Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

Halloween 2010

We had a very good time this Halloween holiday, beginning with the annual Lytheria party Saturday night. We went in costume as we always do, myself in pretty standard Victorian gentleman garb, but with makeup that distinctly divided my face into two halves. Inspired by the “Jekyll and Hyde” musical we saw in the spring, my right side was my “normal” self, while the “sinister” side was markedly darker skinned, hairier, and lined with the marks of dissipation and bad character--. I did some small “schtick” with this, growling out of the left side of my mouth as “Hyde” when approached on the left, and speaking pleasantly as “Jeykll” from the right. People were amused by this and thought the execution clever.

Georgie wore an elegant cream-and-light-gold Regency dress, accessorized with a lady’s gloves, jewels, and a katana. She came as “Lady Catherine DeBurgh,” who, in the parody novel “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is not only a formidable lady of society, but also a notable slayer of “dreadfuls,” as zombies are known in the book. This outfit got a lot of favorable comment as well, and Mike VandeBunt, who was wearing a zombie-themed t-shirt, obligingly posed for some “action” photos. There were other costumed couples as well, notably Chuck Tritt and Julieann Hunter, as “The Green Hornet and Kato,” and Bob and Judy Seidl in Victorian outfits, crowned by Judy’s very elegant newly decorated hat.

Sunday afternoon was the trick-or-treat production, which this year was “Mythic Asia.” Lee had built the porch set representing the Imperial Palace of China on one side, and a Japanese tea house on the other. I’d decided more than a year ago I wanted to do the “Monkey King” from the Chinese classic “Journey to the West,” and Lee had recruited Georgie to be the “Empress of China”. We both put in quite a bit of work on our costumes, Georgie having made (with sewing help from Teresa Roden) an undergown for the silk robe she would wear, and doing up a black wig with a headdress borrowed from another costume.

Mine was one of the more elaborate make-ups I have done in a long time. I got a “Woochie” brand latex ape face prosthetic and monkey ears off the web—not the best or most expensive available, but they looked good for one use. I spent much of Saturday afternoon making up hairpieces out of crepe hair to go around the edges of the face piece and comb back over my own hair, ending up with a very “Planet of the Apes” look. Applying the makeup on Sunday, I had to start by putting brown color around my eyes and black on my nose so it wouldn’t show through the nostrils in the mask. Then, I glued the face piece and ears on, and then applied the hairpieces I had made, and had Georgie help me trim and comb the hair. A heavy application of spray kept it in place. My costume was a dark red “noble jacket” with gold dragon trim, over black pantaloons and tabi-style construction boots, which also had that “Planet of the Apes” reference. Outfitted with some black gloves, which both hid my hands and kept them warm, and a plastic and rubber “practice” staff for safe sparring, I was pretty well set. Mike Davis had a number of straw “coolie” hats, and I gleefully added one as the perfect topper to the costume.

We also had a number of other Asian characters in attendance: Todd Voros as the Lord Admiral of China Zheng He/Cheng Ho; Lee Schneider and Gary Cone as palace guards; Joleen Stiles as “The Bride with White Hair”; Kelly Lowrey and Laura Thompson-Mason as characters from the “Duel Masters” anime; Jackie Hanchar and Antonia Newmark as kitsune; Jennifer Newmark as “Vampire Hunter D”; Julieann Hunter, Teresa Roden and Sari Stiles as geisha/tea house attendants; Mike Davis as a ninja; and Steve Hanchar as an Oni demon. There were also Mongol Hordesmen Tim Haas, Cynthia Webber, and Leah Fisher roaming about.

As Empress Wu, Georgie was enthroned on the porch and granted ‘audiences’ to the ‘fascinating barbarians’ who were shown in to see her. The Empress granted gifts of candy bars to the visitors and they were shown out through the tea house.
As Monkey King (Sun Wukong), I worked the sidewalk, greeting and directing the trick-or-treaters, and haranguing them about the exploits of Monkey King (“Able to leap 33,000 miles in a single bound!”) between sparring with the Oni.

Everyone attending seemed to have a good time, and we got some overdue recognition from the local press who seems to have discovered every other “Halloween house” in town before finding us (purely by accident) this year. After all, we’ve only been doing this for thirty years--. The short story that ran on Channel 12 Halloween night can be seen here:

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Tags: costumes, halloween, lytheria
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