Violanti dresses to make dreams come true

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Photo provided by Caroline Guberlet

Violanti entertains a birthday party dressed as Belle from "Beauty and the Beast." She sings a song from the Disney movie to eh aspiring princesses.

Libby May, Features Edior

Whether it be working at a grocery store, a farm, a retail store, or, let’s be honest, at The Milton Inn, many students have jobs to pay for gas and other expenses. But, not many can say that they earn gas money by transforming themselves into a Disney princess, entertaining children at birthday parties.

Well, Carson Violanti (’18) can.

Violanti began entertaining birthday parties, dressed head-to-toe in princess attire.

She began this job in early June of 2017 after her mom tagged her in a post on the Nextdoor app. A woman posted a request for a princess impersonator for her daughter’s birthday party. Violanti jumped at the opportunity to have fun, make money, and catch that “rewarding feeling of bringing light to a child’s day,” she said.

To get her name out to possible clients, Violanti posts ads on the Nextdoor app and on the Hereford Online Yard Sale on Facebook. Once contacted and informed about what kind of entertainment the client wants—a planned activity, singing, etc.—she puts on her costume and prepares her hair and makeup, which Violanti says she is familiar with from performing in the school musicals.

Her costumes, which she requests clients pay for, are rented from a high-end costume shop called “Make Believin’” in York, Pennsylvania. Her two most popular costumes are Aurora from “Sleeping Beauty” and Belle from “Beauty and the Beast,” her favorite.

Through the singing of songs and chats with the kids regarding everything about the princess, Violanti pulls off each cheerful character, according to Caroline Gutberlet (’18), who photographs the events.

“Carson is very optimistic and enthusiastic [which helps] make her character believable and inviting for the children,” Gutberlet said.

“I always watch the movie that the princess is from,” Violanti said. “I’ll make sure I know her story, everyone’s name who’s in the movie, what they do, and what their relationship is to the princess.”

Violanti explains that she performs this research in preparation for the questions she is asked by the children.

“If I don’t know [what they ask] about the princess, they’ll know I’m not real,” she said.

Although Violanti started this job initially to earn money, she now appreciates seeing the kids’ joyed faces when they see their beloved Disney princesses enter their palace-themed, glitter-filled homes.

She appreciates this “feeling like no other” so much, that she recently volunteered at a hospital to visit sick children while in costume. Her Golden Retriever, Hollister, who is certified as a therapy dog, accompanied her.

But, while impersonating Belle or Aurora or any other of Make Believin’s finest, Violanti must keep her identity hidden so her worlds don’t collide because, when she is not entertaining aspiring princesses, she works at Padonia Park Club as a camp counselor, where many of her clients spend their summers.

After asking Violanti to sing to her and her campmates, one of her past clients said, “Miss Carson, you sound just like Princess Belle,” to which the double-lived Violanti simply replied, “Thank you.”

But, the awkward feeling dissipated. The girl went on to tell her how pretty Princess Belle was at a recent birthday party.

“My heart melted,” Violanti said.

Although she does enjoy this royal business and although it would accomplish her six-year-old self’s life goal of being a princess at Disney World, Violanti plans to pursue a career in psychiatry.

“But if psychiatry doesn’t work out, you know where I’ll be.”