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Cosplay: Tira

Me as Tira. Picture taken by Eurobeat King at Fanime 2007

As I’ve said before, I love video games and I love evil people. Though one could argue that Tira isn’t really evil so much as crazy. Regardless I also love the characters with the freaky weird fighting styles and weapons. If I had the body for it I’d probably cosplay as Voldo but that’s another story all together.

Character: Tira

From: Soul Caliber III

Version: Player One in alternate color scheme.

Notes: I was originally going to do this costume in it’s usual green but I couldn’t find a green body suit that didn’t look goofy so I ended up using a black cat suit for the top and some pants that I found at some weird shop at the mall for the bottom. By far the only time I ever bought pre-ripped jeans in my life. Possibly the only time I ever will. The armor was actually cheap plastic roman armor painted and cut up. Add some ribbon, leather ties, a green feather boa and some gloves and you got a costume.

The full costume plus the bladed hula hoop weapon. Sadly the lighting was a little too dark here but you can see the hula hoop at least.

Hardest Part: The damned weapon. That there is a hula hoop with some foam core poster board and a lot of silver duct tape. The wig was also a pain as I started with a green wig, hated it and used a black one and some green hair spray instead.

Favorite Part: The body paint and the make up. I love how it came out.

Hours Spent on it: Probably about twelve.

Cost: Um… hmm… probably less than $100. It was a fairly cheap costume to make.

 
 

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Rebel Yell Character: Clara Goodwin

The portrait of Clara in the Parlor. Photo Credits: EurobeatKing. Photo Manipulation: Me

Hello All,

It’s time for another Haunted Shenanigans post. I thought I’d start by sharing with you the character I play at the Rebel Yell Haunted House. Before we got into the details of the character herself let’s go into the basics.

Clara here is the Pepper’s Ghost of the haunt. What is a Pepper’s Ghost? Also known as a Split Glass Effect a Pepper’s Ghost is essentially one of the earliest versions of a hologram you will ever see. It’s been utilized in theater, at fairs, side shows and is currently used in many haunted attractions all over the world (You are probably familiar with the Ball Room scene in The Haunted Mansion at Disney Land? Those dancers are a split glass effect.)

How it works: uh… here’s a link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepper%27s_ghost

Essentially, you take a peice of glass and set it at an angle from the subject you want to have be “ghostly” or “morph” (the subject is in a black box. Behind the glass you have a scene or perhaps the item you want to morph into the subject. Using lighting (bringing up the light on the subject as you dim the light on the scene or the object to be morphed) you can make the subject appear and disappear (as transparent or solid as you like.) As the light comes up on the subject it reflects in the glass and you get an image of the subject.

Clara is achieved by using black light reflective makeup and costuming.

Clara make up.

The Character:

Naturally with a haunt you want to have a story. Otherwise it’s boring for both the guests and the haunters. So we have our own little story.You can find the full story of Rebel Yell here: http://www.rebelyell.info/rebelyell.html

Clara didn’t have a story when I started playing her. She didn’t even have a name. She was in fact originally a manikin but then the manikin’s head fell off and I took it’s place. Typically you don’t see the effect done with a live person. I’m not saying we’re the only haunt to do it but it’s not common. Probably because it’s hard to get an actor willing to stand in one place for hours on end. Everyone loved the live action ghosts so much that we kept her. So I made up a story for her.

Clara’s Story:

Given the sordid history we gave our haunt I wanted to examine some of the past history of it so I created a story involving a young women torn between two brothers who ran the Funeral Home that became the Rebel Yell House. Essentially she was to marry one brother but the other was jealous and killed them both. The brother was locked in the attic and poor Clara was embalmed alive. She was buried in an unmarked crypt and the brother who killed her eventually hung himself in said crypt. Clara haunted the house and was partly responsible for the death of the doctor’s children and wife. She was trying to help but being unable to speak kind of lead to some miscommunication. Now she tries to help those who get lost in the house find their way out.

Costume and Makeup:

As I said before the costume and makeup are black light reflective. The dress I wear is white with the skirt being made of white tule. Which, being shredded gives the effect that the skirt is disappearing into nothing and that I am floating. The make up is Kryolon brand UV reactive blue body paint, some black eye liner and some UV reflective red makeup. The reason for choosing blue was to match the purple/blue cast of the costume and also to give me that nice wraithly glow. The box I stand in is lit with black lights and the scene behind the glass is set up to look like the entrance to a crypt lit dimly but just enough for you to see the items.

Portrayal:

When I’m playing Clara I try to seem sad and helpful. I’m not sure I come across as such but I try to keep it in mind when I am beckoning people towards me and then pointing them towards where they should be heading next.

