At least they can be a headache for the stuntmen, but they aren’t a headache for us. For whatever the reason, this seems to be the summer of the Wild West. At Lewis Events we provide parties and special events around most any theme, or no theme at all. Pirates, Fifties, Hollywood, International Holiday, Wild West, Sports or just plain pull out the stops, over the top fancy . . . the list goes on. However, this summer we have fielded requests for an abnormally high proportion of western themed events and entertainment. Go figure! Recently we participated in a western themed, company picnic at the beautiful Heritage Park in Santa Fe Springs. The picnic included a variety of elements: Gold panning, cowboy stunt show, Native American dance review, trick roping /bullwhip show, cowboy jail, arts and crafts, tons of great food, photo area, virtual calf roping, face painting and more. Here’s a few noteworthy snapshots from this eclectic western adventure.
In August Christy and Jay were invited to provide the pre-concert entertainment for the “Country in the City” summer concert series in Century City, sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation and KCRW Radio. They performed for three consecutive Saturdays at the beautiful Century Plaza Towers, culminating with the final concert featuring Wynonna Judd and the Noise. The series consisted of country western musicians, so they wanted the pre-show entertainment to fit the western theme. Christy spun her trickropes and cracked the bullwhip, while Jay spun guns and cracked the whip for the crowds that filled the plaza. The pre-show also featured Joel Ward, a fantastic magician that mesmerized the guests with his close up magic illusions.
Jay said that they received quite a bit of attention from show attendees, as guns, whips and lariats are not a common sight in Century City these days. He said that the most difficult part of the entire experience was getting the guns through the security checkpoint.
On Friday July 25, 2014, Melinda and Christy Lewis were featured performing their trick roping talents on the KTLA Morning News with Gayle Anderson. They appeared to promote the Autry National Center, where the family performed on Saturday July 26th for the National Day of the Cowboy and Cowgirl. Another fun morning in front of the camera, this time at the Autry Museum. Thanks Gayle for a great time! Link to Christy and Melinda Trick Roping. The 4th and 3rd videos down in the series are Christy and Melinda’s best.
Check out Emily, Melinda, Christy and Jay spinning their ropes and cracking the whip on Fox 11’s Good Day LA, Thursday July 24, 2014! Our appearance was to promote the Autry National Center, where we appeared on Saturday July 26th for the National Day of the Cowboy and Cowgirl. We had a lot of fun taping the segment and the crew was amazing! Thanks to Mar Yvette, Fox 11’s food and fun expert for being such a wonderful host. See it here on Fox 11 Good Day LA. Be sure to scroll down the link page to the video section.Our section of the video begins at 1 minute 40 seconds. A huge thanks and photo credit to Daniel Perez for the amazing photographs included in this post.
Christy Lewis had a great time trick roping at the South Pasadena High School Homecoming game. Check out the video:
Western events will always be popular as a theme for parties and events. While other themes have come and gone, the old west has stood the test of time. The cowboy and American West celebrated individualism, freedom and showcased the untamed, breathtaking, wide open spaces of America. Respect for the cowboy and the mystique of the western frontier have survived for generations.
So, you have decided to host a party with a western theme. Whether you have a large budget or a modest budget, there are a couple key elements not to miss. You’ll most likely want music, and have the choice between a band, DJ or your personal sound system. You’ll also want a mouth watering menu, whether it’s from a caterer, a drop-off or pick-up from your favorite restaurant or do-it-yourself. Don’t forget that barrel full of iced sarsaparillas. One thing you won’t want to overlook in establishing your western theme, is a professional trick roper that can serve as an important party focal point.
And what is it that a trick roper does, you may ask? When cowboys were not working and had a bit of extra time, they would make up tricks while spinning their lariat or lasso. A trick roper is an entertainer that performs these tricks.
As with any performer, it is important that a good choice is made. So, what makes a great trick roper? Here are a few considerations:
- Talent-Do they possess adequate trick roping skills?
- Professional-Are they an experienced performer?
- Versatility-Do they have talents besides roping that can be useful at the party? (whip cracking, gun spinning, line dance instruction, group games, MC or announcing)
- Personality-Do they interact well and communicate enthusiastically with guests?
- Fun-Are they having fun and do they help the guests have fun.
- Attire-Do they appear in a clean western outfit in the proper theme (old west, contemporary, rhinestone cowboy)?
- Appearance-Are they well groomed?
Occasionally we meet performers that have a great stage presence and show skills, but they do not have up-close, personal, people and communication skills that enable them to mingle effectively with guests. They were uncomfortable in a party or special event setting. On the other hand there are people with positive people skills that did not have the talent to present a convincing or entertaining act.
At an event, a versatile performer can fulfill a variety of roles to help contribute to the success of the party or event. By bringing in an entertainer with multiple talents and one who can serve in a variety of functions, you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck. Your performer can also serve as the “centerpiece” or the “main attraction” and be the glue that holds the party theme together. Can they:
- Greet Guests-The performer can do rope tricks and verbally welcome guests as they arrive, thereby establishing the theme from the beginning.
- Teach-Demonstrate and teach a basic trick roping skills. Guests generally enjoy interactive games and activities.
- MC-Are they comfortable holding a microphone and speaking in front of the guests?
- Games-Can they help run games and activities?
- Performing-Can they provide a stage act? Can they serve as atmosphere entertainment, mingling with the guests?
- Dancing-Can they teach and lead line or square dancing?
In order to host an amazing party that will be long remembered, a fair amount effort on the part of the host will bring positive results. An event with even a limited budget can be a huge success. A big part of that success will depend on bringing together the best elements available. Talent is a huge part of that party formula. So, find an amazing, well rounded, talented, western cowboy or cowgirl trick roper and the rest will be history. You’ll be the hero as you ride into the sunset. Giddy up!
If you are considering hosting a party or special event, and would like a little help, or someone just to share a few ideas, give Lewis Events a call at (626-536-8091) or email them through www.Trickroper.org. They have a variety of amazing, world class western entertainers from which to choose, or they can customize a program to meet your needs. Lewis Events was established in 1996 and provides entertainment services worldwide. Jay Lewis is co-owner of Lewis Events.
Would you like to use this article in your website, E-zine or publication? Please feel free to do so as long as you inform the author by email and include the following complete information: Leading Event Planner, Entertainment Guru, Entrepreneur, Creative Speaker, and Proud Dad, Jay Lewis is co-owner of Lewis Events. His informative Special Event and Entertainment articles can be found at LewisEvents on Facebook, and the websitesTrickroper.org and LivingHistoryShows.com.