Don’t Wait: Make it Happen

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We’ve all got a calling: something we feel compelled to do: sing, act, paint, write.

I’m compelled to write, act, dance, sew, draw, play instruments, and save the world.

Of all those things, I’d say my strongest callings have always been to write and act. I started writing before I could read (if that makes sense) and I started acting in High school, taking every theatre class offered at my school and auditioning for every play. Of course, I played elaborate games of pretend with  my sister long before that.

After school I thought I’d become a writer and eventually get back into acting, starting with college/community theatre.

I got busy and hit a major writing wall, so I didn’t do much acting or writing for five years.

That was a bad time. I was depressed and lost … I wasn’t me. I was restless. Restlessness is what you feel when you aren’t answering your calling.

Recently I saw a video where Peter Dinklage offers some great advice to his fans: “Don’t wait.”

I am a true believer in learning from others: their advice and their mistakes and successes. This might be some of the best advice I’ve heard from someone who obtained their dream. There is no right time. You just have to go out there and make it happen.

One of my greatest lessons came from my mom. Sadly, she was not encouraging of big dreams. She didn’t take many risk or chances. My mother’s illness and her death inspired me to go after my dreams before it is too late. While I like to think that my mom was 100% satisfied with her life, I know she had unfulfilled dreams like seeing the ocean. How hard would that have been to make happen?

My goals might be a little more of a challenge: publish and act–not in theatre–on the small or big screen.

At 30, I feared it was too late for either, but in his speech, Peter says that he left a job at 29 to pursue acting. So it’s never too late.

While I can’t just quit my job and take off, my first break is just around the corner. A friend of mine told me about auditions for a film. I auditioned with my sister and we both landed rolls.

I can’t give away too much yet. It’s very early in the works, but I can say we are starting filming very soon. It’s a sci-fi/fantasy film. There are several B listed actors in it–one of which my son is a huge fan. It will be playing in roughly 150 theaters.

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First picture of some of the cast. Sorry no costume pics until we start promoting

Now before I get too excited, I’m not saying this film is going to make me red-carpet famous, but it is helping me answer my inner calling. Community theater just didn’t do it for me. But this is the whole experience: green screen, costume, hair and makeup, the whole thing.

I’m one of those people who can’t watch the behind the scenes special features without getting jealous. I’d love to be a part of the film-making process, and this will give me a chance.

The part I’m most excited about is my character. I’m going to be a General. After watching Star Wars and Wonder Woman and seeing my childhood princesses become Generals, I feel honored that this is my first role. I’ve always wanted to be a woman warrior like Lagertha, Antiope, or Xena. Here’s my chance.

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This film could lead to a lot of important networking opportunities as well as future rolls.

As far as writing, I’m still working on book one, but I feel like it finally has direction.

I really feel like this is the defining year of my life. If you haven’t seen it already, go watch Peter Dinklage’s speech.

 

I have thirteen hours to solve the Labyrinth

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Only one week left to finish our costumes, but it feels like thirteen hours. There’s still so much to do and so little time.

We need to finish the Hoggle mask, close the back on the  corset, finish the skirt, attach the sleeves to the dress, and glue jewels on the jacket.

Here are some photos of our finished work. We finished the brooch and the dress skirt. The corset just needs grommets and the sleeves and it’s officially done.

With one week left, I doubt I’ll get a lot of down time–or sleep. I can’t wait to share pictures of the finished project.

Cosplay Progress: Sewing Party

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This week was hectic, but in a good way.

So my son’s costume is almost finished. This week I finished the pants and sis started some of his accessories.

I also finished my silver, ruffle-necked shirt. I sewed dozens of buttons down the back before realizing they made snaps in the same style. Ughh! I also started the shiny silver, jewel encrusted brooch that pins to the collar.

 

 

Over the weekend, we had a sewing day with my friends, who are also working on a family cosplay. They are all going as DC characters. It was crazy and fun. We set up a long table in the kitchen so we could use two sewing machines at once. In the family room we cut patterns and fabric, and measured everybody. We had pizza and drinks (of the adult variety) and sewed like crazy. After the party, there was faux fur and fabric pins everywhere. It was hectic, especially since my friend Shelly and I are the only ones who sew. We taught her daughters how to cut patterns, so this was a great learning experience for them. I’m hoping to have another get together in a week or so. Here are some pictures from the party of my stitch’n bitches. I wish I had more, but I was too busy sewing.

Labyrinth Cosplay:Week Three Progress

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This was a week of ALMOST. I almost finished my shiny Bowie shirt.

