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Cosplay Spotlight on Meghan Hardman

Cosplay Spotlight on Meghan Hardman

Author: sanman/Monday, August 12, 2013/Categories: Blog, KdW Cosplay

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Meet Megahn...

Krewe du Who: Why do you cosplay, or what do you like the most about it?
Meghan Hardman: As a kid, I used to love dressing up for Halloween, and I had a penchant for picking out some seriously weird costumes for a little girl. I remember dressing up as Captain Hook and as an old man, complete with the crazy makeup, and delighting in confusing my neighbors. When I headed off to college, I ended up taking a stage makeup class and it struck a chord with me, so much in fact that after I graduated I headed right back to school, this time to become a special effects makeup artist at the Savini School in Monessen, PA.  Funnily enough, the reason I started cosplaying was because as poor college students my friends and I couldn't afford tickets to the Pittsburgh comic con, until it was made known to us that if you came in costume you could get in for free on Sundays. Because I was the art major, and had the makeup experience, I was immediately press ganged into putting together not only my own costumes and makeup, but also those of my friends. After I moved to Louisiana it took me about two years to find a group of people who were as excited as I was about geekery in general, and when I learned they also liked to dress up, and even had a parade dedicated to it, I just knew I was in the right place. I think my favorite thing about cosplay now is the reactions I can get from people with a really good costume - the double takes, the squeals of joy, or even the cringes really make it fun for me.

KdW: How many costumes do you presently own?
MH: At the moment I think I have about five or six. I have several from Doctor Who - a clockwork robot from The Girl in the Fireplace, Liz 10 from The Beast Below, as well as a Femme 9th Doctor. I'm currently working on a LOTR elf outfit, as well as a new Who-related outfit, though it's a surprise I hope to unveil later in the year. I also have the Ice Queen from Adventure Time, Konan of the Akatsuki from Naruto, and Carmen Sandiego. However, those are just the finished costumes I have - the amount of dress-up clothes I actually own is probably not socially acceptable for people my age.  I've got everything from a two-face jacket and lab coat to a Captain Kirk shirt, and about 30 wigs on top of that. You never know what you may need or what could be useful!

KdW: What makes a costume one that you want to recreate?
MH: A few things go into my decision to make a costume. Sometimes it's pure sentimental attachment to a character, other times it's practicality. I used to do a lot of group costumes, and sometimes my friends and I would spend weeks trying to come up with the perfect group outfits and then debating their feasibility. As I am now older and more experienced, the costumes I currently make tend to be more of a challenge to myself, just to see if I can pull it off. I'll spot something cool, or something that wouldn't normally be seen as a simple cosplay, and say to myself 'How can I make this? What supplies do I need?' Once I've made my mind up, I tend to throw myself into it completely, and try to make the costume as close to accurate as I possibly can. Sometimes with comics or cartoon characters, this becomes a little more difficult, and I relish the challenge of translating something into the real world and still making it recognizable. I also LOVE challenging makeup, making and using props, and little gimmicks to add to the overall effect. For my clockwork robot costume, I ended up making the arm blade and adding a metronome so that whenever I came near someone I ticked, just like in the show.

KdW: Do you belong to any costuming groups?
MH: Not really, the Krewe du Who is the only group I'm currently active in besides Chewbacchus as a whole.

KdW: Do you attend any of the larger cons?

MH: I have been to Wizard World New Orleans and MechaCon for the past three years. I attended Pittsburgh Comic Con for about 5 years, and won first place in the group costume contest for 4 of those years. I also went to the first few Zombie Cons held in Monroeville PA, the place where the original Dawn of the Dead movies were filmed.

KdW: What was the best experience you've had in costume?
MH: Hands down it had to be meeting Brent Spiner, who played Data on Star Trek: TNG. It was my first year attending Wizard World in costume as a member of Krewe du Who, and I was asked to march in the Chewbacchus Parade. As we were walking through the signing area, someone came up and tapped my shoulder, asking for my picture. I initially couldn't see who it was, because in my clockwork robot mask there is no peripheral vision. When I got my bearings, it was Brent Spiner. He had left his table, and the line of people waiting to get his picture, and came over to ask for mine. It was the singular most geeky moment of my life to date. I still owe Jessica Ports for not losing her head and helping me snap a picture with him!

KdW: While in costume have you met the original actor that you're playing tribute to? If so, what was his or her response?
MH: I wish! Unfortunately, most of the characters I cosplay as are either cartoons or somewhat unknown actors. Maybe someday the stars will align and I'll have this scenario happen to me. I can only hope I'll be ready for it!



KdW: What do you like the most about Doctor Who?

MH: A better question would be what's not to like about Doctor Who? It's got a little bit of everything, really. To quote The Princess Bride, “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True Love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest Ladies. Snakes. Spiders... Pain. Death. Brave men. Cowardly men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles.”  It's got all this and so much more - throw in Time-Travel and aliens, and it's a done deal.  I can't ever imagine not loving this show. It also has special meaning for me in that it's what introduced me to so many of the friends I've made in New Orleans.  I always look forward to our Krewe du Who events, knowing that whenever we see each other it was mutual love of the Doctor that brought us all together.

KdW: Have you been involved with Krewe du Who before?
MH: Yes! I've been in the Krewe for a little over a year, and in that year they've become very near and dear to my heart. I spoke on the KdW panel at comic con last year, and volunteered my services as a makeup artist at the first trading card shoot as well as the Femme Doctor shoot. I also marched in the Chewbacchus parade, and painted faces and organized the kids table with the lovely Amanda Guerra at the NOLA Time Fest. I also attend most of the viewings at the Crown and Anchor.

KdW: Why the Clockwork Robot?
MH: I was perusing a Halloween store last year and found a basic mask that just hit the right notes in my head. I grabbed a few of them, and the rest was history. I really tend to love creeping people out, and the idea of the robot was really appealing to me because I thought it wouldn't fail to do just that. The Girl in the Fireplace is also one of my favorite episodes, so that certainly helped!

KdW: Please describe what it took to make this costume.
MH: Well, I first found the mask as a base to use. I knew it would be the focal point of the whole costume, so I had to make sure I got it right. I found a ton of reference photos, took screen shots of the episode, and came up with a list of materials and steps to take to make it a reality. I sanded down the mask, taped off the eyes and mouth, used some puffy paint to make the 3D parts, and sprayed it an eggshell white. Once it dried completely, I hand painted all of the cracks along the surface, and dusted it again with another light coat of the eggshell paint. I then took model enamel paints and focused on painting and shading it, and that was pretty much it! I also found a powdered wig that would work stylistically, and as I am not a seamstress, I went and found a dress that would work as well. I ended up making the arm blade out of a ruler and some foam core, and ordered a mini-metronome and elbow length satin gloves to complete the ensemble. I just love how it turned out, it's been a huge success!

Enjoyed this blog? You can read more from Meghan at www.divinedelphifx.com


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