Party with a princess
A tiny girl ran squealing to her mother at a recent Thursday Night Market. “Mommy! I got to wear a crown!” she said breathlessly, a starry smile on her face. It was a typical encounter with young visitors at the Enchantment Princess Parties booth. Kids of all ages were invited to don a rhinestone tiara to have their photos taken with theatrically costumed Cinderella, Tinker Bell or Ariel characters. If the kids weren’t already enraptured, they also were offered a colorful lollipop. Trisha Wells, 37, could be called the “drama queen” behind the operation. Several months ago she founded the company that offers visits from popular characters for children’s parties and other events. Enchantment Princesses can be seen again at the Thursday Night Market in downtown Chico, on Sept. 25, for the last market of the season. Its booth is near Fourth and Broadway by the City Plaza. Princesses also can be booked for private parties and other events. For more information, visit www.enchantmentprincessparties.com.
How did you get the idea for this business?
I’ve always been involved in theater, and this area is just lacking in children’s entertainment. There are face-painters, and one clown I know of. But when it comes to children’s parties, there’s a shortage. Our princesses show up and tell stories, lead songs, games and a craft. There’s also a coronation ceremony, where everyone gets a tiara. The princess also cuts and serves the cake. There’s a makeover session—light makeup because the kids are young—and they get a little tattoo and glitter. In places like San Francisco, the prices are much higher, but because of where we are, we cut the prices.
Describe your theatrical background.
I was born and raised in Paradise, and did theater at Theatre on the Ridge, and when I was in college at UC Davis. Also, at the J Street Theatre in Sacramento. But my degree was in microbiology. My day job is at Feather River Hospital, where I’m a cardiographic technician. I do EKGs, stress tests, cardiac monitoring and neurology. I do moonlight as a Fairy Godmother sometimes—I’m not a princess anymore. There’s an age limit for that.
What do your own kids think about Mom’s new business?
I have sons who are 15, 11 and 8, and a daughter who’s 4. She thinks it’s amazing. She gets to be friends with all the princesses.
Lots of people around here like to dress up. Can people apply for jobs with you?
On Facebook, we hold open auditions. People can sing a song, and tell about themselves, then I can arrange to meet them in person. Right now I have three actresses who portray seven princesses. All of them need to be able to play any of the characters. I’d like to expand that to include lots more. I’d like for it to grow, to expand beyond Chico and Paradise and go into Redding and Sacramento. We hope in the near future to add superheroes to our cast of characters, like Iron Man, Batman, Superman and more.
What are the qualifications of an ideal actor?
You have to be outgoing, have lots of smiles, and a fun personality. You also need to be able to sing, or at least carry a bit of a tune.