- What exactly is a singing telegram?
A singing telegram is a customized, in-person message delivery performance that's fun and unforgettable. Singing telegrams are more than just a quick song; they are highly interactive comedy and musical acts. Usually, the entertainer comes as a character, like a cop, a nurse, a gorilla in a tutu, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, and so on, although we also offer the Classic Tuxedoed Messenger or the Elegant Lady for a simple, classic delivery. The entertainers banter and do a comedy skit, interacting with the recipient and the crowd. The act builds to a special song or two for the occasion. They then lead the audience in a familiar tune together, such as “Happy Birthday” or “He’s a Jolly Good Fellow,” depending on the celebration. They pose for pictures, and end the show by delivering a card with a special message from you, as well as a party hat and a kazoo. We can also present your telegram in a more elegant style for a romantic occasion, or to delivery sympathy or Get Well Soon wishes. Whatever you choose, we'll make sure your act is tasteful and one to remember!
- How long is the performance?
Singing telegrams are usually around 10 minutes in length. Depending on the character, and how interactive the audience and recipient are, they could be a little longer or a little shorter. We make sure to include our full routine with every telegram, and love to banter with the crowd! Believe us, when you’re the recipient in the “hot seat,” 10 minutes feels like a looooooong time!
- Where can you do a singing telegram?
All of our performances are family-oriented and safe for work. We go to all types of places: offices, restaurants, community centers, schools, homes, etc. Please just make sure that you have permission from the establishment (especially schools and restaurants) and that there’s a contact person on-site for the performer.
- When can you do a singing telegram?
Our entertainers work 365 days a year, and generally are available from 9am-11pm. To see who is available at the time you want, simply enter the location in the search area on the home page. You'll get a list of performers, and can set your filters for the date and time you want. Or, if your schedule is flexible, you can click on each performer and click "Book Now" to see their availability.
- How does the entertainer find the recipient?
It’s super important that there’s a contact person on site. You will need to provide that person’s name and phone number through the order form, and the entertainer will use them to coordinate on finding the victim, er, we mean, recipient once they arrive at the venue.
In the event that you can't provide a contact person, such as if we are surprising a person at home alone, then we will need you to make sure the person will be home at the given time and we will ring the doorbell. Some telegram senders have told the recipient that a package is coming and they need to be home to accept it. You can add a note in the order form for any special delivery instructions.
- What is the role of the contact person?
The contact person needs to be on-site and reachable by the entertainer when they arrive at the venue. The entertainer will call or text the contact person when they arrive at the location, or find them via other delivery instructions (such as checking in at the front desk or hostess stand). The contact person helps coordinate the show; for example, at an office, they would gather the audience when the entertainer is arriving. They can also help direct the entertainer to the recipient if the location is tricky or they need someone to escort them in. If we're a Gorilla in a Tutu arriving at a restaurant, for example, every table will want us to stop for pictures; we'll need the contact person to bring us straight to the party in question.
- What kind of personal info about the recipient do you need?
We do our best to customize each performance by incorporating personal info about the recipient into our banter. The entertainers work these tidbits into their act to make it feel that much more special. Information that works well includes: nicknames, hobbies, quirks, funny anecdotes, inside jokes, likes, dislikes, anything they might be famous for, anything you want to honor or acknowledge them for, details about family life or pets, details about career, favorite sports teams, etc. Just tell us the facts, and we'll make up jokes and work them into the routine.
- What cities and metro areas do you serve?
We currently serve Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Houston, and Las Vegas metro areas. Search results will show you those closest to your location, as well as entertainers who can travel to your location (travel fees may apply). We will soon be launching in Dallas, Denver, DC, Miami, Tampa, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, Portland, San Fransisco and more. We already have contacts in all of these cities, so feel free to give us a call and we'll see what we can do!
- What is the "arrival window"?
Performers need at least a 1-hour window for their arrival time to your event or special occasion. If you have more flexibility on timing, you’ll see more options in the search results. The entertainers really appreciate longer arrival windows. For example, if you’re sending a telegram to an office and you know the recipient will be there all afternoon, you can set a longer arrival window, like 1-4pm. If you'll need to have the recipient or guests in place for when the entertainer walks in, just include a note and we'll make sure to communicate our exact ETA with the contact person on site.
