The Hat Ghost from The Haunted Mansion // Cosplayer : sharp.shot.efx // Photo : KnowhereCollections

My favorite interactions with people are always when they are absolutely bewildered by what they’re seeing in front of them. Many, many people will ask how I see, and I, not wanting to break character, will always just gesture to the severed head I’m holding. I once had a very small child get increasingly frustrated and he demanded to know exactly where my head was, but no matter how much he asked, my answer always remained the same.

I first came up with the idea for the Hatbox Ghost costume because at the time, I was really into the history and the lore of the Haunted Mansion ride, namely the animatronics and the magic tricks and illusions used on the ride to bring the ghosts to life. I had done a version of the Hatbox Ghost before, albeit one with his head still on his shoulders, but I wanted to challenge myself and design a costume to allow myself to be completely headless.

The costume saw two design phases, first the basis of the costume was a slightly altered headless horseman costume, however, I had many problems with the store bought costume, so I stayed work on the second model, which was of my own design. The basic framework of the costume is a set of false shoulders made of foam that fit over my head and attach to a military backpack frame for weight distribution. 

To disguise my head completely, I see from a cutout in the costume just below the neck, through a piece of sheer fabric that I can see through, but people on the outside can’t. The wardrobe was just multiple pieces of clothing with I had distressed and altered to accommodate the rig underneath. I am most proud of the head itself, which was sculpted in clay by me, cast in latex and then airbrushed to give him his infamous grin.

Cosplay has evolved from a small hobby of mine to a full time lifestyle. It surrounds me at all times. The clothes I wear, the accessories I buy, the tools I use, the trinkets I collect, all of those I obtain with a cosplay in mind. I’m very lucky to be working for Kryolan Professional Makeup, as their cosmetics are some of the best for any sort of performance, cosplay included, and working there allows me to hone my skills which I’ll later utilize for cosplay, as well as allowing me to meet costume and makeup professionals working in the local film and TV industry.

Daisho Con is very much a party con. I see it as the con you go to to celebrate the end of con season. There’s a wild energy about it, the venue is incredible, and the people are great (usually). My favorite part of the con has to be the venue, it’s a gorgeous resort and the indoor amusement park adjacent to the con center makes for the perfect place to unwind after a day on the con floor.