On November 4th, my documentary was shown in Ocean City, NJ in the Music Pier, which is built on a structure that juts over the ocean like a stuck-out tongue. Mark Soifer, the Director of public Relations, arranged the event. So many people showed up that we had two showings. The first group cheered and applauded enthusiastically, giving me a standing ovation, but the second group responded more quietly.
On November 18th we had another showing in Cape may as part of the New Jersey State Film Festival. This film festival had many showings in many different venues simultaneously: such a format reminded me of First Night on New Year’s Eve, with many performances happening in different locales simultaneously in the heart of town.
As in Ocean City, there were two showings. When the first show was finished I was called up front where the emcee presented me with a trophy for Artistic Excellence. I was so thrilled and honored! I’ll probably put that trophy on a shelf where I put awards for general performances rather than Underdog, even though a lot of the movie focuses on my Underdog appearances.
When the documentary is shown, there is always a question and answer period immediately after. I’m glad to answer questions and give insight, but in every place there are always young children, sometimes no more than 8 to 10 years old. I am worried about these children, because some Howard Stern related material is included in the documentary. I didn’t think such an inclusion was a wise idea. Young children who don’t know anything about this vulgar man are exposed to his profanity and exploitation of innocent victims when these children see my film. So I’m afraid the film will be branded unsuitable for very young children – who are likely hearing of Underdog for the first time.
Since the Cape may showing was on November 18th, and in midday, I was unable to appear in New Rochelle’s Thanksgiving Parade, which was that morning! I had to make sure I was still in good graces so that I’ll be welcomed back next year.
My Halloween parade tour is over now: I was in seven parades altogether. There was supposed to be eight, but Wildwood, NJ got rained out.
I started in Sea Isle City on the 20th. I was a Greek Goddess, using a one-shouldered yellow gown I had premiered in Cape May Last Year. I won Second Place for my age group: the only other contestant was in a chicken suit!
The next evening I was in Williamstown, NJ. They really need to revise their judging system: they only have Small Floats, Large Floats and Costumes. There are no other categories. I didn’t win anything there, there were three prizes, but they all went to kids! I wore a flamboyant yellow gown and cape that I had won Second Prize for in the 2001 New Year’s parade.
The next day, October 22nd, I was in Cape May. It was here that I did the first of my two planned Prince Vlad Dracula appearances, to mark his 575th birthday. I prepared a commentary, which one of the registrars took with her to give to the emcee. Judging took place during lineup, however. I looked around for judges and then pirouetted several times for them to get good looks at my historically authentic costume. When I reached the reviewing stand while processing, I made lunging and spearing movements with my long stake! No, I didn’t jab anyone. I won special prize rather than First, Second or Third in any age group – Best TV or Movie Character. I saw some young boys dressed as Dracula the vampire, but they won nothing for it. I was the only Prince Dracula!
I had three days off during which I worked on the special Christmas costume I need for December. On the 26th I was in Ocean City, where my documentary film My Life as an underdog was shown on November 4th. At the insistence of the Director of Public Relations, I did Spectrum the Ghost King. But I was not judged: I was only a guest celebrity.
The morning of Saturday the 28th I was in Ventnor, just south of Atlantic City. I was doing Supergirl. Because of rain the parade was being held in the gym of the local grammar school. I was called to lead the procession around the perimeter of the room, and hen do some Supergirl dancing in the center of it. Here, as in Ocean City, I was a guest star, not a contestant. Only the children were in competition here.
Though the Wildwood parade was cancelled, I should mention that it’s judging system needs revision. They make only one age division, at age eight, making many still quite young children on equal terms with teen and adults.
On October 30th I was in Cape May Court House, NJ for my second Dracula appearance. I did narrated dance just before the judging. This site is traditional for me to do a performance as well as be in the parade. I won Best of Class in my age group: there was only one other adult entry. One man won a trophy for Count Dracula, but his family was with him, obviously representing a family of vampires. As in Cape May, I had been the only historic rather than imaginary Dracula.
On Halloween itself I was in Toms River, for the second largest Halloween parade in the country. I was Spectrum again, but won nothing. I didn’t think I had a chance against pirates, monsters, maniacal killers, a deep-space robot, and one girl swathed in pink tulle. When I returned to Wildwood Crest, where I was spending the night, I danced alone on the empty beach, supposedly inhabited by myriads of partying, dancing ghosts!
In all these parades, I saw maybe four little boys dressed as Superman. I asked them did they make moves suggestive of flying, but their mothers said they were too young to think of anything dramatic. There were three girls dressed as Supergirl – in different parades, not at the same site – including one in Ventnor, where I, too, was Supergirl.
Of course, there were always a number of vampires – female as well as male. One little boy dressed accordingly won First place in sea isle City in his age group, but he was called simple “the vampire” and not Dracula. There were no Princes Vlad, except for me at Cape May and Cape May Court House.
With Halloween and Halloween parades over for another year, I’m already thinking about costumes for the next year. Spectrum if definitely in for Toms River since that’s on Halloween itself, but I have to think about whether I’ll repeat Dracula in any sites – as the obvious Count, since next year marks the 110th anniversary of the Vampire novel!
Only a couple of weeks later, I’ll be involved again with parades – Christmas parades. Several locations have their parades as early as the weekend before Thanksgiving: the parades last through about mid-December. I have twelve Christmas parades altogether between November 19th and December 9th. The busiest weekend is Thanksgiving weekend: there are five parades within a three-day span. For six parades that I’m to be in during November, I’m doing Underdog. Unfortunately I won’t be in any parades Thanksgiving Day. Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia are all snobs!
There are six parades in December, but for them I’m doing two other characters: the Snowflake Star Fairy, which I created last year: and a new one for which I’ve been laboring all these past months – Fairy of the Golden Snow.
I had been looking forward to one Thanksgiving Parade per se which is on Saturday the 18th – New Rochelle, New York. Unfortunately, this is the first time in eight years I have to skip it – because my film documentary is being shown in cape may, NJ that same day at a time that it makes it impossible for me to travel to both sites. My documentary, My Life as an Underdog, has been seen at film festivals several times this year, DC, Atlanta. Coney island, Ocean City, Baltimore and now Cape May