That Awkward Moment When….

24 Aug

That awkward moment when you slip into the Disney Cast Member mind set when you aren’t at Disney and haven’t been a cast member in over a year.

This past weekend, my work put on a 5K Twilight walk/run as a fundraiser for one of the organizations we work closely with. Leading up to this event, it has been my responsibility to register runners as the applications came back to us, track the sale of memory shirts (different from the shirts runners get for participating), track the sale of honor signs that were to be placed along the route and to track the total amount of outright donations we received. Then there was also the sale of raffle tickets, where people were entered to win a $500 cash prize. In essence, if it involved money, chances are high I had something to do with it.

That being said, I have been a nervous reck trying to make sure all of the totals are correct. I believe I’ve mentioned before that my strength does not lie in numbers, but in words. However, these last few weeks have boosted my confidence in this area of professional development tremendously.

But…. That’s besides the point, you want to know about my awkward moment, right?! Okay, so it’s race day (and it happened to fall on the 2 year anniversary of when I first checked-in for my Disney College Program, so I was a bit sad and really missing Disney), but it turned out to be my lucky day because I got to act as event photographer (another love and strength of mine is photography). So there I am, taking pictures at the registration table and I notice this cute little family signing up for the race…. Mom, dad, and a couple of kids both under the age of 5. (side note: kids 10 and under could sign up to run the 1K.)

Picture this, happy family, just signed up for the race. Now they aren’t guaranteed t-shirts since they didn’t pre-register…but it’s okay, that’s why we ordered extras. However, we had already run out of kid shirts and I could tell the little girl was starting to get upset. So the mom, thinking she would be able to sooth her daughter with the promise of a bib number looked expectantly at the lady registering them. It broke my heart to see the look on the little girl’s face when she was told only runners in the 5K got numbers. 😦

Here they come, right in the corners of her eyes, the beginnings of big crocodile tears. And then there’s me and my Disney Cast Member training kicks in. I kneel down to the girl’s level and ask why she’s sad. Her mom explained that she ran another race the previous weekend and the kids got numbers like the adults and she was expecting a number here, too. Well, I thought being upset over the lack of a number was something I could fix… So without really thinking about what I was doing, I drew her a number on a piece of paper (#3 because that was her age!) and her dad pinned it to her shirt. You would have thougt I’d handed her the world! She light up!!

A few minutes later, she returned with her little posey of siblings, cousins and friends. They also wanted numbers. (Look what I started!) So I did what any normal person would do in that situation, I got down on my knees and drew more numbers. I think in total there were 6 numbered kids and they were thrilled!! I may or may not have called one or two Princess. I can’t help it… It just slips out sometimes. Just like I can’t point with one finger without it feeling weird now, I will FOREVER do the Disney Point (2 fingers)!

When the race started, the numbered kids were so cute to see. I wonder if the other kids were jealous or if they even noticed at all. I bet they didn’t.

All in all, the event was a lot of fun for me. It was the first time since I’ve been home from Disney (and it’s been over a year now), that I’ve felt confident in myself and been comfortable approaching and talking to strangers.

I am a VERY shy person when meeting people for the first time, but as a cast member I had to get past that. Finally it came down to training myself that if I was wearing my work “show” shoes, I could pretend to be someone who wasn’t shy. And I became a social butterfly with guests and loved it! Durning this event, I felt like I had my “show” shoes on again. For a few hours, I honestly felt that was were I needed to be at that moment in time. And it was nice to make my own “magical moments” for those kids. The magic didn’t end just because I left Disney, it is here in me and hidden in my everyday life, I just have to take the time to find it!


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