This may not be immediately apparent, but this year the holiday-card version of me is juggling vehicles and tight-rope walking. I feel I have represented my holiday admirably! Bwahahahaha. Anyhow, season’s greetings to all! – E.G.D.
Well, if you’ve read the first Halloween costume post, you know she’s a cop when she’s on duty. Here’s what Elisa Arakawa, GCPD officer, does when she’s off-duty! After all, when in Gotham…
And yeah, I know this is getting repetitive, but there are two more that I recorded outside in a different lighting situation, for those of you who are really curious!
Also, at least in the modern day, I seriously don’t think any of the other bat-ladies wear skirts, so that makes this costume distinct as well. Tada! Two part costumes for the win. Now, I just need to finish my Renaissance Festival costume collage set, and post about the upcoming Christmas show at SanJac, and I’ll be all caught up ^_^.
When I decided to be a Gotham City cop for Halloween this year, I was originally thinking about putting together a costume that reflected the 1960s live-action show. I figured out pretty quickly, though, that that would be a rather expensive costume, and anyway, female police officers in that version of the world are scarily incompetent. I turned around and put together a 1990s cartoon Batman cop uniform for $6… so I suppose all’s well that ends well! The women on the more recent versions of that particular force are a heck of a lot cooler, anyway. As you can see in the collage below, I doctored a picture of Detective Renee Montoya (of 1990s comic book and cartoon fame) to make her blonde and stuck her right on my ID. Also, I decided to go with my Japanese family’s family name because the only other female Gotham City cop that came to mind was Detective Ellen Yin. It seemed somehow more DC-ish to give the character a family name that makes the character sound specifically multicultural. Anyhow, this character isn’t supposed to be me. Those of you who know me well can see that this Gotham City police officer is older than I am, unless her story is set several years ago (which could well be the case, seeing as the uniform is inspired by 1990s Batman cartoons).
As I mentioned earlier, I spent $6 on this costume. That is because I already owned the shoes, socks, pants, shirt, and tie, and a friend was kind enough to loan me the hat. I hit the 99 Cents Only Store and the Dollar Tree and got a simple black belt for a buck, two cell phone belt-case thingies each for a buck, a pair of plastic handcuffs for a buck, and a police-toy play set that included a bright orange gun, a little plastic radio, a badge, and a tiny plastic watch… all of which together cost me a buck. The last buck went toward a silver sharpie to help me make the toy badge look decent after I hit it with a bunch of epoxy clay. I actually made the gun holster out of old Renaissance Fest scraps and paint, and I painted over about ¾ of the gun’s orange with the same black paint I used on the holster so that it would be a little less loud, but still broadcast that it wasn’t real. I think I wound up looking reasonably authentic!
This character sprouted a crazy-interesting story while I was building the costume, by the way. She’s originally from Keystone City (yes, from the old Flash comics), though she transferred to Gotham City very shortly after graduating from the Keystone City Police Academy. Her first partner in Gotham was a really upstanding man who never took bribes or made deals with the crime lords and gang leaders, but after he was very nearly killed in a hit most likely paid for by those crime lords and/or gang leaders (though he and Arakawa could never prove it), he grew angry and jaded with the corruption in the system and he packed up his family and moved out of town. Officer Arakawa’s second partner is a pretty normal Gotham City police officer, in that he isn’t above taking the occasional “gift” and enjoying the “perks” of the job. It didn’t take Elisa Arakawa long to realize that her first partner had been actively sheltering her from the worst of the department’s (and the city’s) corruption, and said corruption was much worse and ran much deeper than she could ever have imagined. It is not safe to be a good cop and keep your nose clean in Gotham City. Of course, when in Gotham City, do as the Gotham City dwellers do.
Officer Arakawa is now leading a dual life, spending her days going through the motions as a seemingly middling-dirty cop, flying under the radar and rooting out deeper corruption from the inside. After hours, she fights that corruption as Bat Mask, yet another in a long line of Gotham bat vigilantes!
