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The 2016 SatBobS School Tour

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Santa Gordon

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The 2016 SatBobS School Tour
Well another year of operation and another Textbook is added to the class. Why should you attend? You have the White Beard. You have the Belly. You have the $1500 custom made Red Suit. You have the $900 pair of Boots. You have the real leather Belt with the $450 Gold Plated Lazer Cut Brass “Santa” Buckle. You have the Bag. You knock on the door and belt out your best “Ho Ho HO! That will carry you for the first 5 minutes. Then what do you do?
THAT is what the various Santa Schools try to teach you! How to pose for the picture. How to gain the attention of your audience and entertain them with Story telling, Songs and First Person anecdotes of the mischief the Elves get into and How Mrs Claus helps to keep things running smoothly up at the North Pole. Eye Contact. Vocal projection. Audience psychology.
All of that and much more that is involved in being an independent contractor entertainer is what you learn from the SatBobS Santa School.
What the SatBobS Santa school covers through lecture and books. In this third year of operation (getting the School up and running and on the road) I have been asked repeatedly this year for "more information" about the school. I will now try to answer that question for folks and in the process set up a kind of guideline for my presentation.The school is broken into 3 sections:
1.)The History of the Character we portray and the difference between St Nicholas vrs. Santa (2 very different Characters with vastly different backgrounds)
2.)The business side of being an "Independent Contractor Entertainer" and the related practical considerations in operating a business whether for profit or for Charity.
3.)Practical information on performance and appearance to further break it down I will list the topics of lecture by section, there is some overlap between sections as to topics though.
Part of the topics covered: Section 1: Be Original (pg.1 bk.1) The Evolution of the Santa Image (pg.7 bk.1) The Export of Santa to Other Countries (pg.145 bk.1) Live Appearances of Santa in America-A timeline (pg.149 bk.1) The Changing Image and Traditions Surrounding Santa Claus as Opposed to St, Nicholas and "Old World Traditions" (pg.153 bk.1) How Traditions of The Old World and New World Applied to Santa Claus (pg.157 bk.1) A new Tradition (pg.21 bk.2) Alternate Names from around the world (pg.180 bk.3) Character Development and Role Playing (pg. 172 bk.3) Santa's Elves (pg,188 bk.3) Old World Companions and Other Creatures (pg.192 bk.3) NORAD Tracks Santa and his Sleigh (pg.201 bk.3) GLONASS Tracks Father Frost (pg.204 bk.3) Candy Canes (pg.205 bk.3) Thomas Nast (pg.167 bk.3)
Section 2:
Three Methods of Learning (pg.3 bk.1) What separates a "Hobby" Santa from a Professional Santa (pg.27 bk.1) Negotiations and the Business of being Santa (pg.35 bk.1) Pricing your Service (pg.41 bk.1) Outsourced HR/Placement Agencies and How they work (pg.47 bk.1)How your Behavior can affect your continued employment (pg.53 bk.1) Business and the Santa Experience (pg.59 bk.1) Experience Matters (pg.67 bk.1) What can a Santa do the rest of the Year (pg.71 bk.1) Insurance Sources (pg.77 bk.1 reprinted with expanded material pg.61 bk.2) Taxes and You the Santa (pg.89 bk.1/reprinted pg.56 bk.2) A few words about Agents/Agencies (pg.6 bk.2) A sampling of Work opportunities from 2014 (pg.9 bk.2) Santa Schools and Educational opportunities (pg.23 bk.2) Listings for Custom made Santa Suits (pg.32 bk.2) Listings for "Off the Rack" Suits (pg.35 bk.2) Reasons to Cultivate relationships with a "Brick and Mortar" store (pg.38 bk.2) The Myth of the Refundable Deposit (pg.41 bk.2) Credit Card capture devices and a Caution in their use (pg.43 bk.2) How Blogs and your Hobby can Help you Earn Money (pg.48 bk.2) Copyright Material (pg.52 bk.2) Pay to Play Contract example (pg.121 bk.3) Section 3: The Performing Santa by Robert Seutter/Santa True (pg.84 bk.2) Wigs and Beards by Marianne F. Coleman (pg.64 bk.2) Hair Bleaching advice by Barbara Tompkins (pg.80 bk.2) Santa Suit construction and Care by Krissi Peters (pg.81 bk.2) A Topic that No One Wants to Approach (pg.21 bk.1) Ethics-What are they and How They Apply to the Santa World (pg.81 bk.1) The Checklist (pg.97 bk.1) Magic and Santa (pg.103 bk.1) Profitable activities for Mrs. Claus and Elves (pg.109 bk.1) Make up and Santa Image Enhancement (pg.115 bk.1) What Can a Santa say to Children (pg.119 bk.1) Storytelling By Santa-An Introduction (pg.125 bk.1) Lyrics for Songs Used as Stories (pg.33 bk.3) Alternate Props for a Santa presentation (pg.160 bk,3) Santa and the use of Magic in a Visit (pg.104 bk.3) Making use of Visual Properties to Introduce and Illustrate Story Lines (pg.37 bk.3)
 
