Meet Mermaid Rachel
Transforming into a Magical Mermaid, rescuing The Golden Coconut and singing songs with dozens of excited six year olds; it’s all in a day’s work for Rachel, Perform Party Leader.
After a hearty breakfast, I do a thorough vocal warm-up so my voice is ready for the party. I’ve learnt that the secret to keeping 25 children entertained is using every vocal trick in the book: making my voice loud and exciting, low and intriguing and everything in between! Next, I pack all the colourful props and costumes that I need to take with me. Today, I’m doing Mermaids and Pirates– a brilliant theme that both boys and girls love. The birthday girl (Emily) has requested I come as a mermaid, so into the suitcase go a bright purple sparkly top, a long pink wig and glittery gold shoes. Also, a pirate hat and cutless for my transformation into the Pirate King! Apart from my specially written Perform Party tracks, I also have my secret weapon: a playlist of the latest pop tunes that gets the kids all excited as we wait for the last few guests to arrive.
I hop in my car and drive to the venue. I’ve already spoken to Emily’s parents earlier in the week and sorted out all the details. We also had a chat about Emily’s personality and likes, and I’m really looking forward to meeting her.
Meet the parents
When I arrive at the venue, Emily’s Mum rushes out to meet me. She looks frazzled and anxious and I reassure her that everything’s going to be great. I also meet the gorgeous birthday girl who is bouncing off the walls with excitement! Emily has the best look on her face when she sees me in my mermaid outfit.
One boy in particular catches my eye, dressed in a pirate costume and clinging to his Dad’s legs in the corner. I approach him and get down to his level. ‘What’s your name?’ ‘Theo’, the Dad replies. ‘He never joins in at parties.’ I look directly at Theo and softly say, ‘Theo, my name is Mermaid Rachel. Soon we’ll be going on an amazing adventure and I need some pirates to help me. I can’t go all by myself. Will you help me please?’ Theo nods uncertainly and I take his hand. It’s time for the party to begin!
I introduce myself to the children in character and see Theo sitting on the edge of the group. Slowly, he creeps forward and eventually becomes so absorbed that I clock Dad sneaking off to the kitchen to have a drink with the other parents.
The energetic hour-long adventure flies by and it’s such a joy to see all the children happy and joining in. We go on a quest to rescue The Golden Coconut from the Pirate King and the children truly believe in the world I’m creating, their eyes are as wide as saucers. We play games, sing songs and goon a very physical adventure. The children eventually save the day and they leave buzzing with exhilaration.
Later that evening, Emily’s Mum texts me: ‘Thank you so much for an amazing party; and Emily had a brilliant day. Theo’s Dad was overjoyed that he joined in, his first time ever!’ As for me, I’m getting an early night – I've got another one tomorrow!