Saturday, November 17, 2012

Beyond Faegoria – An Introspective Look on Halloween 2012

Halloween 2012 has come and gone. Wow what a strange year it was. The haunt was a little more low key for us this year. Last year we had a new family addition so we all knew Halloween time and money would be tight. The only new stuff I had created were a couple of tombstones and a scarecrow which were all done with scraps I already had. And the only real purchases were the annual costumes, a couple odds and ends at Spirit Halloween, corn stalks, and some new lighting. I had designed the 2012 haunt using stuff I already had including a few pieces I did last year but was unable to show due to a freak snow storm named Alfred. The most complicated part of the setup were the corn stalks.

We were pretty much set to go until news of Hurricane Sandy started pouring in. Crap two Halloween’s in a row cancelled due to freak acts of nature?! What were the chances right? It wasn’t looking good at all and we knew the safest thing to do was to tear down the haunt so nothing would fly off in the wind and injure people or damage homes. I love Halloween but safety is way more important to us. But I wasn’t going down without a fight. We decided to put out the remaining stuff for one night of pictures and a small family gathering. As you’ve probably seen from the Faegoria albums we got some great shots and a good time was had by all of the family. The next morning I was up early and tore down everything and packed it away in the garage. That was one of the most surreal moments I could imagine. In four hours it was all down.

Monday the storm came and we survived. Power flickered a few times but never went out. There were no damages the next morning and no flooding. But watching the news was humbling. We were lucky. VERY lucky. I grew up on the gulf coast so I know hurricanes. Sandy alone might not have been tough in comparison to some of the storms I had been through. But she hooked up with another storm out of the north, mutated, and then things got ugly for a lot of people. The north east coast just isn’t prepared for hurricanes of any magnitude much less one that’s mutated into what they dubbed Frankenstorm.

So we survived. We had juice. The whole neighborhood did. Local news said Halloween would still be on. But I had already put everything away. Had spent FOUR hours doing it – ALONE. No one really decorates in our neighborhood circle. I was NOT gonna let the kids down. We HAD to do SOMETHING. So I put the lighted pumpkins and scarecrow back out in the front on the 30th to let the kids in the hood know we would be accepting trick-or-treaters. On Halloween morning I started early and totally transformed the garage into a scaled version of our display. We didn’t have a large turn out but the ones who came were incredibly appreciative and totally enjoyed what we had accomplished in such short notice. In fact several neighbors said the smaller display was way more impressive than the one we had outside before the storm.

Looking back at other haunts that either run in limited spaces such as The House of Marrow and Pumpkinrot’s. Or those of us who were forced to scale back either due to the hurricane or for financial reasons such as Darkrose Manor, Johnny’s Ghosts, my own, and many others. In reflection I think the lesson this year, at least for me, is humility. In an artistic sense (and even in life) less really is more.  The confines of the garage were challenging. But the advantages far outweighed anything negative I could think of. The smaller space allowed me to focus more on details I would have otherwise overlooked. Allowed me to be more precise in my presentation. Due to less stuff there was far less stress setting up and breaking down. And most importantly it was dry and safe. Going forward this is how I really want to go… Simple and weather resistant outside. More focused and refined inside.

2013 is going to be sort of a fresh start for Faegoria. In the spring I will be working on some basic plain wall panels to close off a display area in the garage. The garage will be central to the on going legends of Faegoria and will change out themes yearly. The outside will be fairly static and simple but to what degree I haven’t yet determined. I’m also working out some thematic fiction that will tie this all together and support the rotating themes in the garage area. There will be more details to come over time without giving away too much suffice to say to expect something COMPLETELY different in 2013 going forward.