I hope this helps answer some of the questions of what the SatBobS traveling Santa school is "about". Yours,
Santa Gordon Bailey satbobs.com
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Santa Marty

Posted

I've read two of Gordon Bailey's books and have found them to be the most comprehensive Santa training available.  Santa Gordon has years of experience which he has organized in an easy to read format.  

Personally, any question that I have had, Santa Gordon has experienced and found a solution for.  His comments and suggestions come from a "been there, done that" perspective.  He has spent many years as a Traditionally Bearded Santa and as a Naturally Bearded Santa.  Gordon also has been a children's and adult entertainer.  Gordon's experiences include but are not limited to:  Ballooning, Magic, Clowning, as a Pirate, make-up and costuming consultant, and of course as an independent and mall Santa Claus.

Gordon's class information has always been very practical, useful, and heartfelt.  Gordon's abilities to combine Santa Claus and business is very well thought out and explained in a practical manner.  If you don't learn a thing about Santa Claus portraying, the value of his business training is worth the price of tuition alone.  But the fact is you will learn BOTH the finer points of Santa Claus portrayal AND Santa Claus business by reading his books and attending his traveling school.  Should Santa Gordon bring his school to your area, I urge you to attend if at all possible. 

 

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Santa Gordon

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Thank you Santa Marty for the endorsement! As always your words are very kind. With the addition of the third book the class now has 4 distinct topics of exploration during the lecture. The first day we work through the first 2 books with a quick overview and question session at the start of the second day of class. Then we plunge into the third book for the second half of the class. That book alone is fairly dense with information on performance and history/background of the Santa character. As one teacher says, it helps to have a "bulletproof" background story filled out with details and plausibility.

This is the third year of operation and the classes include new Santas (first year) seasoned Santas (3 to 7 years) and old pro Santas (8 to 25 years experience) and each has left the class with fresh ideas, new concepts and illumination of how the information is applied in the "Real World" performance arena. Having the books available on Amazon and Amazon UK has been a wonderful surprise as people around the world have been buying them simply to read as stand alone instructionals.  Overtime they will become "Dated" as some of the information will become obsolete as businesses and people leave the industry but the lessons will remain valid. 

Of the three books though, Vol.3 will remain the longest enduring of the textbooks because of the information and lessons in it are virtually timeless.  The performance issues that are addressed in varying degree in most Santa schools take up a full 7 hours of lecture out of the 16 hours of class time all on the second day. Almost half and it still barely scratches the surface of performance issues that have been identified by many in the past here in question threads and on other social media. Each year I have had more new first year students and the classes have been increasing. I am targeting (hopefully) doing 10 classes a year across the country  and this year the price per student ha been held over from the 2015 price even though the curriculum expanded by over 33% and the lecture portion grew by 2 hours to accommodate that.  The research and lecture is constantly updated year to year and the materials provided to the students has grown over the years in ways other than just the text books. Vendors have been added to most classes along with the "handouts" that accompany the textbooks.

For all of that the SatBobS class is a "Gen Ed" experience with a wide range of topics covered. Right now, one of my students from the 2014 class year, Robert Seutter aka Santa True (a 30 * year story teller and performer) is working on his own class/school that focuses completely on performance focused on the Santa venue. Not business, not finding employment or how to price your services but strictly performance and after the 40 page chapter he wrote for my school on that subject in the books, I can honestly say his school will be one that every Santa will be taking if they want to succeed against the competition. In True's classes and workshops to date, he has taken the information given to a serious college level of examination. What True talks about in 6 hours on performance took me about 5 years of serious study in the library of the Academy of Magical Arts and Science.  In another year or so, you might see True bringing a class to your area. I really recommend it!



As always, May your season be Joyous!

Yours, 

Santa Gordon

satbobs.com 

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You are again too kind.  It is my hope to bring some new tools and perspective to our craft, and I really appreciate your support and training. 

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