I have always had the special gift of being overly confident. I believe it is this special gift that led me to many years of delusional Halloween costumes. I would leave the house in a simple prairie dress as “Rapunzel” only to go home soon after asking my Mom to make me a name tag so people would stop asking me what I was. I was Rapunzel! Couldn’t you tell from my not very long, stringy regular hair?
I may never know if my delusional Halloween costumes were endorsed by the adults around me because:
a) They were so stoned they thought it was funny.
b) I was such a convincing Salesperson that they believed me?
Take for example, the picture below.
What was I, you might ask? I was a Weightlifter. Obviously. Not sure if what gives it away is the abalone star pin, fake pearl choker or makeup under the eyes? My two friends with “normal” parents who went to school as clowns probably gave me the idea to try that out. So, the next year I attempted a clown costume but again I am not sure who decided that it was legitimate???
Pretty much nothing really says “Clown” about this except the white face paint.
70s kids had to make their own costumes. We didn’t have Toys R Us to go to and select a plastic mask and plastic accessories from. There was no Power Ranger or Cinderella kit so we were forced to be creative. Determined not to have my own kids suffer, I let them buy pre-made costumes. This is my kids in store bought but recognizable costumes.
This gift of delusional self-confidence led to a lifetime of Halloween disappointments (not to mention, relationship failures and also big career successes). Even in college, I was still imagining myself as something unrecognizable.
Here (on the left) I thought I was a dead wringer for Olivia Newton John in Grease but no, not one person guessed it.
And then, I had a turning point. A life changing moment that helped shape the next decade and perhaps more. I went as “It’s Pat” from Saturday Night Live.
Not only did I dress up as “It’s Pat” but I made my best friend dress up as Pat’s partner Chris and we showed up to wait tables in costume at our very sexy restaurant job. Our very sexy restaurant job was the kind of place that hired for looks, not necessarily talent. We all wore the tiniest of skirts and tops and made great money. The typical Halloween costume was something sexy. Sexy Nurse, Sexy Kitten, Sexy Construction Worker.
Two things happened for me in being highly recognizable and highly androgynous. One was, I felt completely liberated from femininity in a way I never had and never have since. The other was that I caught a glimpse of what it is to be famous. Everywhere we went that night, people shouted at us. “Pat, Pat!!!” They would yell questions at us. “Pat, what bathroom are you going to use?” trying to get us to reveal if we were male or female. I shouted back, “I don’t have to go to the bathroom!” and we’d keep running. It was bizarre and thrilling and helped cement my decision to choose my next step in life which was to pursue my dream of Acting.
That was also delusional but I believe you need to be a little crazy and a lot confident to move to NYC with a suitcase, no friends, no money and no connections. So I did.