Monday, March 16, 2009

The Worst Places for Singing Telegrams

Don't do a singing telegram at the Oregon state capitol. Apparently the powers that be won't let you come in if you're there to do a singing telegram. A certain representative's birthday was last week and his team wanted to surprise him. We decided on the female pirate to tease the (relatively) young representative. I had my contact make sure latex balloons were allowed in the capitol (our treated balloons stay up for a week or more; it would have been awful had I accidently released one in the rotunda--tempting, but no). As it turns out, the latex balloons could enter the capitol but I couldn't. My contact and a couple of his team members videoed my schtick on the capitol steps. It went well I think. I hope the Representative enjoyed the tiny me singing to him. So remember, the state capitol is too dignified for happy things.

You also have to watch out for banks. I suppose the people in banks have good reason; they have to be alert for suspicious characters. And when doing a singing telegram, we really do look strange. Anyway, my husband recently performed four singing telegrams at banks. Could the people in the banks try harder to avoid looking at him? The people receiving the singing telegrams were laughing but their cohorts acted as if they were very--and I mean, very--busy. To be fair though, the employees of two out of four banks had senses of humor. One branch was inside a grocery store--those employees had a good time, and the other was a regular branch filled with good-natured employees. I may have to take my business there; I like happy people.

Although most restaurants don't have a problem with singing telegrams, be cautious with those that have "atmosphere." Olive Garden once told my husband to be quieter. He was disturbing those around him. Um, yes, that would be the point. And it's not like a singing telegram lasts 20 minutes or longer (3-5 minutes). Of course, I was once doing a singing telegram in the foyer of Olive Garden (Friday night, very crowded) and the employees didn't seem to mind then. Maybe it was too crowded to actually reach me. (And for the record, we love eating at Olive Garden).

Another bad place for singing telegrams is at children's play places, and the singing telegram is for a child. Yes, we have done singing telegrams for kids--it's not the best idea. I did it at a party at a playground. The child and his friends wanted to...PLAY. We did it for a 2-year-old--bad mistake--at a children's museum. The 2-year-old and the little friends cried. They also wanted to go PLAY. (Doing a singing telegram for young children only makes the performer look bad--avoid that. We now do them for 16 and up, only).

That would be the top four places where one should not perform singing telegrams. And there are exceptions to everything, of course. But basically, there you have it.


  1. Good advise for us all! I hadn't thought of singing telegrams in quite a while. That must be tons of fun!

  2. Only if the person you're delivering the telegram to has a sense of humor. Sometimes people pay for a singing telegram because they're trying to get their serious co-worker to smile. Unless that serious co-worker smiles on a regular basis, we certainly aren't going to get them laughing.