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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

First one down!

I DID IT!!!! 

I did my first birthday party as Queen Elsa of Arendelle.  And for my first character appearance it was a real doozy – it was at an indoor sports complex/inflatable/bouncy house place.  Talk about being thrown into the deep end. 

The birthday girl is one of my students and her mom caught me after class on Monday (yep, just several days before the party) and inquired if there was any chance I was free to be Elsa.  This turned out to be a good thing because (rarely are we open on a Saturday) and it didn’t give me too much time to be stressed and freaking out about it.

I spent a good long while getting ready for the gig.  Kayliana got a little jealous of mommy’s costume and make-up so I did a bit for her too.  (She still wasn’t thrilled when I left without HER to go to this amazing sounding birthday party). 

I arrived in the parking lot with a few minutes to spare (which provided just enough time to readjust my wig and also get even more nervous and excited…and to question my sanity).  I texted the mom and she met me at the door.  (I was anxious about going into this huge complex, being lost Elsa and being potentially mobbed by children).  As I started walking toward Bday Mom, she said, “Wait! I’ve got to get pictures of Elsa walking across the parking lot!”  Uh, OK.  Not sure if I did the Elsa-walking-across-a-parking-lot walk correctly, but I did my best.

When you first enter the building, there are all these tables set-up along an indoor soccer field.  The tables were full of people.  A bunch of soccer games were happening.  It was a crowd.   I followed Bday Mom hearing “That’s Elsa” and “Is that Elsa?!” the whole way.

As we approached the inflatable toy area and party rooms, Bday Mom said, “Oh, Elsa, let me introduce you to my husband.”  I met Bday Husband and then Bday Mom said, “I gotta get a picture of you with the dads.”  Thus – my first photo op: Elsa and a bunch of beer-drinkin’ dads.  Kind of awesome. 

Next, I was escorted to our party room.  I set down my basket and was immediately swarmed by children (including the birthday girl and her sister.  I’ve had both girls in music class for a while…I really wondered if they’d buy my act).  They sure did.  The girls all immediately started asking questions  and telling me things.

“I love your sparkly dress…Your hair’s so pretty…Where’s Anna?” 

“She’s in Arendelle. Someone has to look after the kingdom while I’m here for Bday Girl’s special day!”

 “Do you have your ice power?”

“Well, of course I do!  Unfortunately I won’t be able to use it inside though.  I’m not allowed to make it snow.  Can you imagine the mess they’d have to clean up?! And these floors would get terribly slippery!”

Then, one of my students, looks at me and loudly says, “I know who you are! You’re the music teacher!”  There was a half second of silence as the kids all studied me carefully.

“Does your music teacher have long blond hair like mine?”

“No,” she says.

“Well, there ya go,” I say.

Another little girl asks, “Are you the REAL Elsa?”

“What do you think?” I ask her back.

“I don’t know,” she answers doubtfully.

“Do I look like Elsa?”

“Well, yeah.”

“Do I sound like Elsa?  I will, of course, be singing later too,” I say.

“Yeah, I guess so.”

Then one little girl reaches out and touches my hand.  She gasps and says, “Oh my gosh, you guys! Even her hands are super cold!”  (I honestly don’t think they were THAT cold, though I had just come in from outside).

They all immediately begin feeling my hands and, of course, not one of them wants to admit that they don’t think my hands are all that cold.

I take pictures with some of the kids and then Bday Mom ushers them out for their last 10 minutes of playtime while I set-up. 

I’m getting everything ready, when I hear, “We just wanted to come say hi,” behind me.

I turn around and see about half a girls’ soccer team standing there grinning.  I chat with them for a little bit.  (I point out that they look all hot and sweaty and, well, I prefer it cold.  One girl tells me not to try soccer then).

Eventually, all of the party kids are in our room, in their seats and being served pizza.  I mingle with a couple of the kids and wait for my cue to start.  Meanwhile, Bday Dad sidles up to me and says, “So, Frozen.  That was a big hit for Disney!”

“Yes,” I say, wondering if he’s making small-talk with me or Elsa.  “Disney’s even coming out with a Frozen 2.”

“That’s great.  Congratulations! You must be super excited!” 

I’m waiting for him to ask, “So, do you play a big part in the sequel?” and decide it’s time to get this show on the road.

 I get the kids’ attention and we sing a few short snow songs.  Between each song, the kids like to tell me things like “You hit your sister with your ice power and she got hurt.”  I respond with obvious remorse and gratitude that she’s OK.  Then another child will replay an entire scene from the movie and I’d say, “Yes, true story,” or “You’re exactly right.  That IS what happened to us!”

Eventually they serve cake (we sing Happy Birthday) and then I invite Bday Girl to come up to sing “Let it Go” with me. 

This was the moment I was MOST nervous about.  “Let it Go” is a monster epic ballad.  It’s right on my break.  It’s a challenging song for me on a good day and I’d – no shocker – come down with a cold two days before the party.  (NOT awesome).  Of course, we know, that the cold never bothered me anyway….BUT I was really nervous for singing it.  I’m (humbly) happy to say that (in my ever so humble opinion), I think I rocked it.  It went REALLY well.  One little 3 year old boy, Ethan, came up and stood next to me while I sang it – just gazing at me with such love and admiration.  It. Was. Awesome.  There were about 20 kids plus parents (and many of them took video) – so I’m hoping that Bday Mom will get me some of the pics and video.

I finished the event by blowing bubbles for them (SO not as cool as making it snow inside, but the kids seemed happy with the bubbles).  And then, finally, it was time for me to go.  After a last few photos, I said goodbye to the Bday Girl and all the kids and left the party room.  As I was approaching the exit, the two teenage boys sitting at the front desk said, “Elsa! Bye Elsa!”  Quietly (so only they could hear) I said, “Peace out, boys.”  It caught them totally off guard, and I could hear them laughing as I got close to the door.

Just as I was about to exit, a little girl – about 6 years old – was walking in with her parents.  She glanced up at me and her jaw nearly hit the floor.  I smiled and waved at her.  She waved back at me, still obviously in total shock.  Mind. Blown.

I got in my car, drove down the street a ways, pulled off into a shady spot and removed my wig and wig cap and felt SO incredibly relieved.  If I can handle that scene; I got this!

With my mini-Elsa

 Ready to rock...let's do this thing!

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