For dinner reservations, we suggest your arrival window starts at least a 30 minutes after your reservation, so that you can get seated and place your orders before the entertainer arrives. If you're having a party, we recommend having the arrival window start 1-2 hours after your party starts so that your guests have time to arrive and get settled in, or 30 minutes-1 hour after your party starts for children's parties. Remember, guests are often late and you don’t want to have your entertainer arrive before everyone is seated!
We recognize that there are sometimes circumstances where it’s not possible to give a full hour arrival window. In those cases, it’s important to message the entertainers through the website to confirm that a shorter arrival window will work for them. You can also call us to discuss your special request.
- Are there additional travel fees?
Many of our entertainers are willing to travel beyond their regular service area (20-mile radius) for a modest fee. We assess the fee at $2 per mile beyond 20 miles, with a minimum fee of $10.
- What is the Cancellation and Rescheduling Policy?
Cancellation and Rescheduling Policy
We recognize that sometimes plans change and we will do our best to be flexible. That said, we do need to honor that our entertainers are professionals and are in demand. When the entertainers accept a booking, they block their schedules, and that means that they aren’t available at that time for other bookings.
When the order status is “Pending,” you can make changes to the booking information or the date and time (pending availability). You can also cancel with no fee.
When the order status is “Confirmed” and you want to cancel, our policy takes into account how much advance notice you’ve given.
Up until the time of the show, you can make changes to any info (i.e. contact person, card message, etc.) that does not affect the location, timing, or character choice.
With 48+ hours notice, rescheduling and cancellation is possible, with no fee. Please note if changing the date or time, we will do our best, but we cannot guarantee availability.
With 24-48 hours notice, you can:
Reschedule the same character for no fee, for any time the character is available.
Pay a 50% character cancellation fee to cancel. Pre-paid tips, add-on gift charges, and travel fees are refunded.
With less than 24 hours notice, you can:
Reschedule the same character for no fee, for any time the character is available.
Cancel with no refund on the cost of the character, and no refund for the add-on gift charges. Pre-paid tips and travel fees are refunded.
- The character I ordered is not available; what can I do now?
We do our best to make sure that search results show only characters that are actually available at the specific time you’re trying to book. Occasionally, schedules change last minute, or the performer gets booked right at the same time you’re trying to book. In that case, we offer you options for other characters who are available. You can also choose to cancel and get a refund.
- What is your tipping policy?
Just like with any other service, tipping is voluntary. It is customary to tip entertainers similar to how you tip a restaurant server. Most people give a 15-20% gratuity, but again, it’s up to your discretion. For your convenience, you have the option to pre-pay the tip via credit card at the time you place the order. You are also free to tip in person with cash. 100% of your tip will go to the performer (we cover the credit card fees ourselves).
- How much advance notice do I need to give in order to book?
The more advance notice you give, the more performers and characters will be available for you. We do our absolute best to accommodate same-day and next-day orders, and you can place same-day orders with at least three hours notice. Searching for your location and arrival window will show you all of the options that are available. You can book out as far in advance as you would like. If you search very far in advance, performers may not have their schedules posted, resulting in few results. In those instances, please call us and we will help you to book your ideal entertainer.
- Do the entertainers bring their own equipment?
Most of the characters perform a capella, so they don’t require any special equipment. If the entertainer does need music, they will bring everything they need. If you have a really large crowd and want everyone to be able to hear, we recommend that you provide a microphone for the entertainer. Some characters do have props to make their act extra fun, and we always bring a party hat, kazoo, and a card with your special message to deliver to the recipient.
- Will the performer and costume be exactly as pictured?
Unlike other singing telegram companies, when you book with Singing Telegrams Now, the photos of the characters in the site are the actual performers in their actual costumes. Occasionally there might be slight differences (a different colored boa, the actor got a haircut, etc.) but you can rest assured that you’re getting the person you saw online!
- Can the entertainer bring flowers, balloons, or other add-ons?
Absolutely! We offer flowers and balloons that you can add right on the order form. The entertainers can also present your gifts or a cake you arrange, so long as you or the contact person give the item to the performer when they arrive on site.
- What songs do you do? Can I request a song?
