For instance, after Kurt Cobain’s death I went as the singer after he killed himself. When Firestone got in trouble for accidents caused by their blown tires, I dressed up as a Firestone accident victim.
People were afraid to swim on the Florida coast one summer after a series of shark attacks, so I went as someone who had been attacked with an inflatable shark in tow. When Roy from Siegfried & Roy got bitten by his white tiger, Montecore, I went as the animal fresh from the attack.
If Halloween happens to come during a time when you have something unique going on in your own life, I fully expect that condition to be embraced and exploited. When I was still on dialysis and very underweight, I used that opportunity to go into the children’s department and dress as one of the girls who had been beaten by her minister at the House of Prayer in Atlanta. Yes, to answer your question, at Halloween nothing is sacred, including abused children.
Halloween is also the perfect time of year to cash in on bets. Once, I was on the receiving end and after losing a bet to Bert Weiss, I was forced to dress as a UGA cheerleader at our show’s Halloween party. I added horns and a pitchfork to the outfit, so when anyone asked why I was dressed this way, I would honestly reply that I was in Hell for having to wear that outfit.
After I broke my ankle, I used my cast in my depiction of Kim Zolciak from “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” fresh from a NeNe Leakes beat down.
Don’t be afraid to take risks. Black face is not usually in my arsenal of costumes but during the 2008 presidential campaign, Katie and I decided to go as potential first ladies Cindy McCain and Michelle Obama. In order to authentically pull it off, Katie had to turn her skin a darker shade to look like Michelle.
Walking into the party we both knew it could turn out badly for us, and planned a quick escape route if we were not well received. Instead, the African-American women were the ones who laughed loudest and asked for photos first.
Just last week, Katie and I paid homage to the jailed members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot when we attended a friend’s party. We included the band’s logo on our shirt, along with shackles and a ball and chain. It was immediately evident who was aware of that news story when we arrived. Despite those who had not read the news story and had no clue what we were, the belly laughs from those who got it were well worth the trouble.
This year, I am taking my Halloween obsession to a new level. I will host my first very own Halloween Party on Halloween Night at the Goat Farm. My party, “Harvest,” will benefit the Melissa Carter Transplant Fund. Get it? (They harvest organs for donation…I told you nothing was sacred).
Each year we will have a different theme and Steampunk will be the theme for our inaugural party. For those who aren’t familiar with Steampunk, Google it. For those who are, impress me. Happy Halloween!
Melissa Carter is also a writer for Huffington Post. She broke ground as the first out lesbian radio personality on a major station in Atlanta and was one of the few out morning show personalities in the country. Follow her on Twitter @MelissaCarter