Dress up to take on a new role


It’s amaz­ing what a pair of horns can do.

Te Puke’s Tyra Ad­lam loves dress­ing up and cos­tume play — cos­play — and one of her great­est wear­able cre­ations is the fiercely beau­ti­ful An­gelina Jolie char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion of Malef­i­cent.

“I love play­ing re­ally strong women per­sona. When I first put on the Malef­i­cent cos­tume I felt an own­er­ship and pres­ence. It’s amaz­ing what horns can do. You can’t wear horns and not feel strong.”

Tyra will be one of the char­ac­ters among the crowd at the up­com­ing Ar­maged­don Expo, but this time she’s play­ing Me­gara from Her­cules. Friend Eloise Green will be dressed as a ter­ri­fy­ing ver­sion of Hades, Greek god of the un­der­world and Me­gara is her slave.

Me­gara will be chained to Hades and dragged about the expo des­per­ately grasp­ing at passers-by plead­ing for help. It’s all a bit of fun. Tyra has al­ways loved be­com­ing some­one else. She’s a mem­ber of Cos­play Bay of Plenty. Cos­play is a so­cial group of cos­tume wear­ers who meet reg­u­larly and dress up for events such as the Santa Pa­rade and other com­mu­nity events.

“It’s about repli­cat­ing a char­ac­ter and one that res­onates with you. For a lot of Cos play­ers, we like the es­cape, to es­cape out of our­selves and slip into some­one else’s skin. It’s a lot of fun.”

Tyra has al­ways dressed up. Hal­loween was her favourite. She was ob­sessed with Lily Mun­ster at age four and told ev­ery­one she wanted grow up to be her. She was al­ways beg­ging her parents to watch horror movies.

Tyra makes all her own out­fits. Pro­fi­cient with a sewing ma­chine, Tyra usu­ally prowls sec­ond-hand stores or Trade Me look­ing for base out­fits which she mod­i­fies and em­bel­lishes.

She has a wardrobe full of char­ac­ter cos­tumes — Lily Mun­ster, Miss Pere­grine, Cruella de Vil, the de­mon nun from The Con­jur­ing 2, Thelma from Scooby Doo, Mor­ti­cia Ad­dams, Elsa, Anna, Snow White and Rapunzel.

Malef­i­cent is her favourite and she doesn’t hire them out.

Health is­sues have forced Tyra out of full­time em­ploy­ment so she’s started a busi­ness — Ad­lam En­ter­tain­ment — which caters for chil­dren’s par­ties.

Tyra wanted to do some­thing she was good at, and she had an en­tire wardrobe to do it.

She’s at­tended at least six Ar­maged­don Ex­pos.

One time she and a friend dressed as Patsy and Ed­ina from Ab­so­lutely Fab­u­lous and had a glo­ri­ous time play­ing the drunk two­some.

Hades and Me­gara are crowd favourites.

“We have this long plas­tic chain and Hades pulls me be­hind her and I am grab­bing at peo­ple say­ing ‘help me’ . . . we of­ten go up to kids and get them gig­gling and they just love it. It’s cre­at­ing a mo­ment and ex­pe­ri­ence.

“With Cos­play there’s no limit on what you can do. You can take on a char­ac­ter you love and there’s no wrongs and rights. If you are pas­sion­ate about a char­ac­ter it’s about your ex­pres­sion of them.”

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