to learn to entertain herself. She taught herself to dance ballet, read lots of books, learned how to paint, and sometimes she even gets to showcase her guitar playing skills! When you invite Rapunzel to your kid’s birthday party, she loves to share her many talents with the children.

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6. The Brave, Celtic Princess

Brave princess character for parties Los Angeles

We don’t believe there are “things for boys” and “things for girls” — just things for KIDS. The brave (yet, reluctant princess) from the Scottish highlands is a great example of a character who brings kids of all kinds together for her brand of feisty fun.

Our cast members can only be approved to play this character if they can speak in a Scottish accent, as well as look and act like the character. One of the highlights of our Brave performance is the mini archery lesson our character leads. She also loves to engage kids with activities inspired by medieval Scotland, such as Highland dancing, and learning how to escape a sword fight… naturally.

Brave princess merida character for parties los angeles

7. The Belle of Beauty and the Beast

Princess Belle character for parties los angeles

Of course with all that talk of how I idolized Susan Egan as “Belle” growing up, we’ve got to include our Beauty and the Beast inspired princess in this list. Not to mention, she is meant to be a French princess, and in case you didn’t know, our company name (Papillons Entertainment) is taken from the French language: “papillons” means butterflies!

When you invite this princess character to your party, children get a dash of European culture, as the princess teaches them a few words of French, leads them in a simple, but traditional waltz, and even introduces them to a very miniature version of her sweet pony, Philippe.

Watch our video to see this provincial princess in action.

Princess Belle character for parties Los Angeles

8. The Frozen Princess of Norway

Frozen princess character for parties Los Angeles

Did I save the best for last? Or are you tired of being asked if you’d like to build a snowman? You decide.

As for us, we love, love, love this chocolate loving Scandinavian royal. In 2014, we performed at more than 140 “Frozen” themed parties. We’ve performed these characters for the family of one of the film’s animators, for several celebrities, and we’ve even been flown out to Tucson, AZ for performances!

Our most spirited performers who play this character get to really strut their stuff when they don the costume of the Norwegian princess. Most of our “Frozen” princess cast members can sing their faces off, too, so this character, with her 2 full solos and 2 duets, allows our performers to impress your guests in a very exciting way.

Frozen princess character for parties Los Angeles

Knock-knock, knock-knock-knock! “Do you wanna…”

She’s also a bit dramatic (in a good way!), so you will find her re-enacting the story with the help of the kids at your party, and giving out lots of warm hugs. Plus, she’s a great dancer and will teach the children a traditional Norwegian folk dance. If you’re lucky enough, she might even drag her sister, the Queen, away from her queenly duties for the day to help make it “snow” right in your backyard.

Frozen characters for parties Los Angeles

BTW, the three photos above come to us courtesy of incredible illustrator/entrepreneur/magical mom, Carrie Gifford. Do stop by her amazing shop, Red Cap Cards, for darling, enchanting greeting cards. Perhaps you’ll find some lovely “thank you” notes, or a sweet birthday card for your next party!

~ BONUS PRINCESS ~

9. Snow White

Snow White princess party character Los Angeles

Yes, this article is called “8 Great Princess Characters for Parties,” but only because the number 9 and the word great do not rhyme. Plus, I would be remiss if we didn’t mention the original Grimm’s Fairytales princess, the ultimate sweetheart, the one and only Snow White!

We’ve already devoted an entire blog post to this darling gal, so I’ll keep this short, but if you’re throwing a party for wee ones (3 years-old and younger), Snow White is a fantastic choice. She takes things a bit slower than other princesses (she’s used to working with little people), she’s very gentle, and she’s a little silly, too. She’ll lead a whimsical German skipping dance, introduce children to one of her woodland friends, and with a smile and a song, retell her infamous tale with an interactive story-time, complete with magical spells, too.

Check out an adorable video of a one-on-one playdate between Snow White and her tiny new friend, 2 year old Pepper.

Snow White princess character for parties Los Angeles


And there you have it! More than eight great princess characters for parties in Los Angeles!

