This Is Halloween...

University of Pittsburgh Theatre student Ben McClymont can’t wait for Halloween. He’s so impatient that he wears a different costume every single day for the month of October. We recently got the scoop behind this festive student’s yearly tradition.

So, Ben, in your own words summarize what it is that you do during the tenth month of the year.

BEN:  Over the course of the 31 days of the month of Halloween (also better known to the masses as ‘October’) I assume the bodies, outfits, personalities, and souls of various well-known characters of pop culture.  While many people may consider what I do to be just putting on different clothes for attention, I consider it much more akin to performance art---who am I kidding? I wear a different Halloween costume every day of the month.

How many costumes do you have? Are there still some leftover? I mean, do you go through all of them or do you have some that don't appear every year?

BEN:  At the moment of writing this, I have a little over 40 costumes with me in Pittsburgh, so naturally, some don’t make the cut in the 31 days of the month. Take this with a grain of salt, though, as I’m constantly working on new costumes and having my costumes from my home sent to me to expand my collection (my mom just informed me about an hour ago that she found another one of my bag o’ wigs back at home… “maybe next year” she writes). Every year I try to make at least 5 new costumes, and I like to revamp some of the old classics. Depending on my fan base’s reactions, I do tend to recycle the more popular pieces.

Do you have a favorite costume?

BEN: This is much like asking a mother to choose her favorite child! Despite the fact that my answer changes on the daily, I’m particularly fond of my Vanellope von Schweetz costume [from the film Wreck-it-Ralph] that I’ve made from scratch this year. I’ll be taking her out for a spin later this week.

How do people react to your costumes?

BEN:  I’ve had quite the myriad of reactions…. Apart from the usual looks of (dis)approval that I get on the street, it’s always particularly exciting when someone recognizes me while walking between classes.  Mostly, just getting a smile from a stranger who sees me walking around as, say, MirandaSings, is just enough to brighten up my whole day and remind me exactly why I do it.  Keep an eye out on PittSnaps as candid photos of me have popped up there almost daily.  All press is good press, though, eh?

What have you got in store for Halloween itself?

BEN:  That, just like in past years, will remain a closely guarded secret until the day itself.  I mean, hey, what kind of answer were you expecting?  Feel free to follow me on instagram (@house_ofleaves) to keep up with my future costuming exploits!


Ben has just made it into the premiere of a reality cosplay show: Cosplay Thrift Store.  Check out his audition video.