June Brides Retrospective on Social Media!

June 1, 2015 in blog posts

In case you were unaware, our fairy godmother here at I Believe in Fairies Productions used to tour with a musical performance collective known as Animal and the Amazons. Their most famous show, June Brides, toured as a seven-piece show throughout the country in the 1980s.

In honor of the anniversary of June Brides, Animal will be sharing a photo every day this month on social media as a retrospective on the show. Be sure to follow @OfficialAnimalX on Twitter and Instagram to be a part of the June Brides experience throughout the rest of the month!

Faerie Friday: Six Flags AstroWorld Throwback!

May 15, 2015 in blog posts, faerie fridays

Happy Faerie Friday! This week, we’re throwing it back to 2003 and our performance at Six Flags AstroWorld in Houston, Texas! Here’s an interview we conducted with our Dragon Scales & Faerie Tales faerie queen, Princess Fiona – better known as Miss Texas 2002 and NBC2 Fort Myers news anchor Lisa Dalzell Spooner!

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Lisa Dalzell, Miss Texas 2002, is currently performing in Dragon Scales and Faerie Tales (here billed as ‘Tales of the Dragon’) at Six Flags Astro World in Houston, Texas.

I recently sat down with Ms. Dalzell for an interview. I was pleasantly surprised to find that she was nothing like what one might expect a Miss America finalist to be. I admit, I expected to meet a prima donna or a diva, but after spending some time with Ms. Dalzell, I have found her to be a kind, charming, and attentive young woman.

Born in England in January of 1979, six short weeks later her family relocated to Southeast Asia where she lived in the countries of Brunei, Sarawak, and Malaysia. She attended an international school until, at the age of ten, her family once again relocated; this time to the United States. Lisa found school in the U.S. to be quite different. Due to her British accent, she endured “friendly” teasing by her new classmates. (Her accent disappeared within a year.)

Growing up, she -like millions of other girls- dreamt of becoming a beauty queen, but the fact is a parent is much more likely to see their son go to the NFL than to see their daughter participate in the Miss America Pageant. Lisa had an iron-willed determination to see her dream come true. In 1998, at the age of nineteen, Lisa entered the Miss Texas Pageant. Although she didn’t win that year she tried again the next year, and the following year, and the year after that. Finally, on her fifth try her dream came true. Her finest moment ever on stage was when they crowned her Miss Texas 2002.

The year to follow was the most rewarding, fulfilling, and exhausting year of her life. In that one year she spoke to over one hundred thousand students and had a nonstop schedule of four hundred personal appearances. One of the most rewarding aspects of her year was working with the Special Olympics. Singing the National Anthem in front of ten thousand people at the Cotton Bowl on New Years Day, 2003 was one of her proudest (and most nerve-wracking) moments. As if singing in front of a crowd wasn’t hard enough, Lisa also had to deal with a very distracting seven-second delay over the arena’s P.A. system.

Lisa has fond memories of the Miss America Pageant. For her, the most intimidating part of the pageant was the swimsuit contest, but by the end of the evening Lisa had placed as a top ten finalist and had the best overall interview.

Now, four months after passing on the torch to Miss Texas 2003, Lisa is living out another childhood dream; performing on stage at Six Flags in her hometown of Houston, Texas. She’s being featured in Dream Weaver Productions ‘Dragon Scales and Faerie Tales.’ Lisa says she enjoys both playing the part of Fiona the Faerie and the freedom she’s been given to make the role her own. She has drawn from her past in creating the part. Fiona’s British accent sounds completely natural; a refreshing departure from the Scottish or Irish accents used by most of our other stage performers. When first applying for the part of the faerie in Dragon Scales and Faerie Tales, Lisa was a bit apprehensive about performing opposite an “animal puppet,” but says she’s really enjoying it. Lisa also enjoys the show and it’s message of acceptance, and is thrilled to see the adult audience members enjoying the show as much as the children do. When asked what she enjoys most about the gig, the wide-eyed child in her comes out and says with a smile, “The rides!” After the final performance of the day Lisa’s quick to get out of costume and heads off to get a few rides in before going home for the night.

In comparing Dragon Scales and Faerie Tales to other performances, she’s able to be more exaggerated and ‘bigger than life,’ which she finds to be a lot of fun. The show, due to high audience participation, is semi-improvisational. “Kids can be so unpredictable,” she says. But, to my surprise, she insists that her co-star, the baby dragon, is even more unpredictable than the kids! Really!

