In a Barby World

Singer-songwriter Victoria Robertson, a former Miss USO and Miss San Diego with three albums to her credit, says she "...was at a wedding when a little girl came up and invited me to come and play at her house.... I went up to her mom a little later and mentioned to her that her daughter was approaching strangers. And she said, 'Oh, she thinks you're Barbie.' "

Robertson subsequently contacted a company that does character parties and began to work at children's events as the famed Mattel doll. She always brought along her guitar. Robertson eventually branched out on her own, adding Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, the Little Mermaid, and Cinderella to her repertoire.

For a one-hour appearance (during which she plays games and sings songs) and a 20-minute photo opportunity, Robertson earns $200. To date, the worst occasion has been a party where she "...didn't realize how rough a neighborhood it was. I definitely had second thoughts about going in, but I didn't want to deprive the children." As Robertson left the party in her Cinderella gown, a neighbor's rottweiler lunged at her. "I investigate things a little more now."

In addition to her kids' events (PrincessPartiesand-Friends.com) and pop-oriented gigs, Robertson performs with the San Diego Opera. She's the San Diego Symphony's featured vocalist for its Star-Spangled Pops concert series at the Embarcadero Marina on June 29 through July 1.

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