It’s a few weeks before Halloween, which has always been my favorite holiday ever... so, in honor of the season, here is an article about the way I feel about lending out my costumes at this time of year.
I wrote this in October 2010, but of course, it still applies!
If you are like me- and if you’re reading this, I’m relatively sure you are- you're already aware that this is the time of year when everyone you know hits you up about borrowing or even renting your stage costumes.
Call me selfish, call me witchy, or just call me a “Hallo-weenie”… but I NEVER lend my costumes out for Halloween (or for Burning Man, or any other event for that matter) unless I already know it’s something that could be replaced, or is an item I could easily part with.
The stage costumes I own, not to mention my crazy collection of circus outfits, pirate hats, robot suits, saloon girl headdresses, feather fans, vintage corsets, kitty ears, rhinestone studded masquerade masks, wigs, super-hero boots, vampire capes, real and fake fur coats- need I go on? - are the "tricks of my trade", not a treat for someone who won't respect them.
They took a long time and a lot of money for me to collect, not to mention the cost of maintaining them.
My costume collection could probably have it’s own episode on the show “Hoarders”, but there’s a reason I have all this stuff around: it’s my livelihood!
These pieces are my tools, my office supplies, and my working uniform... and in most cases, very expensive. But whether it’s an Egyptian belly dance costume I paid $700.00 for, a vintage burlesque outfit or pair of old character shoes that I embellished myself, they are professional accoutrements that I can’t do my job properly without.
Oh, I used to be very generous about lending out costumes and costume pieces for non-dancers to use at Halloween parties, but it always ended badly.
Things would come back to me (usually months later) ripped, stained, with burn-holes from cigarettes or wax from candles, or just covered in cheap drugstore make-up or greasepaint from Halloween Headquarters or The Spirit Store. And some things never came back at all!
Would you lend someone your laptop if you knew they were going to use it-and maybe accidentally leave it- at a club? Would you let a friend borrow an expensive camera to bring to a party where all the guests were going to be falling-down drunk? I thought not!
I think the reason most “civilians” want to borrow costumes is simply because they want to look good… and they also have nothing but the best intentions in borrowing these things.
But the average person doesn’t realize that for their seasonal party-needs, a $30.00 costume from the toy store would be fine.
Want some help with your Halloween make-up? I’d be happy to assist you.
But don’t even think about asking to borrow my costumes… cause you’ll have to pry them out of my cold, dead hands!