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AssassinPrincess
Jun 7, 2010

Next stop, the Canadian border.

EDIT:

By popular request, you can now buy the Princess Death Stare poster on my Etsy:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/1086540...ss-stare-poster

Thanks for suggesting it, guys!

---

Some people have asked me what it's like to be an entertainment princess, someone who performs at big events and small, at hospital charity functions and at private birthday/Christmas parties...do we get licenses to do Disney characters, how much do we get paid, what exactly do we do, are all children horrible, what's the stupidest thing a child/grown up has ever said to you, what do you have to look like/act like/sound like to get the job, and whether it's a good paying job for a student or someone looking for side work.

I advocate the job as being way easier to get than you'd think and fairly lucrative for a student or someone in need of extra cash, if you go with the right company. If you have questions or are pondering joining the sparkly ranks of a party princess, I will answer any questions to the best of my knowledge.

I was thinking about discussing the following topics if anyone's interested (and, because I'm also an illustrator, I will do silly drawings to go with each post).


1. Becoming Paid Royalty

2. "Want To See My Underwear, Rapunzel?"

3. The Upper Class Parent Nightmare

4. You Can Drive a Car In a Hoopskirt, You Can Change Behind A Dumpster

5. Can You Start Your Own Company (yes!) And Make A Living? (maybe!)



AssassinPrincess fucked around with this message at Jan 12, 2014 around 11:49

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AlphaDog
Sep 27, 2004

Destroyer of Hardware

I have a mate who was a party clown for a bit. He said it was awful. Do the upper-class parent stories, they're always funny.

Oh, he was once hired for a bachelor party. They didn't want him to do anything weird, just they wanted to get shitfaced drunk with a clown. He ended up getting hammered and making balloon animals for the strippers.

Residency Evil
Jul 28, 2003

4/5 godo BRAINS


Requesting the upper class parent story as well.

BexGu
Jan 9, 2004

This fucking day....

AlphaDog posted:



Oh, he was once hired for a bachelor party. They didn't want him to do anything weird, just they wanted to get shitfaced drunk with a clown. He ended up getting hammered and making balloon animals for the strippers.

Okay, that actually sounds kind of fun.

My question is

1. Are the costume provided for you? Is there a standard costume for each character you have to wear?
2. Do you play the same princess every time? (Or take requests)
3. Is it sort of like Disney world where you have to be in character 100% of the time?
4. Yeah...you'r going to have to lay out the stories of drunken (or sober) parents who start hitting on the princesses.

BexGu fucked around with this message at Aug 20, 2012 around 03:04

Pfirti86
Oct 23, 2005


Are upperclass parents almost universally bad? Or were there any chill ones that just happened to have money?

AssassinPrincess
Jun 7, 2010

Next stop, the Canadian border.

These questions are giving me really fun idea for illustrations for my first round of answers it's late here and I have to get up early, but I will post some pics and answer everything early tomorrow! Let me leave you with this Princess Fact for now:

Princess Fact #7: If a host house has more than three full-size bathrooms in it, the group of attending little girl guests will contain at least one little girl named Skylar. This a bizarre but irrefutable fact. And it will ALWAYS be a different Skylar, no matter how close the house is to the last party.


Also

AlphaDog posted:

I have a mate who was a party clown for a bit. He said it was awful. Do the upper-class parent stories, they're always funny.

Oh, he was once hired for a bachelor party. They didn't want him to do anything weird, just they wanted to get shitfaced drunk with a clown. He ended up getting hammered and making balloon animals for the strippers.

This is amazing.

SleazyBakeOven
Oct 4, 2011

Please, talk to me about Eberron! And by Eberron I mean Warforged. Really I just wanna talk about the Warforged.


What is it that made you want to do this for a living? what makes it fulfilling for you?

Do you have one specific "Princessing Dress" or do you have lots?

(Sorry if these are a bit personal; i just find this a really odd, but very interesting job!)

snorch
Jul 27, 2009


Residency Evil posted:

Requesting the upper class parent story as well.

nthing this, but include an awesome kid story to balance it out.

gnarlyhotep
Sep 30, 2008



AssassinPrincess posted:


Princess Fact #7: If a host house has more than three full-size bathrooms in it, the group of attending little girl guests will contain at least one little girl named Skylar. This a bizarre but irrefutable fact. And it will ALWAYS be a different Skylar, no matter how close the house is to the last party.


That is a bizarre name, never heard it before. Sounds more like the name of a fantasy/RPG villain: "I AM SKY-LAR, MASTER OF THE WINDS!"

Samfucius
Sep 8, 2010

And if you gaze long enough into a nest, the nest will gaze back into you.


Some of these do not fall into your category criteria, so ignore them if you want:
1. Do you only do solo appearances, or sometimes do you bring a prince or other princesses or something?
2. Have you ever done a boy's party?
3. Do little kids ever want you to eat some birthday cake? If so, how much do you worry about your clothes getting stained? (if I had a costumed gig, I know I would be paranoid as hell about this)
4. How superficial are people about your role? As in, how made up are you expected to get, and do people seem to care more about how you look or how fun you are?
5. What's the oldest group you have ever done a party for? Youngest?
6. Everyone I know whose job involves going to strangers' houses (delivery people, plumbers, w/e) has been offered drugs as a tip (generally weed). Has that ever happened to you? I only ask because a little girl's birthday party is the last place I would think you would haul out the drugs, but people are

I grew up with rich parents, and they remain normal people, but goddamn some of our neighbors are crazy. I too want to know about upper class monstrosities.

