Anyone can do Halloween, but some are, shall we say, more committed to the craft of Halloween than others. This is the holiday the Theatre community was meant to use to blow all of the general public out of the water!
Here are some reasons why this is our season! (Spoiler alert- nothing to do with pumpkin spice)
1. One of a Kind Costumes
Yes, we know the party store has a huge stock of sexy everything costumes, but we will not, nay, CAN NOT run the risk of a duplicate costume. The $40 bag that includes a wig might seem like a good deal and certainly takes far less time than the one we’ve been working on since the end of June, but that does not matter. Halloween is a competition of skill and we shall prevail.
2. The MacGyver Factor
Theatre people are wildly resourceful. Small budgets, time constraints within a show, and a penchant for impossibly grandiose ideas has forced us to be! Nothing gets thrown away. Nothing is waste. Everything is costume material.
Got some pipecleaners, four cotton balls, some thread, and a drinking straw? That’s all we need.
3. The Importance of a Prop
The devil is in the details and we know that a perfectly carried prop can send that costume to the next level. Perhaps our Amazon order history causes a raised eyebrow or two, but we will not hold a plastic “toy” in our hands when we could painstakingly choose a realistic prop that adds to our character’s richness and completes our masterpiece! Which brings up the next point…
4. Always in Character
We are not simply ourselves in costumes. That is the work of amateurs. We have physically, emotionally, and often vocally prepared to transport our audience at every turn. Did you want to talk about that fun concert you went to last weekend? I’m sorry, I’m from Victorian England and I don’t know the artist of which you speak.
But what’s his motivation? What is his backstory? Have you even answered Uta Hagen’s Nine Questions?
5. Mad Makeup Skills
Look, Theatre people are not playing when it comes to makeup. Those waxy crayon things with the gold wrappers are child’s play. There will be contouring. There will be special effects. There will be strangers stopping us to ask for pictures. We are not to be trifled with in this area. We put on theatrical makeup just for fun. You can guarantee there were at least two practice runs before Halloween ever got here. Makeup skills are no joke and we gots them!
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6. Halloween is Really a Year-Round Event
To be honest, for most Theatre kids, Halloween is more of a lifestyle than a holiday. Many of us have entire sections of our closets dedicated to things we find and pick up and hoard that have costume potential. Thrift stores, garage sales, hand-me-downs. They all contribute to an elaborate collection of once and future costume glory.
Most parties we throw are themed or costume parties. Sometimes we wear a tiara to go to the store and grab some milk. We study people and constantly hone our skills to represent the world through our own eyes and the opportunities to express that are endless if you aren’t too worried about people thinking you are weird. And we’re not.
We have the unique skill of seeing the world through many different characters and perspectives and the thrill; the mind-opening, gut-wrenching, soul-filling satisfaction of that, becomes addictive. We get to create magic for people on and off the stage and there’s no reason we should limit that to one day a year.
So keep up the good work. Be scary, be funny, be sexy, be historically accurate, and be creative! This is our time to shine!