Just me talking about costume-y kind of stuff
Lots of fun was had at the Alamo City Comic Con. We went on Saturday and even though we got a fairly early start, we didn't actually get into the building until noon. At least the weather was pleasantly cool and sprinkling while we were waiting outside in line. Naturally the first thing we did was go to the bathroom. The con had been open for 2 hours and already there was no toilet paper in any of the stalls in the girls bathroom. Seriously, San Antonio? Did you really run out that quickly or did no one put any more in there after Friday night?
We got in line for our celebrity Star Trek autographs immediately. The lines were short and moved quickly. We met George Takei first. I gave him the photo of Sulu and Uhura that I had Nichelle sign in Houston. We were told he wouldn't be doing personalizations, but he asked, "To K.J.?" Then I had to explain that my name was really KC but Nichelle hadn't heard me correctly. So he wrote "To KC, You vickens you!" He meant vixen. So Nichelle can't hear and George can't spell. My photo is just that much more awesome! Walter was really nice even though he couldn't hear either. His hand shook so badly while he was trying to sign Rob's 1976 Star Trek comic book that his assistant had to hold his hand steady. Then we got to go the the panel with Walter and Nichelle and hear them talk. Walter seems to have kept his mind once he finally understood the questions being asked he gave appropriate and reasonable answers. Nichelle got stuck on talking about her contribution to NASA which was recruiting females and minorities into the space program. Which is great and wonderful and an amazing story if you haven't heard it. But it's not the appropriate or reasonable answer to all the rest of the questions asked, like "How did you get into theatre and what was your first role?" I honestly don't care that they are old and shaky and deaf and senile. I'm just glad that they still want to come to conventions and hang around listening to all the fans tell them over and over how much Star Trek has meant to them all. Or maybe by the time you're 80 you're not sick of hearing it anymore, you've gone past that point and out the other side into the land of, "Oh gosh, the children still love me! Aren't they adorable?!" And they can't see well enough to realize that their children all have grey hair.
Julie Newmar told Rob that he looked stunning in his uniform, so I'll never live that down. I adored her cute straw hat. She still looks great too. We saw a bunch of awesome costumes but I took less and less photos because it got more and more crowded after lunch and I just felt like a sardine and suddenly we were both pretty claustrophobic and just wanted to get out of there. I didn't see anyone else cosplaying Firefly the whole time we were there but a lot of people gave us compliments and took our picture.
We stopped in San Marcos for dinner at Gil's Broiler and had a Manske roll for dessert. If you haven't ever had one, you must immediately drive to San Marcos and order one. Be warned, they don't serve them for breakfast. I know, it's weird.
As a part of writing my own textbook for my makeup course this fall, I am including video content. This is my first video on glamour makeup. The makeup artist in the video is third year student Emily Seely. She took my course last year and then went on to get a job with MAC cosmetics. The model is Jen Ringer, who also took my course last year. I really appreciate the girls helping me out with this. The video is 40 minutes long and shows application of foundation, contouring, and color. Each week I will have a new video posted. Next week will be be doing Old Age.
After three full days of working the HOT Comic Con I can say that I have learned A LOT! I've given presentations before, but never had to run a booth. Even though I thought I'd thought of everything I quickly learned that there was a ton of stuff I should have done. But Rob told me to make notes so that I'd remember for next time.
When I found out on Thursday that our season brochures would not be printed in time for the Con, I thought that our table would be pointless. But at the last minute Kelly, Caleb and I came up with alternative ways to advertise. Caleb used his large color printer to print a poster sized season brochure to put on the table. Kelly sent Caleb the show logos and Caleb created a black and white flyer with all our shows on it. We printed up a hundred of them to hand out and ran out Sunday morning, so Rob and I went to Office Depot and had 50 more printed. I put together a slide show of our production photos and student work that displayed on the two digital photo frames that ran continuously. I brought some interesting student-made costume accessories to display. We had maps of the campus, course information, degree plans and scholarship info for attendees to take home with them. It was Rob's idea to do a sign up sheet for ticket and course information. We got about 30 people signed up on our mailing list. Next time we want to have ticket give aways at the table and other swag to hand out like McLennan pens, stickers, and maybe a bowl of candy.