Fun Momments:

Being a ghost who dosen’t talk and whom people can’t touch or see where I actually am has some fun things that go with it. For one thing I get to hear all sorts of wild speculation as to how the effect is achieved. According to many I am a projection from a camera, a manikin, or some kind of television thing.

More entertaining is when people try to communicate with me. They say all sorts of things and assume I can’t see them and are surprised, delighted and bewildered when I respond to their questions with nods or head shakes or gestures.

My favorite story is when a little girl and her brother were staring at me. The sister was super impressed by me but the brother kept explaining how the effect worked (erroneously, he didn’t really know) and insisted that I wasn’t a real person. So when he wasn’t looking I popped my head around the corner where the girl could see me and I put my finger to my lips. The rest of the evening she was a giggly happy girl because she knew how the effect worked and he didn’t and she had a secret with the “pretty ghost lady.”

Drawbacks: Well obviously standing still in one place being blinded by black lights can bet a little tedious. This is why we have a manikin stand in for me so that I can occasionally get out and roam the haunt.

 

There you have it. Clara Goodwin, the Rebel Yell Haunted House’s resident Pepper’s Ghost. I hope you enjoyed this installment of Haunted Shenanigans.

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Haunted Shinanagins

 

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Cosplay: The Blood Countess Carmila

Me as The Blood Countess Carmila at Fanime. Picture credits: Cosplay.com

Time for my first ever Cosplay/Costume post. I’ll start with one of my earliest costumes since well… it makes sense.

Character: The Blood Countess Carmila

From: Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

Why: Because the second I saw here on the screen I wanted to make that costume. I’ve this thing for villains and vampires. Especially if they’re in amazing dresses. It’s just something I love.I also loved the challenge of it.

Hours of Construction: Um… I lost count. Well over 500. Probably closer to 1000. I wore here to Fanime and BayCon several years in a row and kept adding to here as Time went on. So I really don’t know how long I spent on her. I can tell you that the initial construction took about two weeks and that from there I just kept improving here with trims and beading and all sorts of other things.

Details: So you can’t see it in the pictures but there’s little red seed beads on the shoulder things and on the hip puffs. The skirt was made using a pattern from a Renaissance costume. The bodice from a gypsy costume. The Jacket was just a basic balaro style jacket pattern and the hip puffs were taken from a Cinderella costume. The rest (long sleeves, shoulder puffs and collar) were all things I just made up without a pattern.

The necklace, earrings and crown tiara designed and constructed by me.

The fangs are costume fangs. They are plastic but they look like porcelain. I got a lot of compliments on them from a fang maker who thought they were his work so I’ve never felt the need to buy the super expensive ones.

Make up and hair (no that IS NOT a wig. I styled my hair with two pieces of foam, a lot of hair spray and some prayers to the dark gods of cosplay) were designed by me.

The trims on the costume were inspired by the art work of an artist by the name of Shannon Hubbard.

Fabrics: I like to talk about fabric choices because they are important in costume making. The wrong fabric can make a costume look weird.

Carmila was made from red and white satin (bought at the local Hancocks fabrics) some gold curtains ala 1970 something (given to me by a neighbor) and some sea foam green liner fabric (also given to me by a neighbor. As well as some red stretch velvet also acquired at the local fabric store. Gold and black trip, seed beads, crystals and wire all acquired at local crafts stores.

When choosing the fabrics and trims I looked closely at her design and did a lot of research on the character. Who she was, personality, portrayal, role in the film, etc. What I noticed was that she was a very vein and conniving person. She’s seductive and pretends to be your friend just to get what she wants. It was obvious that she was partially inspired by the historical figure Elizabeth Bathory and the book Carmila so I did research on those. I also looked at the costume aspects and found that there was a lot of elements taken from the Renaissance and 1700s. So I chose rich overly lavish fabrics that matched her aristocracy and vainty but also choose some antique fabrics (the curtains and the liner fabric were both old or old looking) since she had been sitting around her palace for a while collecting dust. In the movie she’s sort of a ghosts or psychic projection so I wanted to use fabrics that were a bit out of date when put with the newer fabrics. Just a little off. Like her.

Color Choice was easy, I just looked at the movie and concept art. Found that I really liked the sea foam green color with the vivid blood red and gold. I also wanted to use texture to kind of break it up and make it look interesting.

Awards: I won Best Novice in the BayCon Masquerade and a slew of hall costume awards.

Final Notes: I really enjoyed this costume. Sadly I have outgrown it otherwise I’d still be wearing here. Someday I will remake her but for now I don’t have the time, space, money to do so. One day though.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2012 in Costuming, Cosplays and Fashion

 

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