Happy Halloween everyone! Correct me if I’m wrong, but according to my calculations, this is the third time this year where my weekly blog post has fallen on a holiday. Halloween is one of those holidays that, at least to me, I felt I took advantage of when I was younger, but have grown to really love and appreciate more and more as I’ve gotten older. While many people have a wide variety of reasons for why they like the holiday, I think a lot of us share common ground when I say that I especially love it when you get to dress up in costumes.
There are so many to choose from; whether it it’s the thematically appropriate spooky costumes, the attire of a particular profession, a public figure, or as your favorite character from a TV series or movie. However, the act- and perhaps art- of assembling and wearing a costume seems to have gone even beyond Halloween in today’s culture, ultimately giving more excuses during the year for stories to be told in this form. That’s what I aim to explore today.
(Before I proceed any further, let me just quickly get this out of the way, for it’s also this time of year where these arguments and instances of ignorance continue to occur: If you have to ask yourself if it’s okay to wear the traditional attire of a particular culture and call it a costume or a culturally appropriated version of attire from a particular culture, the answer is always NO. Okay, now that I got that out there, let’s move on…)
Before pop culture has become as big and influential as its become, I remember reading how the act of wearing costumes on Halloween was a way of scaring off evil spirits from invading your lives. Nowadays though, it’s more so just for the sake of having fun. Apart from Halloween, I think the only other “normal” time one wears a costume is if one is performing in a play, a TV show, or a movie. In today’s time, with Comic Cons, anime conventions, and similar conventions of a kind that take place throughout the year where cosplay is encouraged, that’s now the latest norm for wearing a costume.
I always wonder what to do when in a costume. Maybe it’s because of my limited theatre background where I sometimes feel that you need to act your character you’re dressed as, because sometimes, no matter how good of an actor you may or may not be, a costume can have that effect on you. There’s a reason why you chose the costume you’re wearing now, and whether if acting out the part can accompany your decision is always tricky (at least in my mind). That’s the role that costumes have in the medium of theatre, television, and film, which is probably why I think this way.
Maybe the reason is, at least, a little different in the world of cosplay. While I do know a few people who are adamant about cosplay, I’m not entirely familiar with that world to know what the drive is behind the culture. What I’m able to draw from it generally speaking is the desire to look like a favorite character. That and the fact that you know the story that the character hails from is definitely having an impact when there are people who are going out of their way to dress like him or her. Already there are people who are dressed as Finn and Rey from “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” for Halloween and that movie hasn’t even come out yet.
This is all just speculations and my opinions about costuming. It’s a storytelling art form that I wish to get more into in the future. I was actually hoping to have an excuse to wear the costume I’m saving for Comic Con for Halloween, but from the look of things now, I don’t think that’s going to happen.
What does costuming/cosplay mean to you? What is it about it that you enjoy? Does it allow you to connect with the story your character hails from and would you consider costumes a form of storytelling?
Any responses below will be welcomed. Other than that, I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!
A Moment’s Worth is now available through the following venues: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, iTunes. Please leave a review if you can, for my goal is to get a total of at least 20 reviews on all venues (so far, I’ve gotten 12 reviews so I’m already just past the halfway point to my goal). Check out its Goodreads page, which includes two trivia quizzes for all who’ve completed reading it already.
Also, if you haven’t done so already, please go vote on whether or not you would like for my second novel to be available in print or not. This poll will go on until the time comes to start the publishing process, so the more input on this decision, the better.