It looks finished, but I still need to sew the buttons in the back. I found some really pretty buttons from JoAnns but they didn’t have enough in stock, so I have to wait for more to come in. At least the sewing part is done. I’m really happy with the way the shirt turned out. I think my sewing level might have increased from beginner to intermediate. I still can’t master zippers, but there’s always an alternative to a zipper.

I almost finished Rylee’s Hoggle pants. I just have to sew the patches and a button on them.

Other than that, my sis bought the clay to make Hoggle’s accessories. She hasn’t been feeling well, so that is as far as she got.

We also looked at fabric again. Monday, I’m going to buy the fabric for the jacket.

My goal is to finish the pants Monday and start on the jacket and finally cut the pattern for Sarah’s dress. There’s still so much to get done. I just realized I need to make the brooch that he pins on his ruffled shirt. I saw one online, but the colors of the beads are wrong and it’s 50 dollars. I could probably make it for 10-20. So another thing to add to the to-do list.

Stay tuned for next week, when hopefully, I have some more photos to share.

Labyrinth Cosplay: Week Two

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Even though I have 7 weeks left, I feel like time is running out, much like the thirteen hours in the Labyrinth. Probably because I’m moving a lot slower than I thought. It’s taking me roughly a week to finish one article of clothing. Considering I have a shirt, gloves, jacket, and dress to sew, this is too slow.

But I’m going to focus on what was accomplished and not what’s left to go.

It’s Hoggle

his shirt and vest is officially done. I’m really happy with the vest. I love the fabric, and the patterns were not as hard to sew in as I thought they’d be.

I was going to start the Jareth shirt, but I lost page one of the instructions, so I had to re-order the entire pattern for the instructions. I did cut the pieces out so they are laying in a silky pile waiting to be sewn.

Other than that, I attempted to sew the gloves, and I cut the patterns for his pants and the dress. This was a week with a lot of setbacks. But I’m going to keep plowing forward.

Why I Cosplay

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So as you all know, my blog is where I share my passions–mainly writing (though lately my post haven’t been about writing so much). Right now my greatest passion is cosplay.

What is Cosplay?

Some of you probably cosplay yourselves or at least have heard about it. I’m really not sure what the etymology of the word is, but I know it has “play” in it. It means costume play or something of that nature. I like to call it adult pretend, though children can certainly cosplay as well. It means something different to everyone. Cosplay may be synonymous with weird to some of you who are no doubt looking for the unfollow option on my blog.

Cosplay gets a bad rep for being considered some sort of adult dress up where those who participate are in some sort of stunted state of adolescence or refuse to grow up.

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None of that is true. It’s not just dress up or pretend, it’s a creative outlet and a way of expression.

What Type of People Cosplay?

You’ll find all kinds of grownups, some serious adulting types even. A doctor, lawyer, or insurance agent by trade could be Batman, Iron Man, Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman, Gandalph, or Hermione at a con.

Whatever they do for a living, your typical cosplayers are artist, nerds, geeks, dye-hard fans, actors, etc.

Let’s look at some of my favorite cosplayers.

thgJoshua Dart: Thranduart: Here is an example of a man who took a character and made him his own. He has celebrity status for his Thranduil cosplay. He is the perfect example of cosplaying from the inside out. Not only does he look like the character, but he acts like him. While he still cosplays as Thranduil, he has also cosplayed as Nick Wylde, Woody, and he’s currently working on a new project. You can follow him via Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about him and his cosplay, read all about him in my blog interview here.

14702315_10154198864517955_4740621950542902139_nElysia Vaughan: I met her at my first con, and now I see her every year. The first year she won first place in a costume contest and rightfully so, as she made her costume the year we ordered ours. We won second place, but she certainly deserved first for her Predator cosplay. I wish I had a photo to share, but I can’t find it. She was very friendly and willing to share information about the process of making her costume. She really inspired me to try my hand at making my own. She made it sound easy. I always look forward to seeing her and learning more about her as a person instead of just a fellow cosplayer.

Even some famous people have cosplayed, even if it was just to disguise themselves at cons: Masie Williams, Daniel Radcliffe, Tom Hiddleston, and Henry Cavill. Chances are, if you see someone just wearing a spider man mask, they’re a celebrity in hiding.

Here are a few of my favorites who, sadly, I don’t know their names:

Why Cosplay?

 

There are many reasons to cosplay. Many of us just want to share a passion either for a fandom, a character, for makeup or costume art, or something else that can be expressed through the art of cosplay.

