Do you need some help with creating a perfect party?

It’s the weekend, party time for lots of people – adults and children alike. Today I am excited to introduce you to Joanne McGowan of Act One Parties,

I was introduced to Joanne via a mutual twitter friend who suggested that I might be able to share some advice on travelling to Croatia – I am always happy to do this!  I hope you will enjoy this guest post and maybe consider calling on Joanne and her team when you are planning to organise a children’s party.

How did you become a children’s entertainer?

It’s a question I’m often asked and when I am standing at a children’s birthday party, in a roomful of 30 children, dressed in a pink fairy outfit, it’s a question I quite often ask myself! It is funny how life turns out, although when I tweeted the other day that I had stumbled into almost all my career choices a good twitter friend of mine replied “experience tells me true stumbling is rarely the case!” So how did I become a childrens party entertainer? As a child I had a love of everything to do with performance.  I did dance lessons from age 7, was in every school play and choir going, formed a band with classmates aged 9 and endlessly entertained relatives and whoever would watch me with shows I had made up.  My parents had both worked for the BBC and I remember vividly being taken into work with my Dad for the odd day where I would sit in the costume department or in the studio watching rehearsals and recordings of several programmes. I was surrounded by performance.


As I reached my teens I became increasingly more interested in what happened behind the scenes.  I started helping with the baby classes at my local dance school and stage managed school productions rather than be in them.  I also wrote off to many organisations to do work experience and was lucky enough to spend time at the BBC, Richmond Theatre and Fairfield Halls Croydon to name a few. As I went to university to study Drama, I was all set to go into a career of stage management or TV Production when suddenly I got the opportunity to buy a dance school. Whilst at uni I had kept my dance training up and taken teaching exams and had covered classes for this local school, so I borrowed money from my Grandfather and the bank and ran the school successfully for 9 years until I had my son.


I soon went back to teaching on a freelance basis when late in 2008 I noticed lots of people with my background starting to offer children’s parties so I thought I’d give it a go.  I wish I could say I had some grand business plan and had all my parties planned in advance but in reality I felt my way through, reacting to what customers requested.  I suppose my experience with children helped me  know what would work but I did seem to hit upon something that people wanted.

I suppose in a way it is not surprising what I have ended up doing.  Most of my parties rely heavily on drama and storytelling and I have always loved working with children since I started helping out at the local dance classes in my teens.  The training in stage management has also been invaluable. I need to be very organised and plan for every eventuality at a children’s party and a stage manager certainly has to keep their eye on the ball in the same way.


In some ways I have gone full circle.  Being a children’s entertainer is definitely akin to being a performer, something my 7 year old self would be very happy with.


Joanne McGowan –

Facebook –

Twitter – @actoneparties


Joanne McGowan is a party entertainer based in Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire.  She is also a dance and drama teacher with a 5 year old son of her own.


About Seba Silver

In June 2011 my wife and I opened a small store on the beautiful Dalmatian Island of Korcula. Our store (Seba Dizajn) showcases stunning filigree jewellery, all work is made on site offering you the fascinating chance to see filigree jewellery being made. Visit us at to see and purchase some of our filigree jewellery. The Seba family have been working, and creating beautiful pieces of filigree jewellery for over 500 years.
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5 Responses to Do you need some help with creating a perfect party?

  1. “Being a children’s entertainer is definitely akin to being a performer..” Having taught youngsters (8 and 9 year olds) and adults, I can say that in my experience – being a teacher is definitely akin to being a performer 🙂

    • Seba Silver says:

      Hi David, thanks for your comments. I agree and admire both the teaching and preforming, anyone that is entertaining/teaching children has my respect. What a high energy field to work in full time!

  2. Helz-Design says:

    oh i remember the bday parties of the teenager in my house when he was a little child. special cakes in dinosaur shape, motto parties etc.

    was fun somehow but also a challenge on its own.

    chapeau miss joanne doing this for a living.
    thanks for sharing the insights.
    and i am a little envy that you dressed up so neatly as a princess and as super woman 🙂

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