I hope this list has helped you get some princess party ideas, and that you learned a bit more about who we are as a company.

Remember, the descriptions here include just a small sample of what we do, and why we do it.

So if you’d like more information, please explore our YouTube channel for lots of videos of our cast, and hop on over to our Facebook page for even more photos and videos.

You can also fill out our contact form on our website (or below), or send an email to info at papillonsentertainment dot com — we would love to help make your child’s birthday party, or whatever kind of special event you may be organizing, chic, unique and fantastique!

~ Jenna

Sofia the First party princess characters in Los Angeles


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Looking For Frozen Party Ideas? How About 10 Birthday Parties to Throw Instead of A(nother) Frozen Party

If the idea of being in the midst of yet another “Frozen”-themed birthday party has got you feeling cold-hearted, I don’t blame you. Although we at Papillons Entertainment still absolutely love belting out ‘Let it Go’ with a horde of chocolate-mouth-filled 5-year-olds (we performed at nearly 150 “Frozen” inspired parties in 2014, more than 60% of our business for the entire year!), so we certainly understand first-hand our clients’ desire to diversify their children’s’ party theme portfolio.

With that in mind, may I present to you…

 10 fantastique kid-friendly party themes other than “Frozen”!

  1. Wonderland

    The seminal work of Lewis Carroll, “Alice in Wonderland” is, in my opinion, one of the most perfect party themes for children. This was one of my favorite books as a child, and it’s not hard to difficult to realize why: full of whimsy, nonsense, and talking animals, this book is a child’s (literal) dream come true. There are so many wonderful (pun intended) things you can do within this theme, too: go mad with silly signage pointing this way and that way, play a game of flamingo croquet, and set-up an easy craft project of paper flower making (because, of course, you can learn a lot of things from the flowers). And then there’s ‘Alice’ and the ‘Mad Hatter’ who would make delightful guests and lead your young attendees in whimsical activities of their own, thereby fully bringing your theme to life (and leaving you time to yourself for a much needed adult conversation and a breath of fresh air, too). tea party mad hatter alice in wonderland characters los angeles

  2. Fairytale Princess 

    Okay, so I’m sure you’ve attended (and thrown) your share of princess parties, but hear me out: the great thing about this theme is that there are sooo many fairytale princesses to choose from, you really can’t go wrong. Plus, they often each come with their own sub-theme. For example, look at ‘The Little Mermaid’: this princess doubles as an ocean-themed party. And how about ‘Beauty and the Beast’? This timeless princess’ story works as a book-themed party or even as a French-themed party. Plus, you have so much freedom when it comes to decoration and activities, you can’t really go wrong. You could minimize your stress this year and just get a dozen or two pastel balloons from your local Party City to serve as decorations (they’re less than $1 each!), grab some cupcakes from the market, and then find a fabulous fairytale princess character performer to take on the duties of entertaining the children and voila! Or, go big if that’s your style, and hire an event stylist to create the fairytale land of your child’s dream (a’chem… or, just call us). Belle, Aurora the Sleeping Beauty_sea princess Ariel birthday party characters in Los Angeles

  3. Jolly Holiday Carnival 

    Maybe your kiddo isn’t into princesses so the whole fairytale thing isn’t for you. No worries! I can’t think of any other party theme as appropriate for kids of all ages than a carnival themed party. And there is so much you can do in the way of games and decor, you’ve really got your pick of ideas here. Perhaps you’d like to do a classic red/blue/yellow carnival, with tasty food carts (we recommend the folks at Let’s Have a Cart Party). Or, if you prefer a more feminine touch to your carnival, go with pastel colors like coral/violet/teal, string up some tissue pom-poms, and present a fantasy carousel cake. How delightful! Either way, if you’re looking for a character to fit this theme and entertain your young carnival-goers, consider the practically perfect Miss Poppins. She brings a spoonful of sugar (and then-some) to her party performances. Mary Poppins jolly holiday party character look and sound alike los angeles

