She’s Once… Twice… Three Times a Lady

Aside

“You can count on me like 1, 2, 3. I’ll be there
And I know when I need it, I can count on you like 4, 3, 2
You’ll be there. ‘Cause that’s what friends are supposed to do, oh yeah” – Bruno Mars/Count on Me

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I set my water bottle on the drainage grate, my hula hoop in the grass and my bag of tricks on the sidewalk. Showtime! Five minutes later another Lady Liberty joined me. Then another climbed on top of a van. A third rounded the corner moments later. We were multiplying!

It looked like Costumed Mama was part of a back-up dance crew today! The occasion: Liberty Tax Service’s Roadside Party. There was food, drink, raffles and a bounce house.

Exciting!

You know what else was exciting? I got my very first “you’re number one” sign from a driver, and it was the perfect day for it! I’m just glad I paid close attention to my Waver 101 training video on audition day, otherwise I may have misinterpreted the driver’s intention. I smiled, waved and gave the thumbs up to show my gratitude.

I then decided it was necessary to have some other “firsts” on the street.

1) I sang out loud. (Flo Rida and Truly Scrumptious wouldn’t let me hold it in anymore)

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2) I did a cart wheel. (It was the one thing on Liberty’s “Ways to Get Attention” list that I hadn’t tried)

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You want see video, don’t you? Okay. But be warned: It’s not pretty.

3) I took my pants off. (After weeks of yearning for warmer weather I finally got my wish, and now it was too hot!)

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Aren’t you glad the pants came off after the cart wheel?

And what you’ve all been waiting for…

4)     I posted some videos of Costumed Mama. (you need a laugh)

See her hoop it up here. See her do something else here.

5)     And lastly, I kissed a furry face on the job. DSCN7195Oh, wait – that might not be a first.

“I’m feeling like a star, you can’t stop my shine, I’m loving cloud nine, my head’s in the sky” – Jason Derulo/Ridin’ Solo

Busted!

I had applied for several jobs in the past six months. Most companies hadn’t even responded to my applications, but after only a brief chat and a 15-minute audition, I left Liberty Tax Service as a new employee giddy with excitement.

Once in the car, I smashed the tiny lettered buttons on my cell phone. “I just got a job. Booyah!”

My husband greeted me later in the kitchen. “So what’s the new job?”

“Well, that’s top secret. I can’t reveal that information right now.”

I’m sure he knew what I was up to, but he was a good sport and let me have my fun.

Lady Liberty was to remain in the closet. Nobody was going to know about this –not my parents, my children, my neighbors or friends – NOBODY – the only exception, a lone confidant 500 miles away. I needed more time to come to peace with my decision and allow my positive energy to build up its charge.

No one would ever expect me to be on the street in a Statue of Liberty costume. If people I knew drove by they wouldn’t have time for a second glance, but just in case, I’d take extra precautions: face paint, sunglasses, and a hat to hide my most distinguishing features. My secret was safe.

It was only a few days into my Liberty gig when Mother Nature reared her ugly head and put all my plans in jeopardy.

The first big snow of the season started falling the night before my third day of work. The news stations were in hyper-mode as they often get when precipitation falls from the sky in Coastal Virginia. The schools had already cancelled classes. The grocery store shelves had been wiped clean of milk and bread as if the polar vortex itself had torn through the aisles.

Being a brand new employee, I wasn’t certain the protocol for extreme weather conditions, but I was determined to be prepared. I set aside a pile of clothing containing as many layers of pants, tops and outerwear that I thought could keep me warm yet still allow me to move.

I should have taken a hint from my colleague working out on Liberty Island. Does she get to step off her pedestal and stay home in bad weather? Nope.

Turns out, neither does Lady Liberty in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Similar to our mail carriers, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night (we have glow crowns) stays these wavers from the completion of their appointed duties. Interestingly, I don’t think our mail was delivered that day.