It’s normal for a person to experience a period of depression after achieving such success. Many find themselves asking “what now?” and going through life reliving past glory. Well, this is not true with Lisa. What she once viewed as her life long dream she now sees as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

So, what does the future hold for Ms. Dalzell? Well, starting October 27th, people in the Beaumont area will be able to see her on KBMT where she will be working as a field reporter and substitute anchor. And Lisa is to be married in March 2004! Congratulations Lisa! As for her long-term goals, Lisa plans to move to L.A. to pursue a film career. Everyone here at Dream Weaver Productions wishes Lisa the best of luck in all she does.

Lisa Dalzell can be seen at Six Flags every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through November 2nd.

 

We’re very proud to have worked with Lisa at Six Flags and send her our congratulations on her success in the mortal realm!

Faerie Friday: See You At Marcon!

May 1, 2015 in blog posts, faerie fridays

Happy #FaerieFriday! We’re one week away from Anima’s appearance as a costume guest of honor at Marcon 50 – if you’ll be in Columbus next weekend, be sure to say hello!

If not, don’t worry – you can still get in on all of the #faeriefun by sending us your faerie photo submissions at ibelieveindragons@gmail.com for your chance to be featured in an upcoming blog.

Here’s some of our favorite submissions so far – view more on our Instagram at @bestfairyfriend!

#ThrowbackThursday: The Boy Who Saved the Stars

April 16, 2015 in blog posts

In honor of Anima’s upcoming spot as a Costume Guest of Honor at Marcon 50, we’re taking a look back at some of her science fiction conventions and cosplay highlights for #throwbackthursday! Let’s look at one of Anima’s favorite cosplays from 1980!

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Anima is pictured here with her son, in cosplay from Boris and Doris Vallejo’s book The Boy Who Saved the Stars.

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Boris Vallejo was a costume guest of honor at this New York comic convention in 1980.

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Anima’s costume, a butterfly steed from outer space, won first prize at the masquerade that year.

Faerie Friday: Feathers and Harpies!

April 10, 2015 in blog posts, faerie fridays

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These are pictures from the Disco II World Science Fiction Convention, held in Washington DC in 1972. This is my infamous Harpy costume.

I am told there was a poster of this costume made at one point. Classically, harpies are always portrayed topless.

The man next to me is the late Jim Rollhauser, who portrayed Groucho as a separate entry, but because he followed after me on stage, he pulled out a net and chased after me.

Three things I learned:

  1. When you make an uncomfortable costume piece, be prepared to pay for it, especially if the Masquerade runs for five and a half hours! I was very proud of having accomplished the effect of wings on a nude body, which meant that the harness was very small and tight. This meant by the end of that very long evening, I had blood running down my back!
  2. Gluing feathers and real copper straight onto your skin not only is hard to get remove later, but it takes a very long time, even if you have four friends helping!
  3. Finally, think through your makeup. Back in the day, I was embarrassed of this costume, not because of it being scandalous, but because that night I had chosen to do a ravenous kind of makeup, something sort of monstrous and evil. Later, I wished I had gone glamorous instead. That is often the problem when portraying characters: choosing between what your soul says is the right thing to do, and what your ego would rather have you do instead!

Here are three different methods of applying feathers to costumes:

  1. When applying to fabric, use a fabric with a good texture, such as velvet or sweatshirt material, that will let the glue really grip. Smear contact adhesive on the fabric, then paint some down the quill of each feather. After waiting a few minutes, press the feathers onto the prepared fabric, where it will bond and become very strong. I learned this method from a friend who made Native American headdresses and regalia.
  2. To stick faster, you can use hot glue, again running a bead of glue down the quill. However, this doesn’t last very long and is not as strong. A better method is to put some tacky glue on the quill, leaving at least two spaces on the feather bare. Then put dots of hot glue on both of those spaces and press it onto your fabric. This way, the feather will be clamped down until the stronger white glue can dry.
  3. When I have had to apply lots of feathers quickly and durability doesn’t matter as much, I have resorted to using vinyl or plastic as the base and then using tape, such as packing tape or duct tape, to tape each feather down. Make sure you put the feathers thick enough to cover up what you have done if you use this method!

#ThrowbackThursday: Star Trek Lives!

April 9, 2015 in blog posts

In honor of Anima’s upcoming spot as a Costume Guest of Honor at Marcon 50, we’re taking a look back at some of her science fiction conventions and cosplay highlights for #throwbackthursday! Let’s look at some of Anima’s favorite cosplays from the Star Trek conventions of the 1970s!

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An Andorrian, a Klingon, and an Orion Slave Girl – oh my! Anima is pictured here as an Orion Slave Girl at the 1974 International Star Trek Convention.

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Anima as Lieutenant M’Ress in her native battle gear, SX70 Polaroid. This was her first-ever latex appliance, made when she was sixteen.

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Anima as Orion Slave Girl, alongside a cosplayer as Shahna Triskelion, at the International Star Trek Convention in 1973, which drew more than 15,000 fans and turned away another 6,000 at the door!picture4 001

Another one of Anima’s favorite cosplays, as the Andorrian Insect Queen.

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Who’s that in the background of this picture? It’s a young George Takei, best known as Sulu in the original Star Trek television series and films!

#ThrowbackThursday: Red Sonja

April 2, 2015 in blog posts

In honor of Anima’s upcoming spot as a Costume Guest of Honor at Marcon 50, we’re taking a look back at some of her science fiction conventions and cosplay highlights for #throwbackthursday!

This is a picture from New York Comic Con 1974/1975, where I am wearing the first-ever convention version of Red Sonja. Angelique Trouvere appears here in the first Satana costume. Angelique was one of the notable Red Sonja cosplayers in the 1970s, along with Wendy Pini and Linda Burhle. She and the others did a show with the artist Frank Thorne that went on for several years.

My version was based on the original black-and-white stories from the Conan the Barbarian magazines that had only been out for a few months at the time. I was hanging out with the artists, as I was a regular at Neal Adams’ First Fridays soirees at his studio, and so was aware of the latest costumes for the characters. At that point, fans were always looking for up-and-coming female characters with more interesting costumes than the older sci-fi characters. (I mean – the original X-Men costumes? Nobody looks good in those yellow and blue monstrosities!) Because of the fact I was basing my costume off of a black-and-white drawing, I used all silver for my boots and gloves. When the character was later published in color, the accent colors were changed to brown.

My “chain mail bikini” was actually entirely made of mirrors! (Remember, it was the disco era!) The reasoning behind this was a) that I wanted the most shimmer as possible, and b) someone had given me the mirrors for free, which was an important selling point for a freshman at the School of Visual Arts. I was worried about the mirrors breaking and cutting me or not holding up, especially when I sat down!

My solution for attaching the mirrors to have them move and not fall off actually made it much more hardy than I had expected. In fact, I actually wore this on and off for several years in a burlesque act I used to do. Its inspiration came when Angelique and I had gone to see the original Broadway production of Rocky Horror Picture Show. During the show, when Tim Curry swung on a rope down onto the stage from the balcony, we kept saying to each other, “is he staring at us?” Our question was answered when we went backstage to visit a friend in the cast, and Tim greeted us with, “oh my god, you look amazing!” (My outfit was amazing, by the way! I was wearing a vintage black silk tophat, thigh-high black boots attached to a garter belt, and a high-cut skirt to show those off, not to mention a waist-length blonde wig.)

I had been impressed with the music from the show, so I used the opening song “Science Fiction” as my burlesque tribute to 50’s sci-fi with this costume. Using this method, my costume made of glass held up for two years of use before I retired it!

Here’s how to copy the method:

  • Cut out circles of leather or a firm upholstery fabric.
  • Using a waterproof polyvinyl glue, such as Tight Bond II wood glue, glue the eyes from hook and eye sets on the backs of the mirrors near the center top. I have used both kinds of eyes for this technique in the past. Use plenty of glue, spreading it out in a small pool, making sure not to obstruct the eye parts.
  • After it dries, place the circle of fabric on the back and slit or cut a hole where the eye is going to stick out and not be covered.
  • Glue the circles on the backs of the mirrors, smoothing out any bubbles. I also run a line of glue around the edge of where the circle joins the mirror as extra protection for the edges. Make sure you also glue down the fabric on top of where the eyes attach to the mirrors, as a second defense against coming apart (but again, be careful not to obstruct the eye).
  • Sew the mirror onto the fabric of your outfit using the eye. I prefer to use a single eye, as opposed to the temptation to put stronger attachment. This is because a single attachment can swing free if the fabric it is attached to has to be bent and movable. Two attachment points means you might break a mirror more easily. At any rate, this method means a lot of motion, which means a lot of glimmer in the lights.
  • Depending on your backing material, you could have less or more clanking going on. I cut up a thrift shop coat of soft leather that really dulled any sound, and I had no fraying problems. When you use leather, make sure you glue the suede side to the mirror for more firm attachment.

