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Here's where the magic happens. I'll be posting about all of my experiences and experiments (both failed and successful ones), introducing you to my costumes, sharing fun stories, linking tutorials and useful products, and who knows what else!

 

MDC: Origins

Michael MacWolff

My apologies, dear friends, for only having one post this week. I've been working tirelessly on that bazooka I introduced you all to in my last post. It is, in fact, finished however I wanted to wait until after the weekend to post Part 2 of the story so I can get some photos of my client with her rocket launcher. So fret no, you'll be seeing the culmination of these past two weeks of work soon.

But now I thought I'd do a special throwback, seeing as it is in fact my birthday, to the birth of my costumery. I'm very fortunate, too, because my mother recently gave me my baby book, without which I'd have no source material to share with all of you. So thanks, ma, for gifting me with the book at such an auspicious time. Thanks also, to both of my parents for creating me, otherwise I wouldn't be here talking to all of you.

So today we're going to take a look at how this adorable kid...

...became the cosplayer he is today.

 

I often credit the beginning of my cosplay career as the summer of 2007 when I had a wonderful PotC party and for some insane reason decided to turn myself into Davy Jones.

Once again, I must thank my wonderful mother! She's Tia Dalma here and isn't she lovely!

Once again, I must thank my wonderful mother! She's Tia Dalma here and isn't she lovely!

Now yes, this is one of the first times I put the work into making my costume myself (with lost of help from mom reading the pattern and putting it together properly), but if we want to see the true beginnings of my costuming life, we have to go back a good deal further.

 

It all started one evening on October 31st. Now, while my actual first Halloween wasn't terribly exciting (I was less than a year old so it's not like I was terribly aware of what was happening), my first participatory Halloween was in 1988, where I experienced my first transformation into a whimsical beast...

giraffe-mikey

Ok, so giraffes aren't that whimsical, but I was only a year and a half old at this point. Also, the 'recycled' part refers to the fact that I am the fourth kid in my family to have worn this, and it has continued to be passed down through my nieces and nephews too, talk about a long-standing family tradition!

Jump ahead a couple of years and we can see the personality starting to develop as I become the bumblebee and begin learning how to pose.

Look at all the sass in that stance. Kariya would be proud.

Look at all the sass in that stance. Kariya would be proud.

It wasn't long before I started expanding my repertoire with face paint and wigs, and the steady motion toward serious costumery that continued to develop year after year.

My skills with taming wigs have not improved much since then...

My skills with taming wigs have not improved much since then...

And then one day it happened, I discovered dinosaurs! My life was forever changed, and I became the cutest stegosaurus you've ever seen.

stego-mikey

And you'll recognize that same head, in differeent colors on the dragon I became a few years later, and one of my first forays into costuming outside of just Halloween! If I had developed my skills in doing this sort of thing I may have gotten into fur suits and had a much more impressive Red XIII than the gijinka form I went with...

Over the next several years my skills would grow. I got better at face paint, and I tried my hand at making props for the first time!

Ok, so my prop was a broom handle with a cardboard scythe blade wrapped in duct tape, but hey we all had to start somewhere!

Ok, so my prop was a broom handle with a cardboard scythe blade wrapped in duct tape, but hey we all had to start somewhere!

The next step in my journey was a very important one. This is the first time my costumes began fitting into what we conventionally think of as 'cosplay' today. Wickett, the only named Ewok, became a big stepping stone in my costumed journey through life.

ewok-mikey-and-vader

Star Wars was the first fandom I became involved with (ok, besides the dinosaur fandom, that was technically first) and it paid off! In 1999, Sprint was doing a Star Wars promotion to celebrate the release of Episode I, and I, in good nerddom fashion, came dressed in my ewok costume. Not only was I pretty much the only kid there, but I was definitely the only one in costume. The people at the store were so excited I got my pick of the door prizes (which is how I got my first VHS copies of the original trilogy), I also got two tickets to the midnight premier of Episode I. Boy, was I in heaven!

It wouldn't be long before I got into the video game scene and started making my own costumes, though there was a good bit of high school (and therefore lack of time to do much of anything) in between, but when I was a few years into college I hit the ground running! It was Davy Jones straight into Sothe & Tibarn from Fire Emblem, and beyond. The rest, as they say, is history; and I hope you all liked hearing about my history!
Later, darlings!