a "Singing telegram, anyway?"
A: By simple definition,
a message delivered in song. The first one was sent to Rudy
Vallee in the '20s. I don't know who the messenger was.
In the eastern cities, sometimes singing telegrams are insults.
You may have seen bits on TV or in movies of a gorilla on
someone's doorstep singing an insulting parody to someone
or throwing a pie in someone's face. But here in the Midwest,
they are delivered in a multiple of costumes, good singing,
good scripts and a real effort to provide high-class entertainment!
Q: What are the average costs?
may be hard to arrive at an average. They range from $75.00
to $125.00 and vary in price from male to female performers,
week-day to week-end and standard to specialty. Our prices
are medial - not cheap and not out of line, either.
Q: What does one cost?
prices for standard grams are, $90.00, delivered free within
10 miles of Downtown, a $10.00 parking fee for DT, travel
fees beyond the 10-mile limit, a fee before 0700 and after
2300 hours, prime-time driving (stop & go @ 5/10 mph)
between 0700/0900 and 1600/1800 hours. Female specialties
like Yvonne, the belly dancer, Fifi, the upstairs maid,
Elvis, modest strippers and other similar grams start at
$150.00 and up.
Q: What do you provide with
a standard gram?
one of the 45/50 standard costumes, at least one song (usually
happy birthday) one toast, a hat and horn and the telegram
with your wishes on it. If it's a retirement, transfer or
promotion, you can pick other songs. If you pick a song
that's not in our repertoire, give us the time to get it
from the library and if it's brand new or unknown to our
performers, there is a small fee to learn it. If there is
more than one recipient, we have a fee for the extra hats
& horns but a modest one.
Q: Do you have other entertainment
besides the standard grams?
We have impersonators for some of the well-known actors
and singers and may need a little time to provide for those
lesser known. Also, we have clowns, magicians, artists,
palm readers, caricature artists, handwriting analysts,
fortune tellers and many, many more. Just call and ask.
Q: How does one get into the
field as a performer?
in with the agencies and find out who is hiring. There is
a constant turn-over and they are always looking for good
did you get started?
I've been a barbershop quartette singer
for over 50 years and a practicing Toastmaster for about
the same length of time and I applied for work at a franchised
agency not knowing what it was all about. Because I was
considerably older than the usual college theater majors,
I got the birthdays for the 50/60 group but as they had
turnovers and some big week-ends, I soon got a chance at
every character in the field. It wasn't long before I was
handling 15 grams a week! I began putting my own costumes
together as some of theirs were out-dated, worn and cheap
and since the agency didn't seem to care if we performed
in an out-standing manner or simply minimum, I began working
for myself. That was over 10 years ago and since then, I've
found other performers in other states who have left the
same agency to found their own agencies. It doesn't take
long to sense you're not wanted, regardless of the amount
of cash you turn in to the boss or how many kudos you get
from your customers!
Q: How do we pay for the grams?
Can we charge?
can take your order on any of the major credit cards and
put the entire amount of the bill, including the tip, and
process it the same day.
Q: What if you don't show
never failed to show up for a performance but we have been
given work by people who ordered a gram from another company
and had a no-show! When you place an order with us, you
get a professional act from costumes to singing to scripting.
Q: How large an area do you
of our work is in the 9-county metro area but we have traveled
to Fargo, Duluth, Eau Claire, LaCrosse, Madison, Rochester,
Mason City and Sioux Falls. There is travel fees for those
distances, of course.
Q: How much notice do you
get 75% of our work from Friday to Sunday nights so to get
a guarantee for a particular act, it's in your best interest
to book a few days in advance but on many occasions during
the week, we can take an order for the next day and maybe
for that same day - with a small fee for the performer to
compensate for dropping everything to put on a gorilla suit!
you provide service at schools as well as businesses?
course. It is a good idea, though, to advise the school
office of the gram and the type of character and get the
permission from the employee's supervisor or company owner
at all times. No one likes to find out a principal or CEO
is miffed at not being informed.
all your acts above-board?
Even the modes strips are tastefully handled.
For any questions not dealt with, please call our office
and ask. We're open 24/7 for your convenience.