Do you remember watching Disney movies as a kid, belting your little heart out and dreaming what it would be like to be a Disney Princess? Do you remember the feeling that movie would give you by the end, before you had to snap back to reality? You believed that anything was possible. And that all your dreams could come true. There is no denying the magic of Disney.
Jodi Nagy gets to create that dream, that feeling, that magic almost every day. Nagy is a Disney princess or at least she gets to play one at children’s parties. She began this journey as a Disney Princess by winning Brantford Idol back in 2007.
“Joan Minnery ran a contest called Brantford Idol many years ago and one of the years I won it. When you win she puts you out in the community to help you feel that idol experience and get noticed. One of the events she put me at was the Children’s Safety Village … One of the vendors had a princess party company. After she heard me sing, she approached me and said, ‘I can’t afford you but that was awesome and I want you to work for me.”
Nagy explained that she didn’t know what a princess party was at the time but she knew she wanted to be a part of it.
“I did a few parties with her, got a taste for it and she ended up running into a few issues in her own life and didn’t continue with the business but I had already tasted it and I wanted it.”
“My mom was the fairy godmother and all I had was Cinderella, Snow White and Ariel and the costumes were horrific. I didn’t even wear makeup, but it was my start.”
For Nagy however, being a princess is not her full time job. She works hard to be able to do something that she loves. Her drive and passion for this type of occupation motivates her to do everything she can to continue with it. “It is moving towards being a full-time job, but as of right now, I clean houses all week, I DJ on the weekends, and I am also in a jazz band called Corner Pocket.”
“It does already feel like a full-time job. When you work all day, and then come home and makes things for it… I’ve painted backdrops, bean bag boards, everything the kids play with at my parties, I’ve created it all.”
“I’m not doing this job because it pays well. I’m doing this job because I absolutely love it and it’s my passion. Hence why I still clean houses all week to actually pay my bills.”
Nagy also discussed that as a princess you have to really look and act the part because you are there to make the childs day.
“You’re a princess and it’s not even how pretty you are or not. They have this glam look and you have to have that. They have a sparkle.”
Nagy has been a princess for about 10 years and it’s taken her a lot to get to where she is now. “Without that contest and gaining that confidence, 10 years ago I would be sick and nervous before I had to go and do a job because I didn’t want to screw it up and it was still new. I didn’t know what I was doing, now I walk in and I know exactly what I’m doing … you want to put on the best performance you can.”
Though this job is a lot of work with little pay, it has it’s perks that help Nagy push through.
“Seeing the kids’ faces light up is absolutely the best part. When you walk somewhere, they stop dead or run directly for you. You can see it in their eyes and you get just the biggest hug,” said Nagy.
Nagy’s employees also have the same passion to see these kids happy.
“It’s their look, their happiness which is why we all love this. We aren’t doing it because it’s a business, we are doing it because we absolutely love it, the kids are what make it.”
“We never lip sync and that’s what makes it so special. If we are struggling and the child is being shy and we can’t get them to come we just start singing to them. Even if it’s just, ‘Do you wanna build a snowman?’ and you get them to come to you cause you’re doing exactly what they see you do on TV. You’re singing having fun and it brings the child in so they are not so scared.” Nagy explains.
Every year Nagy puts on an event for the children called the Winter Wonderland Princess Ball, “I’m exhausted but as soon as the day hits, and I see these kids piling in, it comes back to the way the kids look at you. Sometimes they’ll cry when you’re leaving, or you get this massive group hug, or the individual hugs. Moments of singing with them can go a long way.”
Nagy treasures every moment with these kids, it’s what pushes her and drives her to do better for them.
“Watching the kids play the games that you came up with, are so involved with what you’re doing. I don’t know what keeps me going until I get to the party and then I remember why. These little moments in time where they’re just magical. The love that you feel that comes from the kids is intense and you’re like a little celebrity even in your own mind. I’m really in my own element.”
Nagy does whatever it takes to make a child’s princess experience memorable and absolutely loves every second. To these kids, she really is a Disney princess.