Think back to 2012, the summer when we celebrated the diamond jubilee, and the UK hosted the Olympics.
A clueless 19yr-old circus nerd had just finished working the summer as a holiday camp rep. I wanted to continue doing what I loved (entertaining) but be surrounded by my friends and family at home. Sadly there wasn’t any chance of Leeds being on the coastline anytime soon, so I had to think outside the box.
A friend passed on a booking to me to entertain at a kid’s party on a steam train. I used a nickname from childhood, and Nicky Noodles Entertainment was born. I had no idea what it would snowball into and where it would take me over the next ten years.
So I got to work, designed my logo and got in touch with The Princes Trust to get help launching my new business, Face painting, entertaining and stilt walking.
I used my experience from the holiday park, circus skills and working festivals to get any and every booking possible, and before I knew it, things were taking off.
I wanted to travel and experience the world, which I took in 2014 when I got to teach circus skills at YMCA camp whittle. I made many treasured memories and a lifelong friend with whom I’m still close today.
Not long after, I figured I needed a “Real” Job and started working at a soft play centre in Harrogate. This Job taught me how not to do kid’s parties, and I hated how little they cared about the kids themselves. They just wanted to fit in as many parties as possible and kick them out.
By 2016, I’d had enough and decided to go full-time as a kids entertainer and never looked back!
I worked hard, trained my skills and face painted non-stop throughout the summer with the Sneaky experience outdoor cinema.
Followed by many festivals up and down the country with Angel Gardens in 2017.
By the end, I was exhausted, and my back couldn’t take any more of the hours of face painting lines.
I had the stupid idea again that I needed a “proper” job to move on with my career.
I went to college to study media make-up with the hope I could do it professionally at theatres or films.
But instead, I realised I didn’t want to grow up. Kids are far more fun to work with, and this new path wasn’t right for me.
At the end of that year, I got booked at the Apple of My Pie Party Venue and instantly fell in love with it; this is where I wanted to be.
It had all but run into the ground, and the owner presented an opportunity I had to grab, and in 2018 I took it over.
It came with many challenges, and I put my heart and soul into rebuilding the brand and even the building!
We moved into an ex-pub building and transformed it into my dream business. We created many happy memories for kids all over the area.
COVID-19 had different plans. In 2020 I had to walk away from it with no alternative income.
But it was a blessing in disguise, and I’d just had a beautiful baby boy, so I put all my energy into creating a new family home for us all (that didn’t leak). So I took a break from Children’s Entertainment throughout the pandemic.
In 2021, It was all or nothing time. I would give it my all to start fresh or entirely step away from the industry.
Luckily I found Kids Entertainer Academy and like-minded people who had struggled and understood my situation. They helped and gave me the tools I needed to push my business like never before.
And all my hard work paid off, and I’ve had my busiest year EVER. I hosted kid’s parties every weekend and created magical memories wherever I went.
It’s been a fantastic experience, and I’ve smashed all my expectations this year.
While looking back over the last 10 years, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude to everyone who’s supported me along the way.
It’s been so difficult and a rollercoaster ride.
I love my job so much; without you, it wouldn’t have been possible to be where I am today.
So raise a glass and celebrate my journey with me!
I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years bring.
If you managed to read to the end, thank you so much, I’d love it if you could leave a comment to say Hi!
Love & Laughter,