Denise Mattingly, bringing smiles to others

The Courier-Journal: Snapshots of People at Work

With more than 15 costumes, singing telegram jester Denise Mattingly appears at celebrations, corporate events and “everything in between,”

Talent: “I’ve always worked in some type of show business. I’ve been talent, bought talent, managed talent and have been a talent agent. I officially opened for business as a modeling agency and school. I had an actress that I booked as Marilyn Monroe, she flaked out on me and I had to do the gig myself. I never looked back!”

A messenger: “While I’m a LLC, I’m really just a chick in the basement. Most people book me directly but sometimes I’m booked through an agent or party planner. I have no shame and will do anything to get the laugh. I write the jokes, learn the songs, design the looks, I want that payoff. I’m not that great a singer but I’m a fantastic messenger!”

The work: “Some events are planned weeks in advance, other people call  just a few days before they want a singing telegram. A telegram may only last five minutes but hours go into making it happen. I’m provided with facts (quirks, inside jokes, nicknames) on the lucky person, then take that info and put together a personalized show. Song snippets, gifts and jokes all come from info provided to me. Getting to the right person can be a challenge: finding the location, the lucky person, whom I have never met before, and bust out a show. My roles: “Once I dressed up as an escaped criminal. The telegram was for a police detective. His fellow officers put me in handcuffs and had me in an interrogation room! I really worked on that telegram; the detective thought I was real! Also, I once performed at an amical divorce meeting dressed up as a fat lady and sang, because, well, it was over. As odd as that may seem, they loved it! I have done birthdays, retirements , promotions, proposals, weddings, etc. I once did a wake in Cincinnati. The woman had been a fellow singing telegram performer. It was quite an honor. I can take you from  birth until death. You name it, I can do it! With in reason of course”

Easter: “Soon I will be the Easter Bunny. I’ve played this role for several years at country clubs. It’s so awesome because I’m watching the children grow up. I feel like I know them. I love those children; I rarely have criers. I guess they feel my safe vibe”

3 is a Magic Number!
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