Yes, I just called it an art. And it is. It involves certain skills in arts, crafts, engineering, mathematics, textiles, etc.

I’ve always loved art: theatre, painting, drawing, crafting, textiles, music.

Cosplay gives me an outlet to do all of these things. I get to work with wood, fabric, makeup, do crazy hairstyles, create, and act. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to escape the stresses of normal adult life.

I’ve been doing this about three years now. The first year, we literally had a month before KokomoCon. I wasn’t going to do it but my sister wanted to. A month doesn’t give you time to make your own costume (or so we thought), so we ordered them. There are a lot of websites if you’re interested in ordering costumes, wigs, or costume accessories: Etsy, AliExpress, Amazon, and Ebay to name a few.

I did make the crown and we painted the ears. That first year was experimental. I wasn’t confidant enough to sew yet. I didn’t believe in myself and I hadn’t discovered I’m awesome and can do anything. We decided to be the Mirkwood elves from the Hobbit. Making the crown reconnected me to the artistic side of myself that had been on hiatus. It also reminded me of theatre, which I hadn’t been a part of since Highschool but meant to get back into. This got me involved in local theatre the following year.

My next cosplay started off as a theatre role. As some of you may remember, I was the centaur in the Lion, the Witch & the Wardobe. After spending over a month working on it, I decided to take it to the con. I learned how to sew a little in high school but this costume told me how to apply what I learned to go above and beyond: creating something they don’t make patterns for. I also learned a lot of shop skills from creating the body and learned to work with mediums I’m not that experienced with like foam. I used parts of my brain I didn’t even know existed, and I’m a lot more savvy than I gave myself credit for.

This year I went as Lagertha from Vikings. This cosplay has a special place in my heart because I feel like we all went as characters we can identify with. I hate to say it, but my kid probably relates to Bjorn. He’s a boy who’s parents split up and he struggles with accepting that while learning new responsibilities as he becomes an adult. I’ve always identified with Lagertha. She’s a protective mother who still has dreams outside of being a parent. Her ex screws her and so does every man she knows, so she becomes a fiercely independent lady boss. I’d say Kylie went as Porunn because she’s a bit wild, independent, and wants to be free.

For this cosplay, I learned to make chain mail, wooden swords, shields, and lace leather. It was fun and daunting at the same time. And we learned something we didn’t think possible when we started our Mirkwood elves cosplay–you can get a costume done in a month. I just don’t recommend it.

For our next cosplay we’re giving ourselves a little more time. I’m going to be The Goblin King from Labyrinth. Again, a lot of sewing involved, and glitter, so much glitter. But all our cosplays must have the wow factor, and the educational one, so I must learn how to do all of his crystal ball tricks. I’m not sure how long it takes to learn how to contact juggle (well) but I have several months to get good enough, so I’m going to try. My son decided to be Hoggle, which will give me practice doing a creature mask, possibly with moving mouth and blinking eyes. My sister will be Sarah. The ball gown should be a bit of a challenge, but I’m up for it.

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Do you cosplay. Share some photos. Why do you cosplay? Who have you been? Who are you planning on being this year?

Ready to Raid: Our finished Vikings Cosplay

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Six weeks and 300 hours later we finally finished our Vikings cosplay. We were literally working until 11 pm the night before the con, but everything was ready on time. We had so much fun though our arms are tired from carrying around our shields all day.

For starters, I want to show you our finished costumes.

Here is my son as Bjorn Ironside. He was so cute. He had so much fun with his ax he even broke it before the end of the night.

This is my sister as Porunn. We had a lot of concerns about this costume, but I really like how it came together. We were able to find a Simplicity pattern for the belt and the armor. We also finally figured out what was going on with those gauntlets. We really enjoyed our time being shield maidens.

Lastly, here is my Lagertha costume. It took three days to finish the armor and lacing in the chainmail. Thank goodness I took three days off before the con. On the plus side. I got all caught up on Reign while working on this. This is my favorite cosplay so far. I love the hair, the armor, the chainmail, the colors, especially the shield. I can’t wait to take this one to Indy con.

We had so much fun at the con. There were some really cool costumes, even a guy dressed as the Oxyclean guy. I’m afraid I don’t have a picture.

He spared no expense

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Go Joe!

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The Force Awakens

One of the highlights to the con is the costume contest. Guess who got first place for group costume.

Just wanted to share some highlights from the con. Thank you are for following. For those of you who were following my post on how to build a centaur costume, I will try to finish that next week.