“Even Queen Elsa’s magic is no match for the coronavirus pandemic.”
—New York Times, May 14, 2020
Yes, it’s me, Queen Elsa, ruler of Arendelle, the only Disney princess with the magical power of singing on-key while blasting ice and snow from her cute hands. I was also the star, until very recently, of one of Broadway’s top-three most beloved Disney shows not named The Lion King or Aladdin.
While every show on Broadway has been suspended until the fall, our humble stage adaptation of Frozen has the bitter distinction of being the first and only non-high school musical to be permanently shuttered in the coronavirus pandemic.
Thank goodness I’m still booking kindergarten graduations and Mormon cosplay through Cameo. Who knew two months ago that a random video-sharing service that connects fans with indentured celebrities would have me emceeing mass furlough singalongs and giving contactless hugs to entire factories now that the ranks of middle management have been decimated?
Don’t worry. No one is getting fired today. Lucky for you, Hades from Hercules already booked Neiman Marcus.
And just so we’re clear, yes, I am the “real” Elsa and if any of my loyal subjects over the age of nine have a problem with that, my contract stipulates I can tell them to suck a fjord.
“Wait, Frozen got permanently shuttered on Broadway?” you may be thinking. “Isn’t that one of the most successful franchises ever?” You’re absolutely right. Getting the ax came out of the blue for us, too. I guess a female-driven musical about true love between prematurely graying Norwegian teenage royalty doesn’t pass muster for a multinational vassal-state helmed by a shirtless, three-fingered mouse.
If you’re anything like me, you’re terrified of hurting the people you love, going as far as to hide what’s special about you using gloves, a fuchsia cape, and a reversible dress, and by avoiding all human contact.
It’s also totally fair if you’re simply wondering what a Disney princess like me is doing on a department-wide Zoom call at 4:55 in the afternoon. That’s easy. I’m here today to make a direct, no-nonsense statement sprinkled with Frozen-related puns, empathy, and hope about your company’s indefinite hiring freeze.
The freeze includes all paid vacation, non-executive bonuses, company credit cards, and contributions to retirement accounts. Your family’s health insurance and health savings plans will also be frozen at the stroke of five p.m. today.
Additionally, you must wear your lanyard even when working from home. If you have a problem with that, management has authorized me to “let you go, let you go…”
Before I continue with this charade, I should acknowledge that many of you are shaking right now. Rest assured, as a newly unemployed ice queen who, emotionally speaking, lives alone in a glassy palace atop a snowy mountain, I know just how you’re feeling: arctic.
It was always my dream to sing on Broadway. Since losing the best role of my career after just 826 performances and being banished from the only true home I’ve ever known, St. James Theatre on W. 44th Street, I’ve been overjoyed to share my inspiring life story with groups like yours for $175 per booking. Again, please look me up. I’m also available for bat mitzvahs and wakes. The freelance hustle is hard, even for those of us raised in castles.
What I really hope to do today is to help you discover the power inside each of you. To get through this raging economic storm, some of you may need to develop better self-care strategies such as becoming re-acquainted with the Frosty, enjoying a cold one (or twelve), putting ice cubes in your wine to stay hydrated, growing crystals, and bursting into showtunes when another shopper at the grocery store comes within six feet. Try it with jazz hands. I command it!
We may all be working in “ice-solation” for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean we can just “turn away and slam the doo-o-or.” Pardon me, my voice has been a little sharp since my Broadway debut was unceremoniously iced via the Times theater section.
Fortunately, being Disney royalty has taught me to weather adversity not through corporate responsibility or a livable wage but with unwarranted cheer, optimism and a demonstrated ability to survive off-grid since my agent failed to negotiate for a portion of ticket sales or merch. We all have a vested interest in pretending things are going back to normal as soon as possible, so no sobbing at the end of this call.
We hope you’ll come see us when our non-equity touring production blows through your town on a cold day in summer 2022.