FengShuiNinja
Aug 18, 2012



Is Skylar a rich-kid/upper-middle class name? Skylar is a common name in my area and all of the Skylars have perfect hair and perfect outfits.

What has been your best party so far?
Did any of the houses have hilarious/bad/ridiculous furnishings or decor?
Do people actually put their pets away or do they end up in your way?

Bizarre Echo
Jul 1, 2011

"I am pleased that we have differences. May we together become greater than the sum of both of us."


I'm curious about how you landed the princess gig. Is it an offshoot of modeling/acting? How'd you first hear about it?

AssassinPrincess
Jun 7, 2010

Next stop, the Canadian border.

Thanks for all the Qs!

Since a lot of questions fit under the first topic, I'll just go ahead in consecutive order I guess. I'll try to post often so i can get to the hilarious parent section quickly.

I'll try to answer everyone's questions, but feel free to ask yours again if it looks like I didn't cover it.

1. Becoming Paid Royalty



So at the end of last year, I was in a fix. I had been a comics artist for six years, straight out of college. My graphic novel series had just ended and I was having trouble selling a new series. I took a retail job to make ends meet, but it didn't pay much. I was talking with a friend of mine who lives in another state, when she told me about how she was a party princess. She made a great living at it and loved her job.

"You should look around in your area," she said. "There's tons of party services that hire princesses. If you get an interview, ask for 50 bucks an hour to start with."

So I googled princess parties and found an outfit near me. I wrote them an email, offering my services as either an entertainer or a costumer (I'm a cosplayer, but I also have actual legit experience costuming for large shows). The woman who owned the service agreed to meet me halfway between our locations, at a Starbucks. So I put myself together, and brought a recording of myself singing to Disney karaoke songs on my iPod (yes, there is singing involved in this job. Lots of singing.)

After a mix-up with locations and godawful traffic, I arrived and talked to the owner, who said I was perfect. She was very happy I did costumes, because up til now she had very little help in that respect (she has a little old lady who makes the costumes, VERY good job but didn't understand "this needs to be worn by several people and changed out of quickly". She was an old-school seamstress who insisted on fitting everything to a specific girl). She agreed to my price and we set up a time to meet at the place where the costumes are stored and the girls get changed.


The Set-Up

Princesses are usually hired between the ages of 16-22. I'm an outlier, because I'm in my 30's. I'm the oldest princess my boss employs, but clients and most of the other girls think I'm around 24-25. This is because I look a lot younger than I am (mostly from getting lots of sleep, religiously using sunscreen/staying inside, never drinking or smoking and just having good skin run in the family). But I don't know how unusual it is to be this old and have the job. The majority of the other princesses are about half my age. Makes me feel like a cane-shaking old lady sometimes. I think my boss employs around 50 girls, but that's because of the age group...many are in college or busy with high school, so she has to keep a lot of girls on the books to make sure someone is always available for a party. She has a core set of around 10 or 15 girls who do most jobs. Because I'm out of school, I get more jobs from her during school months when other girls aren't available.

Costumes

Costumes are supplied by the company itself. I have made a few outfits and props for my boss since I was hired and also do stylings for wigs and things, and give advice on how to store and take care of wigs, which are a big pet peeve for me. You have to keep styled wigs on foam heads, not lying flat on shelves! Don't brush synthetic wigs anymore than you absolutely must! Etc.

My boss has a specific place where she stores costumes, wigs, makeup, accessories, etc and the girls come there to get changed, do their hair and makeup and pick up any party supplies, storybooks or props they needed. Almost all the girls play multiple characters (we also have a girl who just does our Frog Princess). I've played Belle, Snow White, Little Mermaid, Rapunzel, Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella thus far, as well as a few non-princess characters when the job requires it (Supergirl is WAY fun to play).

There are multiple copies of each costume, because many times my boss will have two or three Sleeping Beautys lined up for different parties during a busy Saturday. Often on weekends a girl will change into Snow White, do the party, come back, change into Cinderella and go out to another party. So many days there's a steady stream of girls going in and out, doing multiple parties and characters. The costumes are sort of one size fits all, but then the girls are usually of a very similar thin build, so the costumes still look pretty fitted.

I have an unusual set-up with my boss...since I live further from her than the other girls, and because I have all my own costumes (thanks to cosplaying Disney stuff many times), instead of going out to her storage/changing place, I use my own stuff. I also have my own personal duplicates of the props she requires (storybooks, party game props, etc). Cuts down on travel time for me and wear and tear on her costumes. So even though I have the same job as the other princesses, I use all my own props and costumes and identical games and books, so she can dispatch me to further away parties than the other girls, who must drive from their house to her costuming location, then to the party, then back to change. I'm much more independent. Of course that means I have to spend all my own money on costumes, but I prefer that too because I know only I will be wearing them, so I can fit them to myself better and wash them myself.



"Come On Girls, Get Your Princess Voices On!"

