So that’s a line from one of my favourite movies: The Rocky Horror Picture Show. When I’ve had the opportunity, I’ve gone and seen the live events at Halloween time for the last 18 years. It’s amazing and ridiculously fun. I go in costume with the full bag of rice, cards, bathroom tissue and everything else I need to throw. I once saw a meme that said “I judge the kind of person you are based on how you associate Tim Curry” and it had a photo of him from RHPS, Home Alone 2, and IT. I was like, “I totally get that” (and of course, my choice was RHPS).
Back to the point. “Don’t dream it, be it”.
My makeup in the photo is me heading out to a party this last weekend. I spent about three hours working on it. I used Mouldlife sculpt gel silicone putty, liquid latex, Pros-Aid, Ben Nye “Fresh scab” gel, wax and a ton of makeup setting sprays and setting powders. The process included a palette, scalpels, brushes, toothpicks, Q-Tips and tissues. The process also included some swearing, some tears (from the false eyelashes and contact lens, plus then having to fix whatever was just ruined by the tears), some hysterical laughing and repeatedly going back to watching the Rocky Horror Picture Show because I was trying to channel Tim Curry’s fabulous-ness. At the end of the night when I finally got to take it off, it all came out in one big piece, perfectly replicating that side of my face. I was totally torn between throwing it out and hanging onto it as a keepsake (I threw it out).
It was a GREAT experience. I’ve never done “gore” as part of a costume before, so it was my first opportunity to do so. It was so much fun. I am definitely not a professional, but I was totally thrilled with how it looked and how it turned out overall. The putty created contouring and shaping. The gel dripped so I had thick coagulations of fake blood. The contact lens was just creepy. So much fun, and I will definitely try it again for another event (or just for fun).
Not sure of my point? “Don’t dream it, be it”.
Here we go: It is so easy to get caught up in one singular thing that we lose sight of the other things that are available to us. It would be so easy for me to focus on my running that I get off track from the other recreational things I love, like costuming, swimming, writing, dancing, socializing, traveling. Even more easy is to get wrapped up in is a medical condition. It would be the easiest thing in the world to become so absorbed with my epilepsy that I forget all the things in the world that are available to me.
There are times where I have thought “That [insert hobby here] can’t be part of my life” because I was so insecure about my medical condition. So insecure that I gave up (or never started) hobbies. What would have happened if I had had a seizure while wearing that makeup?
Well: the exact same thing that would have happened if I had had the seizure not wearing any makeup at all.
As an example, last year I was trying on blue paint for a costume (I was going to be Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy). I had a seizure, my friend called 911, the paramedics came to my house. They did their assessment, concluded that I was fine to stay home, and then said “I just have to ask you one more question. Why are you painted blue?”. It was hilarious. The paramedics didn’t understand why I was covered in blue paint, and I am sure (although they were totally professional) they spent the whole assessment wondering about it. I think it was even September, so we weren’t even that close to Halloween.
I love costume makeup. I’ve done makeup to be the Grinch, the Cheshire Cat, Venom, Yondu, Poison Ivy and now Freddy Krueger. Some of the makeup involved scars (using liquid latex), some involved whiskers (the Grinch), a fair number involved coloured contact lenses. I would be so sad (and honestly, I wouldn’t be the person I am) if I thought that I could/should never try that out again.
If I dream about being a gore-y Freddy Krueger, I am going to be it. If I dream about being the Cheshire Cat, I am going to be it. I am not just going to wish for it. Don’t dream it, be it. It’s almost Halloween, it’s time to be a ghost or goblin or pirate or zombie or vampire or unicorn or Pikachu or robot or dragon or whatever you can possibly come up with.
Pick up that makeup brush or hockey stick. Set up that painters canvas or drum set. Turn that empty corner into a reading nook or gaming haven.
Don’t dream it, be it.
As an additional point, I also watched the music video for “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” by the Backstreet Boys. I don’t know how many people remember that, but it’s the one where they are all in costumes as a werewolf, vampire, mummy, Phantom of the Opera or Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. I was also trying to channel their amazing popstar energy and remembering the days when I had every surface in my room covered with posters of them. “Now throw your hands up in the air, wave ‘em around like you just don’t care”. Also an excellent mantra.