Robby: I’ve been a fan of Halloween and dressing in costume as long as I can remember. I use to break into my mom’s makeup and make myself up as a kitty when I was a kid . . . she didn’t appreciate that much. But I really become serious about costuming after planning a pirate event at UCF back in 2011. Being a planner for this event made my creativity skyrocket and I figured out that I was a lot craftier than I had thought, and also how much fun you can have as an adult in costume.
Robby: Thank you! I have to say the Plague Doctor is one of my all-time favorite costumes. I have always admired the creepiness that the plague doctors had and the history is fascinatingly morbid. So the idea had been brewing a while, and once I felt my skills were up to the challenge I started putting together the concept. It was at this point that I invited my amazing costumer friend Boris Mzhen to join me in the group. Everything kind of fell into place after that. As far as the actual history of the plague doctor, it began during the times of the Black Death and was actually created in the 17th century. Physicians of the time needed a way to protect themselves from the bubonic plague that was killing most of Europe. It was at this time that they came up with a sort of bio hazard suit of sorts. This consisted of a canvas outer garment coated in wax, as well as waxed leather pants, gloves, boots, hat, and the infamous beaked mask. The purpose of the beaked mask was to filter the plagued air through camphor, floral concoctions, mint, cloves, myrrh and basically anything that smelled nice and strong.
Q: Okay we have to know. That mask. How is it made?
Robby: When I set out to build my mask I had no idea how to go about it. Interestingly enough all 4 masks in our group were made in a different way. Mine (plague mad scientist) began as a piece of vinyl that I used to make a template since it’s flexible. I then used the template and cut craft foam pieces that subsequently were covered in Worbla. Once covered in Worbla I made it smooth with Gesso and sanding. After it was smooth to my liking I gave the mask a shoe polish coating (this is what made it look like leather) and added the last few paint details after that. Even the leather head straps were hand made on this piece. Voila.
GT: What other horror costumes do you have up your sleeves or have you done in the past?
Robby: I have an affinity for witches, so I have done many different variations of witches, witch doctors, as well as vampires. I’m a fan of classic monsters as well. So for the future I would love to turn my whole family into werewolves! As far as immediate plans I am indeed working on a costume that I’m hoping will be epic for this year’s Spooky Empire Ultimate Halloween Weekend! It will be a variation of Kato the Greek Goddess of Sea Monsters. This costume consists of a mask which I am making out of Worbla (I’m sure you can see I’m a fan of this medium) as well as a Charybdis type mouth that will go on my abdomen and other details that I’m currently working on.
GT: And because it’s important, what is your favorite horror movie, and why.
Robby: My favorite Horror Movie (Franchise) has to be Nightmare on Elm Street. Why? Because Freddy Krueger is a bad ass haha I love how out of all the “slasher’s” he has a voice and a personality. But mostly because the concept of having a monster invade your dreams is scary. Dreams are supposed to be a personal private space out of all the places in your daily routines, and for someone to come and violate that is an unnerving feeling.
GT: If our readers would like to find out more about you and you work, wheres the best place to find you?
Robby: Instagram: @ladyrobintime