Queen of the Summer Seas Final

So today is World Ocean Day and I thought to myself, ‘this would be a great day to throwback to my Octopus Dress’. And then it hit me that I have a blog. A blog I’ve neglected. A blog I never posted the results of the costume contest on.

Um, hi guys, how y’all doing?

So anyway…

I won!

Those two little words blow my mind. I’ve simply never been lucky enough to win anything before. Also, as a writer, I feel it’s pretty easy to get used to, and expect, rejections, even if you’re upbeat and roll with the rejections and move on, you can still start to feel a bit downtrodden. Winning something, even just a costume contest, breathed a little bit of wind back into my sails.

Having won the contest I was obligated to spend both days at the Pirate Fest that had hosted it as well as appear as a guest judge for their Mermaid Pageant. I would have spent both days at the fest anyway, so that was fine, and acting as guest judge was a neat experience! I also won a big tote bag of Pirate Fest merchandise, some of it was pretty cheesy, like a a little foam pirate hat (I think I gave that to one of my dance kids) but some of it was nice, like a gift card to Hoffman’s Chocolate factory, and a huge, good quality pirate fest travel cup. I also won a professional photo shoot which took place on the second day of the festival.

It’s been so long now that I unfortunately can’t recall the photographer’s name (oops), but she was a pleasure to work with and had lots of ideas for posses and was able to guide me through them. The only thing I will say is I thought the choice of location was odd, she wanted to do the photos on the train tracks. It’s artsy and the photos did come out beautifully, but I probably would have chosen something more pirate or sea themed as a back drop. But again, no complaints, the pictures my friend took for the first photo shoot have an excellent backdrop so I don’t mind the train tracks in these ones!

Funny story though, my dance school was performing at the fest on Saturday Morning. I was supposed to walk in the parade that morning as well, in costume. I started with the parade then as soon as we went past the stage where my school was supposed to dance, I tore away from the parade and shucked off all the skirts and tentacles just in time to practice the new choreography with the group (We had a newly choreographed pirate dance drama made just that week for the show, practice was vital!). I had to keep my corset on and wear the dance top over it. After we practiced the drama a million times (ok, so probably only half a dozen), and then danced it full out during the show, I literally couldn’t breathe! I almost had my very own Elizabeth Swan moment. When I practically collapsed after the show I had to keep insisting to people that I wasn’t tired, or hurt, or out of shape, I just hadn’t been able to draw a deep breath for the last hour!

I am NOT perpetuating the myth that you can’t breathe in a corset. The corset I was wearing was fully boned, tight, sturdy and I could normally breathe just fine. Just not after dancing in it for almost two hours straight!  After the show I had to put all those layers of costume on again (and boy was I hot and sweaty by then…) but wow was it worth it! I have never in my life had so many pictures taken of me in costume. It took forever to make my way down the streets because mostly I just stood and posed with growing lines of people! It was overwhelmingly awesome. It was a fairly expensive and time consuming costume to make, but the kids who stared in awe at my tentacles and the people who wanted pictures with me made every bit of it so worth it. While a big part of what I do is for personal satisfaction there is nothing like knowing so many other people liked my work!

Anyone have a favorite costume they’ve made or worn? Link in the comments, I’d love to see!

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