Tag Archive for singing waiters in manchester

How to book Singing Waiters!

The ‘everything you need to know’ guide by The Sing-a-Long Waiters

Well its nearly the end of 2015 and Christmas is upon us, What a great year it has been here at Garston Entertainments.

To end the year in style we thought we would treat you to an entertaining and informative interview with our exclusively managed singing waiters act The Sing a Long Waiters

The Sing a Long Waiters have successfully performed hundreds of shows over the last 2 years and are very well placed to answer any questions we can throw at them regarding how their show works and what it`s like to be a surprise singing waiter at your Wedding, Corporate Event, Party or Function

We settle down in a coffee shop and the guys enter looking very relaxed and its immediately apparent that these guys have that `comedy` chemistry between them and a natural ability to make people smile and laugh

Hello Maurice and Darren, thanks for doing this interview for us and how has 2015 been for you guys?

Maurice: No problem and thanks for buying us coffee (he takes a huge gulp but chokes as its too hot)

Darren: (Laughs) 2015 has been the best year for us and long may it continue, well until 31st December anyway, but seriously we have had such a great time performing at our shows and we have met some fantastic characters along the way.

That’s great to hear, now how long have you been doing this act for?

Darren: The Sing a Long waiters act has been running now for around 2 years, before we created this show we were a full time vocal comedy double act that toured all over the world for companies like First Choice and Thomson Holidays.

Maurice: We thought we would bring a bit of light heartedness (if that’s a real word) to the popular genre of singing waiters because everyone needs to laugh at a celebratory event or dinner.

Of course, I bet many people ask whether you are `real` waiters when booking you and if you can wash the dishes.

Maurice: Yes we had a situation a few months ago when the client thought he wouldn`t need to employ any other waiters (laughs)

Darren: When we told him that we weren’t trained waiters and that he will have to draft in real waiting staff for his wedding, we had a good laugh with him about it, but no we are not real waiters, just pretend ones.

How long do you actually `wait on` for the guests?

Darren: We serve the guests through the starter and main course usually and then perform our `reveal` just as the desserts have been served.

Maurice: Although we have performed at events where there was no meal involved like a drinks reception or serving canapés throughout the evening and the hardest part was not eating one but maybe we will in the future (Laughs)

You must have an endless supply of waiters uniforms in your wardrobes? Or does the client supply them?

Maurice: We have all the basics like black trousers, white and black shirts and a black waist jacket but we always contact the hotel or catering company and ask if they ask if they have specific uniforms and in most cases they lend us any branded uniforms to make us blend in with the real staff at the venue

Darren: We have been that convincing that we have been offered jobs at loads of hotels

(All laugh)

Is it just waiters you impersonate or can the client request other type of staff members or even something out of the ordinary?

Maurice: Yeah we wholeheartedly encourage the client to get involved in making and helping deliver the surprise to make it really entertaining or they can just sit back and leave it to us. We can be drunken guests, food hygiene inspectors, grumpy room managers, you name it, we’ve heard it, but if the client wants a certain thing then we do our best to facilitate that.

Darren: We have our own very specific tried and trusted way of starting the show (which they tell us is top secret) but we are always excited when the client wants to get involved as they feel like they have played a big part in the surprise for their friends or colleagues.

So you could say that it`s as exciting for the people booking you as it is for the guests, Can the client request songs that you perform?

Maurice: Definitely, we pride ourselves on great communication prior to the big day it’s often all very secretive and we always ask if they have any songs in particular that they would like to be performed by us, as long as it’s in our vocal range and not something by Mariah Carey or Celine Dion! (All laugh)

Darren: As our name would suggest though the songs we perform are really well known hits that everyone at least knows the chorus to. We even have guest’s get on the microphone if they’re brave enough!

Well that was actually my next question; do you interact with the audience when you are performing as the waiters?

Darren: Yes that`s the most thrilling thing about performing this show, getting involved with the audience, I usually get cuddled by the older women

Maurice: That’s just a normal day for you though (all laugh) we improvise a lot during our performance and try to make sure that the audience feels comfortable with us and we can laugh and joke around with them.

What sort of music do you sing?

Maurice: In short, everything, well, almost everything, Not thrash metal. We sing a large repertoire of music including songs from musicals, swing, soul and all those ‘sing a long’ favourites.

Darren: We try to be as varied as possible, some singing waiter shows perform opera, which is always popular, but after the well known numbers have been performed it can be tough to join in! Though it is something we will be adding very soon, like chocolate cake, it will be in moderation! We guarantee the audience will know and can sing along to all of our songs, we just like to make sure we tailor everything perfectly to the client

How long do you perform for?

