In November of 2013 I started my own birthday party business. The idea came about after having a conversation with a friend who has been doing Princess Parties for many years. She felt it was a good fit for me since I have been working in Early Childhood Education my entire adult life. I have held many positions in Child Care and have completed several certified courses in Early Childhood Development. I have been in the hobby of costuming for roughly 10 years. One of the first and very important lessons she taught me was that being a Princess Performer was not Cosplay.
What is "Cosplay"? For those unfamiliar with the term, cosplay is dressing up as your favorite characters from comic books, anime, movies, pop culture and more. It is an expression of your love for those characters. Cosplayers participate in photo shoots and attend conventions. Anyone can cosplay. It doesn't matter what you look like or what your background is. Being a cosplayer can greatly help in becoming a professional performer. As a cosplayer, you have an eye for putting costumes together and you are most likely use to being photographed. That is however, as far as cosplay can take you.
With becoming a professional performer, you have to face the cold hard truth. Performing is not a time to be a social justice warrior. You have to be honest with yourself. Can you realistically pass for a princess? You have to have the right look. You have to have the right body frame. Your costumes, wigs and contact lenses have to be top of the line. No one is going to pay you good money if you do not look like the character and if you cannot convince the children that you are really from a magical kingdom.
What happens if you can't pass as a certain princess? Hire someone who has the right look. I cannot market myself as a princess of Asian or African descent. This isn't cosplay. Not only will no one hire me, but it would be devastating to a little girl or boy who perhaps wanted a princess who shared the same ethnic background as they do. If I walked into a party and did not have the right look, I won't be convincing. It would be a great disappointment to the children. This isn't about me or my feelings. It's not about which princess I like. It's about the kids and doing everything possible to make them feel special on their birthday. The phrase "kids don't notice" is a false and ignorant one. Children are some of the smartest people I know. They are observant and they deserve the very best. They also have no filter and will call you out on your BS.
Speaking of good money, I generally make $125-$150 per hour, depending on the number of children that are attending. If you are thinking about evolving into a professional princess performer, just remember; being a professional performer is not cosplay.
Twitter & Instagram: @victoria_avalor