I'm pretty sure that for the first 15 years of my life I went as a pirate for Halloween at least 50% of the time. What can I say? The ocean calls me. The other half the time I was Yoda (should that be "Yoda I was"?), Zorro (mom made me a killer black cape that year that popped up again in costume after costume like Jo Marsh's boots), a vampire, and a "karate guy" (which simply involved putting on the gi I wore to karate class twice a week). Oh, and one time I went as a Columbo-like detective in a trench coat and fake mustache.
The time comes when you can't trick or treat anymore. Luckily, not too long after that, you start to get invited to Halloween parties that still involve tricks and treats, in, well, slightly different forms. I dig putting together a costume, and the opportunities for grown men who don't perform on stage to do that pretty much come annually. But I have to admit, it's less about the outfit (which usually comes out of stuff I already own) and more about the backstory. Living out a character for a night is just fun.
One year I was Buck, one of three Catholic school kids. Two friends and I each scored identical knit ties, made fake school crest patches, put on short pants and white tshirts, and slicked down our hair. We also outfitted ourselves with a deck of cards, a bottle of Jack, and a pack of Luckies, hidden in various pockets. Once, for a friend's fall hair-metal-themed birthday party at the Beta Bar, I put together my own anti-metal religious tracts ("Heavy Metal: Satan's Soundtrack"), a cross made of nails, and a hollowed out bible with a flask inside and went as the fallen preacher trying to save the rockers' souls. You get what I'm saying. I'm a writer, not an actor by nature. Diving into that character for a (probably drunken) night pulls stories off the page.
This year I'm helping put together our second annual Halloi!ween show/party/bonfire. The bands confirmed, the venue's set. Now I just have to invent somebody to be.