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Michael Rielly

Featured Member of the Month - November 2019

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Michael Rielly

Each month, our Featured Member section profiles a ClausNet member. Members are chosen totally at random by me and the staff. Once selected as Featured Member of the Month, we interview the candidate and post the interview here. This is a wonderful way to get to know your fellow ClausNet members!

We are happy to announce our ClausNet Featured Member for November 2019 is MagicalMrsClaus!

MagicalMrsClaus
Featured ClausNet Member – November 2019

mel

mel

Profile: MagicalMrsClaus
Real Name: Melody
Location: Syracuse, New York USA
ClausNet member since: August 28, 2019
Community Reputation (as of today): 100 – Excellent!

Website:
www.nyfacepaintlady.com
www.misslizziedeville.com
www.therockabetties.com
Facebook:
www.facebook.com/melody.wilkinson.148
www.facebook.com/TheFacePaintLady
www.facebook.com/therockabetties
www.facebook.com/misslizziedeville

November

Our Featured Member of the Month for November 2019 joined the ClausNet Santa Claus Network only a few months ago. But since then, she has been a regular contributor to the community. The very talented and versatile MagicalMrsClaus aka Melody has been portraying Santas's better hand for the past six years. We caught up with Melody a few days ago, and here is what he had to say...

ClausNet: How long have you been portraying Mrs. Claus and how did you get started?
MagicalMrsClaus: "I am going on my 6th glorious season as Mrs. Claus. I would love to say that I started as a Claus out of love, kindness and wonder, but the fact is, it was a business decision. I own a popular children's entertainment company and after frequent requests for a Santa, I finally took a bite and bought my hubby a suit, he already had a beard and I'm a makeup artist, I can make this happen. Winter is our slow season and we needed the money. I figured since I'm a crazy Christmas nut anyway, this should come relatively easy.

He wasn't entirely keen on the idea, but Mrs. Claus wears the pants, and I made him put on the suit. Knowing he wasn't trained as a children's entertainer, I elected to accompany him for his first season as Mrs. Claus so I could observe/train him and help him figure out his methods and find his way. My clients went wild for both Santa and myself, and we were both immediately re-booked for the following year. New bookings or not, once I felt the magic of being a Claus, the deal was sealed for me. I was in it for the long haul. Same went for him. Never seen that man cry so many times in my entire life with him! We were both in it 100%, hook, line and sinker."

mel

ClausNet: What or who are your influences on your portrayal of Mrs. Claus?
MagicalMrsClaus: "My imagination. I am a crazy Christmas nut, seriously obsessed, and have all kinds of ideas and visions of what the North Pole actually looks like; what Santa smells like, what Mrs. Claus wears, what the elves actually look like. I get so emotionally wrapped up in this that I once actually shed a tear that I can't go to the actual-for-real North Pole."

ClausNet: What do you enjoy most about being Mrs. Claus?
MagicalMrsClaus: "This is a very loaded question. So many things. Being a Claus means a lot to me on many different levels. First and foremost, definitely being able to touch a heart or make a change. The opportunity to explain the true meaning of Christmas to a cynical 12-year-old, and they really GET IT. The opportunity to, for just a moment, carry some of a child's pain so they don't have to. The opportunity to keep the magic alive. It's also a wonderful opportunity for just me and my husband to do something together that is strictly the two of us, and we are working together on a massive project that is so worldly and universal and important!

Christmas magic has always meant so much to me. I always cry at Christmas; not from sadness but from the sheer magic and the feeling of the spirit. But also it makes me feel close to my father. My dad was big, loud, grumpy and crass - on the outside, he hated people - but he was also smart, passionate and man oh man did he LOVE Christmas. Heck! At Christmas, he was Santa himself. The sparkle in the eye, the smile from the heart, he became a different man. A jolly man. He was an expert at those crane machine games, and he would win toys and have us kids find a smaller child to give them to. He instilled the spirit of giving in me as a very young child, year-round.

He went to painstaking lengths my entire childhood to make sure we kept believing in Santa. When I was about 12, I figured out that that Santa is something so much more and so much bigger than a human entity, and I wasn't in the slightest bit upset. I was even more in awe and I never stopped believing in Santa. What "Santa" means to me actually shaped the framework for who I am as a human. My dad passed away two years ago from adult leukemia, and I don't think I will ever be the same... but my Claus game got even stronger feeling that I was somehow connecting with Dad, my own personal Santa, by being a Claus."

