In a foggy corner of Franklin Canyon Park, across the parking lot from Teamsters in lawn chairs waiting out a movie shoot, a clutch of giddy girls in tutus gathered on a recent Saturday morning to step into fairyland. They had come to join “A Faery Hunt,” a 45-minute walk where fairies, trolls and pixies pop out of the trees of Beverly Hills and give life lessons to the magically inclined.The creation of voice-over actress and longtime fantasy freak Debbie Rothstein,
the weekly fairy adventures are a homey alternative to the big-business birthday-party
circuit. No laser tag, screaming video machines or movie tie-ins here. Just a
few eccentric actors in homemade costumes working out their own personal stuff
while giving the kids a good time.
After we paid our money, the girls sprinkled themselves with fairy dust. Then
Rothstein and another actress, both dressed in safari wear, announced in screechy
English accents that they were fairy experts Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths.
“We saw fairies a long time ago and ever since we’ve directed ourselves to finding
them again. But we need your help. Can you help us?”
The kids cheered and started up the hill, followed by their mothers pushing strollers
and a few dads shuffling in the back, whispering into cell phones.
But some adults came alone. One 50-ish woman told Rothstein that she collects
fairies and mermaids. “I have costumes you wouldn’t believe,” she said. “My 15-year-old
daughter told me to stop the madness, but I don’t care. I’d love to be a fairy
Rothstein understood and gave her an application. “I have an adult following that
comes back four, five, six times,” she confided.
Soon into the adventure, a series of dryads, pookas and other characters started
leaping onto the path and announcing their personal quests. The overall story,
something about helping the fairy queen regain her stolen light, didn’t make much
sense, but that wasn’t the point. Each episode highlighted what Rothstein called
“simple little messages”: You are beautiful from the inside, kindness tames the
savage beast and so on.
“In our world, everything is beautiful,” she added. “There are no evil people
in my fairy realm.”
But when Brigit the Battle Queen strode out of the brush, asking, “Are ye friend
or foe?,” the line between good and evil looked like it was starting to blur.
Everyone went silent as this leathery, Xena-looking woman in a breastplate, shoulder
gauntlet and patterned-thong leotard waved her wand around. The kids’ fear subsided
once Brigit told them she would cure all of their “boo-boos.” But we grownups
were still a little rattled by Brigit’s muscles and getup.
“I got the costume when I played a mean alien biker in a video game called Maximum
,” Brigit (played by Spice Williams-Crosby) said later. “I’ve been an
actress and stunt woman for 30 years. I play a lot of witches, bitches, whores,
alien creatures and biker broads.” She is also a black belt in karate, a kick
boxer, and “the first vegan bodybuilder in the world. I could bench 235 and squat
Williams-Crosby’s Brigit role helps her get beyond being “stereotyped as an actress
with muscles,” she said. “Debbie and I both train at the same dojo. One day, I’m
working out on the heavy bag, punching and kicking it, when she walked in and
told me about her new fairy play. I said ‘I’m in.’ When she gave me a list of
characters I could play, I chose Brigit. The character gives me a chance to heal
rather than destroy.”
Most of this was lost on the 5-year-olds in the fairy hunt, but they liked Brigit
anyway. She took the group past a storm drain and on to a grove of huge oak trees,
where the final scenes in the adventure took place.
It may not be long before Faery Hunt’s wonderfully rough edges are smoothed out.
Rothstein will soon be starting up new companies in Orange County and Las Vegas.
She is also looking at a possible live-action television show and a merchandising
But for the moment, the hunts go on in relative obscurity, which leaves a lot
to chance. After Saturday’s adventures were over and the kids went home, Rothstein
said, “One of the Teamsters came up to me and said he was an actor and wanted
to be one of the characters in the show. I was thrilled.”

LA Weekly