Costumes Aren’t Necessarily Unique

Just because a #costume appears on a TV show or movie doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unique to that show or movie. Sure, #costumes like what Darth Vader & stormtrooers wore are unique to the #StarWars universe (& owned by LucasFilm), but how about the costume worn by an iconic #StarTrek character like Trelane from its original series? 

The character Trelane appeared in the “Star Trek” episode “The Squire of Gothos”, which originally aired on Jan. 12, 1967. In the episode, Trelane (played by actor William Campbell, 1923 – 2011) wore a military-styled costume consisting of a long blue tunic with a golden leaf pattern going down the front of the tunic, the back and sleeves; and a matching cape.

Unlike most of the costumes worn when “Star Trek” was in production that were designed by William Ware, Trelane’s military costume was rented from the “Western Costume” company (founded by 1912 and is still in business today over 100 years later) and was seen only 11 days later on Jan. 23, 1967 when it worn by the actor Jim Backus (1913 – 1989), who played as Thurston Howell, III in the 3rd season “Gilligan’s Island” episode “Lovey’s Secret Admirer” during a dream sequence. 

This wasn’t all though. Only 2 weeks later on Feb. 6, 1967, the same military costume would be worn by Michael Nesmith in the TV series “The Monkeys” in the episode “The Prince and the Pauper”. 

Trelane’s Costume: from “Star Trek”, to “Gilligan’s Island”, to “The Monkeys”

Additionally, in the same “Gilligan’s Island” episode “Lovey’s Secret Admirer”, the Fairy Godfather costume worn by actor Bob Denver (1935-2005) as Gilligan would appear 10 months later in “Star Trek” episode “Catspaw”, which aired Oct. 27, 1967 and was worn by actor Theodore Marcuse (1920 – 1967), who played the character Korob.

A Magical Costume: from “Gilligan’s Island” to “Star Trek”

Thus, while many costumes are unique to specific characters in specific franchises, some costumes are not, especially when production companies rent costumes from suppliers.

References:

  1. Original article
  2. Star Trek” episode “The Squire of Gothos”
  3. “Gilligan’s Island” epidose “Lovey’s Secret Admirer”
  4. “A The Monkeys” episode “The Prince and the Pauper”
  5.  “Star Trek” episode “Catspaw”

Bullying & Costume Club Leadership 

More often than not, #CostumeClubs turn a blind eye to #bullying (#AdultBullying) occurring within their membership, even after a victim reports it. 

There are various reasons why internal #CostumeClub bullying can occur unhampered:

  • Victims don’t always or are unwilling to report the bullying that they’re being subjected to. This may happen because they may feel too intimidated or afraid to report it for fear of additional reprisals. This can be especially true in cases where the bully is friends with or has strong influence with current leadership, or if the bully is part of the leadership structure. 
  • Costume club leaders are not often willing to handle issues of internal conflict. A typical response from leadership to the victim who filed a complaint of harassment or bullying is, “Don’t do anything and it will probably go away.”
  • Costume club leaders may claim that the club’s charter (or equivalent) lacks enforceable rules regarding harassment & bullying of members by other members. 
  • Costume club leaders upon receiving a complaint from a victim of bullying may blame the victim and, again, do nothing to stop the bullying that’s occurring. 

Unchecked, bullying can go on for years because the bully(ies) is an adult, so they’re not going to “grow out of it”, which is a typical excuse used for child bullies. The person who bullies others obviously enjoys what they’re doing. This shows that they’re sadistic & compassionless. They may be narcissistic, sociopathic, a combination of the two, or have additional mental disorders. 

When leaders fail to do their job of handling internal costume club conflicts, bullies can continue their bad behavior for years.

As recently deceased concentration camp survivor & long-time human rights advocate Elie Wiesel (1928-2016) once said, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” 


There are ways to remedy & make it difficult for adult bullies to continue their sadistic behavior within costume clubs:

  • Costume club leaders must never ignore when a member reports being harassed & bullied, especially if the member has well-documented specific incidents of bullying. 
  • If you are the victim of recurring bullying in a costume club from another member, accurately document every occurrence of being bullied before filing a complaint against the bully with costume club leadership. 
  • If the bully is a friend of, has strong influence with or is a member of leadership of a costume club’s local chapter, don’t file a complaint locally. Either go to the leadership of a neighboring local chapter or take it directly to the national or international costume club leadership. Just make sure the complaint is well documented before filing.
  • If a costume club’s charter fails to address the issue of internal bullying, the it is imperative that the costume club’s charter is amended to address the issue to include specific penalties for any member found guilty of bullying. 

Ironically, most costume clubs will make public announcements (especially in social media) that they’re against bullying while failing to address the problem of internal bullying that may be occurring.

For-Profit Comic Cons & Volunteers: Changes Are Coming

Where most #costumers & #cosplayers like to show off their latest #costumes is at comic cons. Many volunteer to work at the comic con to save money or get in for free, but that’s beginning to change, and the #PhoenixComicon is a prime example:

Phoenix Comicon Volunteers Will Now Need to be Members of the “Blue Ribbon Army”

And what’s the Blue Ribbon Army? It was launched in 2013 by Phoenix Comicon director Matt Solberg and Jen Hinds as an unofficial Phoenix Comicon fan club, and operated as a registered 501(c)7 non-profit charity organization.

And what does that have to do with volunteers at Phoenix Comicon? Everything and it’s NOT free:

Anyone who wants to apply for a volunteer staff position will have to visit the Blue Ribbon Army website, and choose a membership level: Entry level ($20), Standard ($40) or Premium ($100). Subscriptions last for one year, and perks include early access to guest announcements and hotel reservations, access to a BRA lounge at Phoenix Comicon and Phoenix Comicon passes, depending on the membership level. Membership is limited to those 18 and older only.

In other words, in order to volunteer to work at Phoenix Comicon this year, you’ll have to pay to join the Blue Ribbon Army. Hence, volunteering is NO LONGER FREE.

Also, Matt Solberg is on the board of the Blue Ribbon Army; and Square Egg Entertainment, the parent company of Phoenix Comicon, is a corporate member.

Naturally, a lot of people are very upset about this change, but part of the reason it may be happening is because of a class action lawsuit that was filed earlier in 2016 against the organizers of Seattle convention Emerald City Comicon for using volunteer labor to support the show.

The lawsuit, which was filed in King County Superior Court in May, 2016, was brought by former volunteer Jerry Michael Brooks against Eitane Emerald Corp., which ran the convention, as well as members of the Demonakos family. (Jim Demanakos founded the convention in 2003.) The lawsuit was brought on behalf of what the plaintiff estimates is at least 250 people who volunteered to work at Emerald City Comicon in 2014 & 2015, and alleges that volunteers were not paid for their time, overtime, or break periods and were not paid the minimum wage. The lawsuit asks for double the back wages, interest, costs and fees.

There is merit to the lawsuit because by law, non-profit companies are allowed to use volunteer labor, but for-profit companies are not.

Since Emerald City Comicon was acquired by ReedPOP in 2015, unpaid volunteers will no longer be an issue because ReedPOP does pay its “volunteers” and they are treated like paid employees. This was stated by ReedPOP Senior Vice President Lance Fensterman, who admitted that Emerald City Comicon had not been paying its volunteers.

Thus, what Phoenix Comicon is now doing with its “Blue Ribbon Army” may be copied by other comic cons operated by for-profit companies that don’t want to pay their volunteers. Only time will tell.

Additional reference: For-Profit Conventions and Volunteer Staff–The End of an Era?