During this time of year, I am usually surrounded by fleece, furry fabric and foam. You see, this year will mark the 10th year in a row I have been dressing up as a Muppet for Halloween. What can I say, it's fun. I have been a Muppet fan as long as I can remember and the magical world that Jim Henson created has left an impression. Jim's philosophy on life has been wisdom I turn to often, and I now work in kid's television.
My Halloween tradition started the year I helped coordinate a Halloween costume party at the animation studio where I was working. I found an Animal costume in the child's section at Ricky's. The head piece was amazing and I knew with some creative scissor and sewing work, I could adapt the child's costume to fit me. The following year, I found a Swedish Chef costume, in an adult size, and all the sudden I had started a trend.
I found some great 'pimp' accessories and it was easy to transform as Dr. Teeth from the Electric Mayhem. In following years, I was able to find a Miss Piggy wig and a packaged Fozzie Bear costume. Both were big hits. I crafted a yellow yarn wig to help me transform as Janice, mmm, OK, and I donned a green dress, a statue of liberty head piece and a headband with ping-pong balls to attend a friend's wedding as Kermit the Frog. But after that I had to get a little more creative. I knew I wanted to be Gonzo, but couldn't find a costume that felt quite right, so I got crafty and turned an old baseball hat into Gonzo's head with lots of feathers and felt to recreate his signature nose.
Last year's desire to be Sam the Eagle required some more out of the box thinking. I crafted the head out of foam and an old blue blanket. I visited my friends at the Puppet Kitchen for some professional support and to help make sure that Sam's eyebrows looked furrowed and American. Another hit at another party.
I count some professional puppeteers as friends who help me perfect the Muppet looks. I study lots of photos to make sure I can deliver on the comedic details that make the Muppets so unique.
It is a fun tradition and my goal is to one day have enough Muppet costumes to gather my friends and march in the Greenwich Village parade as the Muppet Show. I still have quite a number of Muppets to cross of my list. At a minimum, I get a pretty great Facebook profile photo :) If you would like to see who I am going to be this year, follow me on Twitter @swallendjack to get the first glimpse.
All photos by S. Wallendjack.