Published in National Post [Toronto magazine, Aug. 23, 2008]
A do-over for wallflowers
Thwarted valedictorians vindicated by Fake Prom
Palais Royale was transformed into a futuristic high school dance for the sixth edition of Fake Prom on Aug. 15. The theme of the night was "Out of This World," and most of the 800 attendees came adorned in their best formal wear with futuristic touches. Others, particularly the person dressed as Astro Boy, fully embraced the theme.
"To research for Fake Prom themes, I actually researched real proms and I stumbled on a prom with a similar theme," explained Dylan Reibling, Fake Prom's superintendant. "It's the perfect mix of nerdiness and costume dress-up."
With flashy getups, numerous slow jams and a glowing full moon (which was real), Fake Prom provided people such as Katie Sawatsky, an opportunity to experience prom night the way that they wanted to be.
"My original prom sucked," said Sawatsky, who has attended three Fake Proms. "I was a valedictorian and I felt like a loser. This event is more sociable, especially since everyone is more comfortable with their lives compared to when they were 18."
Attracting attendees predominantly in their twenties and thirties, the night didn't bring back bad high school memories for everybody. "Most people had a bad prom experience but I actually had a good experience," said Val Heimpel, "so I'm trying to relive it."
Like a traditional prom, Fake Prom held an election for Fake Prom King and Queen, which was won by Adam Jackson and Naomi Yasui. The couple had their big dance as the night ended with a shortened version of G'N'R's "November Rain."
"We had no idea that we would," said Jackson. "But we're both super hot and we have a lot of friends that know we are super hot."
Although there can only be one Fake Prom King and Queen, Reibling sees the event as being free of the angst that often comes with real proms. "We always seem to get people with good vibes," he said.
Link to story in National Post here.