I have a deep voice. Like, a deep voice for a woman. Some people tell me it's sexy or sophisticated, but these people are my friends so I'd hardly expect them to tell me I sound like a dude. But it's not a princess voice, that's for sure. Go back and watch Disney movies, especially Snow White, and take in the ear-splitting high notes they hit in song. Sleeping Beauty has one of the deepest singing voices of the princesses, and she's still super femmy sounding. My singing range is right there with Megara from Hercules. Middle of the scale, maybe a few high notes if I practice. So I practice, a LOT. At home, in the shower and with a special CD on my way to every party. My boss told me once that she was initially worried at our first interview when I started talking, because she thought I couldn't do the ear-splitting "princess voice". But I switched it on before the first party and she was very relieved. It's not hard for me to adopt a high-pitched falsetto talking voice, without sounding too fake or strained. It's just the singing that's hard for me, so I try to choose songs where I can exploit the lower tones, but still hit enough high notes for it to be "princessy".

My boss has very strict guidelines for our behavior. We must smile ALWAYS, every minute of the party (hard to do until you get the hang of it), we must be always entertaining, we must act as if we know the birthday girl (we're told her name and age before we arrive) and are good friends, if they tell us they 'saw us at Disneyworld', we agree and pretend to remember them. We have to be graceful, walk with good posture, always polite, and apparently always talking. I have a set number of filler comments to use if I can't think of anything to say, including *girlish giggle*, "Oh my!" and the old stand-by, "how wonderful!"

(This has become an embarrassment to me lately because it carries over to my regular life...I caught myself doing the "fill the silence with adorable laughter" thing with friends once. It's kind of awful.)

We do not say NO to children, or ask or order them to do things, even in games. Instead we say, "Can you...", as in "Can you all line up for the next game?" or "Can you put your hands on your head for this part of the song?" or "Can you sit there while we get the pizza cut?" We do not ask for water, ask to use the bathroom or ask for tissues or things from the parents. We don't eat or drink while driving to and from parties, in case we spill on the dress. No nail polish unless it's pink or clear-coat, and has no chips or cracks. No earrings unless they match the dress.

We must not be seen arriving, getting in or out of a car. Distractions can and will be deployed, like princess smoke bombs, to avoid ruining the illusion of our "carriage" that supposedly picks us up. When I was in a car accident on the way to a party (that thankfully had another princess booked too, so the kids' day wasn't totally ruined), my boss told the parent that Cinderella's carriage horse threw a shoe.

And yes, we must be in character 100% OF THE TIME. Even to the parents. If we call to get directions from them, we will say, "Hi, this is Cinderella! I want to let you know I'm almost to your party, but I'm having trouble finding..." We are in character to the point of pretending not to always understand stuff that doesn't exist in our world, like TVs and phones. Even if we bring our own stereos and CDs for party/game music. Kids usually don't notice this. We park our cars down the street and out of sight and always approach/leave the house on foot.

If my boss has to refer to us by name in front of clients for the benefit of figuring out who is who, then it's Princess Emily or Princess Carla or Princess Katie. This is a pretty typical thing with most companies...the girls are referred to as "Princess (real first name)", both on the website and in business. It's funny because my name is deceptively masculine, so it's like if she had a Princess Robert on her payroll or something. XD

Copyrights

It's a fact that when parents want a princess for a party, they mean they want a DISNEY princess. I don't think other princesses even exist for little girls anymore. Because Disney doesn't officially allow us to use their name or characters, all princess party companies walk a fine line of "visually close to but legally distinct from" Disney stuff. Luckily most princesses have no copyrights on their names (Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella) and as long as we don't use Disney words or props, we're good. I personally think Disney is happy to look the other way because

a) They know they can't enforce it, and
b) They get HUGE boosts to their party supply sales when kids have princess parties. If you hire Rapunzel for your party, then your kid has to have Rapunzel plates, Rapunzel napkins, Rapunzel decorations, a Rapunzel cake, not to mention tons of Rapunzel toys as gifts AND an expensive Rapunzel gown and shoes and crown from the Disney store (and a princess dress for all the little girls attending the party as well). It's a weird saturation-effect thing. Happens at every party I do.

It's a funny thing that if you're a party princess, Disney cosplayers look up to you (don't know why, it's a hard job and you can't just leave when you get tired or hot) and actual Disney park face characters look down on you (again, don't know why, we make more in an hour then they do in two days and we stay inside in the a/c...plus there are no restrictions on our heights or ages).

samfucius posted:


Some of these do not fall into your category criteria, so ignore them if you want:
1. Do you only do solo appearances, or sometimes do you bring a prince or other princesses or something?
2. Have you ever done a boy's party?
3. Do little kids ever want you to eat some birthday cake? If so, how much do you worry about your clothes getting stained? (if I had a costumed gig, I know I would be paranoid as hell about this)
4. How superficial are people about your role? As in, how made up are you expected to get, and do people seem to care more about how you look or how fun you are?
5. What's the oldest group you have ever done a party for? Youngest?
6. Everyone I know whose job involves going to strangers' houses (delivery people, plumbers, w/e) has been offered drugs as a tip (generally weed). Has that ever happened to you? I only ask because a little girl's birthday party is the last place I would think you would haul out the drugs...


1. We often do solo, but many parents will hire two or three princesses at once so sometimes we do group stuff.

2. I haven't done a boy party because I'm not a boy. We have superhero/Batman/Spiderman/pirate characters to do their parties, but obv. the men get sent to do those, not me. But little brothers and other boys are often invited to princess parties, so it's rare if at least one little boy isn't present. Sometimes they're turned off by the cooties, sometimes they're fascinated by the "celebrity" princess appearance. Once or twice they seem to get little kid crushes on the princesses. That's always funny

3. We're almost always offered cake/cookies/snacks, but my boss will not allow us to accept it, because it ruins our makeup to eat it and also we may spill on the dress. I usually say, "Oh my! No thank you, I had yummy cake for breakfast in my castle!" *sparklesparkle* But we can accept bottles of water if they offer it. Just can't ask for them. I'm glad when they offer, cuz I'm usually dying of thirst after dancing, singing, talking non-stop.