ClausNet: Do you make appearances without Santa?
MagicalMrsClaus: "I have surprisingly never done an event as Mrs. Claus without Santa. I certainly COULD, but I just never have. I already struggle to not steal Santa's thunder when we do our visits."

ClausNet: What is your most memorable visit?
MagicalMrsClaus: "Definitely Blake. I will never ever, as long as I live, forget my sweet Blake. Santa and I were hired in to do a small indoor public event. As usual, I requested a quiet room away from the rest of the event so the children could have a peaceful, private moment with Santa and myself because no one likes to be on display when they are sharing their most heartfelt wishes. Enter Blake. Blake was 16 but had some form of handicap that made him mentally about age 8.

Blake was accompanied by his little sister and his grandmother. He had cupcake icing on his face and was easily 175 lbs and nearly 6 feet tall, but inside he was a tiny, hurting child. While he was sitting on poor Santa's little knee, Blake's grandmother informed me that his mother had just passed away that week of a drug overdose. I looked at Santa. He looked at me. I knew this one was gonna be on me. I looked at Blake and for the life of me, I don't remember what it was I said. Something along the lines of that his mother had been hurting very badly and now she wouldn't hurt anymore and that she loves him very much and will be watching down on him from Heaven for always.... Blake cried out "Oh, Mrs. Claus!!!" collapsed into my arms and sobbed. I'm crying just writing this.

I sent an elf to hold the line and close the door. I got on the floor with Blake, held him, rocked him, sang softly to him, and cried with him. I sang him the chorus to Dream a Little Dream - and I don't know why. It's just what came into my head. Blake offered me his cell phone number, and I still have it. I keep it in my Mrs. Claus apron pocket. I called him that night, and again on Christmas Eve (with his grandmother's permission of course)... and then I called him again the next Christmas. I love calling him! I always make sure there is lots of Christmas-y noise in the background and I always act like I am having a hard time connecting. "Blake? Blake is that you? It's me, Mrs. Claus!" Ohhhh how I love the excitement in his voice and how he tells me all the good news in his life, and how he tells me he loves me. His grandmother told me I really helped change his Christmas for the better the year he lost his mom. Isn't that why we do what we do?"

ClausNet: Do you have a favorite gig?
MagicalMrsClaus: "I have favorite families that we appear for, regulars that I have watched grow up as The Face Paint Lady and as a Claus. They are the most fun because I really do know a lot about them and their families. We don't have to "act" as much or make as many "educated guesses" plus they are happy to see us and it's like being with old (little) friends. It's especially fun when they follow up on things, we told them from the year before. (Hey, Mrs. Claus I meant to ask you. "Did you get your kitchen fixed after that reindeer got loose in there last year and messed it all up?" "Santa, did you get the bacon I left you? You said you loved bacon." Great times!)"

ClausNet: What is your dream gig?
MagicalMrsClaus: "Something extravagant maybe? Like a huge parade in a big city or something that would require a glorious fancy costume. I don't know. I guess I never really thought about that because I am pretty happy just being a hometown Claus."

mel

ClausNet: What keeps you busy when you are not being Mrs. Claus?
MagicalMrsClaus: " I am easily the busiest person I know. When I am not Mrs. Claus I still own and run my entertainment company, manage my employees, deal with clients and bookings, go out on gigs to face paint, twist balloons, etc. Occasional body painting for adult events and promotions, or private photo shoots.

At Halloween I do makeup and special FX for private appointments, zombie runs, and occasionally throughout the year for independent films and local commercials. I'm a monster maker. I am also very proud of my volunteer group, The RockaBetties. We dress in post WWII era fashion to emulate the positive and patriotic feeling that was fostered during that time. In two summers, my group collectively did about 15,000 hours of charity fundraising and helped raise over 24,000 dollars for various veterans and children's charities.

