Every good character has an origin story. With the characters I create it is no different. It’s often difficult to spend time while dressed as these characters explaining the depths behind some of these characters and how they came to be, so today I thought I’d try and tell the story behind one of my favorites: Starlite.
Full disclosure: this is their real life backstory, not what will be represented of them in Picture Me, Loving You.
He is perhaps my favorite character of all the creatures that I’ve created to date. He’s gotten me into more places and opened up more doors than I’ve ever thought possible. His ridiculousness is evident from the minute you see him, and fun is bound to be had when he is around.
The concept for this character came to me when I was living in Kentucky. I decided that I would create a horse that year. Living in Lexington, KY, the “Horse Capitol of the World,” made it an obvious choice. It was my first full year there, and it was the year after my famed “Navy Seal” character at Halloween. My friends told me there was no way I could top that character, and I had to prove them wrong. I started designing the character with plans to make it a quad horse based on this one:
I quickly decided against that idea when I realized it would take a long, long time to make something that awesome. Instead, I decided upon a plain, brown horse.
When I went to the fabric store to buy brown fabric to make my brown horse, they didn’t have enough to make my suit. I tried ordering more, but apparently the fabric code I ordered from was a code for many different fabrics, and they didn’t send the right one to me. Pro tip: If they don’t have enough for your project on the bolt at JoAnn’s, don’t order more, get another fabric.
I was a little down. My main character was not going to be a quad character, nor was it going to be a brown horse. Then I got an idea: I could buy white fabric and paint black stripes on it and go as a Zebra! That would surely top the Navy Seal from last year! Excitedly, I told this my friend Rachel who said, “I’ve got a better idea. You could go with me since I’m making a Rainbow Brite costume, and you could be Starlite, her noble steed!”
I thought she was joking, but she was serious.
For those of you uncultured in 80’s nostalgia (or partied too hard to remember them) this is Rainbow Brite’s noble steed, Starlite:
Upon looking up images of Starlite and realizing this would save me the time of painting black stripes onto my costume, I hesitantly agreed. In truth, when I agreed to make this character I was more than a little hesitant to actually go through with it though. However, the fact that I was with a girl made me a little more confident in my choice to be dressed as a pony with a rainbow tail, rainbow mane, and shiny golden hooves. Plus, the Starlite from the show had a good, manly voice:
As the days went on, I worked on my sewing skills, and managed to finally complete my character. This was the first full body costume that I had ever made. And, believe me, I remember that fact every time I put the suit on for this series. I made a lot mistakes, and the phrase “patchwork” doesn’t even begin to describe my first attempt at this. Granted, the first time for anything is never going to be perfect. This was no exception.
When Halloween rolled around, I was excited and nervous. The first time you get to dress up as a new character and show it off to friends is a special moment. It’s taking something you’ve made and bringing it to life for the first time. The only things I can really equate it to is that it’s a mix of the emotions felt by Dr. Frankenstein when he created his monster and the first time someone becomes John Malcovich… only without the night devolving into all the needless deaths and weirdness (respectively). Granted, there was always a chance I may get chased out of Dodge by an angry mob for being a rainbow colored horse in a bar.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to worry about it that night. From the minute I introduced Starlite, people were in love with him. Rachel and I made a dynamic duo, and we took Halloween by storm. I even won a bar contest for Starlite, which I discussed in a little more detail in a previous post.
Starlite was a hit, and he helped open doors, too. Without him, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do the work for Jesus Prom. He even became a bit of a celebrity, as he is one of the most detailed Starlite cosplays online. The official Rainbow Brite Fan Club even requested interviews with me for creating this magnificent steed.
Upon moving back to Knoxville, he was an icebreaker for me. He helped when I asked the Middle School ministry if I could help out with any skits.
The doors opened by Starlite have been a blessing over the years, and as we look forward to the next door, cracked ever so slightly by these blogs, I think it’s safe to say his days are far from over.