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.”