Darren: it depends on the event but generally 30-60 minutes of singing unless we are requested otherwise and there is the entire service leading up to the ‘reveal’ which is often around an hour or more

Maurice: Our speciality is to keep the audience engaged after the `reveal` has been made and that`s why we sing songs you know so you won`t even want to nip to the loo!

Can I hire more than 2 of you for my event?

Darren: yes we can add male or female singers, because we have been performers for over 20 years, we have made some fantastic contacts with very talented performers and they all are of a very high standard.

Maurice: We know them all personally, they are of an extremely high standard and know how we work and what we expect.

For people who are not familiar with Singing waiters and have never booked any live music before, do you supply the music system or do you perform acoustically?

Maurice: we don`t perform acoustically, we supply all of the PA (public address) equipment for the performance and we try and keep it in a very discreet area of the venue as to not arouse suspicion.

Darren: we have a fantastic sound system and we can create a really great atmosphere around the room – but not so loud people will be running out holding their ears!

How far do you travel for a show and does this affect the cost in any way?

 Maurice: We travel all over the UK and beyond to perform our shows, I wouldn`t call us jet-setters more car-setters! but obviously if we get booked for a gig on the moon it will cost more than a show ‘round the corner’ (Maurice then goes on to assure me that if a booking came in for the moon that they would definitely consider it)

 

Now lets get to the nitty gritty guys, how much do you cost and do you offer any other packages when people book your Sing a Long Waiters

 Darren: Our price varies depending on location and which package you decide to have, we can provide the basic waiter package which includes up to one hour of service in which we really get to know your guests by getting up close and personal with them, but not too intrusive! Then up to an hour of singing performance once we have revealed ourselves as singing waiters. We always say for the best quote you should contact Garston Entertainments and get a bespoke price and all package details for you event

 

Maurice: Yeah definitely not too intrusive, we don`t ask for any phone numbers, lets just get that straight! (All laugh) We also offer the choice of a 2nd lively set later on and the option of a DJ service throughout the night.

Darren: We offer a dedicated swing and soul show too, along with literally hundreds of other songs, you can mix and match as much as you like. We are pretty versatile but I can`t do the splits anymore (laugh)

Sounds great guys, Is it just weddings you perform at or can people hire you for their party?

 Maurice: we perform at any event from house parties, corporate events to weddings and we have even performed at a divorce party which was slightly weird but good nonetheless.

 

That sounds interesting, with regards to payment, can the client pay you on the day or can they pay Garston direct prior to the day?

 Darren: It`s totally up to them, a deposit of 15% + VAT of the agreed amount is required to secure the date, this is paid directly to Garston. You can then pay the final balance 1 month before the event or the remaining fee to us on the day.

 

Brilliant guys, well thanks for joining me here and speaking to me,

 Darren: No problem, thanks for the extremely hot coffee and biscuit on the side which I will have later.

Finally, do you have any funny stories from your time performing as The Sing a Long Waiters?

 Maurice: We were once asked by a bride and groom to ‘accidentally`drop the wedding cake as we brought it in to the venue, it was hilarious, we really messed up the floor and people were running around and panicking but the bride and groom were laughing so much, when we burst into song it all made sense and then the `real’ waiters brought out the `real’ cake.

Darren: I also carried a birthday cake (at a wedding?!) to the top table that had a giant sparkler in it, which then caught fire to the ribbon round the side, it was a bit awkward. We do love it when people want to get involved with the surprise as it validates the humour and makes it more believable but the guests were quite shocked with the cake drop..

 

The Sing a Long Waiters can be booked exclusively through Garston Entertainments at http://www.garston-entertainment.co.uk/artist/1488/The-Sing-a-Long-Waiters or by calling 0845 071 0988 

Please click here to view our full range of Singing Waiter Shows http://www.garston-entertainment.co.uk/category/124/Singing-Waiters/ 

For more Entertainment Ideas & Inspiration for your Wedding Entertainment, please click herhttp://www.garston-entertainment.co.uk/weddings/

 

The Complete Guide to Singing Waiters

Looking to hire Singing Waiters/waitresses for your event, party or wedding? Then look no further…..follow our advice guide below for everything you’ll ever need to know about hiring singing waiters/waitresses……

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Singing Waiters are a fairly new concept in the UK but are swiftly becoming one of the most popular shows for events, parties and weddings. It is the perfect way to break the ice at any event and get the party started. Whether it is a corporate function, a venue, or your very special wedding day. Singing Waiters will bring a light hearted yet outstanding performance, with professional singers performing the very best in Opera, Swing, Musical Theatre, Pop, Current Chart Hits and even Rock.