  4. Escape to Fairyland 

    If it’s open-ended ideas you’re looking for, creating your own fairyland will give you so much freedom, it’s really incredible. You could set up a tent in the backyard and fill it with lots of fairy objects, enticing little ones to use their imagination and pretend they are living in their own wee pixie hollow… organize a fairy hunt and hide treasures all about for kids to find (and what a great way to give out the party favors at the same time)…  provide a fairy hair garland craft project… and of course set-up a fairy costuming area for children to become “real” fairies. Nothing brings this theme to life like a real, live fairy, of course. Make sure to hire a whimsical winged-character to enchant children with magic and more. And when you’re ready to send your thanks to guests for attending, check out these charming thank you notes from Red Cap Cards.fancy fairy party characters los angeles

  5. Pirates & Princesses 

    I know what you’re thinking… not more princesses! Yes, yes, but this is different. Really. Pirates and princesses have a long history of going well together. You could sort of say they’re like peanut butter & jelly, or if you’re not into food metaphors, then let’s say they’re like the Dread Pirate Roberts & Princess Buttercup (my favorite literary/on-screen duo. Speaking of which, you could definitely let The Princess Bride inspire your party decorations, and if you do, please please PLEASE send me an invite). Of course, your 5-year-old is more likely into Disney Jr. than movies by Rob Reiner, so how about combining a classic princess and pirate together? Or perhaps combine the themes of ‘Jake and the Neverland Pirates’ and ‘Sofia the First’ together for a modern take on the princess/pirate duo? Just think of all your could do: royal jewels spilling out of wooden treasure chestspirate hats and princess tiara dress-up, and a DIY pirate ship sailing up to a DIY cardboard castle. You don’t have to do everything yourself, though, and I wouldn’t recommend it if you want to make it out of your party kingdom with your sanity in-tact. Ask us about our pirate and princess duos to take some of the stress out of entertaining your tiny swashbucklers and royal highnesses. pirate party pirate birthday character los angelesprincess sofia and neverland jake practice magic los angeles kids parties

  6. Celtic Adventure

    For magic and merriment galore, might I suggest a Celtic themed party? And no, you’re not limited to leprechauns and pots of gold here… the Celts have many-a-legend to pull from for this imaginative theme. From St. Patrick who supposedly drove all the snakes from Ireland, to the Loch Ness Monster of Scotland, you’ve got lots of myths you can incorporate into your Celtic-inspired party. You could make cookies shaped like Celtic knots, decorate with tartan style fabrics, play Highland themed games such as an archery challenge, foam sword mock battle, etc. Or, you could even invite our brave Scottish princess Merida to lead a variety of Celtic inspired group activities, including a wee archery lesson and a Highland style dance. Take a peek-a-boo at our Brave-themed Pinterest board for more inspiration. Scottish princess Merida character for Brave themed party in Los Angeles.

  7. All Tangled-Up

    Here’s a loose idea to play with: what about a hair themed party? Or, call it a salon party, whatever tickles your tresses! Have kids wear their hair in a crazy style, or hire a stylist to come and create personalized ‘dos for each girl. Or, if you have a bigger budget and don’t want to do this at home, just relax and book a small salon to help you pull off the theme. Our client invited us to her daughter’s birthday where girls would be having beautiful braids styled into their hair; she wanted to take the theme even further with make-overs and tween friendly mocktails. Check out our previous blog entry all about it for inspiration on throwing your own fabulous fête. Girls received beautifully braided hair dos at a tween birthday party at Nine Zero One salon in West Hollywood, CA.

