Reporting Kathryn Larson
You know what they say. If the glass slipper fits — wear it.
Believe it or not, the “professional princess” business is booming and one sparkly specialist is casting her spell over metro Detroit.
That’s what Amy Demoff decided to do seven years ago when the stay-at-home mom opened Fairytale Entertainment in Clarkston. Since then, for this professional Cinderalla, it’s been a dream come true.
“A lot of hard work, but princesses do work very, very hard. So it’s very fun, I absolutely love it,” said Demoff. Booking more than half a dozen parties a weekend, this Cinderella hoists her hoop skirt and hops into her Honda to attend the birthday of princess Marissa, a 3-year-old from Shelby Township.
Demoff doesn’t mind posing for pictures at the park or while pumping gas, when the magic ends, this princess puts on a Clark Kent-esque disguise. “Now I have kind of a secret identity. I wear my glasses during the week,” she said cracking herself up.
Most of Cinderella’s days are enchanting, but she does have the occasional un-princess-like moment commuting between jobs. “Trying to be a princess while you’re driving and not get upset at everyone else around you is a little bit … crazy,” said Demoff.
Even Cinderella can get tired. “Children pulling on me, I get kind of like ‘Alright, Cinderella is a little bit tired,’ and I need to not show that to everyone else,” she said.
The Copyright Dance
One of the more troublesome aspects of the job, according to Demoff, is staying in good graces with the Disney legal watchdogs. Demoff explained how she plays by their rules, “For the most part there are certain ones that you can do because they’re classic stories. And there’s others that you want to be careful about.”
This busy Cinderella knows how to skirt the restrictions. When dealing with new Disney stars like the new redheaded Pixar princess Merida. “We call her the brave princess or Meredith.” Demoff said smiling.
But there are some she will never pretend to be. “They’re very, very concerned about Mickey and Minnie. Those are their copyright characters. You do not do them. Anyone who does is crazy. They’re going to be in trouble,” she warned.
You Get What You Pay For
A professional princess can cost around $200. That value is realized when partygoers see the elaborate and believable costumes the performers wear.
Business is good for Demoff, occasionally doing more than one party per day. She’s had to make some concessions in the past she admits, “In about 10 minutes I can become Cinderella and then change sometimes even in the car into another princess on the way to another party. Don’t tell anyone that.”
According to Demoff, the princesses instil positive lessons to the young ladies. “It’s wonderful to be feminine. It’s wonderful to teach girls that being a girl is good …” she said. “Thinking about others and about being a good friend,” she added. “There’s a lot of things that we teach them. and it’s not about exterior beauty, but inner beauty that makes them beautiful,” she concluded.
Demoff is looking for fairy tale princesses and princes to add to her cast of characters and she pays $65 an hour. Visit fairytaleyourparty.com for more information.