Beth and Nathalie Pearce are sisters and mothers. Beth is studying business and marketing at university and Natalie is a teaching assistant at a primary school. They live in the South Wales valleys, which they say is “wet, but very lovely with lots of lovely scenery and a close knit community”.
Despite these rather normal sounding lives, they also look a lot like a certain characters from the highest-grossing animated film of all time: Frozen. Since January this year, this similarity has made their lives slightly less than normal, as Beth (25) and Nathalie (28) have been dressing up as Elsa and Anna to entertain children at birthday parties and birthday teas. They do their own makeup, Nathalie wears a wig to heighten the similarity with Anna and Beth plaits her own hair to look like Elsa. Children love them and they have started a small but growing following on Facebook. Below, the Frozen Party Ideas blog interviews the sisters about what it’s like to have people think you’re real Disney princesses.
When did you realise you were Elsa and Anna and start making appearances at children’s parties?
We realised we were just like Anna and Elsa when people began to comment that we both look like the characters and especially because we are real sisters! Coincidentally, our personalities reflect those of Anna & Elsa!
I am quite spontaneous, disorganised and notorious for being clumsy and messy. Beth, who plays Elsa is much more organised, self sufficient and less impulsive. We fit the Anna and Elsa roles quite naturally, so we don’t really have to act that much!
Were you Frozen fans before you started dressing up?
Yes, we were both frozen fans before we started the parties. We had taken our young children to see the movie at the cinema and as you can imagine the DVD has been watched over and over ever since!
We both love children’s films especially Disney. Frozen also had a hint of nostalgia for us because there hadn’t been a Disney film quite like it since we were little girls. We used to idolise Belle, Ariel and Jasmine and even had all the outfits. Now, 20 years on, we have the Frozen outfits! It’s fun being a big kid for a living!
Was it your idea, or did people start telling you that you look like Elsa and Anna?
People kept commenting about how we looked like the princesses! Natalie used to work as a children’s entertainer when she was in her late teens and now she works as a classroom assistant, so she has excellent skills and knowledge when it comes to interacting with children. Plus she is a mum and there’s no better experience than that! I am a also a Mum so interacting with small children comes naturally. I’m in my final year of studying a business and marketing degree, so my business and marketing knowledge along with Natalie’s knowledge of children, is the perfect recipe for starting up a children’s entertainment company!
What do you need to do to really look like the Arendelle princesses?
Our aim is to look as natural as possible. Luckily, I naturally have long blonde hair, but to add length I plait a clip-in extension in to my hair. I’m rather fond of my plait, but I have used YouTube tutorials to achieve the full Elsa effect. The little girls have usually got their hair plaited like mine at the party, so I always make a fuss of how wonderful they look. I also wear purple eye shadow, like my character, and add a little bit of sparkle around my eyes.
When we first started, I used to plait my natural brown hair, but I found that because my Anna dress is not as glamorous as Elsa’s, I didn’t feel as in character. So I invested in a good wig. I think if you’re going to wear a wig it’s important to invest in a good one. The colour actually suits my skin tone really well. I also paint on a few very light brown freckles for effect. We bought the dresses. We wish we were clever enough to make them!
What is your favourite part about being Elsa and Anna?
My favourite thing about being Anna is seeing the children’s faces. They actually think I’m a princess, it’s adorable. They talk to me about Arendelle and ask if I married Kristoff! I love to capture their imaginations and it’s really lovely to see them excited, life is way too serious sometimes, so it’s great to put a bit of magic into children’s lives. I also enjoy seeing the parents watch their children in awe and as we are mothers ourselves we know how precious those moments are.
The best part for me is definitely seeing the children jump up and down with excitement when we walk through the door. I love the fact that we’re able to just let ourselves go (excuse the pun) and act like big kids throughout the party. I love asking the children questions when I’m painting their nails or face and listening to what they have to say, children are so funny! The other part I love is the actual dressing up. I’m a real girly girl and I love any excuse to do some over the top makeup.
What do you do at Frozen-themed parties?
Our party package includes various party games, for example Frozen musical statues where Elsa freezes the children. We play pass the olaf which is similar to pass the parcel. The “build a snowman” game is definitely our favourite, we wrap the children up in toilet roll to look like a snowman! It sounds a bit crazy and that’s because it is, the children love it.
We paint faces, mostly a Frozen theme Olaf, ice queen or an Anna design. We get the odd spider man face paint request too, but luckily we are equipped for all children’s tastes! Elsa also paints nails. We spend time with the children talking and getting to know them. I think they enjoy this the most. They feel special.
For the birthday girl or boy we bring a crown and certificate. This is to certify that they are a princess or prince for the day and it’s given to her by myself and Elsa complete with our signatures and as a token of the day.
We have a happy birthday sing along and we have a music/karaoke system that we bring the the parties. It’s complete with Frozen songs and other pop tunes for the children. Unfortunately myself and Elsa can’t sing and we wouldn’t want to make the birthday girl cry, ha ha! But we offer the children the microphone to sing along to “Let it go”. To be honest I think they enjoy this more as they love being on the mic and they’ll probably get fidgety sitting there listening to us sing a song!
Anna, have you ever met a Kristoff or Hans impersonator?
We have yet to meet a Hans or Kristoff impersonator, but it would be fun if we could all get together! I won’t be singing “Love is an open door” with him though, I might scare him away!
Are you looking forward to seeing Frozen Fever?
I’m so excited to see Frozen fever! The new dress is amazing it’s like a spring version of what I have! Spring is my favourite season ! I’m excited to see what Disney has in store for our characters, it’s like they are writing us a new script!
It’s more than a year since Frozen first came out at the cinema, is there still a lot of demand?
Oh yes! We are booked extremely far in advance; we already have 3 bookings for May! We are mainly booked for weekends as I’m studying a degree and I don’t get half term holidays. (cries). To be honest, we are happy to keep the company fairly small! As Natalie works full time and I’m studying full time, its just a great little side project. I’m glad we have kept it that way because it’s all about having fun and not putting too much pressure on ourselves to make it grow or take more bookings. We’ve actually had more bookings than anticipated, so whatever else comes from it is a bonus, for this reason we haven’t pushed it as much as we could. Social media and word of mouth have done all the marketing for us!
Lastly, what do your children think of your being Elsa and Anna?
My little boy freaked out a bit at first… “No Mammy, you’re my Mammy not Elsa. TAKE IT OFF!” Lol. But he’s got really used to it now and he’s even been at a party we recently did. I think he was rather proud!
My little boy is quite laid back and didn’t even notice I was dressed up to be honest! Ha ha.