I know, I know, you’re all probably going “Bat Mask? Seriously, Elisa? Bat Mask?” But in fairness, Bat Girl, Bat Woman, Black Bat, Bat Wing, and Nightwing were all already taken (not to mention Huntress, Bluebird, Spoiler, Robin, Red Robin, Red Hood, Gotham and Gotham Girl. Man oh man that city has a lot of vigilantes running around).
Here’s the really fun part: this is now officially a two part costume. Both of this woman’s alter-egos are going to look amazing. Bwahahaha! Halloween is going to be so darn much fun this year- E.G.D.
P.S. – Further Halloween costume work and this year’s Renaissance Festival costume set are coming soon.
Summer is nuts. Totally nuts, I say! I’m down to 2 jobs for the season, and it hasn’t made me any less busy. Granted, I’ve done some other things on the side, too, like presenting a string of 6 Japanese/Chinese/Indonesian theatrical movement workshops for kids at the TNT (Texas Nonprofit Theatre) Youth Conference, which was conveniently hosted by Lee College (one of the colleges where I serve as an adjunct drama professor) this year. Mostly, though, I’m teaching a breakneck-accelerated Film Appreciation course through Lone Star College and performing a truly remarkable number of shows for Mad Science of Houston aaaaaaaaaaaaall over southeastern Texas. Incidentally, a very large percentage of those shows are hosted by local library systems, so if you’ve ever wanted to go to a Mad Science performance, it’s possible your tax dollars have already paid for your admission ^_^. Since I’ve been spending a lot of time making things light on fire and go boom in libraries lately, I thought I’d pop into this site to remind the world that summer reading programs are happening now, and all the libraries I’ve visited this summer have programs for both kids and adults. You should check out the schedule of events at your local library, and if you’re south of Dallas and east of Austin, I might just be headed your way with a show sometime in the near future… if I haven’t been there already in the past month!
Happy summer, everyone, and I hope you get the chance to beat the heat with a good book at least once in these crazy hot months- E.G.D.
As sometimes happens, I am posting this after the fact. In any case, this is something I did this afternoon at one of the three colleges where I teach:
I almost never post about my academic life on this page, really, unless it directly relates to theatrical academia, but this is pretty representative of the sort of thing I quite enjoy doing on-the-side, when I have the time ^_^. I was basically Lone Star College Atascocita-Center’s speaker for Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, and I had a really lovely turn out of colleagues, friends, family, and students from other Lone Star College campuses! I had fun, and several attendees told me that they enjoyed it and learned something. I call that success!
Now, next time I do this sort of thing, I really need to post the flier here before I present. Ah, well! Sometimes I’m so busy I forget I even have a website. Have a great end-of-the-semester. Next stop, summer -E.G.D.
Well, the run of Rashomon is officially over! The play was San Jacinto College Central’s Department of Theatre and Film’s contest entry, and the show did so well that we wound up adding two extra performances. On Thursday of the regularly scheduled run, the powers that be came to see and critique/review the production, and the results were as follows: the show was chosen to be held in consideration to move on in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival competition, several actors and one student designer won individual Irene Ryan awards, and I personally am on the receiving end of a couple of multi-person awards: “Meritorious Achievement and Excellence for Ensemble, Production Crew, and Staff” and “Meritorious Achievement and Excellence for Directing” respectively. I was basically the Japanese movement director, and I choreographed and taught the ensemble dance work, so… woohoo! I apparently did a good job, and so did the entire production staff, cast, design team, and crew. I’ll keep you posted if we wind up advancing in the competition.
My master’s degree at work, ladies and gentlemen! Sometimes an MFA in Asian Styles of Performance can come in handy. Most of the time at SanJac, I’ll admit that I wind up focusing on the chops developed when earning my Musical Theatre BA, but I’ve never won an award for my work as a Music Director. Three cheers for having something cool to put on my resume, both as a theatrical professional and a professor. -E.G.D.
It snuck up on me again! Rashomon opens tomorrow at San Jacinto College Central’s Powell Arena Theatre. I have our official post-card graphic for this one, so I’m going to use it here:
For once, I wasn’t the music director, but the choreographer. If you are at all interested in Japanese dance or interesting theatre, I think you may enjoy this one! -E.G.D.