4. Parents expect you to get into it. They generally expect you to be as into it as a Disney Park character would be. Mostly they want to know that you are happy and sunny and have a routine set up to entertain the kids, not just show up and smile at people and do nothing. We have set routines and games we do, story and singing games alternated with physical activities like dancing, balloon toss, etc. Mostly parents prefer you to be genuinely fun and engaging as opposed to being model-perfect in looks, but my boss has a very high standard for all her girls so we must meet her makeup and deportment criteria (perfect posture, ALWAYS smiling, always say the right thing and use your "princess voice"). She has a very successful business that relies on word-of-mouth, so she insists on us giving 110% for every job.

5. The oldest group was maybe like 7-8. That's our absolute limit, after that age they're just not as into princesses or they tend to think you're fake. Youngest was 2 years old.

6. I have never been offered drugs, lol. I think because most parties we do involved middle to upper middle class. Grown ups get weird around princesses, like they don't want to offend them. And they try to keep the "magical" atmosphere going for their kids, so they defer to you and call you princess and treat you nicely...for the most part. Some upper class people view you as 'the help" and are just awful. More on that later.

To sum up this first post, I'd be lying if I didn't say I took this job cuz I needed the money and times were tough to find another one. But there are days when I really enjoy this job, which is odd because I really don't like kids. I certainly don't plan on HAVING any. But they say really hilarious stuff and they do really love them some princesses.

But there are days where the alarm goes off, I roll over and squint at it and I think, "poo poo, wish I could get five more minutes. I really don't want to go to work. Oh well, better get my ballgown on."


AssassinPrincess fucked around with this message at Aug 21, 2012 around 16:54

AssassinPrincess
Jun 7, 2010

Next stop, the Canadian border.

FengShuiNinja posted:

Is Skylar a rich-kid/upper-middle class name? Skylar is a common name in my area and all of the Skylars have perfect hair and perfect outfits.

What has been your best party so far?
Did any of the houses have hilarious/bad/ridiculous furnishings or decor?
Do people actually put their pets away or do they end up in your way?

Forgot these:

It's an upper-class name, I'm guessing. Right up there with Jayden, the second most-popular upper-class little girl name we encounter.

My best party, I think was where I was just doing face-painting and some other girls were doing the princessing...we also had pirates, so there were boy attendees too. I was doing face paint on some of the little boys and we got into a great discussion about what skulls eat, what vampires eat, where the two of them shop for groceries (hint: it's the same store), etc. I think I'll save that for the obligatory "best kids ever/kids say the darndest things" update.

Most of the furnishings are tasteful because the people are mostly well-to-do. Never seen any yet that were bad, but I stress YET. Mostly they're just bad in the "I am WAY too well-to-do and my children are drowning in toys" way. One thing I've noticed is that the nicer the house is, the closer the kids' play room is to the front door. Just a whole room full of toys. My siblings and I had the basement room to ourselves to keep toys in as kids, so I don't understand putting the toy room right next to the front door and letting all the toys leak out into the hallway and drawing room.

Some people put their pets away, some let their dogs come and walk all over your nice dress because "Boojums is a sweetie, isn't you Boojums isn't you puppy YES YOU IS, YESSS YOU ISSSS!" Doesn't help that I don't like dogs.

AssassinPrincess fucked around with this message at Sep 3, 2012 around 00:51

Pfirti86
Oct 23, 2005


When I was a kid (like, 5-6), I was super into following the British/European royalty and related gossip. I wonder if I could have gotten a more realistic European princess, like a little less Sleeping Beauty and a little more Princess Stéphanie of Monaco.

Serious questions: do you sing actual Disney songs with the kids, or are they more generic sort of things (given the copyrights)? How long is your standard birthday shift? Have you ever gotten out of character by accident or due to frustration/exhaustion?

AssassinPrincess
Jun 7, 2010

Next stop, the Canadian border.

Pfirti86 posted:

When I was a kid (like, 5-6), I was super into following the British/European royalty and related gossip. I wonder if I could have gotten a more realistic European princess, like a little less Sleeping Beauty and a little more Princess Stéphanie of Monaco.

Serious questions: do you sing actual Disney songs with the kids, or are they more generic sort of things (given the copyrights)? How long is your standard birthday shift? Have you ever gotten out of character by accident or due to frustration/exhaustion?

Not sure if they have that, but I guess in Britain you might be able to hire royalty impersonators? I can't imagine some one not trying to cash in on that for parties.

We sing lots of copyright and non-copyright songs. I guess because you can't pin down the a cappella singing of the songs if you don't use their sheet music or CDs or whatnot? But we sing a mix of different kinds. A standard shift is about 1 to 1.5 hrs. But sometimes parents want just a 1/2 hr visit, or a full blown 2 hr fiesta with face painting, multiple princesses, etc.