So….. What does a singing waiter do?

Singing waiters are performers who disguise themselves as part of your venues catering team. They will dress to match the staff and serve your unsuspecting guests throughout the course of your event before creating the ultimate surprise by bursting into beautiful song. The ‘waiters’ are actually professional singers, who will leave your guests astounded and amazed.

The key to a successful performance…….

Comedy plays quite a large role in the successful execution of a singing waiters show so song choices, the surprise scenario you choose and the performers you book are the key to a great performance. The performers you hire must be quick witted, fantastic actors (as they must remain incognito prior to their performance) and also, incredible singers. Song choices must be varied, fun and suitable  for any audience and the scenario for the ‘surprise’ must be believable…… to keep their masquerade going as long as possible. The longer you can keep the surprise, the more astonished your guests will be.

How long do they perform for?

The misconception when hiring a singing waiters show, is that the performance begins when they start singing. This is not the case. The performance begins as soon as your guests arrive as they must remain in character throughout the duration of your event, from the second you and your guests arrive until the end of their singing performance.

The Singing waiters will arrive at least an hour before you and your guests arrive, this is so they can setup their equipment, and be clear of the room before anyone sees them. By the time you and your guests arrive, they will be in character, dressed similarly to the venue waiting on staff and most likely, will already serving your unsuspecting guests.

There are several packages you can choose from when booking a singing waiter…

Package A – The singing waiters will serve your guests for up to 1 hour incognito prior to performance to add to the element of surprise! Up to 60 minutes live singing

Package B – The singing waiters will serve your guests for up to 1 hour incognito prior to performance to add to the element of surprise! 1 x 45 minute `surprise` singing set Plus 1 x 45 minute lively party dance spot in the evening

Package C – The singing waiters will serve your guests incognito for up to 1 hour prior to performance to add to the element of surprise! 1 x 45 minute `surprise` singing set Plus 1 x 45 minute lively party dance spot in the evening Full DJ/Disco & background Music package for up to 6 hours

What will they wear?

Uniforms are very important as they have to blend in with the waiting staff as much as possible. Our singing Waiters have various waiter/waitress styles and outfits to help blend in with the waiting on staff at your venue. However, if your venue has branded uniforms, it would be helpful if they could assist in providing spares to the singing waiters so they can disguise themselves successfully. Most venues have had singing waiters perform so are usually more than happy to oblige. Some venues use standard black shirts/white shirts and black trousers, which the singing waiters will already have access to.

The Scenario! – How do the singing waiters start the surprise performance?

This is very important as this is what draws the attention of your guests to the singing waiters prior to their singing performance. There are several tried a tested way of executing the surprise which our singing waiters would be more than happy to discuss with you, or perhaps assist in developing a scenario tailored specifically to your event. There are many examples of previous scenarios used for your inspiration

  • Getting fired by the manager in front of your guests
  • Drunken waiters
  • The bad waiter routine – perhaps drop cutlery, spill water, get the orders wrong etc
  • Quitting their job
  • Moving abroad to start a new career after a lengthy spell as a waiter for the venue
  • About to audition for a TV Talent show and need to practice
  • And many more

The choice is yours……our singing waiters are also able to adapt an individual scenario of your own choosing or suggestion

What can I expect to pay for a singing waiter?

The price of singing waiters varies from show to show. Prices start from £300 – £2000, this depends on how many waiters you hire, what time of year you are booking them for and what day of the week your event is taking place. There are many factors that go into the costing of the performance which is why each quote is tailored specifically to the event. Show are available from solo singing waiters up to troupes of up to 4 singing waiters.

 

Can they perform as anything else?

Yes, of course!! Our singing waiters have also performed as Drunken Guests, Undercover guests, Firemen, Environmental Health, Chefs, Managers and many more. You can even suggest what you would like them to perform and they will do what they can to accommodate your request.

Introducing……

 

James Franklyn from ‘Franklyn & Wallace – UK Singing waiters’

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Franklyn in performance

 

How long have you been performing as a singing waiter? I have been a singing waiter now for 5 years, and this fantastic job has taken me all over the world.

Do you enjoy performing as a singing waiter?

The sheer joy on the bride and groom’s faces and their guests alike, when suddenly one of their waiters bursts into song during their wedding breakfast, is such a wonderful feeling. Its a fantastic show that I love to perform.

What advice would you give to someone looking to hire a singing waiter for their event?