  8. You Can’t Spell Party without Arty

    Why not just use colors as your child’s party theme? There is, literally, a rainbow of colors and ideas you can work with to make this party theme the brightest birthday bash you’ve thrown to date. This theme will allow you AND your little guests to get really creative. Invite kids to make a snack plate of foods the color of the rainbow (challenge them to pick something of each color for “extra points”), make inexpensive paint palate party favor bags, or have the kids paint their masterpiece right there at the party (pro tip: what a great way to keep them occupied, too). If you need even more help, you could have invite our team to lead your arts & crafts extravaganza, or book one of our expert face painters to create works-of-art on faces! Face painters for parties and events in Los Angeles

  9. Afternoon Tea 

    “Oh, Jeeves? We’ll be taking our tea & biscuits on the veranda this afternoon,” would be really fun to say, even if you don’t have a butler named Jeeves, or a butler at all, or even a veranda. So why not go for the tried-and-true, un-apologetically feminine English garden style tea party! It’s a lovely theme, of which you can go big (like this client of ours, who also booked two of our fairytale princess characters, in addition to catering, and more) or stay small, with a more intimate affair. Invite just a few children over and borrow tea cups from friends, or find shabby-chic styles to mix and match on eBay (pro tip: put an herbal tea bag, packaged in a little organza sack, into each cup and voila! you’ve got a classy, heirloom quality party favor). For extra points, make sugar cookies shaped like tea pots, and serve authentic tea-time finger sandwiches and tea cakes. Or, just hire us and you won’t have to lift a finger… except your pinky. Princess English garden tea party in Los Angeles

  10. Divas-In-Training

    And finally, if your little girl loves to dance and dress-up, there’s nothing wrong with throwing a pop-star type party. You can ask children to come over in costume, or collect pieces from your little ones costume collection and create a dress-up area for little guests to borrow from while they’re dancing the day away. Speaking of dancing, music will be super important to pull-off this theme. Make sure you have a playlist of kid-friendly pop music, or hire a DJ (or a KJ — karaoke jockey — if your daughter likes to sing, too) to keep the party poppin’. As far as the color scheme goes, bright, jewel colors will be your go-to here: just mix and match lemon yellow, orange, neon pink, magenta, lime green, etc. (go crazy!) for desert tables, decorations, plates, cups, and more. And don’t forget the disco lighting, especially if you’re going to have an indoor and/or evening event (check out this tutorial for DIY light-up balloons). Most importantly, there must be lots of dancing, but you’ve got a lot on your dessert plate already (and I know you’d like to actually finish your dessert without yet another interruption), so consider hiring a colorful Dance Motivator to keep kids movin’ and groovin’!

Rainbow glamor girl party character los angelesThere ya go! Ten birthday party themes you can use for your child’s next birthday party that ARE NOT about “Frozen”in any way, shape or form.

I hope this helped to inspire you and that the ideas are flowing for your kiddo’s next celebration. If you have questions about anything mentioned here, or if you’d like the team at Papillons Entertainment to take some of the weight off your shoulders and help you plan your next party, please leave a comment below, or for formal inquiries, email us at info@papillonsentertainment.com.

Cheers! And we hope your event is chic, unique, and fantastique!

~ Jenna (founder & lead performer Papillons Entertainment, Los Angeles, CA)


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Have a Royal Ball Inspired By Princess Sofia the First!

Ready for some royal fun? Our ‘Princess Sofia’ character is ready to celebrate with you and your little ones. Invite her to your party and she will enchant guests with songs, silliness, and a few surprises, too!

This sweet, special princess is sure to delight at your little darling's party.

This sweet, special princess is sure to delight at your little darling’s party.

Of course, as we do with all of our costumed performances, character integrity is of the utmost importance, which means any young lady in our cast who we’ve approved to play the character of ‘Sofia’ will truly look like the character. After all, ‘Sofia’ is meant to be a girl of about 7-10 years old!

Learn more about what sets us apart from the rest: How to Find the Perfect Party Princess

'Sofia' loves to teach your little ones what she's learned about becoming royalty and the true meaning of being a princess.

‘Sofia’ loves to teach your little ones what she’s learned about becoming royalty and the true meaning of being a princess.

 

At this time, we have just 3 cast members who share the role (always in the same costume, guaranteed), and each one of our ladies has played the very young storybook characters at the famous theme parks, such as ‘Wendy’, ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘Tinker Bell’, and ‘Merida’ at Disney and ‘Cindy Lou Who’ at Universal. When we say authenticity is our specialty, you can trust it.

Only our youngest looking performers share the role of 'Sofia', the child princess.