I've never broken character but once, and that was to talk to a parent about being in the military (she was telling me about her son and I'm from an army family, so we got in a brief discussion). But that was away from the children, who were inside while I was leaving. Generally I try to get lots of sleep and listen to lots of happy music beforehand so I show up in the right temperament for the job. I have a CD of princess songs and, unfortunately, My Little Pony music. Their songs are just SO drat HAPPY without being too grating, they put me in the right frame of mind. I'm a brony, I admit it, but not the convention attending, fanfiction writing, fan art drawing, buying toys for six years olds kind. I just like the show.

Knowing that your performance is directly tied to how big a tip you get at the end (if at all) is also a major incentive to stay smiling. It's a tough economy, especially for uninsured artist types.

To be fair, the children are rarely difficult, just excited. Only a few truly difficult children stick out in my mind.

AssassinPrincess fucked around with this message at Aug 21, 2012 around 03:09

Spitball Trough
Jul 24, 2011


AssassinPrincess posted:

Forgot these:

It's a yuppy name, I'm guessing. Right up there with Jayden, the second most-popular yuppy little girl name we encounter.

Really? I thought that Jayden was a really trashy name. And also male (I know a male stripper/porn star named Jayden). Would you consider Brianne a classy name? Because my cousin called her kid that, and I thought it made her sound like trailer trash.

Also, where do you work? If it is near Philadelphia would you be willing to come out in costume to a gay bachelor party? A friend is tying the knot and I'm starting to get some really great ideas.

More generally, does your boss have any restrictions on your personal life? My impression is that people who work directly for Disney at their theme parks are subject to some pretty invasive rules regarding drug testing, etc.

AssassinPrincess
Jun 7, 2010

Next stop, the Canadian border.

Spitball Trough posted:

Really? I thought that Jayden was a really trashy name. And also male (I know a male stripper/porn star named Jayden). Would you consider Brianne a classy name? Because my cousin called her kid that, and I thought it made her sound like trailer trash.

Also, where do you work? If it is near Philadelphia would you be willing to come out in costume to a gay bachelor party? A friend is tying the knot and I'm starting to get some really great ideas.

More generally, does your boss have any restrictions on your personal life? My impression is that people who work directly for Disney at their theme parks are subject to some pretty invasive rules regarding drug testing, etc.

My boss doesn't really care what we do on our own time, as long as we don't get our faces tattooed or something that will interfere with work. She's a REALLY great boss and really nice, and she works crazy hard owning two businesses, so she understands that we have busy lives that involve other stuff. But as long as it's not directly impacting her business, she's never brought up anything about our personal lives, other than to be very concerned about us when we're sick or have something bad going on with us. She's really nice and worries about her girls like a mom

Brianne, Jayden, I hear both names a lot among upper class families. I don't particularly hate either...Brianne I'm OK with, but Jayden makes me think of the time Data got amnesia on Star Trek and that pre-industrial culture adopted him and named him Jayden.

I live in Philly, do you have PMs enabled or are you not platinum?

Tony Montana
Aug 6, 2005

Doin Work

A girl that looks good dressed as a princess and watches Star Trek?..

So, you single?

Seriously though, on the drug thing I think the OPs job sorta filters that sort out automatically. Who the gently caress would want to be smiling for hours and loving around with kids and listening to happy songs when they're hungover? If the OP wanted to smoke a bowl of weed the night before and still got her sleep and looks great the next day and is as friendly as ever, yeah I can see her boss not giving a gently caress. That's a small business thing too, it's the super-mega corps that decide stupid poo poo like everyone is going to be routinely drug tested (because the CEO's kid is some heroin using loser and they're on a rampage or something). Small business owners usually care only about 'can I trust you to go out there in my name and not gently caress it up', everything else is just gravy.

Um, OP, your job does NOT sound easy! How long will you be at one of these parties? You can't ask for a drink of water and you're in some huge ridiculous dress? What if the party-throwers all love to keep the heat on and you walk into a sauna?

I understand your boss's drive to keep making her money, but something else I can tell you about small businesses is I've been pushed around in those situations like I've never been at super-mega corp. You kinda have a friend almost relationship with your boss so you just take it like a friend asking you, yeah sure I can talk like that if you want, dude. So yeah, without knowing any of the law in your state/country/whatever, she can't send you onsite for hours on end without a drink or bathroom break.

AssassinPrincess
Jun 7, 2010

Next stop, the Canadian border.

Tony Montana posted:

A girl that looks good dressed as a princess and watches Star Trek?..

So, you single?

Seriously though, on the drug thing I think the OPs job sorta filters that sort out automatically. Who the gently caress would want to be smiling for hours and loving around with kids and listening to happy songs when they're hungover? If the OP wanted to smoke a bowl of weed the night before and still got her sleep and looks great the next day and is as friendly as ever, yeah I can see her boss not giving a gently caress. That's a small business thing too, it's the super-mega corps that decide stupid poo poo like everyone is going to be routinely drug tested (because the CEO's kid is some heroin using loser and they're on a rampage or something). Small business owners usually care only about 'can I trust you to go out there in my name and not gently caress it up', everything else is just gravy.

Um, OP, your job does NOT sound easy! How long will you be at one of these parties? You can't ask for a drink of water and you're in some huge ridiculous dress? What if the party-throwers all love to keep the heat on and you walk into a sauna?

I understand your boss's drive to keep making her money, but something else I can tell you about small businesses is I've been pushed around in those situations like I've never been at super-mega corp. You kinda have a friend almost relationship with your boss so you just take it like a friend asking you, yeah sure I can talk like that if you want, dude. So yeah, without knowing any of the law in your state/country/whatever, she can't send you onsite for hours on end without a drink or bathroom break.

