Updated: Jul 5
The sun has been beaming down on us for the past month or so, with fabulous heat waves across the UK, and yet on 30th June I drove to Ely to don my favourite costume of the whole year, my Christmas Elf Suit.
I am part of a small group of prestigous Christmas Performers, who meet up every year to discuss how we can make our Christmas entertainment better than ever, and this year I had been asked to give a lecture on my own shows and ‘All Things Elf!’
The day starts with my colleagues putting on their finest red velvet, grooming their snowy white beards and moustaches, and getting ready for a fabulous photo shoot. I enjoyed mingling with my fellow elves and getting up to all kinds of mischeif.
My favourite elf is Grandad Elf, and over the past year he has written a fantastic children’s story (available from Amazon, how Grandad Elf lost his pointy ears.) The book is filled with fabulous photographs of Grandad Elf, Tagalong the dog who guards the sleigh and I even managed to get in there myself! Grandad Elf gave me a signed copy of his book, which I will treasure forever.
The convention is organised by Sammy Brooks, better known as Real Santa. His passion for all things Santa comes through, and I am proud to call him a friend.
After a delicious lunch (roast Turkey with all the trimmings, including Brussel sprouts) it’s time to listen to the lectures from the experts… This year I am one of those lecturers and I have to admit, that I feel a little nervous talknig to my peers about what I do.
To kick off the Afternoon, my very own Santa gives a short lecture on Sneak a Peek and Santa Caught on Camera! These are two services we offer.
Caught on camera can be filmed at any point in December, and the idea is that when the kids are away, Santa gets filmed in your house, to be shown to the children on Christmas Morning. He puts the presents under the tree, eats his mince pie, drinks his milk and grabs the reindeer’s carrot, eventually spotting the camera in the room, and giving a cheeky ho ho ho, before tapping his nose, and magically disappearing from the room!
Sneak a Peek is a more premium expereince, which can only be done on Christmas Eve once your children are alseep. Once the children have settled down, and are fast asleep, all of a sudden you will hear such a clatter, as Santa arrives in your house. That is the time to wake up the children, and creep down the stairs with them…. Blurry eyed and tired, they’ll see Santa unloading the presents to under the tree, and eating his snacks, before as parents you guide them back to their beds. They’ll see Santa, but Santa will never notice that they are there, as they watch with excitment.
Once our magical Santa has finished his lesson it’s up to me to come up next and explain what I offer as an elf, and what other elves could do to.
I explain my elf home visits, and what happens in them, the gifts I give, and the type of experience I give. My elf Walkabout Character, which is best suited to Christmas events and markets, my Christmas singalong show, again best suited for Christmas Events, and light switch ons, and of course my show, which is a magical, musical and even cinematic creation which is used by many schools as an alternative to a pantomime.
Finally we are treated to Ian Williams, a Scottish Santa, giving us top tips on characterisation of his portrayal of Santa Claus, from the voice to the way he walks, smiles and reassures slightly scared or worried children.
The outside of the room is filled with everything from costumes stalls (I have just ordered a brand new elf costume to be made for me for this season) and every gadget and gizmo you can imagine, from naughty and nice machines, to Santa Sleigh driving licenses, magical leather wallets and even watches with five different clocks for different time zones for Santa.
It’s a fantastic day, and really gets me into the Christmas spirit, even if it is the middle of summer. This year has more exciting additions to what I believe is a fantastic Christmas show, with another cast member, and a new Grinch style puppet, brand new video backdrops and music, and I can’t wait to perform it to families in December!