Covid-19 Protocols

Due to the ever-changing status of COVID and its variants, the following protocols are in effect as of this date (11/30/21).

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination for every person 12 years of age and older must be presented upon entering the event.
  • Good, well-fitting surgical or N95 masks are required for any indoor, unventilated areas.
  • All guests and attendees need to have their temperatures taken prior to the event. Any person with a temperature of more than 99 degrees upon arrival at the event cannot attend.
  • A handwashing station with soap and hot water or a hand sanitizer station should be available for everyone.
  • An assistant in Christmas attire should escort the child to Santa and return them back to their parents when the session/visit is over.
  • Children need to stand next to Santa for the photos. Adults need to stand behind Santa for the photos.
  • Face masks must be worn at all times except when eating/drinking or being actually photographed with Santa (children under two years of age are excluded from face mask wearing).
  • Maintain best social distancing from each other and from Santa at all times.

We expect further updates on the CDC’s recommendations to keep us all safe. If you feel you have special circumstances in your venue, feel free to discuss them with a Live Wires’ booker at 206-526-5483 to inquire about exceptions.

Santa Jerry & Merrilee Rush

Santa Jerry with Merrilee Rush at the Neptune Theatre for Apple Entertainment on December 18th.  A fantastic holiday show and love-fest for all!

Merrilee Rush with Santa Jerry @ Neptune Theatre for Apple Entertainment-12-18-2014

The Singing Telegram: Alive & Well in Seattle

In 1933 the singing telegram was invented by Western Union. Telegrams had long been associated with death and bad news and this was an attempt to make them more lighthearted and popular. Singing telegrams went strong until the invention of the telephone and in 1975 Western Union canceled their singing telegram service.

But the old fashioned singing telegrams are still happening in modern times. It's something I was unaware of until my friend Leeni posted on Facebook about a job she had that day that involved dressing up like a yellow chicken.

"I've been a singing gorilla, Britney Spears, I've been Cher, Celine Dion, J-Lo, Jessica Simpson, Amy Winehouse a singing chicken. Someone actually asked me to be Angelina Jolie as Tomb Raider. That was very specific. I was a singing television once."

Read more: The Singing Telegram: Alive & Well in Seattle

Big wigs, fun gigs

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Big wigs, fun gigs become way of life for versatile booking service


Sharon Galloway wouldn't be startled if Zeppo Marx, Snow White, the Blues Brothers and a stripper all emerged arm in arm from behind her Lake City bungalow.

In fact, the 61-year-old actress, who owns and runs the Live Wires booking agency from her home, would be delighted.

The smoky-voiced grandmother is building a costume area inside a new garage, where her stable of 200 actors, singers and dancers can easily pick up company-owned clothing and props as they head out for the roughly 35 gigs a week she arranges for them.

Read more: Big wigs, fun gigs

An Elf's Life: Second Fiddle to the Big Guy

Thursday, December 16, 2004

An elf's life: second fiddle to the big guy
By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Seattle Times staff reporter

They are out there, barely noticed without even the dignity of being behind the scenes, mere day laborers in a winter wonderland.

Yes, Christmas elves are little more than bulbs around Santa's vanity mirror. But it's Christmas time, you say; why shouldn't Santas get all the glory?

Consider this: Who's providing the grunt work? Who's lifting those kids and putting them on all those jolly Santas' laps? "Those useless tubs of lard," growls elf Roger Tompkins in a weak moment. "They get to sit."

Would Santa hoof it through downtown malls with someone dressed as a credit card? Would he parade along Seattle's waterfront for three hours with a sad-looking reindeer?

Elves Robert Linke and Chad Mello, who moonlight as staffers at Issaquah's Cougar Mountain Zoo, look anything but thrilled with their task on a damp December Saturday at Seattle's Pier 55. Both wear green sweatshirts and floppy Christmas hats as part of the Downtown Association's Reindeer Games on the Waterfront.

They're with Holly, a 9-year-old reindeer with shorn antlers and an Eeyore stance. Linke, the zoo's hooved-animal honcho, clutches Holly by the collar; intern Mello wields the pooper-scooper.

Camera-wielding parents stop and pose their kids with the creature while window-seat onlookers admire from the adjacent Starbucks. When what to their horrified eyes should appear, but the sight of one squatting, relief-minded reindeer.


(And where's Santa?)

At one downtown department store, the elf dishing out cookies and hot cider to families queued up — to see you know who — on a frigid afternoon can't even talk to a reporter. "I'm sorry," the jesterlike pixie confides as one of Santa's henchmen intercedes.

Oh, noooo. You can't upstage the old man. "Santa is, like, a deity," says Tompkins, a 55-year-old actor with Seattle talent agency Live Wires.

"We're just the workhorses," says Amanda Geyer, another Live Wires elf, who dresses her part in green bloomers, matching vest and curly-toed shoes. "We're there to make sure everything runs smoothly, to make sure Santa's the star."

The truth is, being an elf isn't all bad. For one thing, as far as personas go, Santa is locked in. Elves have more flexibility — not just physically but artistically.

"The elf is more of an open concept," says Sharon Galloway, who's run Live Wires for 24 years. "You've got more range."

Live Wires sends out Santas, elves and helpers for $130 an hour. Except for large parties, Santa usually flies solo, while elves are dispatched to more menial work — for instance, handing out fliers at malls. Last weekend, Live Wires elves entertained Emerald Downs and the Seattle Tennis Club.

On Thanksgiving weekend, actor Shawn Law (not affiliated with Live Wires) accepted his mission — to wander Westlake Center for six hours with someone dressed as a credit card. A part-time barista, he also stars in Seattle Public Theater's ongoing production of "The Santaland Diaries," an amusing narration of one man's experience as department-store elf.

But for 25 bucks an hour, the part-time barista wasn't bickering about his Westlake gig. "There's a lot of money to be made in ridiculing yourself," he says.

Which is why, in general, elves just suck it up and rise to the occasion. "You do the best you can to entertain people," Tompkins says. "You can be a bridge. ... Santa can be scary to certain kids."

It's elves, not Santa, people go to for help — if they're lost, if they're looking for the bathroom.

Occasionally, elves even become cultural ambassadors. Soon, Live Wires will dispatch one special elf to the home of an East Indian family in Bellevue, at the parents' request, to talk to their kids about what Christmas means. And that, owner Galloway says, is something Santa just couldn't pull off.

"He's generally a great employer," Tompkins says, comparing him to the beloved, former Washington Huskies football coach. "He's, like, the Don James of the North Pole."

Mrs. Claus, on the other hand — now there's a handful. "You don't mess with the missus," he says. "She does nothing but remind us all that we are subordinate Clauses."

Marc Ramirez: 206-464-8102 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company