A Pirate's Life for Me
Forget this world of bleating ring tones and mortgage spam. I want to sail the wide seas and kiss every young lass in every port … as Captain Jack Sparrow. The midnight premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest gave me the perfect reason to raid my own chest of Halloween costumes and emerge as everyone’s favorite scalawag.
My costuming escapades are an extension of my acting – I stay in character when attired. I’ve played Jack for San Francisco’s Halloween 2003, and for Venice’s Carnivale 2004, and he’s my favorite of all my Halloween characters in the last 10 years. As Jack, I feel liberated.
I went to the premiere at San Francisco’s Metreon, where I met up with my friends Rachel Nichols (director of The Commercial Traveler and The Ballad of Shamble Hiss) and Eileen Agas (director of my upcoming short, Death of a Trapeze Artist). When I lurched throughout the lobby as the perpetually rum-sotted vagabond, a few people asked if I was actually drunk, which I took as a great compliment. I called out “’Ello, love” to every lovely lass -- kissing the cheeks of many of them -- posed for photos, stood alongside people playing shooting video games and pointed my gun at the screen, stumbled onto the Dance Dance Experience machine … I savored every moment.
In addition to being my favorite costume, Jack is also my most detailed. It takes me about an hour to put on my “effects” (as Jack would say). Here’s the secret recipe:
- Hat from 826 Valencia's pirate supply store
- Compass, around which I glued fabric so it could dangle from my belt
- A plastic sword (from a toy store in Venice)
- A plastic gun (I bought a realistic replica at the Dickens Faire, but sadly, California laws prohibit me from taking it out in public)
- Boots with strap-on boot covers
- Brown pirate pants and vest from Spirit Halloween Store
- Fluffy white shirt covered in blotches of "dirt" (special makeup from Kryolan in San Francisco)
- A fake piece of sculptured bone, which Anita made for me from clay, painted white and baked
- An assortment of beads from SOMA's Beyond Beads, which I strung together to match Jack's as closely as possible
- A dreadlock wig from Foxy Lady Boutique that I thinned out dramatically, untying a few of the dreads to make it nattier, and added some coconut oil to give it a sheen and a Caribbean aroma
- Red bandanna
- Two beard ponytails that I made from parts of the wig, and glued on with Kryolan's amazing prosthetic adhesive (forget spirit gum ... that stuff will leave you stressed out and constantly checking whether all your pieces are still together).
- Two to three weeks worth of beard stubble
- Silver tooth enamel from Kryolan
- "Dirt" on hands and under fingernails
- Black liquid eyeliner
- Deep tanning foam, applied 2-3 hours in advance, plus makeup on my chest
- A long piece of fabric from Jo-Ann Fabric tied around my waist and dangling to my knees, which I distressed to make it look like it's traveled through many a storm
- A diagonal strap with buckle
- Two silver rings, and two red strings tied around fingers
- Fabric tied around each hand