Twenty-eight year old Caitlin Nofi of Huntington started performing live theatre when she was five years old. Since then, she has been featured in countless plays, musicals, and a few television shows. While she continues to perform in shows, recently she has spent her weekends living the dream of playing the role of a Disney princess.
Just a Spoonful of Sugar
Caitlin is one of many employees at Spoonful of Sugar Entertainment, a Long Island entertainment company specializing in children’s parties featuring storybook characters. From their “Mermaid Princess” to their “Glass Slipper Princess” – names used for copyright purposes – these young women bring joy to children across Long Island. The events range from birthday parties at homes to brunches and meet-and-greets at locations like the Long Island Aquarium.
A Whole New Role
Ms. Nofi said she began performing in children’s theatre productions in 2011. There, she fell in love with the excitement of the meet-and-greets following the show.
“I loved getting to interact with each individual child to create a memory and an experience that would stick with them,” she said.
With that in mind, when she found about about a job opportunity to play a princess professionally she was instantly intrigued. Almost every weekend she arrives at parties and events dressed and made-up just like a beloved Disney character. Spoonful of Sugar Entertainment provides top-notch costumes designed to maintain the quality of the famous brand. Ms. Nofi most often portrays “The Snow Princess” – inspired by Anna from Frozen. So far, she said, the experience has been amazing.
“I feel so excited and blessed to bring so much joy to countless children,” said Ms. Nofi. “Not everyone has the ability to travel to Disney, so it’s amazing to be able to bring the magic to them!”
She explained that each event is very different, but the performers and everyone behind-the-scenes tries to make each experience as personalized as possible to “each little royal.”
Practice Makes Perfect
However, the job is not always magic and fairy dust. Ms. Nofi said the routine can be tiring, especially since many performers work full-time jobs during the week. She always makes sure she is in her prime before a party of an event to make the experience as authentic and magical as possible.
“I start getting ready hours before the event, putting on a full face of makeup, each character has their own specific makeup plot, braiding up my hair and putting on a wig cap, getting into my wig and costume, and then heading to the event! I like to warm up on the way by singing songs that my character sings,” she explained.
Additionally, she noted that anyone considering beginning their journey of becoming a professional princess should be aware of its challenges.
“You’re at a much greater risk of getting sick because of how much you work with children [and] people tend to push boundaries because they know you’re in character and you can’t really protest,” Ms. Nofi said.
She would also advise newer performers to learn from their experience colleagues.
“They have so much wisdom and I know personally I have become a significantly better performer from simply watching the more experienced girls work.”
She said everyone she’s met in the business are encouraging and supportive, always offering makeup tips or posing advice.
“It’s an extremely positive working environment and I feel really lucky to have met all the amazing people I work with,” said Ms. Nofi.
A Worthwhile Experience
Despite the challenges, as many performers face in various industries, Ms. Nofi said that, overall, it is an amazing job.
“I am so truly lucky to get to do this, and if you’re willing to take on the challenges, the rewards are endless,” she said. “I think the industry also gives all of us who love Disney and are nostalgic about these fairy tales an outlet to not only express that but pass it on to another generation.”