Yesterday on New Year's Day, my Mrs. Claus and I went out to do a little shopping. There is a very cool country store the next town over. The store is always beautifully decorated but especially at Christmastime.
The owners of this store contacted me in December wanting to know if I was available for a photo shoots. Unfortunately I was completely booked so they said that they would just wait and do something in November.
Anyway, Mrs. Claus and I went into the store to see if we could pick up a few after Christmas bargains. I asked the person behind the counter if he was the person that contacted me. He looked at my kind of funny as said "Yes. Who are you?"
I said, "I'm Mike Rielly."
"Were you the same Santa that did the speech in St. Mary's Church on Christmas Eve?", he asked.
"That was me", I replied.
Now even more confused he asks "Did you shave?"
I already know where this is going so I played along. "I did this morning", I said.
"Well will you have a beard by November? Because we were thinking you could come in sometime before Thanksgiving for the photo shoot."
I explained to him that my beard would look exactly as it did on Christmas Eve.
"It grows that fast?" he said.
"No", I replied. "But I can glue it on in about an hour."
Now you may think you know where I am going with this but you would be wrong. It wasn't the "beard" that they were fooled by. It was the performance. Yes they thought "Mike Rielly" was a real bearded Santa -- but what they were most impressed with was the performance. Based on my talk at the Church on Christmas Eve they thought that I was a much older man. The way I spoke, moved, and interacted with everyone they thought I was in my 60s or 70s!
My point is this: It's not the beard. It's the entire performance.