We have original, novelty songs for all occasions. They are quite funny and cute, if we do say so ourselves! We also sing a well-known song for the occasion, such as "Happy Birthday" or "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow." Some characters, like celebrity-inspired acts, do famous songs for which the celebrity is known, such as “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” for Marilyn or “Hound Dog” for Elvis. While we can’t guarantee that the entertainer will know or be able to do a special request song, we always try our best. You can include your request in the "additional notes" section of your order form. Usually if there’s enough advance notice, they are happy to do your request.
- Can I take photos or video of the performance?
Of course! We would love for you to post them online and tag us! @SingingTelegramsNow in all the usual spots--Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Can someone video the performance for me?
At this time we don’t offer video services, but we do allow you to take your own video. If you do, please post them and tag us! @SingingTelegramsNow in all the usual spots--Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Can I pay in cash at the time of delivery?
Singing Telegrams Now is the only on-demand, instant booking singing telegram service in the world (and possibly the universe!) and as such, we can only accept online payments via credit card at the time of booking. You are welcome to tip your performer in cash.
- Can I have two or more entertainers perform together?
Each act is its own self-contained package. If you want more than one character, we recommend you book them to arrive back to back. If you want them to perform together, you can book two entertainers for the same arrival window, but you would then need to message them each to confirm that they can arrive at the same time within that window and to coordinate a shared performance. As performers from the same city, they may or may not have worked together before, and may or may not be able to fulfill your request.
- Will the entertainers do anything lewd or crude? Is it safe for work?
All of our shows are family-friendly and safe for work. Our entertainers do not use profanity, nor do they make any off-color jokes or touch anyone inappropriately. Depending on the character, they may occasionally use innuendo or make more mature jokes, but it’s all in good fun, and no one should feel icky about anything. If you need an act to be ultra-clean or conservative, make sure you communicate that in the order form, and be sure to message your performer though the site.
- What guarantee do I have that the entertainer will show up?
We carefully screen all of our talent and we only work with only reliable, professional entertainers. This is their livelihood, and they love what they do! Your entertainers will definitely show up and do a stellar job. You can count on us to deliver!
Entertainers aim to get to the location on the early side of the arrival window, but sometimes the traffic is worse than expected, or the telegram before yours has an issue arise, and the performer could be delayed. If that happens, they will be in touch and let you know what’s going on. On the very rare occasion that an entertainer can’t make it (due a car accident, a snowstorm, an illness, or other unexpected event), we will communicate as soon as is possible. There are always situations that are beyond our control, but the performer will call you, and we’ll do our best to find you a replacement. If it’s not possible, you will, of course, be fully refunded and offered a discount on a future booking.
- Can I send a singing telegram for any occasion?
Pretty much, yes! Singing telegrams are awesome for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, promotions, holidays, retirement parties, get-well-soon, or just because. If you can send a greeting card, you can send a singing telegram. We are in the business of spreading joy! That means we are happy to deliver singing telegrams for positive occasions, and even as an apology, but we don’t do mean or angry telegrams. We won’t do any “screw you” type telegrams for ex-bosses, ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, etc.
- How do I make a special request for the entertainer to say or do something specific?
You can add any requests to your booking on the order form under “additional notes." Please be aware that our performers will not do anything lewd or crude.
All of our acts contain comedy or elegant routines; 2-3 songs; delivery of a card with a message from you, a party hat, and a kazoo; and time for pictures. The performer will also incorporate any personal details you include on the order form by making jokes, asking questions, or weaving them into the banter. You do not need to write any script or provide extensive details about what you would like the performer to do. We find the more you let the performer have fun and improvise with the act on site, the more fun the recipient will have!
If you have a request for a special song, you can include it here. We can't guarantee any special song requests, especially for last-minute telegrams, but the performer will do their best.
- How do I make changes to an order?
Go to “My Bookings” and click “Edit”. You can make changes to any of the info there. If you need to make a scheduling change, our ability to accommodate it depend on performer availability. Please see our rescheduling and cancellation policy for more details.
- How do I communicate with my entertainer before the show?
Go to “My Bookings” and click on the "Message" button. There, you can start chatting with your entertainer. We don’t give out our entertainer’s phone numbers, but you can use the messaging system on the site to ask them to call you.