I got to see a lot of cool costumes and meet a lot of interesting people. I got a lot of wonderful comments about my Zelda costume on the first day. I immediately found another Link in his red costume to take a photo with. Link was a popular character as there were two Red Links and One Green one (Sylvan) on the first day and another Red Link and two more female Green Links on the third day, including former student Stephanie Copeland. The second day I went as Kaylee with Rob as Mal and Sylvan as Wash, and that seemed to be pretty popular as well. Rob, who did lots of wandering around while I was booth sitting, got lots of requests for photo ops. There were at least two other browncoat cosplayers there. We even found another Captain Mal and a Wash at the con. The third day I went as Vampire Willow with Rob as Vampire Xander and Sylvan as Spike, but without bumpy forehead appliances or fangs. I really hadn't planned on it being cool enough to wear the pleather so I never made the appliances. I was worried that people would just think we were trying to be Goth and had failed, but I was wrong. There were at least three girls who knew exactly who we were. Two teenaged girls who came by the table asked if I was a Vampire and when I said, "Yes, I was Vampire Willow", the one girl turned to the other one and said, "I told you so!" I told her that Spike was my son and he was running around somewhere and they said they'd already had their picture made with him and that he was adorable. A nine year old girl even asked me if I was a Vampire from Buffy, because it was her favorite show.
My next appearance will be at the HOT Comicon: Con of the Living Dead, here in good old Waco, Texas. It's a three day event and Caleb and I will be recruiting. I needed three costumes to wear and was originally going to do Vampire Willow and Xander but then decided that would be way too hot. Sylvan will be there with me and he already had a Link costume, so I decided it was time to be Zelda. I went to all four Waco Goodwills trying to find a cheap white dress for a base, but to no avail. I ended up making it out of leftover lining fabric on Tuesday. I patterned the vest and made it out of leftover velvet also. I got everything sewn together and hemmed and then patterned the pauldrons.
Wednesday I cut the armour pieces out of thermoplastic. I did two layers to make it thicker. Then I used my industrial steam iron to melt the two layers together. While the pieces were still hot I laid them over my mannequins shoulders to get the right shape and the arm pieces I laid over tailor's hams. I left the decorative bird pieces to dry flat. My next step was to add decorative dimensional details using scraps of the thermoplastic on all the pieces. I outlined each added piece with hot glue as well as the entire perimeter of each piece to give them a lip instead of just a rough edge and to fill in the cracks between the two layers. Then I painted a base coat with modeling paste and white acrylic paint to smooth out the texture, let it dry, and gave it one more coat. After that dried I painted a purple undertone also in acrylic and also did two coats letting it dry in between. Last was two coats of gold acrylic.
Thursday I did some detail painting with more purple paint to add some shadows and give it some depth. Then I glued on some blue rhinestones with E6000 glue. Thanks Jason Sanchez for that tip! I used rivets to attach the pieces to leather strips to hold the six pieces together. Thanks Caleb Stroman for suggesting the soldering iron to punch holes through the three layers of thermoplastic. I had lots of fun over in the scene shop trying in vain to figure out how to use my rivet gun. i ended up just using a good old fashioned hammer and banged them in from the back. Back in the costume shop I patterned the banner and used a pencil to draw on the design. Then I used fray check to paint over the pencil marks in an attempt to keep the different colours of dye from bleeding into each other. And that was the end of the work week.
Saturday I used fabric markers to dye the banner. The fray check idea sort of worked. The dye still bled but only where my hand had gotten shaky. I was unhappy with the blobby quality of the drawn on fray check so decided later on to use gold fabric puff paint to go over the pencil lines and make the whole thing look smoother. I really liked the look of the puff paint, so I went over the armour piece with it as well, adding another layer of puff paint over the areas that I'd outlined with hot glue to make my shaky hot glue look smoother as well.
Tomorrow I will need to sew some white elastic into the shoulder pieces so that they stay on me better without flopping around and keep the whole thing in the right place on my body. Then I'll line the thermoplastic with felt which I will attach with spray glue.