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Bay Shore-Based Didi Maxx Productions Brings Entertainment

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You can’t say Denise LaBrecque-Uhl isn’t funny.

The Gulf Shore resident is the owner of Didi Maxx Productions — a company that has entertained everything from kids’ birthday parties to corporate events in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut for 25 years.

These include performances by entertainer Didi Maxx (LaBrecque-Uhl’s professional name), magic and spiritualism shows, DJ services and balloon twisting. LaBrecque-Uhl is also a party and event planner who can arrange gatherings featuring corporate team building, children’s entertainers, face painting, juggling, stilts, musicians and bands, professional performances and more.

The stage has long since laid the groundwork for the 62-year-old Wangan Company. She has been in front of audiences almost her whole life.

at first glance

Didi Maxx Productions, Wangan

what are they doing: Provides entertainment for kids and adults at events ranging from small backyard parties to corporate events.

lead: OwnerDenise LaBrecque-Uhl

Annual Sales: $450,000 to $500,000

employee: 4

Established: 1998

LaBrecque-Uhl’s late mother, Lydia Tanne, was an entertainer named Mimi Chevalier, who lived in Nazi-occupied France and Italy during World War II and later joined the cast of screenwriters from the William Morris talent agency LaBrecque French farce. As emcee, Uhl said, Tanne produced comedic material about life during the war, and in the 1970s, LaBrecque-Uhl and her sister sang and performed tap dancing and jazz to 1940s nostalgia.

“It will give my mother time to change costumes, because she’s a star,” Labrec-Ure said. “We did perform some pieces as a trio, such as ‘Call and Answer’ with interesting audience participation in ‘Frere Jacques’, and we also performed Can-Can together.”

In her early 20s, LaBrecque-Uhl moved to New York City to continue performing, dancing in music videos and working in club dance groups in the ’80s as MTV took off. She also found work in the recording studio, backing up promising new artists, and was the vocalist for bands.

Q: What motivated you to start your business?

It’s a natural progression for what I’ve done in my life.

Q: Where did your start-up capital come from?

my back pocket.

Q: What is your biggest challenge right now, and how do you deal with it?

My biggest challenge is keeping up with my online presence and social media. Since most of my business is through referrals and repeat customers, I can be a little lax when it comes to updates and posts.

Q: What was the biggest mistake you made along the way?

Assume everything will go according to plan. After 25 years of being at just about every party or event imaginable, I’ve learned to have a backup plan for a backup plan, double and triple everything, a good kit and plenty of duct tape, wire tires, safety pins and Extension cord.

Q: How do you find customers?

Referrals, repeat customers and social media.

Q: How do you find employees and keep them?

I find most of my employees through personal referrals. What I have found to be most effective in acquiring and retaining my employees is to ask the right questions during interviews to find people with the right qualities, to be properly compensated for the work done, and to offer gifts or bonuses for exemplary work, respect Employees and let them know they are valued, have regular staff meetings, and be open to suggestions from others.

Q: What’s the best part about owning your own business?

There is nothing more satisfying than being able to set the standard for everything in my business.

Q: How many hours do you put in each week?

During the busy summer months, I may take one day off each month. In the off-season—January through March—I work three or four days a week. The rest of the year I usually work four to five days a week. However, sometimes I have activities every day for two weeks.

Q: What advice do you have for others considering doing this?

In this business, you should always be ready for calls, emails, texts and messages, especially before holidays and events. Remember, you can never “redo an order” in this business. Parties and events are once-in-a-lifetime gatherings. Always have a backup plan for your backup plan. Always double the time required to travel and prepare for the event to make up for traffic delays and other setbacks that almost always occur.

Q: What do you want your business to look like in five years?

Just like it is today – a boutique style entertainment company where I can give my clients the proper attention and personal service. It took me years to make this company what I wanted it to be, and I love it here and now.

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