Sometimes life hits us with a series of major and unexpected events. The kind that swoop in and completely change everything, and you get a good raw look at life as you reconstruct your surroundings. It’s been one of those years for me, and I am picking up the bits and pieces and creating a new life. I feel like I’m over the most of it, like things will calm and I can make a new ‘normal’ routine. According to the Holmes and Rahe stress scale, in the past year I have scored over 500. I am hoping not to add anything else to that list. 2014 has been… well, it’s been a game changer.
I didn’t think I would pull off much this year in the way of Halloween. Partly because I had little spare time for building a haunt, and partly because my entire studio is currently in boxes still, in my tiny little garage, in my tiny little home I just relocated to. Somehow though, I did build. It wasn’t at my own home, and I didn’t have to fund it – I just had to create it. So I did. I had a great partner in crime to aid me with the construction, the owner took care of most of the logistics. We had bigger and grander ideas but building on partial weekends mid September through Halloween, and some weeknights after work, didn’t allow for it. All in all, we were happy with the results. We didn’t have a consistent theme throughout the haunt, but rather jumped around from scene to scene. We had a forest (indoors) and a bio-hazard hallway. A medieval room with a religious vibe, and an insane asylum scene. A hallway of flesh, a crazed butcher room, and a meat locker. A spandex room with actors in each wall, and lastly, with no time left to make more scenes, we threw in an industrial scene with bits and pieces that were left over from previous years.
You can see the pictures on my flickr page.
I seem to have disappeared from this blog for a long while. Sorry about that. It’s just one of those stages in life where things pull at you from other angles and priorities have to be shuffled.
Busy or not, there was no way I was missing out on the West Coast Haunters Convention in Portland Oregon this year. I wasn’t able to attend the entire event but I made it down there Friday evening and stayed to Monday. For the costume ball on Saturday night I created a Medusa costume. I was in the hotel room Friday night painting it, but I got it finished.
Years and years back I made a Medusa costume. It wasn’t that great, and the headpiece was heavy and not nearly snaky enough. I really think if you’re going to pull off Medusa, its all about a big mass of writhing snakes on your head. Problem is, snake hair can be heavy if your going to achieve the amount required for it to be a ‘mass’ of them. So before I started this process I thought about how I could pull off something light enough that I could wear it for 8 hours. I ended up using tubular crinoline for the bodies and I used some insulation foam for the snakes heads. The cap portion was fabricated with foam and felt and light wire. It weighed less than 2 lbs! Perfectly lightweight. I then hid a small mp3 speaker among the snakes and added a loop of hissing noises.
I didn’t want to resemble the store bought Medusa Greek gown look. I went with dyed and aged cheesecloth and a under-bust corset, worn over a black catsuit that I quickly airbrushed scales onto. Took some lycra gloves and airbrushed them and added long black fingernails. I airbrushed them while they were on. That was interesting, and airbrushing with my left hand was interesting I added some extra bits with craft foam; the arm greaves and the hip armor, and a clasp for the cheesecloth material top. If I hadn’t procrastinated to the last minute, I’d have done things a bit differently, and added a few elements but overall the effect was there. At the convention a good friend of mine offered to do the makeup for me with his airbrush.
The costume contest on Saturday night was judged by Roy Wooley and RJ Haddy from SyFy’s Face Off. Roy was wearing an RJ costume. It was great to meet them both. I had to re-introduce myself to them the next day out of costume.
As a sort of follow up to the post about creating a brain and a zombie costume, this post has pictures of everything I made, once I put it all together…
The West Coast Haunters Convention for 2013 was fantastic. Much thanks to Ed and Kasey Roberts, Chris and Jeff Davis and the rest of the staff that I was probably introduced to but forget most of their names.
The road trip down was fun with my one of my best friends, Corinne, who never ceases to make me laugh til I cry. The hotel was nice, the rooms were clean and the staff was top notch friendly. Staying on the 13th floor, with themed rooms was a hoot, and made for easy socializing with others there for the convention. The maintenance crew for the 13th floor visited us twice, and Nix left us some presents… that was interesting.
We had great keynote speakers daily and the seminars were informative. All around, I would say if you live on the west coast, and you have a haunt or are interested in them, be it yard haunting right up to the professionals, you ought to come to this event.
The Charity Monster Ball was Saturday evening. Check out the pictures on the WCHC Facebook page, there were some crazy good costumes! (I have some pictures on my flickr page, but I didn’t get many)
As for my costume… I was able to pick up the bits of makeup supply I still needed on the trade show floor and the costume came together really well. As a finished product I have to say that it turned out just as I had envisioned it to be. What a great feeling when something works the way you had intended! I have to thank James L Kugler of Inspire Film Studios for taking some amazing pictures. They are also on Facebook, go ‘like’ them.
Zombie Diner Waitress
Zombie Waitress Costume, back view