It’s not any easier for me to explain who I am than it is for anyone. I often tell people that had I been born a decade or two earlier, it’s certain I would’ve been part of Jim Henson’s entourage or had a hand in designing ground breaking effects and costumes for any number of George Lucas blockbusters. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I do know that I’ve always been creative. Ever since I was little I’ve loved creating. Drawing, sculpting, cutting, gluing, making and doing. Everything from costumes to comics. And I’m still that way. Always thinking of a different angle. Always looking for an edge. Always dreaming.
My parents played a big part in my creativity. They encouraged it and applauded it. My older brothers, older sister, and cousin (who lived with us during his high school years) played a big part in awakening my mind as well. Reading me “Creepy Magazine” before I was 4 years old. Introducing me to Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Star Trek (the original series in reruns), Sesame Street, The Muppets, and Star Wars. All of these gifts were given to me by my family either directly or indirectly in my formative years. Those gifts are still treasured to this day… something I can not place a true value on.
All of that continues now with my wife, Celeste, and daughters Scottlyn (born 2009) and Even (born 2011). While Celeste isn’t “into” the same things I am as far as loves and interest of science fiction, costuming and so on, the encouragement — and the utter joy she gets — while watching me or participating with me in my creative outlets is something I do not take for granted. Add in my daughter Scottlyn’s growing interest in musicals and, yes, fantasy and science fiction (she already loves Star Wars), and Even’s delight as she watches me in costumes she yet knows little about and I am an obviously blessed man.
Influence & Inspiration
The influence people like Jim Henson, George Lucas, Stephen Spielberg, Gene Roddenberry, Walt Disney and others had on me is immeasurable as well. It wasn’t just those in the visual media that inspired me either. To this day I still draw a lot of inspiration from authors like Shel Silverstein, Richard Scary, Charles Addams, Douglas Adams, Stan Lee and other greats in their field. My love for fantasy, science fiction, and dreaming are insatiable and the sparks from those individuals were among some that lit the fire which rages in me still.
I often wake up with ideas. Things that would be funny… that people should try… that would make life easier… that could save the planet. Celeste knows to expect me to tell her something new every morning. It’s how I operate. For everything I complete I have 100 more on my mental shelf.
Costuming — and more specifically “character acting while in costume” — is one of my great loves. To role play as a character gives you something that nothing else can. It’s as if you’ve stepped through window into another reality. All the hours of watching Star Trek movies and television shows suddenly become a palpable, tangible, breathable thing when you don a Star Trek uniform or alien visage. All of the comics and cartoons that have filled my mind with the possibilities of superhero’s (or super villain’s) world suddenly explode into four-dimensional space and time when I wear a costume from their reality. Add in to that when you’re portraying someone well known and you’re suddenly accessible to everyone who “knows” you. I become “Wally West — the Flash” and I have all of his history, experience, and relationships. If while I’m “the Flash” I meet someone dressed as “the Green Lantern” I automatically have a rapport with them. We can share personal jokes that are characters can share. If while in stormtrooper armor I meet someone dressed as Darth Vader, I am instantly “at his disposal” and as good as part of his personal guard and entourage.
There is one final thing — or, better said, one first thing — that describes me and that is I am a believer and follower of Christ. This means little to anyone reading this who does not know me, but is hopefully as obvious to those who do know me (even only “online”) as all of the other things I’ve talked about here. My connection to the unseen, revealed realities of life, the universe, and everything are what allows me to enjoy anything else. Without the hope that is within me, that which has been given me, I would be nothing. I believe in the one, true living God… that Jesus is His son, that he was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on a cross and was raised on the third day for my salvation. I know myself to be the worst of all sinners — I long ago scalped Paul and took his title — and I know yet that my salvation is certain. And I praise God for that.