Incredibly enough, I am! Amazing how many single men you don't meet when you spend all day slaving away in your home office as a comic book artist. I need to put a hot dog stand in the hallway or something, attract a crowd.

Well one of my boss' requirements from the clients is that they MUST have A/C and it must be on and no hotter than around 72 degrees in the house when we arrive. She won't book an outdoor party unless it's not summer and it's comfortable enough where we won't bake OR freeze.

It's never more than an hour and a half for about 90% of parties, and the majority of the time she comes along as a hostess and has bottles of water for us. We really don't have any problems with dehydration, much of our routine is done sitting or standing in one place, not a ton of physical activity. And as far as bathroom breaks, we just go before the party, that's all. If it were an amazing oh-my-god-I'm-gonna-wet-myself situation, we would ask to use the restroom at the end of the gig. But we seriously just go before the party. Anyone who still has to pee after that and can't wait a whole hour is in the wrong line of business.

But like I said, most of the time she has a party hostess with us, and they bring water for us. We're just not allowed to demand it of the parents because it's unprofessional. My boss encourages us to hydrate after parties, and just before IF we know we won't have to go for an hour. The reason *I* get thirsty is because I'm sort of independent, I do a lot of parties alone instead of checking in with my boss and going with a party hostess, so I often forget to bring my own water. But that's my own choice and I'd rather have it that way, it's easier for me to coordinate.

My boss definitely doesn't take advantage of any of us, she's very professional and goes through a litany of things with each client to make sure THEY have everything ready for our arrival and comfort. A/C, an uncluttered, spacious place to perform, etc. And I'm sure she encourages parents to offer water if they want to. I've yet to arrive at a party with no A/C or parents who didn't offer water.

Tony Montana
Aug 6, 2005

Doin Work

Hour and a half

That's fine and I reckon she could pretty much ask you to stand on one leg legally for that long.

I guess yeah, they're kids under 7 years old. An hour of going hard is a total bender and will require days of softly lit rooms and quiet talking.

the jizz taxi
Nov 9, 2008



Everyone is different of course, but if I were you I'd probably become nauseated from all that saccharine music and make-believe happiness, and consequently, constantly think of things like burping or altering song lyrics. I understand that you can't do this - not to mention it would be mean to the kids - but do you ever do things like that when no one's watching, or among friends?

AssassinPrincess
Jun 7, 2010

Next stop, the Canadian border.

the jizz taxi posted:

Everyone is different of course, but if I were you I'd probably become nauseated from all that saccharine music and make-believe happiness, and consequently, constantly think of things like burping or altering song lyrics. I understand that you can't do this - not to mention it would be mean to the kids - but do you ever do things like that when no one's watching, or among friends?

Well I refuse to roll into the princess routine to entertain my friends, no matter how much they ask. I don't do that crap for free.

I actually amuse myself at parties by telling jokes that will fly way over kids' heads and make the parents laugh. Nothing risque or inappropriate, just stuff that's baffling to kids. Like when a little girl said she wished to own a castle and I told her first she'd need to get on the property ladder. Or a little boy who wished for a tattoo and I told him in 18 years I'd come back and grant it. Or once in a while I'll be reading a storybook to them and the parents will be bored to tears with the cutesy story, so I'll ad-lib lines like, "And the prince and princess never saw the wicked queen again, because the 20-year statute of limitations on her claim to the throne had run out." Just stupid stuff that lets the parents get mentally involved instead of just sitting there taking pictures the whole time.

I've heard in client feedback from my parties that parents will give good reviews about "that one really funny princess." It helps to make the party entertaining for the adults as well as the kids.

AssassinPrincess
Jun 7, 2010

Next stop, the Canadian border.

Tony Montana posted:

Hour and a half

That's fine and I reckon she could pretty much ask you to stand on one leg legally for that long.

I guess yeah, they're kids under 7 years old. An hour of going hard is a total bender and will require days of softly lit rooms and quiet talking.

I've worked harder jobs. This job is a cakewalk compared to others. I shoveled cow manure on a dairy farm once in the blazing summer heat. Princessing actually requires less effort and physical strain than most retail jobs I've had, so I'm not complaining!

Chas McGill
Oct 29, 2010

"Does a superman have super-hunger, Gerry? Super-loneliness?"

Which princesses do you prefer to be? Are there any that are tougher than others?

Spitball Trough
Jul 24, 2011


AssassinPrincess posted:

I live in Philly, do you have PMs enabled or are you not platinum?

Wow, the princess market in Philly is big enough to support that many princesses? The world of upper middle class childrearing is a strange and unfamilliar one.

I don't have platinum-- do you have an email address?

And which of the following would you be willing to do?

- Hang out at a big house party at the shore with a bunch of gay guys and probably a sketchy male stripper?
- Party at a somewhat questionable gay bar?
- Go to Atlantic City and shoot craps with the groom.

This is starting to sound like a really awesome time!

AssassinPrincess
Jun 7, 2010

Next stop, the Canadian border.

Haha, oh man. You can email me here for info: GidgetJinx@hotmail.com

Corridor
Oct 19, 2006



AssassinPrincess posted:

It's a fact that when parents want a princess for a party, they mean they want a DISNEY princess. I don't think other princesses even exist for little girls anymore.