Only our youngest looking performers share the role of ‘Sofia’, the child princess. This photo was only edited for lighting and color; no photoshopping has been done to alter the appearance of the actress pictured.

And certainly, the costume is a one-of-a-kind, custom made just for us by our favorite seamstress/designer. If you look closely at ‘Sofia’s ball gown, you will see that every little bead was hand sewn! And the purple fabric has this magical, iridescent shine when lit by the sun. We’re just in awe of the beauty of this costume and we know you will be, too.

Perhaps the most important questions is: What will ‘Sofia’ do at the party? We have some wonderful options for your ‘Sofia the First’ themed party, perfect for ages 3-5 years old, and would love to tell you more about them. Just give the castle (office) a call or send us a message by pigeon (email), and it will be our pleasure to discuss the details with you.

Thanks for reading, and have an enchanting day!

 


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How To Find The Perfect Party Princess

Let me show you how to find the perfect princess for your party in Los Angeles.

You have a problem: your little girl wants a princess to come to her birthday party, but you have no idea where to start. You live in Southern California, the greater Los Angeles area to be exact, and there are just too many princesses to choose from. Every entertainment company says they have “the best” princesses, but how do you which ones employ the true professionals? How can you tell which one will deliver on their promises? You want a princess with a top-notch look, but you also want her to be able to entertain your entire group of twenty rambunctious four-year-old girls (and boys, too)! How do you know who will give you the ultimate princess party experience?

It’s difficult, I know… wading through dozens of sites, videos, and pictures. It’s overwhelming, to say the least! But you’re not the type to settle for second-best; you want is the whole package. You want top-notch-service, a beautiful costume, a realistic, well-groomed wig, a princess who looks like the character has come-to-life, and not only that, you want a princess who can entertain your party guests from beginning to end, for one hour or longer. There are dozens of princess party companies in Los Angeles, it can be seemingly tricky to find the one that will deliver on everything you’re looking for. Fear not! I’m going to help you navigate the crowded waters of Los Angeles party princess entertainers and show you exactly how to find the perfect party princess.

First, let’s start with what we already know: you have excellent taste. You recognize high-quality when you see and hear it. Remember to trust that instinct and allow your preference for the finer things to guide you as you begin your search.

Secondly, now that we know you have great taste, guess what: so do your friends! One of the best places to start looking for a party princess is to ask your friends who they’ve booked for their kids’ parties. If you don’t have many friends with kids the same age as yours, then ask the moms and dads at the daycare — you’re probably inviting the pre-school children to the party anyway, so it’s a great way to find out what other parents have already done in the way of characters and themes.

Once you’ve gotten a few referrals from friends and fellow parents, check out the princess’ website, and other social media sites online. The website should look up-to-date, including the pictures — do the photos look current, or like they were taken in 1983? If a company’s pictures look old, how can you be sure of what you’re actually going to get from them? Be sure the costume you see is the exact costume your princess will wear. Plus, the princess company should be active on social media sites, engaging with relevant information, photos, and videos so that you can be certain of what you’re buying.

Next, read the reviews of the companies you are considering. Ask the company to point you to a place online where you can read their reviews if you are having trouble finding some, or if you aren’t sure about the legitimacy of the reviews you may have read. Hint: If you are looking on Yelp, check the filtered reviews, too. Yelp uses an algorithm that often hides reviews of first time users and users who aren’t very active on the site, and while you should usually take someone else’s opinion as simply that, an opinion, it’s good to get the general consensus of what people are saying about their experiences with the company. When you do read reviews online, look for a mix of people who were first-time customers and people who are repeat customers. This will show you consistency, in that the company is making a great impression; they are trustworthy, setting new customers at ease, and they are also bringing back customers time and again, party after party.

