How Captain Jack came to be a part of my life….. style.
So how do I say this in short: Family, friends and the public thought I had an uncanny resemblance to Jack and Johnny Depp when I dressed like the infamous pirate for the first time on Halloween eve back in 2003. I guess that sums it up. Well actually…. there is a little more to it. Unfortunately I, myself, wasn’t totally convinced I looked like the artist, at least not the way the public saw me. You know the old saying “The public never lies”…. well, at the time I thought many of them needed to see an eye doctor, but when the words were spoken continuously I thought: “Maybe the public isn’t lying!” Before I decided to make a fool out of myself (as a female dressing as a man), I decided to upgrade my moustache from ‘drawing’ on the stache with a black eye liner to cutting bits off an old wig and gluing it above my upper lip with the strands going sideways. This was to see if the resemblance would start to come alive….. in the mirror ahead of me. In the very early stages of the transformation, the problem was not achieving his look so much, but the fact I had not mentally disengaged myself from knowing I am a woman and having to act and take on the role of a man. Having to get past that initial faze was a bit of an issue, but as the attire grew more accurate the more I became a part of the character. I knew, to make the public believe in me, “I” had to believe in me. As time past, the more I pretended the more I started to “feel” like the pirate.
In 2004 my daughter (who dressed as Elizabeth at the time and two years later decided to take on the task of the “male” role Will Turner) and I started doing videos of us dressed as our favourite character, which not only gave practice to our daughter’s future (now present) film career but also for me it was a helpful practice working out Jacks’ “shtick”, meaning his swagger, flailing arms, body movements etc. The more I did, the more I felt him…. as a character, (get your head out of the gutter).
After I made my first appearance at Tall Ships in 2005, (great way to see if reactions from the public would be positive and determine whether I’m either an idiot or a hero), I was comfortable with his movements but felt my appearance wasn’t accurate or strong enough. The public seemed to be elated with what they saw, but I didn’t feel it. It didn’t help that I KNEW the wig was 3 cheap black Halloween wigs put together, the shirt was altered from an old shirt from my husband’s closet, breeches and waist coat came from a thrift store and were altered, boots were no hell, and well the make-up, I had a lot to learn….. the moustache would slightly detach from the centre of the upper lip, making my mouth look more like the predator in “Alien” than a moustache. I figured, if the responses from the public were going to be positive that day…. I would indeed spend the money to upgrade. Well, got home and looked at my bank statement. We had hundreds of photos taken of us as a family and crew which gave great incentive for me to further the journey.
By 2009 I had upgraded to a well made human hair wig by Ms. Mazie, boots, waste coat, frock coat ( which I sewed myself), bandanna, compass, rings, and buckles. By 2011 I upgraded to a new tricorn hat and pirate shirt and creating my own OST wig upgrade kit, (ie wig trinkets and blond dreads), along with zombie finger.
Here are some photos…..
By the time “On Stranger Tides” was released, our daughter decided to take on the role of Angelica Teach and abandon her role as Will Turner…. for now.