Please take a moment to check out that website (linked above) and especially the About and What We Do sections. Last but certainly not least, I have a family of 6 humans large and small, plus 3 dogs and 3 cats, gotta chauffeur the kids around and go to the recitals and the plays and chorus concerts, fencing practice, band practice, competitions, performances. I have a child with a rare incurable and frankly, horrible disease so there is a lot of doctors, specialists, hospitals, playing home care nurse, etc. Like I said, literally... the busiest person I know."

mel

ClausNet: What are your hobbies / interests?
MagicalMrsClaus: "All things vintage! On the rare times that I am free on a weekend, I am up early scouring estate sales and flea markets for new finds for my vintage home, or to flip for extra cash. Everything in my house, except the kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures, was made in either the 1950's/early 60's or before, with each room having a specific decor theme (atomic, primitive, french provincial, tiki, etc). It looks like a museum in here!

I also dress in era fashion almost every day, with authentic hair and makeup to match. I also like making things, and fixing things. I love fabricating and creating. If it's creative, I can do it and do it well. From painting to sewing and textile arts, stained glass and pottery... if it can be made, I can make it. I get that from my mom! I can even weld a little! Fixing things... my hubby and I often joke about role reversal because he is a fabulous cook and good at housework, while I fix the plumbing, repair the ice maker, lay the carpet and nail up the trim.... If I haven't done it, I will figure it out.

My old boss down south when I worked as a small engine mechanic used to say "She can fix anything but a broken heart!" though I feel as a Claus, I can sometimes help fix those too! I'm a big time music lover, all eras and genres, and can even pick a couple of tunes on my old acoustic guitar. I love to sing, karaoke is totally my "thing." Fun fact: My daughter and I will spontaneously burst into song and dance at any given time, in any given place. My husband once said "I never thought I would be living inside a Broadway musical, yet here I am.."

mel

ClausNet: What is your favorite color?
MagicalMrsClaus: "My favorite color? Mine, Melody's favorite color? As an artist, I can't commit to a favorite color. For a while it was yellow, then it was red for a couple years, and now I am going through a pink phase. Mrs. Claus's favorite colors are red (obviously) and gold."

ClausNet: What is your favorite food?
MagicalMrsClaus: "Real authentic Mexican, which I can't find here in NY. Luckily, I spent a lot of time in Mexico (and all over the continent) in my 20s and I can make a Tampiquena like it's no one’s business!!"

ClausNet: Coke or Pepsi?
MagicalMrsClaus: "No soda for me, except an occasional ginger ale, though I am a fan of vintage Coca Cola bottles and vintage soda advertising."

ClausNet: What is your favorite cookie?
MagicalMrsClaus: " My favorite cookies are the ugly, sloppily decorated ones proudly given to me by children ."

ClausNet: What is your favorite movie?
MagicalMrsClaus: "Of all time ever? Probably The Princess Bride."

ClausNet: Do you have a favorite Christmas movie?
MagicalMrsClaus: "That is so hard! I, of course, cherish the classic Miracle on 34th Street, and I can't leave out my beloved Ralphie in A Christmas Story (watching this movie is a strict tradition in my family), but Tim Allen's Santa Clause is so charming and I LOVE the sets, scenery and costumes in that film. It's a visual delight."

ClausNet: What is your favorite Christmas song?
MagicalMrsClaus: "Oh Holy Night. Hands down, no question... but it has to be John Denver's version. Or Aspenglow. Also by John Denver. That's the song I play once the tree is all decorated, the kids are in bed, its snowing outside and I want to sit quietly and feel the magic of the season. OH and Carol of the Bells."

ClausNet: What was the last book that you read?
MagicalMrsClaus: "Maybe (Maybe Not) by Robert Fulghum. I am a HUGE Fulghum fan, I have read everything he has ever written. I don't read a lot of fiction."

ClausNet: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
MagicalMrsClaus: "I wouldn't give up my profession for the world. I make kids happy for a living!"

ClausNet: What profession would you not like to attempt?
MagicalMrsClaus: "Politics. I am too emotional, too passionate... too "me".... to be in politics."

ClausNet: What were some of your favorite toys as a child?
MagicalMrsClaus: " I'm not sure. Probably dolls and cooking toys and other "playing house" kinds of things. We has some blocks of time when we were pretty poor growing up, and we didn't actually have a ton of toys all the time. I didn't know we were struggling back then, I realized it later when I had kids of my own.

My parents did it right. Time is more important than things and they spent that time well, teaching us all sorts of wonderful skills and life lessons. Just being together. They always made miracles happen on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I remember when we got bikes for Christmas though and that was the coolest Christmas ever, even though we couldn't ride them until Spring."

