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Being Mary Sanderson - Living That 'HoPo' Life!

By Jaimz Dillman

I can't even remember the first time I saw Hocus Pocus. It just seems like it was always there. A regular Halloween tradition like carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating. It's become such a regular part of life in my family we're amazed anytime we hear someone hasn't seen it. Like, how can you even avoid it? What once was a fun little spooky Disney movie has become something of a force. With a resurgence owed to fans all over buying up merch by the truck fulls, littles dressing in the costumes, videos and content created as an homage, and live shows - now you can see every mixed-type of casting- popping up all over the world!

When you have a cast starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Nijimy how can you not fall in love with the Sanderson sisters? The Salem-centered fable all starting with a virgin lighting the Black Flame candle is now even entertaining our next generation of witches and warlocks on the biggest stage in the world at the Magic Kingdom!

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My experience with HoPo (as it's affectionately nicknamed) has gone even further as a Mary Sanderson impersonator. PattyCake Productions gave me my first crack at being a part of the terrible trio in PP’s first Unexpected Musical.

Many videos and appearances have since followed and I have to say, portraying Mary is one of my favorite things to do in the year. I have various sistahs that are able to switch in and out depending on our schedules but we all play devilishly together. We've had the chance to run amok through downtown Mt. Dora, take over an ice cream parlor in Tampa, judge a pet costume contest, and even perform for a Halloween wedding! But my top-tier achievement was interviewing Kathy Najimy at Spooky Empire- in my Mary costume. It was incredible and she was wonderfully gracious. Considering I tower over her with at least 6" in height more than her petite stature, I was more than thrilled to get her seal of approval.

It's not just playing dress up for us. We're bringing beloved characters to life for people who may otherwise never have a chance to see them in person. Not everyone can make the trek to the theme parks or hire entertainers for their house parties (which we also do) but every now and again you may get the chance to see Winnie, Mary, and Sarah beckoning little children to come away into their land of enchantment.

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And I just can’t wait for the fun to continue in the sequel! Here’s hoping for many more full moons putting a spell on you.

For more info on hiring your own sistah squad for your events or parties contact, check out all the HoPo fun on PattyCake Production’s YouTube channel, and much love to Winnie’s Rock Cauldron and Ginger Minj- both touring with live shows starring our favorite witches of Salem.


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