Traci Hines Interview!!!


How could it possibly be mermaid week without a interview with my favourite mermaid, Traci Hines! I'm so excited and honoured that she's apart of my celebration of all things mermaid. She is as close to a real life Ariel as your going to get and is a constant source of inspiration when ever I'm designing mermaid jewellery. Plus she's super sweet and supportive, love this gal!

For those of you who don't know, Traci is a professional Disney character impersonator, singer, clothes designer, world famous cosplay personality, makeup artist and much more! I wanted to get to know Traci a little bit more as we all know her as the happiest mermaid in the seven seas. I discovered a hard working entrepreneur, who had the strength to overcome challenges in her life to follow her dreams, her idea of success and that she'd rather spend a day with Ursula than Ariel! Keep reading to find out more!


You're an amazing and inspiring role model to all mermaids out there, how does that make you feel?
Wow! Thank you! It means the world to me. I have always loved mermaids, so getting to sort of "become" a mermaid in a sense is a dream come true. When I hear about or meet others who enjoy what I do too, that makes it all the more magical! I'm so thrilled and humbled to have other mermaids following my work. The word "role model" is pretty crazy to hear though-I'm just a geeky girl pursuing her passions. I definitely don't feel worthy of such a lofty title! I will say it's really neat to see this big pop culture surge for mermaids making the rounds, and to connect with others who have a passion for mermaids and fairytales, like I do!

Your performance of Ariel clearly comes from a place of love and affection, what draws you to Ariel as a character? 
So many things! I think first and foremost, I fell in love with the character because of her voice. I've been a singer my whole life, and even as a little tiny kid, Ariel (and her voice, Jodi Benson!) inspired me to pursue music and voice acting, two huge passions of mine. She has such a distinct and beautiful sounding speaking and singing voice, and I always wished I would be able to speak to people's hearts through music the way that she spoke to me. I also loved her bubbly personality, her character design, and her tenacity and drive to overcome any obstacle in pursuing her dreams. 

Ariel was reckless, but she was also brave. I think I identify most with her out of all the Disney princesses because I also have had to overcome challenges in my life to pursue my goals and dreams, even when those challenges seemed like deal breakers.  


You're living the mermaid dream, being Ariel at Disneyland, whats that like?
That is actually one of the biggest misconceptions about me: I have never worked for Disney parks as Ariel, or as any other character. (Sorry if that bursts your bubble!) People come across my photos or videos in costume and assume that I work at Disneyland or Disneyworld, but I actually started out recording covers singing on YouTube and wearing my Ariel (or other princess) costumes to conventions as a fan, for fun! (The costumes I wear are almost exclusively my own designs, and I created them (usually with help from talented seamstresses or fellow designers) first for cosplay purposes, then later for my music videos). Shortly after I began making videos on youtube, I was hired to play high end characters for children's events by a local company, and soon began portraying fairy tale characters and mermaids live for events. The "mermaid" work grew from there and I began modeling professionally, often as mermaid characters, and doing mermaid makeup tutorials for companies like Etsy and HGTV, along with lots of other fun character work. 

Simultaneously, in the music department, I also began to get more opportunities with singing and voiceover work for TV commercials and videogames, and eventually I did get to work with Disney in a roundabout way, but in the way I wanted more than any other gig: recording music! I got to record a track for a Phineas & Ferb videogame project called "My Secret Agent." Eventually as my youtube channel grew, I tried harder and harder to improve the quality of my videos, slowly changing over from quick videos filmed in my living room to fully produced music videos. My collaborators and I are very DIY, but I always do my best to create something that will inspire and take the people watching to a more fantastical place! 



I created my first official music video as a cover for Ariel's song, "Part of Your World," because despite everything I've done since going public online, my Little Mermaid fan content has done more for me in getting my music out there into the world than probably anything else. I suppose Disney music is my niche, even though I don't usually work for or with them on most of my Disney related projects. I sure would love to in the future, but for now, my work is, for the most part, fan made. I wanted to recreate scenes from The Little Mermaid, and make POYW my first video, because I wanted to sort of pay tribute to the film that not only inspired my journey through music & acting, but also opened doors for others to come along on the journey too. 

How long does it take to transform?
It depends on which character and what the makeup, costume and wig (if I'm wearing one that day) entails. Generally my "transformations" take about 2 hours. But some characters and mermaid looks can take longer if there are more time consuming elements to deal with, like 3D makeup effects or corsetry in the costuming. I'm also a perfectionist and detail-oriented to a fault, so I tend to take a bit longer than most with my beauty routine. But it's the perfect amount of time to pop a Disney movie in while I prep, so I can glean some extra pep and magic for the day ahead!
Here's a video showing one of my transformations as a princess character: 



If you could spend the day with Ariel what would you do?
I feel like I know Ariel pretty well by now. She'd be super curious about everything and I'd have to re-teach her every tiny detail about utensils, social conduct and the basics of human life. Scuttle tried, bless his heart. It would be fun, but exhausting, am I right? (J/K! I'd totally give Ariel the princess treatment & take her to Disneyland). But honestly, I'd probably rather spend the day with Ursula. She's so fierce, and could probably show me a good time...that is, if she's retired from the vocal-stealing business. It's a risk, I know, but I just love that gorgeous octopus to pieces. 


