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Becoming Outstanding

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Santa Gordon

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Everyone has an idea what it takes to be Santa. They then go forward to follow that idea into reality. Where the fantasy meets reality is where some problems occur.

No matter how you conduct your Santa performance service, you are conducting one of two different things in the eyes of the IRS. You are either spending your money on an expensive hobby which you are not allowed to write off OR you are operating a business Which has to show a profit 1 out of 3 years or as my accountant says 2 out of 5.

In the eyes of the local city and county tax offices, if you advertise you are operating a business and need proper permits and licenses.

Some think starting an LLC will protect them and their property but as has been shown, that does not exactly work the way some folks think it will. Everything used under the LLC is up for grabs. Vehicle, Equipment down to the lap top and cell phone used in the business is up for grabs when you rely on a LLC to protect you. If your actions go beyond the coverage of a LLC it can be pierced and all your personal assets are then up for grabs as well. In many states personal liability insurance is a better protection for the cost all the way around.

Your presentation will determine your market and your abilities will determine your share of that market. As Santa we are portraying a fictional character the image of which is fixed in much of the public's mind and shown in movies and pictures and books dating back to 1822. Currently for the last 12 years there has been a push to alter that image by including/merging the image of Father Christmas from the "Old World". Nothing wrong with that but you are now competing with an established image that is being exported to those "Old World" countries that are importing the traditional Santa image and the folks at home that want the "Rankin Bass" image.

I have strongly suspected this used as a way to "separate" one presentation from the crowd of "Clones" in order to breakout and win market share based upon a "New and Fresh" look or gimmick such as any new "Bling" that will set your Santa image apart from the crowd. This is the easy path to being different or individual as a performer.

I advocate a better and stronger way to separate yourself from the herd. Be a better performer. Unfortunately that takes study, effort and work on your part over and above putting on a different looking suit or belt or accessory. It takes personal development in order to stand out.as a performer portraying the role of "Santa". You need to actually develop and expand the basic character and bring it to life right in the venue you are performing in be it a corporate party, a mall set or a living room. You have to step into that role when recognized on the street or in a store or at the gas station even if not in the Suit.

How do you do this? By studying the traditions and history of the character. It is all there and several schools can help you with this but essentially it happens when you decide to take this activity seriously, like a business.

Some use this as a path to spread their personal religious beliefs and sense of moral behavior which is not counter to the role we portray. It is when we begin to use the role and our religion and or our political beliefs to beat on others that is not acceptable.

A Santa is a Santa first keeping in mind we are there for the children and keeping the fantasy of the fictional character alive during their short years of believing in that wonderful fantasy.

The message we bring is for all ages but the sector of the public that is our most important demographic is children. if not for them, we would be a footnote and nice story made into movies. Remember that the next time you are tempted to beat on some other "Santa" that does not eet up with your personal expectation of how he should act or look or conduct his business.

Instead of beating on him (or her) for their presentation as a Christmas performer, let this become an open door for you to help another learning how to be better. Make the effort to instill an idea, educate someone that has a poor image in their mind of what we do by educating the people in the public about what it is we do. Make this a better performance and world one person at a time.

In the process you will become Outstanding in how you portray and perform the role of Santa, Mrs Claus, Elf or any of the many various roles that are Christmas Season venues. Strive to be the best and help those you come in contact become better as well. In this fashion you will become an Amazing Santa. A Mentor to others and someone that has made the industry better for it.

May your season be Joyous!

Yours,

Gordon Bailey

SatBobS.com

 

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SantaJoe

Posted

I do appreciate you sharing of your knowledge! I also respect your opinion. But I disagree with this statement. Particularly the end:

"Some use this as a path to spread their personal religious beliefs and sense of moral behavior which is not counter to the role we portray."

I read "Santa's Book of Knowledge" and while I thought it provided some good information, there is a statement within it that said, "Santa is not religious" and should not be portrayed as such. I respectfully disagree with that statement and I have always been bothered by it! (anyone want my copy?)

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Santa Michael Sayyae

Posted

On 8/10/2017 at 7:00 AM, SantaJoe said:

I do appreciate you sharing of your knowledge! I also respect your opinion. But I disagree with this statement. Particularly the end:

"Some use this as a path to spread their personal religious beliefs and sense of moral behavior which is not counter to the role we portray."

I read "Santa's Book of Knowledge" and while I thought it provided some good information, there is a statement within it that said, "Santa is not religious" and should not be portrayed as such. I respectfully disagree with that statement and I have always been bothered by it! (anyone want my copy?)

I know I am new to the Santa world but I have had it in my heart for my whole life.  Santa should not be just one religion but all religions.  Why should a child be brought to Santa and have him say things that are against their religion?  I understand that the "Christian way" is to spread the word but what if the parents are not Christian but a different religion?  I do not believe we as the fictional character should be one dimensional and sense you do not know what religion the child is. in some or most cases, we should be pretty neutral on that matter.  If you are at a private party and you know what religion the people follow then by all means preach your heart out if you feel but in public I believe we need to be more open to the fact there are so many different religions and not all believe the same even though they all believe in Santa.

Just my :m2c:

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SantaJoe

Posted

4 hours ago, Santa Michael Sayyae said:

I know I am new to the Santa world but I have had it in my heart for my whole life.  Santa should not be just one religion but all religions.  Why should a child be brought to Santa and have him say things that are against their religion?  I understand that the "Christian way" is to spread the word but what if the parents are not Christian but a different religion?  I do not believe we as the fictional character should be one dimensional and sense you do not know what religion the child is. in some or most cases, we should be pretty neutral on that matter.  If you are at a private party and you know what religion the people follow then by all means preach your heart out if you feel but in public I believe we need to be more open to the fact there are so many different religions and not all believe the same even though they all believe in Santa.

Just my :m2c:

I agree with that.

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Santa Johnny Boy

Posted

I've been met by families of all faiths, including Jewish and Muslim.  Even casual Christians.  It is not up to me to preach a sermon or try to convert them, but to just show them the love and joy that I represent.

But, to the Christian family that approaches me,  and specifically mentions Jesus,  then I will share my faith.

I will tell the children,  "If there had never been Jesus,  there would never be a Santa Claus."  I will show them the embroidered  right hand sleeve of my coat,  which has baby Jesus,  being guarded by a huge angel,  with a shinning star above.  Christian children like to know that Santa is a believer,  and that the word "Believe", that is thrown around so much at Christmas time, now has a much deeper meaning.

And often, (and I'm sure this has happened to many of you) a family will approach me with all kinds of requests:

"Hey Santa,  I lost my job four months ago - got anything in your magic bag for me?"

"Santa,  my mom is going for cancer treatments.  I really want her to be well."

"Santa, I want daddy home for Christmas - that's all I really want."

Children and adults will both view Santa as some sort of miracle worker,  maybe as a last chance request,  maybe just out of hope.  My reply is always the same.

" I am but a humble maker of toys.  I have no power to create miracles on my own.  But, would you like me to pray for you?"

I have never received, "no" for an answer.  I will get up from my chair, join hands with the family,  and there,  right in Santa's House, often with onlookers present,  will pray out loud whatever prayer the Holy Spirit puts in my heart.  I will hug each family member before they leave, and let them know that they will be constantly in my prayers.

Then, I 'll go right back to the business of posing for photos,  hearing requests,  ho ho hoing and creating the best Santa Claus experience for all to have.

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