Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An Alien Masquerade Ball Fundraiser

Alien Created By New England Fine Living - Let Us Create Something Unique For Your Event! 

In 2008, I was asked to create a fundraising event for the Ipswich Rotary Club.  I suggested a black tie masquerade ball with an optional theme of  "Eras of Elegance",  for those who wanted to dress up, since the event would be the week before Halloween.  Four years and four themes later, I suggested "Out This World".  Voila! a futuristic and alien theme was born.  Now I had to figure out what to do for the centerpieces that would cost very little money, but offer a lot of impact.   But first... I thought a trip to my local costume store would inspire me for my own costume.  It would need to be comfortable since I would be working and dancing myself during the night.  

While in the store, trying on wigs, I could not help but notice the foam heads holding the long haired wigs. They had very long necks and I said to myself  "self... that kinda looks like an alien!"  That is when I got my "ah ha!" moment. 

I was lucky enough that the store, Jokers Wild, in Danvers, MA, was willing to call their vendor and see if I could order the heads in bulk.   Several weeks later, I was the proud babysitter of 24 white foam heads.
Having worked with foam on other projects, I knew that painting the head was going to be a challenge since the paint I wanted to use, eats at foam and makes it pitted or actually melts it.  I tested the spray from different distances, in cool weather, warmer weather, etc.  After a couple of attempts I found, for some reason, these heads liked to be worked on while they were cool, in cool weather, sprayed from a far distance, and needed several coats.  Below is the prototype. 

Now the fun really began (well not really, it was kinda a pain in the butt since the paint took so long to cure on the foam) and as you will see below, my sneakers are now a hint of green due to a wind kicking up while I was working on them outside. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I should have taken them off, but that would mean going in the house to change them, and I was just too darn lazy.

Since the foam still reacted a little to the paint (it was very soft and mushy and damaged easily if I touched ), I had to make sure the paint cured before flipping or moving them.   

Ugh.  I had these for a year and was able to keep the white, white, and the sparkles sparkly.  Oh well... another reason for a shopping trip!

Here I am setting up the room before the guests arrive. And yes, that is a wig I'm wearing.  C'mon... how can I buy all of those heads and not get a fun wig for myself?

This photo was taken just before the final fixing of the glow necklaces, removing some seating cards, and adding a necklace to the head, but you get the idea.  I am still waiting for some other photos that were taken with a better camera.  In the next photo, you might be able to see the glitter that we added to the eyes to catch the light of the flickering candles

I love this photo that was taken of the light show going on in the room.  I first had the mansion all lit with the same acid green of the heads, an hour later, I told my lighting guy to do what he does best.  The place looked amazing.  

Well, well, well, here I am again with some of my dearest friends from elementary school and high school.  

Another  successful fundraiser!  The dance floor was always crowded and the night was truly magical and Out Of This World! 

Photos by moi, Lorna Hood, and Aileen Ang.