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A party shop can be a good source of local resources for your parties. If you're looking for a magician, a musician, or a balloon artist, try calling your local party shop and ask for recommendations. For kids, make sure the act is appropriate for the age group you are entertaining.
If it's an adult party, let the person know what kind of party you are having and what ages groups and sensitivities are going to be attending! You don't want to shock your grandmother with bawdy jokes if she's the type to be offended. On the other hand, maybe your grandmother likes a good laugh and is pretty slow to take offense.