November 02, 2006

Princess for a day

I have this part-time job as Barbie Princess. What the
hell is that, you ask? Well, I am an entertainer at
kids parties: sometimes I appear as Cinderella,
sometimes Belle and sometimes as chaperone to Lala or
another Teletubbie. I play party games and sing party
songs and do face painting on 3 year olds and get paid
very decently for it.

It took me only 3 seconds at my very first party to
realise that unless I faked an American accent with
the wee ones, I would not be understood... when on
earth would they have been exposed to a hybrid SA
accent? Like....NEver. So I have to say 'paRDi'
instead of party and "guud jaaaawb!" when they get
something right. I also have had to learn about Disney
characters because I called 'Snow White' Cinderella
many times, while handing out Snow White stickers to
kids and being dressed in a Cinderella costume. Gives
new meaning to the question: do you know who I am?? I
mean, do you? Cos I don't!

Well,a few Sundays ago it was an excessively hot
day here and I had a princess party in the Hollywood
Hills. They hadn't requested a particular princess,
so I went as Princess "Me". (no comments, please)
What a shambles... I was on my own for the first time
(usually we come in pairs) and it really isn't easy.
There is so much stuff to carry: a CD player, musical
instruments, a parachute, a puppet theatre, story
books - and all this, whilst parading around in a
long-sleeved princess dress and a tiara. I stepped on
my dress and almost fell on the kids - forget that
graceful entrance. Furthermore, as the party
progressed, I pulled one surprise after another out of
my party bag.

First, there was the sticker debacle: I had 16 little
girls around me and only 9 stickers to hand out. Oops!
I must say, the girls that didn't get stickers were
very decent about it - for 4 yr olds, they were
extremely understanding of the situation.

Next, the soap-bubble-blow-out. I had been given a
battery-operated device that one dips in the soap and
then it blows the bubbles out with a little fan. Well,
this was the first party I ever tried to use it and,
of course, I wasn't able to get any bubbles out of it
- instead, I blew liquid soap directly at the kids!
Only when one of them took it from me and was able to
shoot beautiful bubbles, did I realise what I had been
doing wrong. But it took a FOUR year old to help me
out. And the parents are watching all this...I also
spilled the full soap dish on a kid.

After that came the 'intsy-wincy spider' incident.
There is this blue felt glove that the kids put the
little felt characters on, as you're singing the
nursery rhyme with them. Well, I discovered during the
song that I was missing the rain (that washed the
spider away) and instead, I had a little old lady that
I didn't know what to do with. And, of course, my
sharp, bubble shooting girls also noticed..."what's
the little old lady for?" was an FAQ. And all I could
think of replying was :"I don't know - you tell me!"

By far the worst surprise came when I pulled the face
paint out of the bag and there was just black melted
make-up everywhere. So, invariably, everyone got black
on their faces: rainbows with black streaks, pink and
black flowers, red and black hearts, black and black
butterflies... and my hands! The darling birthday girl
said: "Look at your HANDS!", to which my quick answer
was:" Yes, I'm a dirty princess, aren't I?" Luckily,
her daddy didn't hear me, or I'd have been making more
than a $20 tip! ;-)

1 comment:

Homebirth said...

One of my clients runs a company that provides princesses for parties. Did you ever run into Lolly the Clown? Or her Barbie princess alter-ego?