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A Cinderella Story

Senior Mary Mikel is student by day, princess by night.

Mikel%2C+dressed+as+Cinderella%2C+smiles+as+she+listens+to+a+little+girl.
Mikel, dressed as Cinderella, smiles as she listens to a little girl.

Mikel, dressed as Cinderella, smiles as she listens to a little girl.

Courtesy of Mary Mikel

Courtesy of Mary Mikel

Mikel, dressed as Cinderella, smiles as she listens to a little girl.

Emma Gottfried, News/Features Editor

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With a flick of the wand, her pumpkin had become a carriage and her shoes turned to glass. Her trusty mice had been replaced by white horses. She gathered up her new gown andrushed off to the ball.

Senior Mary Mikel has been Cinderella ever since her freshman year when she decided to work at Enchanted Events. At her job she attends many birthday parties and kids events where she comes dressed up as a Disney princess. She has played tons of characters including Anna, Elsa, Ariel, Cinderella, and others.

“My all-time favorite to play is Cinderella because I look most like her. She is so underrated and so kind and caring. I like the kindness she exudes the most,” said Mikel.

Mikel’s friends were the ones who pushed her to pursue this job because she has been a nanny for some time and think she is great at it.

Senior Annie Novak has seen these qualities in her friend.

“[Mary] is a really good with kids. She is also really kind and caring and helpful and good at explaining things,” said Novak.

English teacher Tracy Bouslog agrees.

“She is a kind person who likes people and has an appreciation for the arts. When she’s acting for kids, she gets into it. She is very kind and gentle and has a special kind of grace about her,” said Bouslog.

Not only does Mikel have to dress as a princess, she has to know everything about her and act like her. She says that she has had to come up with some pretty creative responses when it comes to questions from kids and other partygoers.

“Lots of grandmas have come up to me and asked where I go to school so I say i’m homeschooled at the castle,” said Mikel. “Kids have asked me to show them my ice powers when i’m dressed as Elsa. I say that I can’t because I turn them off when I come to St. Louis.”

This job can get dangerous as well. Not because of the kids, but the dads and men at the parties have caused Mikel and her coworkers to travel with bodyguards.

“I have had grown men get touchy. I’ve had beer spilled on me. Me and my coworker have gotten pushed against a wall once. It’s very scary because I still have to stay in character,” said Mikel.

Mikel says imagination is a big part of childhood so she loves to be part of it so she wants kids to be able to believe and it is hard to do that when things don’t go as planned. Nonetheless she still loves to dress up as someone else and pretend to be who you are not for a day.

“When I was Ariel, I started combing my hair with a fork because she does that in the movie. The kids asked why I was combing my hair with a fork. I replied with ‘What’s a fork? They were shocked,” said Mikel.

However, this gig is not just acting like a princess. Mikel must also look the part. Much of the time is spent preparing for events. Mikel said she has to spend almost an hour and a half just on the Cinderella makeup alone. She also has to put on a wig and curl every strand. A big poofy gown must be worn, along with a corset.

Studying is an important part of the job as well. Mikel said this is so the kids can really believe that she is the real Cinderella.

“I had to watch the movies and study her mannerisms. I had to rewind and watch lots of videos of actors at disneyland,” said Mikel.

In all, Mikel just loves being a part of a child’s imagination and she said her favorite quote to sum her up would be from Tinkerbell.

“All you need is faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust,” said Mikel.

 

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