I love Halloween.
Ever since I was a kid, or won the costume contest against 30 friends and co-workers, when I was dressed as a hooker in a glittering red jersey dress with a $100 bill pinned to my bosom, or dressed my own kids in homemade fun and/or terrifying costumes, I've loved Fright Night. It's playtime for everyone; kids and grownups alike.
There was the time we spent $1000 at Spencer's for the Haunted House, and the fire chief ran screaming from his office when we set up the zombie who ripped his own head off on the chief's desk. The year we hung our son from the tree and he grabbed at the munchkins going underneath, sending them screaming down the street. Corn syrup and red food dye makes killer oozy blood; blacklight makes everything weird, glowing, and spooky; there's all sorts of things you can do, on a budget or not.
Last year the kids in our neighborhood were depressed because we were out of town for Halloween. But not half as depressed as we were, not being there! This year we'll make up for it. The headstones are already set out; the coffin awaits its zombie, the pumpkinheaded scarecrow is tied upright to the cornstalks in abject terror. But there's more to come... the shrieking ghost that will rise from one of the graves, blowing smoke, the eight-foot spider with the glowing eyes, the cobwebs that have yet to be strung, lights and sounds and horrible music are all either en route or still waiting in the basement for their chance to instill sudden gasping fear.
This year I'm going for Tim Burton's Red Queen look. My long grey hair can be easily tortured into that red mop, and the dress and tiny crown will be perfect - as will the makeup. I do love the Halloween makeup; the fun changing of an ordinary face into something funny or ghastly or gross. Oh, and there's a costume contest and dance at the Casino the Saturday night before Halloween - maybe I can reprise my previous successes!
Yes, I have experience in stage makeup; I used to do everyones' makeup in the plays I was in, long ago. When the makeup artist for The Wizard of Oz (a friend of one of our stage managers who came to our play to help and critique) takes one look at you, smiles approvingly, and says, "SHE'S GOT IT! Now, the rest of you, do the same!" - you know you've got to be pretty good. Now that I'm back in an area that puts on plays and productions as a matter of course and competition, I am having a blast teaching the kids (and adults) all that I've learned over the years, and not just on Halloween.
On Halloween you can step outside of yourself, play and pretend just like you did when you were five. You can be anyone you want; no rules, no bans, no snotty people sneering down at you from self-imposed superciliousness or spewing sniggering sarcasm. Those who don't play can leave their porch lights off and pretend that latex-scarred evil isn't lurking around every lilac bush, or small furry unhinged animals aren't traipsing past their manicured lawns. Who needs them? It's Halloween! Let's PLAY!