I put on my robe and wizard hood…

A short while back, I spent three days as a Wizard and I never cast a single spell. I tried, mind you, I tried often. This probably makes it sound like those three days were either a particularly long role-play session with frustrating constraints, or the disillusioned summary of a very unlikely career change. Thankfully, it was neither. Instead, it was a mercenary gig of strange requirements.

"Theatricality and deception are powerful agents..."

“Theatricality and deception are powerful agents…”

It is true. I donned the yellow robes of a Swedish sounding wizard, and set forth to patrol the halls of PAX Australia. I did this in a semi-official capacity, not that my rank of “Yellow Wizard” counted for much that weekend. My pink-robed compadre and I soon found ourselves stopped for photos and high-fives. CONSTANTLY. And who were we to argue? Here we were, fully realised avatars of an odd but well-loved video game, casually out and about seeing the world. As a Wizard, I learnt a lot about how such a getup has you treated in the world. As a Wizard, I also learned a lot about myself.


"I am The Atricality. He's D.Ception. We are Powerful Agents."

“I am The Atricality. He’s D.Ception. We are Powerful Agents.”

The first thing I learned was what a full-form costume does to your personality: it removes inhibitions. I don’t mean that we ran amok, burnt people down and ate them. Rather, we were relaxed and fell into our characters. We performed small vignettes with other costumed people. We interacted with things going on around us, as if we were not simply two actors in robes, but actually loopy pseudo-Swedish Wizards. We danced an impromptu performance to the Ghostbusters theme song. And we did this all free of self-doubt, hesitation and with the endorsement of the other attendees. (I know this, as hunting the Internet had revealed a lot of praise for the Wizards. There was one detractor, and that was a Youtube commenter, so I don’t know what else I could have been expecting.)


Other weird things I learned were slightly more esoteric in nature. The first had to do with the hood, and then my identity. Being a comic fan, I am well-versed in matters such as the TV show “Smallville”, and the way it portrayed super-hero costumes. (ie: it had them in coloured hoodie jumpers. A lot.) These costumes were derided by, well, everyone. It made the show come off as some kind of teenage, amateur version of the Justice League. Hoods are stupid disguises. This same strange trend continued on into “Arrow”, and the same criticism reared it’s venom-spitting visage once more. It’s a stupid look, and it doesn’t conceal your identity at all….OR DOES IT?

I know for a fact I had photos taken with a bunch of people I know – some better than others, but only one of them actually picked my identity. How is this? Well, he’s known me over 15 years, so he probably has a bit of an advantage, but many others should have had the same benefit, and yet they had no idea who I was. I suddenly gained a lot more respect for the Smallville/Arrow costume departments.

And the last thing I learned? For some bizarre reason, wearing a hood like that for hours on end leaves you with headaches. I can only assume it’s the enforced tunnel vision, and your eyes/brains/peripheral vision protesting, but I was left with a very strange sensation of pressure, even when not wearing the hood. Odd.

Go out and dress as a Wizard. You’ll have a blast.

~ by nick on October 9, 2013.

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