Updated: Nov 2, 2020
Ah yes, a question I've heard many a time in my life. I have loved wearing costumes since I was a little girl. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I remember making my own costumes from scratch in elementary school, including a "cave girl" outfit that was sewn from cheap fake fur from the fabric store, accessorized with plastic "bone" jewelry. Another year I was a fairy. When I was 15 I dressed as Elvira. That went over in an interesting way in high school. I still dress up every year, and I put real effort into it. Every. Single. Year. So I'm sure it's no surprise to anyone that I incorporated this love of #historicalcostuming into the way I present my tours.
When I started getting into dance, first with Samba and then Bellydance, it was no coincidence that I gravitated towards dance forms that involved extravagant costumes. Not just cool costumes, not just pretty costumes, but EXTRAVAGANT costumes. The sometimes hours long process of getting into the outfits, putting on a wig, doing my makeup and becoming a "character" was what got me the most excited about performing. If I were a man, I may have been a drag queen. I have considered exploring the drag king world, though the genre generally belongs to the queer community and I'm straight, though that doesn't necessarily exclude me.
This enthusiasm influences other parts of my life as well. I am part of a pirate reenactment- nerd subculture. I go to Renaissance Festivals and advise OTHER people on their costumes. When I was presented with an opportunity to lead ghost tours in pirate garb, the only answer I could think of was "yes please." Then when I decided to create my own tours, the only possible approach was....give them in costumes. I love companies like the Historical Emporium, that are dedicated to historical costuming and that's where I've put together many of my outfits. I had to eventually buy an entire separate armoire because my closet was overflowing. The only area I don't get into, for whatever reason I can't explain, is that I'm not into cosplay that's based on existing characters, and going to Cons (i.e. Conferences. See: ComicCon, Dragon Con, Fairy Con, Katsu Con, etc). No clue why. I have lots of friends who are into those events, however, and I LOVE seeing their enthusiasm and creativity in exploring this interest that brings us together and bonds us.
Call it a quirk, some way to be myself without being myself. But whatever you call it, it's just my thing. My life more colorful, magical, and fantastical with costumes in it. I don't foresee that changing any time soon. To check out how I dress on my tours, you need to come and check one out! And if you have any suggestions for costume makers and suppliers, PLEASE give me suggestions!!