A pandemic party
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Aireekah Laudert is a woman of many talents, all of which focus on using her abundance of creativity and proven ability to bring people together in the name of having fun. Few people can being a walking, talking human party into a business, but that’s exactly what she’s done with Glitt3r Lyfe, which offers a range of services that won’t exactly save your life or anything, but they’ll certainly help make it worth living.
However, when the pandemic struck, Glitt3r Lyfe was one of the many businesses that found itself without, well, business due to Gov. Inslee’s stay-at-home order. But instead of panicking and trying to wait it out, Laudert did what she does best: She took inventory of her range of skills—and her costumes—took stock of the situation, and realized that people were going to need her to bring the party more than ever. She just needed to figure out how to get it to them, where they live.
And that’s how Aireekah’s Costume Home-araoke was born.
CW: How would you best describe Glitt3r Lyfe and what it offers?
Aireekah Laudert: I’m a professional party starter, fancy thing maker and owner of Glitt3r Lyfe. Glitt3r Lyfe is a lifestyle company that focuses on helping people enjoy life to the fullest, with a focus on personal expression and letting loose. I do this with both with event hosting and coordinating, as well as pop-up shops and an online boutique. Some main things I do are karaoke, trivia, bingo, photobooth services, costumes, glitter tattoos and dance parties. Basically just a whole lot of fun! I’m also an apprenticing stylist at Honey Salon.
CW: What happened to you, business and income-wise, when the stay-at-home order came down?
AL: The stay-at-home order put a pause on almost every aspect of my business and livelihood. Immediately it meant that my weekly karaoke and private parties would be cancelled, and that I wouldn’t be working in the salon. I wasn’t sure how this would affect my summer, which is my busiest season with lots of parties, weddings, street festivals and the Northwest Washington Fair.
As everything evolved it became apparent that all in-person summer events needed to be cancelled. This has pretty much halted my party bookings too, as no one knows when it will be safe to hold large public gatherings again.
About a week before the order went into place I had an inclination that I might be out of work soon, so I stocked up on isopropyl alcohol and fancy bottles to make Dr. Sparkles Magic Spray. Dr. Sparkles is a luxury lemon rose-scented alcohol spray, sometimes featuring biodegradable glitter. It’s been nice providing people with a fun version of a necessity for these times. The bit of earnings I’ve made since the stay-at-home order have pretty much been from sales of this and tips from events.
CW: Where did the idea for Costume Home-araoke come from?
AL: I don’t really know how to exist and not throw parties, so I immediately started thinking about how I wanted to transfer Glitt3r Lyfe events to a new digital landscape.
I’m a bit of a costume enthusiast, so it just made sense to have online karaoke also be a costume party! I love the idea of people having an excuse to get dressed up; I think it adds an extra element of fun and almost a feeling of normalcy in these times. Also, I feel like costumes help people kind of loosen up and have more fun.
Costume Home-araoke is essentially a digital club where you can dress up, sing some songs, compliment and applaud other singers, and have fun.
CW: Who can take part, what are the parameters and how do they sign up?
AL: Anyone can be involved! From 7pm-8 pm it is kid-focused karaoke, where young people get priority for singing, and the whole thing goes until about 10pm. There is a sign up link weekly on the Facebook event, and everyone who signs up gets an email with all of the finer details.
CW: What kind of equipment or expertise do folks need to participate?
AL: Participants need a Zoom account and way to join the “meeting” with audio and video. This could be from a smart phone, a laptop, a computer with a webcam and microphone, whatever their setup is. It can be as deluxe or simple as they have it. Also, this should go without saying, but singing expertise is never necessary at my karaoke.
CW: Are costumes mandatory?
AL: This is a costume-optional event. Just wear whatever you feel comfortable in, whether it’s a shark costume, ball gown, or sweatshirt.
CW: You’ve done one of these so far, right? How’d it go?
AL: Yep, I’ve done one, and it was great! It was really supportive, sweet, fun and weird in the best of ways. Everyone who participated said they were excited to do more, and I couldn’t be happier about the community that’s already forming around this.
CW: What went better than anticipated? What did you learn that you will use going forward?
AL: I was really excited about how many folks dressed up! I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to be the only one, but that wasn’t the case. It was great to see everyone’s faces and rooms, whether they were costumed or not. There were some fun backgrounds, black lights and face paint, cozy living rooms, a unicorn on roller skates—it felt like the coolest club to be in. Also, there was so much dancing, which I just love.
Going forward, I learned that you can draw and write on shared screens, and I intend on doing that a lot now. It was so great for encouraging notes! Also, we went an extra hour long, so I decided to start an hour earlier and have the first segment be focused on kiddos.
CW: Is there a way for people to tune in strictly as audience members, even if they don’t wish to sing?
AL: Absolutely! Guests are welcome to join and not sing, the more the merrier. They can do that by signing up with the registration page or checking the event page close to start time.
CW: What do you hope to get out of this and what do you hope people will get from it?
AL: One of my favorite things is creating spaces where people can gather and feel a sense of community. With karaoke and the other events I’m hosting, I really just want to help provide this digitally. I think this is always an important thing to have, and especially is right now. I hope that Costume Home-araoke provides a healthy and fun outlet for people!
CW: Anything you’d like to add?
AL: Glitt3r Lyfe is doing other events as well! I’m hosting a weekly Thursday Quarantrivia (that has loads of great prizes from local sponsors), have a Kid’s Talent Show coming up later this month, and other fun ideas in the mix. Following Glitt3r Lyfe’s Facebook is the best way to keep up to date with all of the fun happenings.
Aireekah’s Costume Home-araoke takes place at 7pm every Friday. Participation is free, but donations are always welcome. To donate: Venmo: @aireekah-laudert #7101, PayPal: http://www.paypal.me/aireekah. For more info about Glitt3r Lyfe and Aireekah’s many activities, find her at http://www.facebook.com/Glitt3rLyfe.
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