In light of Father’s Day this week, we’ve turned our Meet a Mom series into the opportunity to Meet a Dad! Travis McGarrah is a loving husband and father of two (Aria, 10 and Tanner, almost 3) from the Clear Lake area! You’ve probably come across him all over Houston bringing joy to birthday parties and special events via his wife’s (Cara’s) business, Dreamland Entertainment. Check out his favorite dad joke, what he enjoys doing most with his family and whether or not his 3 year-old knows if he is, in fact, Blippi (shhh).
If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be and why?
Adaptable. I am an engineer who likes to fully understand how things work, why they work that way, and if things can be made better. When I approach something new in my job or at home, I try to learn as much as I can and do research on it, so I can fully understand it. As a good example, I learned how to juggle recently, and it was primarily driven by wanting to be a better performer with additional skills.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Most people who I work with would be surprised to know that I perform as various characters on the weekend. I work in a very corporate environment as a sales manager with an engineering background, and most people are fairly shocked when I mention that I also perform as fully decked out characters for kids parties.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
I definitely would like to thank both my parents and my wife’s parents. They are both close by in town and are always helping to watch our kids, which is a huge help when we have such irregular work schedules.
Favorite things to do with your kids around town?
We have memberships at Urban Air in Clear Lake and try to go when we have some spare time without plans. The trampolines are great, and my son likes to ride go-karts. Plus, the one near us just opened a laser tag arena. We have a go-kart at home we like to ride, and we also like to visit several of the parks in our area.
Best dad joke?
I had to do one of these for a show…
What do you call it when only one Star Wars character gives you a round of applause?
… A Hand Solo
That’s hilarious! So, what inspired you to jump in and help out your wife, DJ Cara, with Dreamland Entertainment?
I definitely wanted to support my wife and help her business grow since it is something that she really enjoys. Once I did a few events, I viewed it as an enjoyable skill that I could learn more about as well. Finally, I really like interacting with kids, playing, and giving them a great party.
We all love a good party! Briefly tell us about your services and how you operate?
For character parties, we usually have a mix of magic, fun activities, pictures, and general play depending on the venue. The exact show activities vary from character to character based on what the character might do. For example, the super heroes always have some super hero training, and the princesses almost always sing!
It is really important to be flexible though depending on the ages of the kids and what else is going on. Sometimes we have a very structured sequence of activities, and sometimes we spend our time engaged in child-directed play. But every time we have a blast!
What are some things you do to get into character before an event?
I am pretty comfortable now with most characters, but I do listen to videos of any characters with unique voices to try mimic their vocal quality to the best of my ability. Characters like Elmo, Mickey Mouse, or even Blippi take some practice to be consistent.
Is there a particular character or act that you enjoy most?
I think Blippi has to be my favorite character! We already have some similar traits, and the combination of playing and fun activities really fits well with the Blippi character. I have to raise my energy level a little higher than a normal day at the office, but it feels very natural for me!
So tell us, has your son figured out his dad is the one dressed up as Blippi yet? We won’ tell, promise!
He definitely has figured it out to some degree. The first time he saw me as Blippi you could tell he was really thinking about what was going on. He understood it was me, but also that I looked like Blippi at the same time. He asked “Dada, you’re Blippi?”, and when I said yes he just laughed.
What other services does Dreamland Entertainment provide?
Dreamland provides Princesses and Super Heroes, Seasonal Characters such as Santa and The Easter Bunny, DeeJays, Stilt Walkers, Balloon Twisters, Face Painters, Jugglers, Magicians, and more. My wife is always expanding what she can offer as well and can discuss other ideas with customers.
If a mama is interested in hiring you, what are the steps?
The easiest way is to call or text 713-906-2043 to speak with my wife and discuss availability and pricing. Or send her an email at [email protected]. Text or email is generally the quickest because she spends a lot of time on events.
We love to support local small businesses. What is your favorite place in the Sugar Land, Pearland or Friendswood areas to:
Have a date night: Rosewater (a local bar in the Clear Lake area), Hyde Park (a restaurant/bar in the Clear Lake area)
Have fun as a family: Urban Air in Webster; Frogs Snails and Fairytales in Sugar Land for time with our youngest, Tanner. Bay Area Speedway for some time racing in go-karts.
Go out for dinner: Texas Huddle
Shop for yourself: We honestly do all of our clothing shopping online for both ourselves and our kids. We generally don’t have the opportunity to do much on weekends.