Introducing Susie Sparkles
(AKA Carla Simpson)
When told what I do for a living people's reactions can be very different. "You must be mad!!" is a common response but then so is "OMG that sounds amazing!! What fun!!"
Both opinions are of course completely correct. Being Susie Sparkles is both fun and exhausting. Hard work and utterly hilarious. Magical, theatrical and, I like to think, with ten years of experience I have clung onto my sanity by perfecting the art of controlling the chaos that comes with putting 30 children in a room filled with sugar and bubbles and throwing in 6 boys with light sabers.
You learn quickly when you entertain children.
They're not shy about telling you how they feel. If your story is boring they walk away, if you've told a four year they're out of the game (something Susie would never do!) they will look at you with sad eyes and then probably cry and if you don't look exactly like the Disney Princess they were expecting, if you're lucky you might get told "you're not the real Elsa" if you're not so lucky you might get told "you look weird". But like I said you learn quickly in this game so now after 10 years of Sparkling I feel I know just how to sidestep the tears and tantrums and keep children focused on the fun and the fantasy.
But exceptional thoughtfulness and organisational skills aside what makes Susie Sparkles parties really special?
For me my success as Susie Sparkles really lies in my acting ability and professionally trained singing voice.
Graduating with a BA in acting from Queen Margaret University Edinburgh my vocal dexterity found me a natural match for Radio drama and I was invited to join the BBC Radio Rep company. Alongside recording hundreds of plays, poems, short stories, voices for cartoons and radio adverts over the last 15 years I have also been lucky enough to work with Dream Theatre, Imprint Theatre and Boilerhouse.
I've been training my singing voice since I was a child and have never been more grateful for that than when I first heard Let it go. I remember thinking 'yep easy no problem' and then came that last big note and I thought "hmm that's different, well let it go, let's have a go" I won't lie getting to that big belting note wasn't just an afternoon job but now it's an absolute joy to perform and I'm absolutely in my element when I get to sing it and show off my magical snow powers.
So there you have it
Carla Simpson an all singing, all dancing, party organising machine. Except definitely not a machine as if there's one thing I've learnt as Susie Sparkles it's that every child, every family is different and to give them the best experience you can possibly offer you need to take the time to get to know them, listen to their ideas and concerns and plan the party that is just right.
But enough about me I want to hear more about you!