So you now have your gorgeous clothing line Adorkable Apparel, do you consider yourself a business woman? 
I never really thought about it that way-I still feel like a kid in so many ways, so it's weird to think of myself with that title, but I guess, yes, I suppose I am! I've stumbled upon the most fun, wonderful ways to make my living, through music and designing, two of my favorite things in the world, so I feel incredibly lucky to get to channel my passions into a career that I love. 

I try not to take anything for granted, and though it may seem like play, I work very hard to go after my dreams and make them into a realistic career. 

I feel very blessed, and though I think of myself more as an artist than a businesswoman, I am always looking for ways to translate what I do into job opportunities, because that helps me to continue to be able to do what I love. I worked tons of odd jobs and had waitressing and nine to fives to make ends meet for years while I pursued music, and now that I am able to work exclusively for myself, it's double the work, (I'm never "off the clock") but also double the reward! And I'm not talking about financially here, I'm talking about seeing others enjoying what I do...buying my music, tuning in to my YouTube channel or buying my shirts...it's the coolest feeling in the world to know that somehow, someone was moved enough by something you created to feel the need to click "like" or "download" or "purchase." Seeing people wear my shirts or hearing from people that a song I wrote got them through a hard time...it means everything, and makes all the difficult times of struggle or start up worth it. 



Whats your idea of success?
My definition of success is a two-parter:
1. I would in part, define success as being able to financially sustain yourself through doing something that you love and enjoy, and having the means to continue to do so. It's not about big bucks or worldwide fame for me-my goal is pretty simple. I just want to continue to create for a living, and fill a niche with my brand and work that maybe wasn't really thought of or filled before. (And I don't mean just mermaids, I mean my encompassing brand as a whole). So far, I feel pretty lucky I've been getting to work towards just that goal, and I am so excited for the future!

True success in my book, is spreading and inspiring love, positivity and joy in those around you. 


2. To have so much joy in whatever your circumstances that it's contagious, and others are affected positively because of you. This world can be so dark and sad...part of the reason I think many of us are drawn to fairy tales and mermaids and mythical lore is because we want escape from the darker realities we sometimes have to face. I want the mark I leave to be bright and shining and to point the way to everlasting joy. God gives me strength to do the things that I love, despite many circumstances when I thought that would be impossible. I will consider myself successful if I am able to encourage others in their dreams, have contagious joy, and create an overall brand that makes people smile & believe that anything's possible, because it is.

What exciting things has 2015 have in store for Traci Hines?
Lots more Music, YouTube videos, Hipster Mermaid & Adorkable Apparel! Also maybe a little bit of travel-fingers crossed! And who knows what else? The possibilities are endless!


Swimming across the pond anytime soon?
I sure hope so! I've never been but I'm hoping to rectify that next year!

What would you like to say to your UK fans?
I love you guys so much, and it means the entire WORLD to me that you enjoy and follow my work! I hope I get to see you in 2015, and in the meantime, I'm sending virtual hugs out to each and every one of you! Stay Adorkable! xoxo!

Don't forget to check out Traci's links:

Amazon mp3 (music also available on Spotify) 
Shops
Etsy 

Thanks so much to the adorable Traci and stay tuned for her Mermaid Makeup Tips that I'llbe posting very soon! 
I hope your enjoying Mermaid Week so far? If you've just joined us then welcome! Catch up on all the Mermaid love and posts here:


PLUS this week I'm giving all mermaid fans 15% off my I'm Really a Mermaid collection! Just use code: MERMAIDWEEK at the checkout, offer ends 15/09/14.


Comments

  1. She's so gorgeous, and I always enjoy seeing her characters. I was going to say, though, that I couldn't believe she would be working for Disney World or Disneyland, because they're incredibly strict about their social media and their actors can never really say that they play specific characters. I have a lot of friends who work for Disney, and they can never identify themselves in costumed photos. Such a cool interview!

    xox Sammi
    www.thesoubrettebrunette.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sammi, I'm glad you liked it! I didn't relies Disney was strict although I guess that makes perfect sense x

      Delete
  2. Oooooo she's so pretty! Fab read my lovely! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! She was such a sweetie to let me interview her, she's such an inspiration to me :)

      Delete
  3. Oooo you're absolutely right - mermaid week just wouldn't be complete without Traci Hines! This was a lot of fun to read! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would not be the same indeed! I'm enjoying mermaid week so much! xxx

      Delete
  4. wow! It's really Ariel! So lovely

    www.helenapolanskyblog.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She is! So happy she was part of mermaid week x

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts