My next attempt at cosplay wouldn’t be for another 2 years. In 2012 the final book of the Artemis Fowl series The Last Guardian came out and I was so excited to hear that the Irish author would not only be touring the USA again, but would be close enough that I could actually go see him. It happened to work out that I had this amazing friend that liked to help my dreams come true, and lucky for me, he was also an Artemis Fowl fan. We set up a trip and drove all the way to St. Louis, a place I had only ever been to once for a conference back in college.
Now a little back story. When the seventh book in the series came out there was a book tour around the USA, where a young actor was traveling with Eoin Colfer playing the part of Artemis Fowl himself. Now being the daydreamer that I am I imagined a world where I was playing Holly Short (the female protagonist) alongside them. Then the final book comes out, Artemis isn’t traveling with him this time, but they are choosing 2 people from the audience to come up on stage and play the parts of Artemis and Holly while acting out a 8 books in 8 minutes recap of the series.
So as I was packing for a trip to St. Louis I put together what I know know is referred to a ‘closet cosplay’ I didn’t make anything for it but I had enough green and black military-ish clothing to pull off a respectable Captain Holly Short, I also happened to have some pointy ears from something, and I dyed my hair auburn for the occasion. It wasn’t as short as Holly’s but at least it was the right color. (It took me forever to discover the magic of wigs I swear).
We got to the library where the event was to take place crazy early, and hung out in the hallway making friends and geeking out in general. Once we got inside were grabbed seats as close to the front as possible, with the first two rows being reserved for the actors and their families. A feeling that I will never get used to but absolutely love about cosplaying is the kid’s reactions. Remember, this is a book release for a series of children’s book and the little faces turning to look at me with giant smiles on their faces as they whispered to their parents ‘Look it’s Holly!’ will always be a my favorite part.
Then the unbelievable happened. One of the women from the team was looking at us all and caught my eye before waving me to the front of the room. I swear I didn’t think she was talking to me and I nearly passed out when she smiled and nodded at my confused face.
Despite the number of times I had daydreamed of this moment I still can’t act. Trust me, that didn’t stop me from trying. She had me read a couple of lines, just to make sure I wasn’t going to freeze or pass out or something, then handed me one of my prized possessions, a binder with my script. Everything after that is kind of a blur, I went back to my seat for a while and talked to my friend, a few more kids stared at me in aw as I held on to the binder for dear life, then they called me and the boy who would be playing Artemis to come back stage to meet Eoin Colfer. The fun part is, my Artemis was dressed up as Artemis Fowl, suit, sunglasses, and all. He was also considerably taller than me which just helped with the illusion.
It was surreal, I only remember bits and pieces of all of it, like meeting Eoin Colfer, reading through our lines, and just generally sitting around talking. One of the cameramen, who I didn’t even realize was there due to the daze I was in, took a picture of my ears and posted it on the Facebook page with the caption ‘Those ears look familiar.’ I’m so excited to be on the official Artemis Fowl Facebook page!
After that we all went up on stage, read through our script, did I mention I am a terrible actor, and then took our seats. It was amazing, seriously a dream come true. There is even video evidence, thanks to my Artemis, which is the ONLY reason I believe that any of this actually happened and that it wasn’t all just a dream. I have very vivid daydreams it could still be all in my head, but the pictures say otherwise.
This was a major turning point for me. My confidence shot through the roof, I didn’t need to be afraid to do something silly and crazy, because sometimes silly, crazy, and standing out from the crowd leads to amazing things. Sometimes I still get nervous when I get dressed for a convention, knowing that people will be looking at me, that anywhere I stop between my house and the convention I will be standing out like a sore thumb, but then I remember being dressed as a beloved character far from home when the impossible happened and I’m not so afraid.