While the focus of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration is the guest of honor, don’t forget to honor the guests who came to celebrate with you! With Atlanta families hosting friends and relatives from across the country, and sometimes around the globe, it’s becoming increasingly popular to create experiences that make everyone in attendance feel special. We spoke with three Mitzvah vendors offering guest-centric entertainment:
What does everyone love to talk about? Themselves! Jan Levie, owner of Handy Entertainment, provides fortune telling, handwriting analysis, LipsReadings™, Tarot card readings, and more to families looking to give Mitzvah guests a personalized experience.
Jan customizes the experience to the unique interests and preferences of the Mitzvah child and his or her family, and is especially adept at creating comfortable interactions for those with sensory differences and learning disabilities.
Whether Handy Entertainment performs LipsReadings™ or Chocolate LipsReadings™ (guests apply handmade chocolate ganache to their lips and kiss a themed card for analysis) or shows guests what their palms reveal, they receive upbeat, positive messages that offer insights into their personalities and lives.
Fans of the movie Big will be thrilled by Handy Entertainment’s version, Zoltar Fortune Teller Booth! A live fortune teller interacts with guests from inside an arcade game shell with an LED remote-controlled light panel, custom colors and themes, and a secret door for delivering prizes or gifts to guests. Handy Entertainment also offers a staffed high res photo booth, customized with backdrops to fit the event theme, with unlimited downloads and custom add-ons. “Many tell me that what we offer seems magical,” Jan says. “And that’s exactly the way we want guests to feel.”
Air Illustrations is primarily known for airbrush tattoos and face painting, which can be customized to suit any Mitzvah theme. Hair wraps, balloon art and temporary tattoos are also among the entertainment offerings for kids and adults.
But because many Mitzvah mementos end up in a basement closet, Air Illustrations recently launched a new offering that not only creates a wall-worthy keepsake, but gets all guests involved, too. An artist/instructor guides Mitzvah guests through a fingerprint canvas activity, helping them select colors and placement to make a beautiful background. Events coordinator Susan LeMaster explained, “Family and friends lend their hands, literally, to this work of art that represents the many caring hands that have helped to mold and lift up the bar or bat Mitzvah child.”
The activity is a form of entertainment during the celebration that is not only fun, but makes everyone involved feel important. After everyone has completed the background during the party, the artist adds details to finish the painting. The result is a unique and entirely personal piece of art the Mitzvah child can display at home.
While you may have had a caricature artist at your own Bar or Bat Mitzvah back in the day, those sketches bear little resemblance to the digital caricatures created by Tony Brischler of Caricatures by Tony. Digital caricatures combine art, technology and entertainment with the artist working on a tablet. “It’s the only way to get a quick full-color caricature without the mess of traditional materials,” said Tony.
Each guest is made to feel comfortable when they sit for their image. While sketching, Tony’s tablet is connected to a TV or projector so everyone can see the art in progress. “The entertainment factor is huge,” he said. The format is meant to be relaxed and humorous, unlike traditional portraiture, and guests come away with a cartoon likeness of themselves.
“We create 4 x 6 color prints and place them in lanyards so guests can wear them and share them easily,” Tony said. “They don’t get lost or damaged.” Guests can also download a digital version to share through social media or use for photo keepsakes.
Caricatures are a great complement to green screens and photo booths, Tony said, as guests are accustomed to bringing home fun pictures from Mitzvah celebrations. “But giving people artwork created of them and for them is a special way to say thanks for coming.”
Check availability and pricing for any of these specialty entertainment vendors in the Preferred Vendor Directory. Send a contact vendor form and you’ll hear from them right away!
Most Atlanta families are welcoming non-Jewish family members and, at the very least, school and/or work friends who don’t know about much the Bar or Bat Mitzvah service. They may have never set foot in a synagogue before! Here’s are some of the best tips we’ve heard for welcoming and including non-Jews into the experience.