Children's Entertainer to Celebrate One Year in West Goshen
● By Kevin
West Goshen resident Dan Freed, also known as The Amazing Spaghetti, will celebrate his one-year anniversary living in the Keystone State. He moved to Pennsylvania in August 2014, but his career has had a long and storied past.
Freed went to art school in Columbus and after graduating in 1990. He started out doing quick caricatures at a summer-long festival in Columbus. From there, he started doing caricatures at private parties. Soon, requests for other artists started pouring in, so he started booking them, as well.
His business took an interesting turn when he realized people were confusing his advertisements of caricatures for costumed characters. Among requests were Barney and Power Rangers.
"So I thought, why not book them as well?" he said, recalling his decision to start a family oriented agency in Columbus for the next decade. "Early on I figured that I could do clowning as well or better than the people I was booking, it seemed fun, and I'd make more money, so I taught myself how to do that and was successful."
He also started performing as various characters such as a cowboy sheriff, pirate and superheroes. He also did comedy surprise telegrams as a variety of characters, like the grim reaper.
"That got to be too much with everything else I was doing so I just started to perform as a magician only (The Amazing Spaghetti)," he said.
He later started a party equipment rental business, selling moon bounces, dunk tanks and more. He even had a retail costume and magic shop, all at the same time. When that got to be a bit too much in 2005, he closed up shop and moved to Eugene, Ore., as a part of a transfer at his wife's place of business.
She was transferred again in 2014, and the family now lives in West Goshen. He now focuses on children's entertainment and party caricatures.
"As the Amazing Spaghetti I do any combination of comedy magic for kids of all ages and families, ventriloquism with cute animal puppets, balloon twisting, caricatures for parties and events for adults or kids, and a little game leading and face painting," he said. "I do company picnics, birthdays, festivals, etc. I do entertainment for any kind of event in Chester County and nearby areas."
We asked Freed a few questions about the experience of being a children's entertainer. He was kind enough to answer them, as well as provide us a photo gallery.
West Chester & Chadds Ford Life: Where
did you come up with the name and concept for the Amazing Spaghetti? Was this
always your stage name, or is this recent?
Dan Freed: I changed to The Amazing Spaghetti around 12 years ago because I
wanted a silly but memorable name that kids would like. It's a take off on
those old school magician names.
seems as though you've done this in many different areas throughout your
career. Could you differentiate between the various places you've worked? How
is living/working in the Philly area different than Columbus or other places
Freed: I started doing gigs around 92' in Columbus, then moved to Eugene
Oregon in 05' for my wife's job, then moved here in August, also for my wife's
job. Eugene had a small town feel though the county has around 250,000 people.
I had a fair amount of work there, but not as much as Columbus or here. Eugene
was a smaller less populated market, and wasn't as into hiring entertainers as
much as the other markets. In Oregon I traveled a lot, doing the bigger gigs up
to 2 hours away such as in Portland, Salem, etc. Here I don't need to travel as
much, I find enough work within 40 minutes of West Chester, I do lots of
parties in West Chester, Exton, Chester Springs, the northern part of Wilmington
DE, etc. I get lots of requests for gigs in Jersey but so far I turn them
the most special/best part of your job?
Freed: Getting kids to laugh a lot and experience the fun of in person
entertainment. Kids are so plugged in to electronics and high tech animated
movies but they don't experience high quality live entertainment enough - it's
a whole different experience. Kids love those Pixar movies, and they are great,
but they aren't going to laugh nearly as much and have as much fun as seeing a
good interactive entertainer for kids.
WCCFL: Talk more about your pursuit of teaching. Is this the next step for you?
Freed: I won't ever stop doing entertainment. I stopped in 05-07 because
I got a sales job when I moved to Oregon and wanted to have my weekends free to
be with my family. But I didn't feel like myself. It wasn't what I do best. So
even if I teach full or part time I'll still do as many gigs as I can. And I'd
have my summers available. I did do some substitute teaching in Oregon - I had
my teachers license there, but I'm getting a PA one soon.
WCCFL: What do you do for fun?
Freed: I do oil painting for fun (http://www.saatchiart.com/account/artworks/174970), and I used to do a lot of group improv comedy (like on Who's Line is it Anyway) for fun, I was really into it. I was even in a professional group in Columbus for about 10 minutes, literally. I'll get back into it here soon. I have 2 kids, 8 and 11, and I'm married, so I spend a lot of time with them.
us one or two of your favorite memories doing what you do over the years.
Freed: I just remember when certain shows go especially well, when
everything is working even better than usual, all the audience is having a
blast non-stop, even more than usual. And I remember the weird gigs and the
nightmare ones, though I'd like to forget them. One time i did a show for a big
group at a preschool and there was a girl in the audience who's father was a
police officer that had been murdered on the job recently. I knew her family,
my wife is friends with them. After the show I found out the girl said she
wanted to be a magician and the show made her very happy.
For more information, visit Freed's Facebook page, or call 610-717-2986.