Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexa Garcia.
Alexa, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
When I was little, I was constantly dressing up as princesses & fairytale characters. I’ve always felt drawn to performing & entertaining- I studied dance for 12+ years, figure skated competitively for 5+ years and performed in various musicals/plays for 12+ years. I would often put on shows for my family and reenact scenes from my favorite movies and shows.
After graduating high school, I worked for a local entertainment company for a year. On a whim, I decided to apply for the Disney College Program, which is essentially an internship where college students can work at Disney World. After a few rounds of interviews, I was accepted to work in one of my dream roles as a character attendant. Up until this point, I had never even been to a Disney park, as my family had been unable to afford a trip when I was a child. My time working for The Walt Disney Company taught me so much about the importance of professionalism & character integrity within the entertainment industry.
Once I returned home after my program, I knew that I wanted to open a character entertainment company in the Washington D.C. Metro Area that truly valued character integrity, accurate BIPOC representation, attention to detail, and high-quality standards. And thus, Once Upon a Time Parties D.C. was born. Each Once Upon a Time Parties D.C. cast member is musically trained and goes through hours of our exclusive company training to learn their character’s mannerisms, voices, and movements. From our high-quality costumes to accessories to wigs and even shoes, we make sure that our characters look like they stepped out of a theme park or storybook, directly to the Washington D.C. metro area.
Over the past two years, my company and cast members have made so much magic within our community of Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland. Not only have we gotten to meet and make magic for thousands of children, we’ve also gotten to partner with incredible local businesses in the process. I am also so grateful that we’ve also had many opportunities where we have donated our time, services, and character experiences to those who need a little extra magic. Because of the hard work of our amazing cast member family and the support of so many, my dream of making magic within the Washington D.C. metro area has been coming true.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been a smooth road, but what in life is? One of the biggest challenges is the fact that the Washington D.C. metro area is an oversaturated market when it comes to character entertainment businesses. However, I knew that my dedication to high-quality standards, accurate representation with our BIPOC characters, and years of experience working in various entertainment industries would set us apart and allow for us to pave our own way. Another significant challenge we faced was the COVID-19 pandemic. In January 2020, we had just hosted our very own event- a widely successful Winter Ball featuring 11 characters, themed decorations, activities, singing, and more. We were booking parties and events through Summer 2020 and we were planning to celebrate our first year in business with even more unique, self-hosted events. And then the pandemic hit, effectively canceling all of my hopes and dreams for the year. I decided that we would continue to make magic virtually- one of my cast members volunteered her time to help me create free video content and activities for children and families that were now quarantining. I decided not to reopen our company until we had an effective plan that would prioritize the health and safety of our community, families, and cast members.
In late July 2020, we had our first social distancing porch visit, where our characters wore masks and made magic at a safe distance from the family that booked our services. During the pandemic, we required all of our clients to abide by our many safety standards, which included guest limits, masking for both children and adults, social distancing, limited physical interactions with characters, and more. Although it was challenging to watch some of our competitors attend many various larger events/parties while we were being cautious even accepting bookings, I knew that ultimately it was better to prioritize the safety and well-being of our community.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I have never been able to settle on just one job or area of study- I have so many passions in life and love getting to use my skills in various ways! I’m currently a college student at George Mason University and am majoring in Foreign Languages. I’m a native Spanish speaker (I was born in Mexico City) and spent my elementary school years enrolled in a French immersion school which allowed me to be fluent in French as well. I’m currently studying Russian at George Mason.
I spend much of my time also working in various creative fields. I am a freelance photographer, graphic designer, and calligrapher. I have worked with various brands and clients, locally and globally, to further their artistic vision.
I’ve also held various positions working as a writer for online editorial magazines, such as Arlington Magazine and HerCampus.com, and I am currently a beauty writer for Byrdie.
I love that my job as an entertainment company owner allows me to connect all of my passions: my love of languages, art and performance, and communications.
- 30 Minute 1 Character Meet & Greet – $150
- 1 Hour 1 Character Party – $250
- 90 Minute 1 Character Party – $300
- 1 Hour 2 Character Party – $375
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://onceuponatimepartiesdc.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ouatpartiesdc/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ouatpartiesdc
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ivRwx5wU0ISGX4BEvhjLg
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/once-upon-a-time-parties-d-c-south-riding
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexa-garcia