If you were to book me as your singing waiter, you would hear me sing every genre of music from opera to soul, from pop to rock , all delivered with passion. My waiter show is not just based on my vocals that takes everybody by surprise , I add a fun element to the performance, whether it being a clumsy waiter who is forever dropping things, a cheeky waiter who wanders around the room, helping himself to guests drinks as he is waiting on…..etc, the list of possible scenarios is endless.

What has been your most memorable performance as singing waiter to date?

My favourite to date has to be a wedding I performed at in Italy. I had to be a drunken gatecrasher at an English wedding. I was dressed like I had been playing golf all morning, then been drinking all afternoon, so you can imagine the surprise in a quiet room as everyone is enjoying their wedding breakfast, as I enter rather loudly and extremely ‘drunk’ , making a nuisance of myself. Well, the bride and groom were the only people in on it, so it did not take long for his best man and ushers to carry me out of the room and throw me onto a grass verge just outside the chateau. So you could imagine everybody’s surprise when I entered from the back of the room extremely upset and wanting revenge. Timing is everything in this situation, and as the same 4 men were running around the room trying to catch me, the music starts, I grabbed my microphone and burst into song, stopping these 4 rather tired and angry men in their tracks. Once the cat was out of the bag and the fun had been had, they could not apologise enough. If you would like something that bit different for your wedding , or any other event for that matter. Then booking a singing waiter is what you need to do.

 

Jon Christos from ‘Voci – The Singing Waiters & Surprise Singing Experience’

'Voci' in performance

‘Voci’ in performance

 

How long have you performed as a singing waiter?

Approximately 2 years

Do you enjoy the performances as a singing waiter?

The Surprise Singing Waiters show is arguably my favourite out of all the shows that I’m a part of; there is such a variety of scenarios we can offer the clients in how we are revealed ranging from being simple waiters, management, kitchen/chef staff, environmental health, security etc who can argue, spill something; what we can offer has the diversity when creating a scene agreeable to the client and venue that works for us all. With that in mind, prior contact with the venue from the singers involved is vital.

In addition, the fact the audience in attendance have seen us waiting on and serving them etc almost lulls them into a false sense of security so as to when we eventually burst in to song, the look of sheer amazement and the opened mouths you see before you is something that creates such a stir, buzz and energy that we the singers can feed off and carry through to the end of the performance.

What type of show would you say works the best?

As successful as they have been, I would have to say that I personally prefer and feel there is a greater success with the shows where there are 2 or three singers involved as opposed to being a solo waiter as it simply maximises the impact and variety of what we can offer. As we the singers pride ourselves in delivering a show, this also allows us to feed and bounce off each other whilst having access to more of the audience which naturally enables us to offer and interact more.

Song choices can be tricky with a show like this…. what would you suggest to advise anyone looking to book a singing waiters event?

With regards to the choice and style of song, I think it is vital to gain as much knowledge not only of the clients personal tastes in music but also of those who will be in attendance as best you can. Naturally, you cannot cater for everyone in the room in such a short time but it allows us to plan and work together with the client in delivering the perfect set list due to the vast array of songs from practically every genre we have at our disposal. What I would however encourage is beginning with something high energy even if from the Classical/Opera genre is a key not only to the success of the reveal but also the mood and energy in the room too. Having some songs in the set where you can get the audience involved whether it be singing along, dancing etc has proven very popular and successful too.

In my experience, if all these points are taken on board, the client and their guests are treated to something that has that ‘wow’ factor and the singers themselves come away feeling they’ve had a rewarding experience.

 

Francesca from ‘Francesca – the singing waitress’

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Francesca – The Singing Waitress

 How long have you been performing as a singing waitress? 

Around two years doing this particular show.

Do you enjoy your singing waitress performances?

Very much so, I always have a ball and meet some incredibly interesting people along the way. Its great fun when the venue staff get involved in the performance as well as the audience.

What is your most memorable performance to date?

Its hard to choose, there have been so many! I would have to say either the birthday party in Worcestershire where I was asked to destroy a birthday cake as my grand entrance, it played out well as people were concerned I had hurt myself when I ‘fell over’, which added to the shock factor when I burst into song………….. or perhaps the wedding, in which I started an argument with another staff member in the middle of the wedding breakfast. This annoyed one of the wedding guests who had no idea I had been planted there, who then joined in the argument. Needless to say, after the performance, she was very apologetic…… but it all added to the drama and the fun of the event……the bride was in hysterics!

 

For friendly, helpful advice regarding hiring one of our singing waiter/waitress shows, contact a member of the team today, who would be happy to advise you.

www.garston-entertainment.co.uk

tel: 0845 071 0988

info@garston-entertainment.co.uk

http://www.garston-entertainment.co.uk/category/124/Surprise-Singing-Waiters/