As someone who doesn't like Disney but always loved princess stories as a little girl, I find this unspeakably depressing.

This is weirdly fascinating though. More stories please.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012



This is a great thread. How much voice training do you have? Where do you keep your car keys in your princess outfits?

AssassinPrincess
Jun 7, 2010

Next stop, the Canadian border.

Chas McGill posted:

Which princesses do you prefer to be? Are there any that are tougher than others?


Mostly they all have their ups and downs. Rapunzel has flat shoes and a less restrictive dress that's SO much easier to move around and drive in, but I'm always stepping on the long wig if I bend over or sit. Belle is cumbersome but her dress doesn't need ironing, so it saves me time in the morning. Cinderella has the most accessories (headband, necklace, gloves) to keep track of, but also the most impressive wig (I shelled out a ton for a really nicely-styled wig).

I prefer to be Cinderella because her story is easiest to manage. No questions on why I'm not a mermaid anymore or why my dress doesn't change color like Sleeping Beauty and MY GOD DISNEY, thanks a LOT for cutting Rapunzel's hair and turning it brown at the end of the movie, but still making ALL her merchandise have pictures of her with long blonde hair on it. No really, thanks. Even as a totally public-domain generic Rapunzel, I still get asked Disney-centric questions and have to come up with some inoffensive, non copyright-infringing answer.

When reading my Rapunzel storybook, I always ad-lib the line, "And even though my hair got cut, eventually my hair grew back again and I lived happily ever after, blahedy blah," just to jibe with the Disney version on case they ask. (Yes, if the story is about whatever princess we are, then we have to read from the book but change the narration to first-person on the fly.) When kids ask why my hair isn't cut anymore, I smile really wide and say, "OH, well do you remember how my hair was magic? Well a little bit of magic was left in it after all, and eventually it grew back! Though it's only been a short time, so it's not as long as it used to be."


Arsenic Lupin posted:

This is a great thread. How much voice training do you have? Where do you keep your car keys in your princess outfits?

I don't have any training at all, although I worked briefly at a music school that offered vocal training, and one of the instructors had me sing for him a bit and encouraged me to get formal lessons because he thought I was good. That's about as close to training as I've ever come. Most of the other girls actually have some training because that's how my boss finds them...she recruits them out of the school choirs and singing clubs. I always say I'm the weakest singer she has, but then she tells me to shut up and that I sound great, so if she's happy, then I'm happy. Singing is the only thing I'm self-conscious at...my first few parties she had to encourage me to sing loudly enough for the kids to really hear me, because I felt so awkward at it. It was the first time I'd ever sung in front of total strangers before! Anyway, I'm not the best, but I'm proficient, and LOTS of practice helps me. If I can practice certain songs over and over and over, I can imitate them quite well. But I'm no good at going off-script.

We have little satin bags and things that we carry some props, storybooks, etc in for the party, and we stash our keys in that. Lately I've taken to carrying a cute wicker basket around that I decorated with flowers and a little fake bird, and I put my keys in there under some cloth. It's a cute prop, especially for Snow White.

AssassinPrincess fucked around with this message at Sep 4, 2012 around 22:29

Midrena
May 2, 2009


The first picture made me smile, and I've been pretty fascinated while reading through the thread.

I'd love to know more about the cool moments you've had (like that bit you mentioned where you got into a conversation with some kids about skulls and vampires).

Also, which Princess is most requested, and which is the least requested? Has there ever been a request for Pocahontas or Jasmine (that is, non-Caucasian princesses)?


Edit: Just noticed the thread tag, and it made me giggle.

Midrena fucked around with this message at Aug 21, 2012 around 18:37

AssassinPrincess
Jun 7, 2010

Next stop, the Canadian border.

Midrena posted:

The first picture made me smile, and I've been pretty fascinated while reading through the thread.

I'd love to know more about the cool moments you've had (like that bit you mentioned where you got into a conversation with some kids about skulls and vampires).

Also, which Princess is most requested, and which is the least requested? Has there ever been a request for Pocahontas or Jasmine (that is, non-Caucasian princesses)?


Edit: Just noticed the thread tag, and it made me giggle.

Haha, I just went back and saw that! That's hilarious XD

Rapunzel is the most requested right now, that I know of. Maybe tied with Belle. Least requested would be Pocahontas, followed by Mulan. Shame, but they don't have huge sparkly outfits, so we don't get much call for them. Jasmine actually gets requested fairly often...not as often as the ballgown princesses (Sleeping Beauty, Cindy, Belle, etc), but she's fairly standard. Tinkerbell gets some brisk trade too.

I should stress that though I'm referring to them as the Disney characters in these posts, our characters go by non-copyright names like Arabian Princess and Fairy Bell and such (copyright copyright blahedy blah legal jargon). The parents know they're hiring only lookalikes, but the kids really don't know the difference. Disney has done such a good job at color coding their character marketing, that any blonde woman in a blue dress is Cinderella, and any brunette in a gold dress is Belle.

I'm writing up the next post and finishing the drawings for it, and it will include a complete expose on skulls and vampires and the Scary Blood Store, so stay tuned!

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012



AssassinPrincess posted:

Tinkerbell gets some brisk trade too.

Thank you for that disturbing image.

burnt_offerings
May 9, 2012



Interesting thread, thanks for sharing.

How many days per week do you normally have gigs?

