I have a lot of people ask me when the company I work for will be hiring. People I barely know ask me to recommend them for a position… and I understand. Their interest is genuine, but fogged by an illusion that our job is to stand around for an hour or two at a time smiling in a pretty dress. The reality is that, yes, working as a party princess is the best thing that has ever happened to me; but no, it isn’t a fairytale every time I show up for work. My job is to be there for children – to love them so much that I would give anything to make one day so special for them that they could consider it magical. My job is to show that kindness is not weak – to prove that just because you have a big heart and love glitter doesn’t mean you are a flimsy damsel in distress. My job is to reflect how much my Father loves me – to show that I am a princess of an everlasting kingdom, and that every child is just as beloved. And sometimes, that same job description means I spend two hours being whacked with a stuffed fish.
This week I got through my roughest night as a party princess, and as soon as I found myself back in the royal carriage I was really overwhelmed. It had been a long night of girls trying to literally pull out my hair and being told I was a fake, and I was more than a little disheartened. After all I tried to do for these kids, I didn’t feel like I was actually doing a very good job. During story-time Princess Aurora was muted by screaming kids as they pushed each other over and hit her with multiple objects (primarily Princess Ariel’s stolen stuffed Flounder), during meet and greets a little boy tried to bite me, during games I was jumped on and pulled, and by the end a girl asked me why I didn’t attend parties naked. But despite the hard day, I realize how blessed I was to be there – and not just because the lovely parents gave the royal attendants cake for Princess Ariel and I to eat on our way back to our respective kingdoms. At that same party I felt like I had been failing, I met a little girl with autism that wasn’t able to speak fully formed words. At the end of the night, her mother told me she wished she could have taken me home with her because her daughter never approached anyone like that. She said she was so happy I was there. And that made me remember how important it is to always be a princess. You never know the impact you make on the world around you just by putting compassionate thoughts out there. And while I was feeling more like a babysitter drowning in a petticoat and two tons of makeup that evening, I failed to recognize the love I had for these little ones was powerful.
My job is not about getting to live my childhood dreams. It is about the idea that these storybook characters mean something because they represent that at any given moment, there is someone out there who loves you and believes goodness matters. So whatever you do, may it be a job like mine where you’re doused in sparkles and a tiara, or something else – remember how important it is to be kind. You are changing everything for someone else, whether you’re aware or not.
Of course this little life-changing moment is all in thanks to the family I work for, Be Our Guest Party Entertainment LLC. They have taught me so much about what it means to care about other people and make a difference.