ClausNet: What is your most memorable experience of Santa while growing up?
MagicalMrsClaus: " I don't know off hand, but I do still have a small stuffed animal frog named Fribby that was given to me by a Santa in a hardware store when I was very small. He lives with my massive stuffed animal collection all crin a big ol vintage baby pram. See? I never grew up. That is some weird typo, maybe I leaned on the keyboard or something. That sentence should read "He lives with my massive stuffed animal collection all crammed in a big ol vintage baby pram." ."

mel

ClausNet: What is the hardest question you have gotten as Santa Claus and what was your response?
MagicalMrsClaus: " It's always hard when they ask for the impossible for Christmas - their dad back from overseas, their mom to stop having depression, their dog to not need surgery.... but the hardest stuff is never a question. It's always a statement. "My grandma went to heaven this week" "My baby sister died yesterday" I'm not even kidding this actually happened just last year. 4 kids total, mom and dad. Mom was crying before they even got to us. Looked like you would expect a mother to look when she just lost a child. I couldn't believe she was even out of the house. I'm not sure if I did the right thing or not but I left the kids with Santa and went to hold the mom."

ClausNet: What is the strangest request you have gotten as Santa Claus?
MagicalMrsClaus: "One that would not be appropriate to share in polite company!"

ClausNet: How did you find ClausNet?
MagicalMrsClaus: "I actually had no idea there was an entire underground network of Clauses. I mean obviously other people portray Santa besides myself, but I had no idea there was a whole big community. I actually found ClausNet just a few weeks ago when looking at inspiration photos to upgrade my suits on Pinterest. Someone had pinned an image from ClausNet and here I am."

ClausNet: And what do you like most about ClausNet?
MagicalMrsClaus: " While ClausNet is a plethora of valuable information that I appreciate greatly, I would have to say I am even more impressed with the kindness and welcoming atmosphere "

ClausNet: What advice can you give to a first time Santa or Mrs. Claus?
MagicalMrsClaus: " This is a high pressure job and it's not as easy as you think. It is mentally challenging and emotionally exhausting. Don't do this if you're the kind of person who is afraid to cry or afraid to FEEL. Also, do your homework. Take notes. Think. Take more notes. One wrong move could destroy a child's belief in Christmas magic FOREVER. Don't screw it up!"

ClausNet: Anything else you would like to add?
MagicalMrsClaus: " Sorry I talked so much, but I felt these answers were important!"

Thank you Melody! Everyone, please join me in congratulating MagicalMrsClaus, our ClausNet Featured Member of the Month for November 2019!

mel

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Black Hills Santa

Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Chris Capstone

Great read. A+ Another example of an entertainment industry person drawn into Santa Land and captured by the magic. You guys look great.

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SCSanta

Congratulations! I enjoyed reading more about you. Welcome to the MOtM Club!

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Black River Santa

:congrats:

Really enjoyed the interview. I am a crazy Christmas nut myself... and I didn't think you talked too much.

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Santa Bruce Geron

Great interview. Welcome to MOTM!

Congratualtions.jpg.abd43a368e16926947c862f7b2429be1.jpg

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Drosselmeyer

:congrats:

thank you for sharing your wonderful story  -  you really made a difference for Blake !!!

 

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TamaleClaus

Congratulations, on this honor.  Enjoyed the story, your heart is really into this and it shows in what you were able to do with Blake.  Some individuals make everything worth the effort.

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Santa Mike IN

Congratulations!

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bllwnkl

Have a great season!

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David Dixon

Congratulations!!

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Felix Estridge

Congratulations and welcome to the MOTM club!

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Santa Bill III

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

i enjoyed learning about you.

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Santa Bill Reiller

:congrats:        Welcome to the MOTM Club!!!!!!   Great interview.  Enjoyed reading it.

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Tommy

Congratulations!!!  Excellent!!!

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Santa G

Congratulations, great reading your story 👍

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Santa Ed K

Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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VetteCitySanta

Congratulations!

Hoping you have a wonderful Christmas Season!

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MagicalMrsClaus

Wow thank you all so much 

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Eileen Strom

:congrats:

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magicsantaphil

Congrats! On behalf of the Mrs., who is a lot like you, we say, very well deserved!!

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Santa Johnny Boy

Congratulations, Mrs Melody Claus, on a well deserved honor!

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