Some personal projects take a little while to put together, while others take years. This is one that took years. After I finished my TDK Joker, I noticed that a lot of people who were doing costumes also had Jack Sparrow outfits up their billowy rum soaked pirate sleeves. That kind of peaked my interest, as I wanted to expand my costuming horizons a bit with another large project. Over the course of the next three years or so, I started and subsequently “finished’ my Captain Jack Sparrow outfit, and had some great experiences along the way.
I was fortunate with this costume because I got several higher priced (and hard to find) items for relatively cheap. On one occasion I scored a set of three items for $350, which would have ran well over $1000 otherwise. Another time I purchased a pair of lightly used CA Boots for $100, which would have been several hundred dollars new. On other occasions people just flat out gave me things, like my vest from Mellissa Ebbe (who is now on Face/Off!), or some of my belt accessories which came from a costumer who decided he was done with trying to get his costume together. I was very fortunate to have so many friends in the hobby who helped out like this, as these connections also allowed me to purchase several items from the original sources, so not only was the costume accurate, but the items were from the very people that produced them for the film.
Eventually, when the costume was about done, I ended up doing a speech around Halloween at my community college in the outfit. This was pretty much the beginning of a new chapter in my life, as it would lead to many subsequent events. One of these experiences was that I got cast as the lead in Pirates to the Rescue!, a childrens’ show written by David Quinn, which was Kaskaskia College’s main stage play. This was my first acting experience. I can vividly remember hearing Quinn say “Oh, you’ll only have like 3 or 4 lines!”, but I’m pretty sure the final count was between 150-160. This would lead to many great things in my life that I would have never expected.
During this time, I was also featured on TLC’s television program Big Tiny, which was about my friend Brad Jordan and his sister. I was also hired by Macy’s to promote their fragrance department, all because I was Captain Jack Sparrow (they also thought Quinn was my manager). Eventually, I would also win several awards for acting at Kaskaskia College, including Best Actor, Director’s Choice, and the Alumni Award for two years running. I would also receive a theater scholarship, which paid for my tuition in full for two years.
This costume really brought me numerous and amazing opportunities, and it was always a blast to wear. Many people helped me out along the way, and it is always something that I am super thankful for. The opportunities and relationships that arose because of this costume have also been really rewarding. I would have never expected the simple concept of wanting to do a costume to have ever led to so many wonderful experiences or amazing people. It truly has been an awesome journey, all thanks to Captain Jack Sparrow!