Faerie Friday: Faerie Fashion on Parade!

March 13, 2015 in announcements, blog posts, faerie fridays

Our faeries are decked out in their finest for this Faerie Friday! Check out some of our favorite selfies and snapshots over the years, from faeries young and old (and a few furry friends) alike!

26757_1333741578488_1079506734_1042471_8090633_nTwo of our Florida Renaissance Faire fairies compare outfits, with the Enchanted Wagon looking on. The outfits were designed by Star.

179273_10150091516623684_771963683_6132909_2551481_n The seasonal and elemental fairies at the second year of the Miami Renaissance Faire pose with friends. Kelly is Lady Spring, Anima is the Summer Fairy, and Winter is represented by Jet. Costumes and wings were designed by Anima.

Random Faeries 013 Jason wears luna moth wings in the forest by the Swanee River.

P1010858 The seasonal fairies tell stories at Florida Renaissance Faire in Deer Beach, Florida. Fairy outfits designed by Anima.

fairydog Fenris is wearing one of Anima’s winter crowns. He is three-quarters wolf and very confused!

fairycat Greymaulkin the kitten wearing custom made Kitty Hawk wings by Anima, at Streetsboro Renaissance Faire in the Enchanted Forest.

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Lindsay in her own outfit design (with our wings) poses by the lake at Deerfield Beach.

Untitled-2A pair of beautiful wings and crown by Anima.

DSCF3818Anima loaned her costumes to the beautiful children of the organizers of the Piedmont Family Fun Fest in North Carolina.

P1150019 Freya playing the piano in Pittsburgh. She has now grown up to perform full-time with us in many roles, including the baby dragon.

Untitled-1This beautiful portrait of a baby fairy was sent to us by a children’s photographer some years back. If you know her name, let us know!

180506_499662367838_648697838_6086915_879502_n Do you have a faerie selfie to share? Share it with us on Facebook or send it to us at ibelieveindragons@gmail.com, and you might be featured on one of our upcoming Faerie Friday blogs!

Travel Tuesday: The Case of the Missing Faerie Wings

March 10, 2015 in announcements, blog posts, tuesday tales

Last spring, our faeries made a stop for a tire change in Hope, Arkansas en route to the Poteet Strawbery Festival in Poteet, TX. While we were there, we were able to snap this great picture of former president Bill Clinton’s childhood home. Note the progression of images in the photo – a historical marker for the Trail of Tears in the foreground, followed by a sign proclaiming a Tea Party meeting, then Clinton’s childhood home, and finally, a train running on the train tracks, which the locals frequently joked that he lived “on the wrong side of”! Our faeries had quite a laugh at this microcosm of America all in one photograph!

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We weren’t laughing for long, though, as we realized that four huge pairs of our faerie wings had been left by the side of the road there when we changed the tire! All of our faeries assumed another one of our troupe had packed them, and it wasn’t until we arrived in Poteet that we realized our mistake!

Our faeries called the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Department, but the sheriff told us that, unfortunately, there has been a big storm the night before and they most likely would have been blown away. He sent a deputy out to check, who found two pairs of them still by the side of the road! We were able to stop by and pick up the wayward wings on our way home, but just where the other two pairs flew off to is still a mystery – we must have forgotten they were enchanted and could fly off on their own! If you’re ever in the Hope, AK area, always keep your eyes to the sky – those missing glittering faerie wings could still be flying high up above you!

Faerie Friday: Faerie Crowns for Sale!

March 6, 2015 in blog posts, faerie fridays

It’s a very special Faerie Friday here at the Faerie Factory, especially if you’re in the market for some one-of-a-kind faerie gear!

We’re pleased to announce that we have four brand-new custom-made faerie crowns for sale on our Etsy store right now. Whether you’re looking to trick the mortals into thinking you’re one of us or just looking for a unique finishing touch for your costume or bridalwear, our faerie crowns are the perfect choice. Click through each photo for the listing, and be sure to favorite TheFaerieCitadel on Etsy for more product updates!

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In addition to the listed crowns, we’re always available for custom or wholesale orders – feel free to contact us on Etsy or at ibelieveindragons@gmail.com for more information!