First of all, if you’ve never been to Elfyourself.com, you need to get out from under your rock and join in the Christmas fun. It’s super easy and super hysterical. Only, when you do it, don’t be lame and upload cute pictures where everyone is smiling. You want the most grotesque, embarrassing photos you can find. Also, if you are in any of the following places you will not want to Elf Yourself because it will cause uncontrollable laughter which would probably be inappropriate and/or get you in trouble.
2) The Library
That being said…be prepared for a long post, because it encapsulates weeks of material that I wasn’t allowed to share until now…but it’s good stuff, I swear.
So, this whole adventure starts weeks ago, when April asked me if I wanted to be a dancing elf. To which I replied, “Do you even have to ask?!”
For the next few weeks we had four rehearsals at BDC. The choreographer was Jim Cooney, who did an amazing job managing all 65 elves in one room. We learned the four-minute dance in an hour and a half on the first day and from then on it was clean, clean, clean.
The dance had five sections: hip-hop (or what was called hip hop, it wasn’t really hip-hop), Hawaiian (which was more like 60’s), disco, country, and 80’s. The game plan was to perform at the New York Stock Exchange the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. First, a group of elves would ring the closing bell, then the rest of us would take to the floor and surprise all the stock guys. In the stock exchange, there would be four groups: bell ringers, Hawaiian dancers, hip-hop dancers, and singers. Each group would have a section of the floor to do their dance. We weren’t allowed to use our music inside because all the different news stations do their broadcast from there, and they can’t have music playing in the background. Instead, the Hawaiian elves had live ukuleles, the hip-hop dancers had a beat boxer, and the singers…well they sang, duh.
After hours of rehearsal, the big day was upon us. We went through security at the NYSE and were handed our costumes. As soon as I buttoned up that velvet costume, donned my elf hat, and slipped into my green elf shoes, I was in full character. We waited eagerly for the closing bell, then were given the green light from one of the NYSE staff to walk (running is not allowed in the stock exchange for fear of causing mass chaos) onto the floor!
I gave high fives all around and had an absolute blast performing on the floor! There were cameras everywhere; I even managed to make it onto Yahoo.com! Supposedly we were on the news as well, but as I was dancing, I didn’t see that. The elves who rang the closing bell definitely got air time, but they didn’t get to dance. As you’ll see, I did eventually get on TV…but more on that later!
After the group dances on the stock exchange floor, we walked to the doors then ran out onto Wall Street! Passerby were stopped dead in their tracks as 65 elves stormed the street running, jumping, yelling, hollering, skipping, heel-clicking, kicking, and spinning. When April, who was the last one out, was in place, the music started and we broke into our full four-minute routine!
The best part was, my parents and sister were there since they were picking me up to go home for Thanksgiving, so they got to see me in all my elf-ish glory. The worst part was, after dancing for four minutes in velvet, I was a sweaty mess. The first thing I did when I got back inside was strip off that costume, only to be told we were doing the dance again.
So, still huffing and puffing, the elves ran back outside for take two! I guess the videographers just wanted more footage to choose from? And there were supposed to be people holding signs that said “Elf Yourself” that weren’t there the first time. After the second dance I was, if possible, even more disgusting, and so happy to be out of my costume, even though I did love it.
Here’s the video my sister got! It’s the country and the 80’s section. Also, you may notice I am the only elf without a partner. That is because my partner missed a rehearsal and was kicked out last minute leaving an odd number of elves. Just my luck.
Thought that was it, did ya?
After a weekend of turkey and pie, I got back to the Bronx Sunday evening. This morning, my alarm went off at 4 am, I was on the D train by 5, and heading into Double Tree Suites at 5:45am to suit up for Elf-ing Round II on Fox and Friends!
At 6:30am we were outside the studio in the cold. I was super excited to dance and super excited to not be sweaty (I’d so much rather be cold!). We filmed a couple of teasers then it was time for the real thing! The anchors came out on the plaza with us and tried to do our choreography…tried being the operative word there. Here’s some clips from the show…look for me!
I tried to keep telling him what step was next…but I don’t know how much good it did! There’s another video on Fox’s website here that I couldn’t figure out how to embed, but just click the link!
When we got back to the hotel room I had missed calls and several texts saying that people had seen me on TV! I’m famous! Sadly though, today I had to hang up my Elf costume for the year. It was a good run though. Lots of fun!
A huge round of applause to April, Jim, the dance captains, and all the elves!
This weekend the fun continues with my gig as a Rockette Assistant! Definitely really excited and nervous!
Hope everyone had as filling a Thanksgiving as I did. I know I have a lot to be thankful for!