Why I need 30,000 friends…

Back home from Dragoncon 2013 and I’m going through the typical post-con depression when I noticed some friends talking about getting their badges for next year now. However when I was finishing up the weekend in Atlanta I had just had a discussion about going ahead and skipping the next year.
All this got me thinking, why do I need this weekend? All year, I think about what an amazing time I’ve had before, and how much fun it will be the next time around, but why?
Every year I feel like I miss about 10 percent or more of the people I intend to see. And every year I have more and more friends, so that 10 percent becomes a larger and larger number.
First of all I want to experiment, if I don’t have that one weekend a year from now to plan towards, would I be more likely to make the time to see these people? I think so.
Then there’s the obvious, absence makes the heart grow fonder. If I skip a year, 2 years from this past weekend I “SHOULD” have the time of my life!
Finally, it almost guarantees I can afford and make the time for Star Wars Celebration in April 2015. Star Wars costuming and fandom community means so much to me, everyone I’ve met in it, or met as a result of it are like family to me, and I love every moment with them. A visit to California would bring me closer to some I’ve only seen once or twice in my life. So I want to look forward to that.

But why do I need these events in the first place, why do I need to be surrounded by 30,000+ friends. Because it’s just that, friends. Perfect strangers are never strangers when you have something in common, be it costume building, Star Wars, 80’s cartoon nostalgia, there’s always something to find common ground on. Don’t get me wrong, it’s never perfect, but it sure is damn near perfect.
In 2013 I look forward to “normal” size cons, parties, movie nights, and general get togethers. In 2015 I’ll look forward to absolute insanity again, and I can’t wait! In the meantime, I’ll enjoy my corners of social media to bring the wide world of geekdom a little closer in my mind.

And thank you Dragoncon 2013 for being so awesome, you have inspired me creatively, emotionally, and healthfully. I really needed this after the rest of the year so far.

He-Man and She-ra Photos by Mandy Hughes, Charal and Necromonger by Anna Rossmann.

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Burlesque in my Life

On May 21st, 2010 Salomé Cabaret gave me a chance to express myself in ways at the time I could have only imagined. Now, on May 29, 2013 once again they assist me in my dreams of pursuing an art that so few get to experience, by traveling to Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend in Las Vegas.

I’ve lived more than half my life trying to surround myself with like minded people who love the things I love, going to conventions and costuming as characters from some of my favorite movies, tv shows, and literature, so when burlesque began to crossover into that culture, I couldn’t resist and dip my toes into that proverbial pool of talent and stardust. I’ve never looked back.

These communities are my family, my friends, my companions down the roads of uncertainty and imagination, heartache and passions. So today I look forward towards the horizon and say, “Thank you for encouraging me to be me, now let’s have some more fun!”

Game of Thrones Burlesque

Last year I wrote and performed a number inspired by my love of the series Game of Thrones and the books it’s based on A Song of Ice and Fire. I’d like to explain my concept, execution, and feelings about this number…

First of all, I’m a fan. No getting around that fact. So when my troupe decided to organize a TV themed show, I jumped on this number full force.
My original concept was based on the book’s style of POV chapters. I wanted to change characters throught the number since you can’t tell the story of A Song of Ice and Fire through just one character’s eyes. No. It actually started with Catelyn Stark, then went to Cersei Lannister, then ended with Daenerys Targaryen. Alas, having my hair colored as it is, that would have involved 3 wigs… which I did try, but could only fit one under another, not two… So I had to scrap a character. That became Cersei because although we all love the hate the Lannisters, we call love the Starks and Dany and want them both to win in some way… although the won’t I’m sure :( Really, reading these books is incredibly masochistic. They hurt all the time!
Sorry Cersei

The number starts with the Stark sigil, which is actually painted in Tully colors, mostly because silver/grey shows up better on blue than black. I used a spray on fabric puff paint so the color would show up against the crushed panne velvet then layered enamel spray paint on top of that.
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I came out in a Winterfell inspired coat and dress I actually made for a Lord of the Rings inspired costume, but converted for this number. In hindsight I wish I had made it blue to keep with the dark Stark theme. I ALSO realized after the fact it would have been much more fitting if I had portrayed Lyanna Stark instead, perhaps with a crown of blue roses… but show characters are much more recognizable. And I really REALLY love Lady St… well, no book spoilers here. READ them!

So then I dance a bit with a sword, cause Tully/Stark is badass like that! Strip, become vulnerable… then go back and reveal the next curtain. Thanks to my uncle Trader Scott and his amazing vinyl cutting skills we made stencils for these huge “tapestries”.
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Then the “big” reveal. Dany comes out in fiery belly dance inspired garb and hand sequined dragons for pasties and undergarments.
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This wig was glued to my head so when I transitioned behind the curtain I could just fluff up my hair and be done with it. It worked flawlessly.

This has been officially the proudest moment of my Burlesque career so far. I could not be happier with the translation of “POV change” and the audience reaction. I didn’t try to “look” like these characters, I tried to portray them. I’ve been told by some that even without being familiar with the show/books it was still enjoyable, and that’s all I could ask for.
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I’d like to shout out to my mentors in Salome Cabaret including Kisa von Teasa and Siren Santina, and Talloolah Love for putting on one hell of a show and allowing me to participate in it. I can’t thank you all enough!
Thanks to Stuart for grabbing a front row seat and capturing this moment for me with his phone! Enough talk, DANCE!

Star Wars Celebration 6 and Dragon*con

Now that I’ve had some time to decompressed, here’s some thoughts about the “epic con trip” we just partook:

On day 11 I decided that 10 days was my limit. By day 12 I was sick. If they ever schedule Star Wars Celebration that close to Dragoncon again, that will be the first year I skip Dragoncon OR at least go home between.
Dragoncon

I say this every year, but next year I’m ONLY bringing one major costume. I mean it this time. I missed a lot of hang outs with some friends to wear other costumes that I didn’t even get decent pictures in.
Lady Loki

Jon and I got to participate a little in the greatest proposal of our friends Chris and Leah at the Rebel Legion group photo!
Chris and Leah

Celebration 6 was better than I remember C3 being, I will definitely be going back to Florida for C7!
Star Wars Celebration 6 Flagship Eclipse

Epic costuming is fun, even if people don’t remember the movie! The second day I went 6 hours in Charal from Ewok 2 Battle for Endor!
Charal

People REALLY like science fiction mash-ups, $15000 like (my husband made Epimetheus Fett):
http://www.thedentedhelmet.com/content/you-wish-artist-highlight-jon-wollack-52.html
http://www.facebook.com/asyouwishproj

As you wish helmet

Dragon*con burlesque is EPIC, performing it feels epic! A huge thank you to Talloolah Love!
Dany Burlesque

My photo collections:
As You Wish Helmet Project – Celebration 6
Star Wars Celebration Part 1
Star Wars Celebration Part 2
Rebel Legion Group Photo
dragoncon 2012

My Favorite Things

Here are a few of my favorite things:

Costuming
I have been sewing since 1999.

Conventions, Star Wars, and my 501st/Rebel Legion friends

Burlesque
Performing with Salome Cabaret, expressing myself on stage, and making more costumes!

HR Giger and Alien (Xenomorphs)
I keep most of my collection in the bathroom. I have been OBSESSED with Giger and his art/designs for as long as I can remember.

Chronicles of Riddick Necromongers
I own 4 screen used costumes, and have been entranced with their design and construction since before the film was released.

Starship Troopers
Our collection of screen used items

My Pug Dogs
Kato, Jetta, and Lilly


And this guy