Leading a Princess

I wrote about shadowing Princesses in an earlier post and this is a follow up piece. Having shadowed a Princess when I initially started at my company, I have now been on the other side and auditioned would-be Princesses for the job. Auditioning Princesses at a live party can be hard because you still have to maintain your focus on the party whilst also keeping track of your new Princess.

The parents should be made aware ahead of time that a second trainee Princess will be joining their party, as this is free of charge they parents are usually pretty happy about this. Once the party has finished, ask them to provide feedback on how they think it went as this can be considered when the company makes a decision.

When you are leading a party, you need to make sure you are both on the same page. This is even more important when dealing with a new Princess who won’t have much experience at this point. If possible, meet beforehand to discuss what’s expected or use your setup time to answer questions. Wherever possible, offer her guidance or explain why you are doing what you are doing. This can usually be done during setup and takedown.

Although parties follow a common theme, each Princess brings her own setup and schedule. Answer any questions the new Princess may have honestly, but remember that you may have a different way of working to others. She may also have some good ideas so encourage discussion rather than one long lecture.

Once the party is underway, let the Princess lead some of the games to get a handle on how she deals with a large group of children. However, you are still in charge here and this isn’t an excuse to take a break. You’ll need to monitor how the party is going in order to give useful feedback to your manager. If she makes a mistake, don’t leap in immediately. Let her work things out and only step in if she is really struggling.

At my company, an auditioning Princess must perform at least one song during a party. You’ll need to let her know beforehand so she had time to learn the words and practice so don’t spring this on her last minute. If she’s feeling nervous, reassure her and offer advice. I usually make the auditioning Princess perform first as some children will only sit still for one song and you don’t want to waste the opportunity. However if she is very nervous, sometimes following an established Princess can help.

Although you are auditioning the Princess, be friendly and offer advice and guidance as well. For most girls, this will be their first experience of a party and it may be different to what they expected. Don’t forget to be enthusiastic about what you do, as although horror stories are fun to share you don’t want to put her off completely! Finally, always remember that everybody starts somewhere and you were a new Princess once upon a time.

Have you mentored a Princess or thinking about it? Let me know in the comments.



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