You’ve read the reviews, checked out the pictures, but also remember to look for videos. Promo videos are fine, but do they have videos of actual events, too? They should have both. A promo video features just the princess; this is good to look at so that you can see if the princess knows her character and you can listen to hear if she can sound similar to the character (that’s nearly as important as looking like the character). A video of the princess in action at one of their actual events will show you even more: are the kids engaging with the character, visually, audibly? What kind of activities is the princess leading? Is it a good variety activities? Paying attention to these cues will help you find, not only the best princess for your party, but also one who will give you the most bang for your buck.

As you’re watching princess performer videos, pay attention to how they move, listen to how they talk. For ultimate believability, your party princess should be a keen impersonator.

  • She should have her own realistic impression of the character’s voice and say things that the princess would probably say in real life (for example, maybe she refers to kids as “friends” or simply “children” rather than “you guys” — your princess is a royal, after all, and should speak accordingly).
  • If the character is supposed to have a foreign accent, she should be able to imitate that accent.
  • The princess should move like the character she is playing, too. For example, a “Brave” princess should have a free-spirited gait and maybe even slightly slouched posture, which works perfectly for the character‘s tom-boyish nature, while a “Rapunzel” princess should sit up straight, have a lot of energy and pure excitement in every move she makes, while maintaining gracefulness, too.
  • If the princess is to sing at your child’s party, remember not all singers are created equal. You want to make sure you’ve heard her singing samples, that you think she realistically sounds like the singing voice the children will expect to hear (some performers may be fine singers, but sound completely different than the original character), and most importantly, that the same princess you’ve heard sing will be the one performing at your party. Also, how is the singing incorporated? A singing performance that includes aspects of the story, perhaps even adding a live instrument to the mix, will make the princess’ singing an interactive, magical experience.

Now that you’ve done all the preliminary research, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty details. Remember, you’re looking for the perfect party princess, so there are a lot of things to consider:

  1. How long has the princess or company of princesses been performing?
  2. Were they trained by someone, an expert in the children’s entertainment field, or did they just decide to be a princess one day?
  3. What is their background in working with kids?

These are all important questions. You want your princess to be very experienced as an actor (look for classically trained, theme park performers, improv performers, comediennes, and film/TV actors), but you also want her to know what kids like to do at parties. You want your princess to be an expert on her character; she should know the fairy-tale backwards and forwards and all the little details in between (the kids do, so should your princess).

As far as time-spent-on-the job goes, you’re looking for one of two things:

  • An expert party princess, in which an expert is defined as someone who has logged at least 10,000 hours as a children’s entertainer (that’s a minimum of 1,000 parties performed!) or…
  • A princess who has been trained and is currently coached by an expert children‘s entertainer.

These are important distinctions to make as you are looking for a party princess. While it may seem simple and easy to throw on a costume and play a character, and that anyone can do it, it’s not. Do you want to keep your group of 20 kids engaged for a full hour or longer? Do you want the princess to sound like the character? Do you want her to move and behave like the character? Do you want your party princess to know how to handle disruptive children with grace? Do you want your princess to have charm, wits, and poise? Do you want her to know what activities will be inline with the age-group of the kids at the party as well as what activities will tie the party theme and performance together?

If your answer is yes, then you want either an expert princess or a princess trained by an expert. Certainly, anyone can grab a Halloween costume from eBay and come to your party, but if you want more than “good-enough”, and if you want to elevate your party theme and truly bring the fairy-tale to life, if you want to take your princess party from good to amazing, and if you want kids to actually be engaged from start to finish, then you want either an expert princess or a princess trained by an expert.

Take a close look at the costume. For a princess character, it’s important to make sure the costume is not a bag-o-costume, but a custom made, theatrical-grade garment. A costume made for stage or film is going to look incredible, of course, not only in person but in photos, too. But hand-made costumes are not all equal: be sure to look at the textures on the fabric, and the details. Does it look high-quality to you? If the costume is impressive looking in a photo, it’s sure to be even more divine in person, and of course you know it will look fabulous in all of your treasured princess birthday party pictures.

