I, Jelly Jade, have been a children’s entertainer for five and a half years and in that time, I have truly grown as a performer and it’s all thanks to the male entertainers in the industry!
As a true feminist, I believe in equality for both men and women but I do still see the children’s entertainment industry heavily dominated by men.
Whether they are better at performing, or have a more natural ability to make children laugh, the party industry has recently seen an influx of female entertainers, hooray!
This may be to do with the Frozen mania that took place just a couple of years ago, empowering women to step out of their comfort zones to entertain, as well as telling little girls and boys that women don’t always need to rely on a man to help themselves. Disney at it’s best!
My entertainment, however, didn’t follow the mascot path. Firstly, I don’t have a ‘princess’ face to pull off an Elsa or Snow White, believe me, I did try!
But my passion and love for making children laugh and getting that reaction from them, helped me grow my business and my show.
It wasn’t enough just to go out there and do my thing, I needed inspiration and a role model to take my performance and make it better than the rest.
When I Googled children’s entertainers in Essex, most of the answers that come up are male entertainers and so my show grew from watching male performers in my area as and I remember as a child growing up with Bruce Forsyth, Freddy Starr and Paul Daniels, all 3 very different from each other.
In May 2017, I attended my first entertainers convention and it was such an eye opener. I watched 5 or 6 male entertainers who all performed on stage and who all made me cry with laughter and who I took inspiration from in places. A women has never made me belly laugh like that before and i don’t think I could make anyone laugh like that either!
Even now, I can name only 3 female party entertainers in my area, yet I can also name at least 10 male entertainers in Essex. The ratio is hardly equal at all.
However, I thank the male entertainers that I know for their wise words, their non judgemental characters at a female entertainer and their support.
Why am I thanking them?
Because as a face painter too, which is heavily dominated by females, I find it a very bitchy and nasty industry. Oh, it pains me to write that.
Women should support each other because together, we are so strong!
But I have unfortunately been on the dark side of business, with women, mostly older than me, bullying me, telling me I shouldn’t do this and I shouldn’t do that, and yes of course, they are threatened by me.
Not all are like this, of course!
Did I get any of this from the male entertainers?
Nope, not even once.
Does this come down to gender?
I think so.
Where I have to fight for my place in the face paint world, I fit nicely into my male competitors as an entertainer, I have been welcomed with open arms and I have had nothing but support and encouragement.
Being a female entertainer in a male dominated industry suits me fine, but I will continue to support my fellow females whether it is as a face painter, as a business woman or as an entertainer. There is room for everyone in this industry as long as you offer something unique and special that our customers truly want.
I am very grateful to be a role model to girls and women all over the UK, and continue to support female empowerment by launching my face paint training for mums!
Together, we will become equals and continue to thrive in the party industry.