Please meet the one and only, the VIBRANT Mindy Fradkin!
I had the pleasure of doing a little interview with Princess WOW herself…Mindy Fradkin! To see her weekly show on Sundays @ 7:00 pm please take a look at our Weekly Box for details.
Sue: Mindy, or should I call you Princess WOW?! Please give me 5 words that describe you.
Mindy: Fun, Colorful, Genuine, Original, Upbeat
Sue: How and when did you create Princess Wow and did she come first or was she always a part of “The Smile Revolution”?
Mindy: I was given the name Princess Wow in the early 90’s. Wow came first. I
had another stage name also given to me by 2 writers in NYC, The Mad Hattress because I was performing a one woman show with my designer hats that I created.(Note: Mindy is also an amazing hat designer!) However, I didn’t want to live with that name long term. A theatre director named me Wow as I was always wearing outrageous outfits and I said something to him that wowed him, I think, and that name popped out..then I called myself Miss Wow as a nickname. Then I was meeting a friend who wrote for the New York Times, and she said, “You are not Miss Wow, you are Princess Wow!” I liked it and started using it months later. The Smile Revolution began in 2005. Yes, Princess Wow was part of The Smile Revolution.
Sue: Tell me about The Smile Revolution…what’s your Mission Statement?
Mindy: The Smile Revolution’s mission is to raise conscious awareness to the
healing power of a genuine smile. The idea came when I saw my Dad’s last smile before he passed on. I had spent the last few weeks of his life by his side in the hospital in Florida. When I went to leave to go back to NY to perform my one woman “Hat Happening” for an independent film, and more gigs, he gave me a big grin. No judgement, only pure love. We had a difficult relationship and had many healings as well. I went back to NY and was interviewed before the show, and out of my mouth came, “We need a smile revolution!” It felt inspired. Then he passed a week later, and the last time I saw him, he was in a coma. I almost didn’t make it when he passed that year. However, Christmas week 2005, a thought came to me. “It’s time to start The Smile Revolution.” I was on the radio often that year in Woodstock, NY, and I launched the idea on the air and my life changed for the better. I went from being self involved to “how can I help the world smile more?”
Since then I had a blog for years (no longer), a radio show with celebrity guests like Pete Seeger, Richie Havens, Arlo Guthrie to name a few, produced two concerts with Roland Mousaa, my was-band, who introduced me to the above musicians, one sold out concert with Pete headlining at Bearsville Theater, and one at le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village. I was developing a TV show as well, but it didn’t go anywhere, and started writing and developing a one woman show to talk about ageism and a spiritual point of view about aging. Then when the pandemic started and we went into lock down, this show unfolded right away to help people smile and helped me smile and keep creating!
Sue: What need did you see in humanity that made you create this revolution?
Mindy: I started this movement out of inspiration as you can read above. As a
person who experienced much emotional hardship and not a lot of joy, and self absorbed much of my life, it was transformational to help others smile and to deep dive into the topic of joy for myself and to inspire others about the simple act of a genuine smile and how its accepting another person with no judgement. Then when Covid hit, even more so. I jumped into action right away.
Sue: Is Your show for a specific market? Who are you trying to reach?
Mindy: I am trying to reach anyone who needs a smile and FUN! Mostly more
liberal minded people as well since I am LGBTQ friendly, and embrace that community, and more spiritually minded which I am open to people outside the box which I am, open to meeting interesting artists who I interview.
Sue: What are your shows like? I see that sometimes you interview and other times you are just hanging out in your very colorful closet! Do you have a set format or do you just present what strikes you in the moment? It all seems so spontaneous!
Mindy: It’s a variety show and I recently started adding a segment of interviewing noted musicians, up and coming ones, comedians, style makers and more to my dance parties, cooking shows, in my closet shows. I do shows where I just talk about what’s on my mind too and always include my cast of toy/doll characters, Princess Wow dolls, Wowettes, and more with my Magic Mirror. I was told recently that my
show reminds an audience member that my show is a Romper Room for adults.
Sue: Speaking of colorful…tell me where your love of color comes from and what is its purpose?
Mindy: Since I am also a hat designer, and a former wardrobe stylist/costume
designer, and grew up in a fashionable family, I have always loved clothes and style. When I moved to NYC from Los Angeles in 1983, I developed a new style which eventually became me as a “color” woman which included my unique art to wear hats. With most New Yorkers in all black, it felt depressing and I started buying aqua, lavender, and other colorful wigs, and clothing to uplift myself, and it was creating art and FUN to me. I attracted media attention, and got on Good Day NY 4 times since a producer kept stopping me, NY Times for my Hat Happenings, and more. I didn’t do it for the publicity, it was inspiration.
Sue: How are you connecting your work with social media? How can we find you (besides right here on Cabaret Hotspot!)? She also has “swag” people! How do we buy a Princess Wow doll? LOL!
Mindy: I started my show last March on my personal Facebook page, and
recently have been streaming to: www.facebook.com/princesswownetwork
I am also on YouTube at: www.YouTube.com/theprincessofwow
I can be found on Twitter @princessofwow or try: The.Real.Princess.Wow.
Sue: Thank you so much for spending a few minutes with me Mindy. We here at Cabaret Hotspot! wish you every success in your mission to make people smile!