Let’s have a look next at the wig. Yes, a princess should wear a wig. A fantastic wig completes the larger-than-life look of the princess costume. Even if the princess has hair similar to the character, you simply cannot get an authentic, consistent look without one. Plus, you live in the Los Angeles area; your child and her guests are used to seeing characters at the theme parks, who all wear wigs, so it would look odd to kids otherwise. As for the quality of the wig, your princess should have a wig of the same heightened quality of the costume she wears.

Personally, my heart weeps when I see a beautiful princess in a gorgeous gown with a cheap wig. What good is spending hundreds of dollars on an incredible costume if the performer or company isn’t going to invest in the perfect wig to finish the look? As a customer, you want to observe how well the wig is made: does the wig have life to it? It should be professionally styled, with a theatrical look, like something from a Broadway show, while maintaining a sense of realism, but it should not look too cartoonish or over-the-top. Also look at the quality and fit: does it look like it’s been a long time since the princess has had the wig re-styled? If you’re not sure, ask to see a recent picture of the costume and wig, even just on the shelf or rack, to make sure it’s still well kept. Also look to see how the wig fits her head: if it comes down too far on the forehead, it’s going to be an obvious giveaway to your party guests that the hair is a wig. If it’s up too high on the forehead, you’re going to see the real hair underneath. The perfect wig will elevate the costume and add believability to the overall performance.

You’ll also want to take a close look at the princess performers in the pictures themselves. Do they actually look like the character you want? I think details are important: if the character is typically visualized with light eyes, then kids will probably notice if the princess shows up with brown eyes. It’s OK if the eye color, or shape of the nose, or cheek bones are somewhat different, but they should be close enough to suspend disbelief, making kids perceive that the princess has truly come to life at the party. The princess’ make-up should be heightened, too, as if she has just stepped-off stage. An impressive princess will have eyes that pop with properly fitted false lashes and gradient shadows, bright blush, matching lip color, and a powdered, finished look.

At this point, if you like what you’ve seen, you’re probably ready to talk to someone from the princess company. You want the office personnel to be friendly, of course, but they should be knowledgeable and explain in detail what the princess party experience will be like, too. You want the booking process to be easy, fair (remember to ask about retainer or deposit policies), professional (you should get a booking confirmation or contract outlining all of the terms you and the company have agreed to regarding the princess’ performance), and fun! After all, you’re planning your little princess’ special birthday party. The booking process should be one that puts you at ease, gets you excited for the big day, and gives you the confidence that you’ve chosen the best princess for your child’s party. You’re about to make your darling’s dream of meeting her favorite fairy-tale princess come true!

And finally, the activities your princess will lead are vital to the party experience. Activities should be easy for small children to understand, but not so simple that you could have done it yourself. For example, sure, kids like coloring, but you can easily put out your own coloring sheets & crayons on a table for the kids. If you’re hiring a princess to entertain the kids at your party, she should take over your party and wow your guests with a fully engaging experience, with everything from non-competitive games, comedy, mesmerizing magic spells, music, pretty face-painting and more, and all of it perfectly coordinated to the princess’ story and your party theme. Her equipment should also look like it belongs to her character. How does she present her things? Does she walk in carrying a bulky, black boom box? Is she rolling in with a suitcase? Your party princess should be a completely interactive one-woman-show for kids; props and equipment should add to the magical experience, not distract from it. Overall, your princess needs to be quite multi-talented; she should be part comedienne, part artist, and part enthusiastic pre-school teacher in order to combine the best elements to keep your whole group engaged and enjoying themselves.

Whew! I know that was a lot to digest, but if you’ve taken all of this information into consideration, and you’ve chosen your party princess wisely, you will hear squeals of joy, not only from your littlest guests, but from your grown-up guests, too. The other parents at the party will come up to you and tell you how fantastic the princess was, how impressed they were with her performance, and even better, will commend you on your fabulous taste, demanding to know where-in-the-world you found her. Pat yourself on the back, mom and dad; you’ve found the perfect party princess.

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“Queen Butterfly” & Lead Expert Performer//Papillons Entertainment

P.S. If you’d like to talk about booking a party princess for your up-coming Los Angeles area birthday celebration or special event, please get in touch! I’m here to help and would love to be of service.