I don't have a lot of interaction with adults at parties. I'm not saying that's a good or a bad thing, it's just how it is. They take part in a magic trick and a game but outside of the show itself very little. Most conversations are started with a question and the list of total questions I've been asked over the years is surprisingly small. Here are my top 5 questions asked by adults at children's parties. "You were great, please can I have a card," isn't included as that's asked multiple times at every party........ok fine, maybe it isn't but there was one time back in 1879.
Do You Like Kate Bush?
At various times during the party I mention Kate Bush. I do a disturbing impression of Kate singing Wuthering Heights as a pre-cursor to musical statues and when the party ends I pack away to some of her greatest hits. When I get asked this, it can sometimes be difficult to tell if they're being ironic, genuine or awkwardly asking the first question that springs to mind. I'm happy to be asked for those or any other reasons. Over the years I've had some lovely conversations with fellow fans at parties about all things Kate. My almost 18 year old is forever telling me that no one knows who Kate Bush is, solely based on her low Instagram fan base. I know the truth, Kate is adored by countless fans around the world and I'm proud to be one of them!
Do You Do Entertainment For Adults As Well?
This is my favourite question due to the answer I give almost every single time. "It's the exact same show, I'm just naked!" This is delivered with a completely straight face. Now I obviously need to be very careful who I say this to as I don't want to offend anyone. As it's turned out, I've felt that everyone that's asked wouldn't be offended with the answer. There have been three reactions to this:
The open mouthed, long stare of awkwardness. This goes on for a few seconds before I tell them that I've never had a booking and / or that I'm joking. They always look soooo relieved.
The scream laugh. Imagine someone extra ticklish being rigorously tickled by an octopus with 8 feathers. It's normally that or a loud snort.
The excited / eyes widening look followed by an interested "Really?" This happened once and it freaked me out so much I blurted out "I'm joking" and left very quickly.
What's Your Real Name?
Maybe it's slightly delusional but I feel I AM Mr Banana Head. What I mean by this is that I don't feel I'm putting on a mask at parties or being someone completely alien to me. How I interact with children at parties is the same way I do with them anywhere. Being Mr Banana Head somehow gives me permission to be braver and a bit more cheeky with adults than usual. I ad-lib all the time at parties and whilst some of them result in tumbleweed moments, others are met with big laughter. Bottom line, I can be really quick witted at parties, away from them.....not so much. My answer to the question above is always, "Mr Banana Head," complete with a slightly puzzled look as if to say, "What else would it be?" Sometimes they persist and I have to tell them my secret name which is P**l.
What Do You Do During the Week?
99% of people assume I'm Mr Banana Head part time. When I reply that I'm a full time Banana Head adults always say the same thing in return: "Oh, I thought you'd be working as a **** during the week." The **** is always either an:
The reason for these completely random guesses is that they assume it will be something completely different to being a children's entertainer. They never guess any of my preferred professions when growing up which were footballer, stuntman and reptile keeper at London Zoo. I'd still love to work at the reptile house now if they'd have me. Saying that I am always misplacing things so there would be a possibility the Indian Cobra, Puff Adder and Anaconda end up having a slither outside. I'll stick to being a Banana Head for everyone's sake.
How Did You Do That?
This is asked after witnessing my very silly magic, not after miming to Wuthering Heights or dancing on one leg whilst balancing a cup of water on my head. Being a member of the prestigious Banana Head Magic Circle I politely explain that I can't divulge any secrets. Most people smile and accept that. Some however ask again and again, expecting me to tell all. I would never risk being kicked out of the B.H.M.C by spilling the beans. I take my magic oath very seriously so nothing would tempt me to talk. What's that, you'll buy me a Kate Bush poster? Done, I've got an identical twin brother, an extending neck and own three aardvarks. Don't tell anyone else.
Thank you for listening / reading / crying, see you soon. Before I go I have to mention the question that is asked by the birthday child's parent(s) at every single party. "Would you like a cup of tea / coffee?" The answer's no as I've NEVER drunk either and never will. #waterrules