Is the demand high enough that you could do princess parties full time if you wanted? Could you bear it?

Has a kid ever thrown up on you or your gown?

Would you be willing to soundcloud one of your songs so we could hear you sing?

Incredulous Dylan
Oct 22, 2004



Boy, reading this thread really brought me back to a series of dates I had with this chick a few years ago. She was extremely attractive and for our first outing agreed to go out to a nice restaurant down by the beach so we could get to know each other, etc. This was my first introduction to a real Disney Fan. I don't mean they like Disney, I am talking some upper stratosphere of Disney fandom I can't contemplate using my existing neurons. Now, I live in South Florida and have been to all of the theme parks plenty of times and I make sure to hit up Disney annually for the awesome food and wine festival in Epcot. I like the strange entertainment but the "lore" is of course uninteresting to me. Here I am talking with this woman and before I know it I am learning all about what it is like to be a Disney intern and live in their little Disney apartment ghettos and how she wants to have a career with Disney and is in fact going to move back up there and holy gently caress just make it stop. Her room is Disney themed. On her phone she showed me pictures of her posing with a Disney princess - normal I guess but there were about 100 of them all in the same session and you could see the poor Cinderella being pushed past the point of fantasy professionalism as this woman clutched tighter with each frame.

In the end since I love to listen I absorbed (and later forgot) it all and actually learned a lot about what it is like to work and live in Disney World. Plus that place had amazing churrasco (plus she was very hot). Do you have any stories about a "Disney Nut"? I imagine your business has to have some kind of age range they allow their workers to perform to because if this chick could have hired her own Cinderella I guarantee you she would have hugged her until princess gnawed her own head off of her torso to escape life.

Magikarpal Tunnel
Jul 29, 2006

Football? Yaaaay


I have to ask because you drew her up there, but has there ever been a request for Charlotte La Bouff? Seems like she'd be pretty popular among little girls, but then again she isn't really part of the princess club.

Eagerly awaiting stories of terrifying rich parents as well.

Toriori
Jan 4, 2012

No Yanda's allowed

I won't lie, this thread has me legitimately trying to figure out how to start-up a hire-a-princess business since I don't think there's any in my town. Seriously considering. I wonder what kind of licensing/legalities would come with it where I live.

Paul Allen
Sep 22, 2004

Is that a raincoat?



Well this thread is absolutely fascinating! I've copied and pasted all AssassinPrincess' posts into a PDF for my fiance to read; I know she'll enjoy reading all this as much as I have. I may have to show my sister-in-law this thread too, being that she's the mother of two little girls.

I'm a little surprised no one has asked for a picture of you as a princess yet. Is that something you'd be comfortable posting? I'd love to see what all your self-made princess costumes look like.

Also, your illustrations are fantastic! Keep 'em coming!

AssassinPrincess
Jun 7, 2010

Next stop, the Canadian border.

Haha, I didn't think anyone would want to know personally about my princessing stuff, just stuff about the biz in general!

Paul Allen posted:

I'm a little surprised no one has asked for a picture of you as a princess yet. Is that something you'd be comfortable posting? I'd love to see what all your self-made princess costumes look like.

Well I could dig one up if I can find one, but I'll have to black out the kids' faces. Even though we do pictures with the kids at parties, it's not like the princesses get copies of them often, so I'll have to look around and see if I've got something decent.


burnt_offerings posted:

Would you be willing to soundcloud one of your songs so we could hear you sing?

Oh good god no, I'm horribly self-conscious about my singing! The only reason I'm comfortable doing it at parties now is because I know kids can't tell good singing from mediocre singing. Letting the internet hear it would be humiliating.

Arsenic Lupin posted:

Thank you for that disturbing image.

Oh, whoops, I just meant 'gets a lot of business.' Wait, even that sounds wrong. Crap.



Toriori posted:

I won't lie, this thread has me legitimately trying to figure out how to start-up a hire-a-princess business since I don't think there's any in my town. Seriously considering. I wonder what kind of licensing/legalities would come with it where I live.

Oddly enough, quite a lot of new princess businesses seem to be cropping up lately, due to people losing their jobs and wanting to start their own side businesses. Like I said, I make costumes and props for my boss and recently opened a little online store to sell crowns and costumes and things to other princess company across the country. I was inspired to solely based on the demand from princess companies...there's no good place to get a Sleeping Beauty adult sized crown that's not Disney made and copyrighted, you know? Most of my customers have just started their companies and some are just solo women who hire themselves out, instead of having a stable of princesses.

I can tell you that my boss requires paperwork from her girls on criminal background checks and child-related background checks (re: make sure we're not sexual predators or anything). The paperwork for each is 10 bucks and you just mail away for the state to check you out and send back an official form saying you're clear. Other than that, I don't know of much paperwork you might have to deal with, other than small business stuff, but look it up! It's a growing industry, especially since many parents increasingly can't afford the trip to Disney world, but can afford to hire princesses to bring the magic to them.


I'm almost done with the next post...sorry for the delay, it's pretty big. But I'll post it asap and answer all the other asked questions in it! Thanks!

AssassinPrincess fucked around with this message at Aug 22, 2012 around 04:16

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BUTT CONSPIRACY
Feb 16, 2012


Are the only princesses you play ones that you look like? Since you mentioned wigs, if you're white, you can probably do many of the princesses, but are there particular women that do all the Pocahantas and Mulan gigs?

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