But I pounded the icy pavement in a dress and Duck Boots, and that’s pretty remarkable. That’s perseverance. That’s dedication.

That’s newsworthy!

The reporter was from the Virginian Pilot. With his shoulders hunched and hands tucked deep in his pockets he made his way through the chunky ice and slush to my spot on the sidewalk. “Can I talk to about your job out here?”

YES! Publicity for my boss! Advertising for Liberty Tax Service! This is what it’s all about! And I’d get noticed! Cool.

Oh wait… NO. I don’t want to get noticed! I was in a quandary.

The thing is I had an obligation to do my job, and that was marketing. I simply couldn’t deny the publicity. I was also pretty excited about being interviewed by a reporter. (and spending a few minutes in the warm office) Surely he could tell the story without using my name.

He couldn’t. He insisted on a surname. I had a few seconds to think, which clearly wasn’t enough time because (1) I’m not that quick on my feet, and (2) I’m a terrible liar. So in my flustered state I blurted out my maiden name. (as if that was going to cloak my identity)

Great. Now my parents could be surprised and embarrassed when they opened their newspaper that day. As a writer and journalist, I’m ashamed to admit I secretly hoped nobody else I knew had a subscription.

The rest of the day I wondered when I’d get a phone call, an email or a Facebook message reporting that the story had been spotted and my secret revealed.

I got home around 1:30 that day. I turned on the computer and clicked on my mailbox. There was a message from my husband whose subject line read, “What’s the first thing I see when my work computer opens to Pilot Online?” I opened the email and discovered only one line, an internet link containing the words, “snow-cold-cant-keep-lady-liberty-work.”

Busted.

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It’s Not Easy Being Green

The first thing I did after accepting the Lady Liberty Waver position was go online and search for green face paint. Not just any green – it had to be a copper green patina so I could create an authentic Statue of Liberty face. The goal was to have it blend in with the costume.

Painting my face would be fun and I was all about making the job fun. Also, as a new employee of Liberty Tax Service, I was committed to doing everything I could to help market the business. Having a green face was one way I’d stand out and get people to notice my Lady Liberty.

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I found Mehron Liberty Green makeup on eBay described as “Statue of Liberty Zombie.” When the tiny 3” makeup tube arrived I was concerned that the 1 oz. supply would only last for one or two applications but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. A little goes a long way and so far I’ve managed to get six applications out of it. I think next time I’m going to have to cut the tube open and scrape off whatever cream is left clinging to the walls for my final green face.

 

 

DSCN6949The consistency is very smooth and it doesn’t crack when it dries. I use water and a paper towels to wipe it off after my shift. It comes off so easily and quickly. I recommend this product, and I can only assume that the rest of Mehron’s makeup line is equally as good.

 

I had a Ben Nye face painting kit already at home so I was excited to think of other makeup designs for Lady Liberty. My palette includes white, green, red, blue, yellow and black. I painted on an American flag one day. It was a rush job, but still, I think it provided a dramatic effect from the street.

DSCN6504I applied a green shamrock with some silver sparkle on my cheek for St. Patrick’s Day. I haven’t done any elaborate designs since my red, white and blue day. I think it would be cool to do something metallic or sparkly but I haven’t come up with an appropriate design yet. I’ve also considered painting a bold star on my eyes or spattering tiny ones down the side of my face. I welcome any suggestions. What do you think?

There was one other bit of research that had to be done before I hit the streets and that was to add some classic dance moves to my repertoire. I came across this YouTube video, which was inspiring and hilarious!

But that’s a completely different story, and a description of my dance follies will have to wait for a future post. For some of you, the mere thought of Costumed Mama performing some of these moves is enough to keep you laughing until the real Lady Liberty video is released.

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As you can see my car looks like a homeless street performer’s cart. I continue to acquire more props to have at the ready, and my next post will focus on these one-of-a-kind toys. I’ll tell you were I found some, how I made others and how I’ve incorporated them into my street routine to keep things fresh.

 

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