Hacks Newsletter Week #194: Hallowencostumehacks


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Since Halloween fast approaches, we hope you enjoy these Halloween Costume insights from none other than my brother, triple threat actor, Anthony Rapp.
For those of you who don’t know Anthony, he is a film and Broadway actor who started his career in his childhood in The King & I but is most famous for originating the role of Mark Cohen in the Broadway production of Rent. I had the pleasure and privilege of joining him on many Friday evenings post-show during my sophomore year at Yale after I finished an internship in Manhattan.  The only thing more impressive than his acting skills are his authenticity, self-awareness, and love of family.

Most recently, “Uncle Anthony” played Lieutenant Commander Paul Stamets on the television series Star Trek: Discovery. As we speak, he is touring nationally with his extraordinary one man show, Without You.

Alyssa: What is the most “transformed” you have felt by a costume in your acting career?

Anthony:  When I played Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch in 2003, I wore a blond and pink Mohawk wig with dreadlocks cascading down the back; a blue bustier and flared-out skirt; elaborate drag makeup featuring glittery eyelids and lips; and silver lamé, 5-inch platform heeled boots. To say I was transformed by that is a profound understatement. It’s one of the most enjoyable acting experiences I’ve ever had. 

Alyssa: What is the most comfortable costume you have ever worn? 

Anthony:  The iconic sweater and scarf I wore as Mark in RENT were extremely comfortable. And a bonus was that I never had to change clothes during the performance. (I’m talking about the stage version; I did change clothes in the film.) Our costume designer, Angela Wendt, was masterful at creating costumes that looked good and authentic and were very wearable. 

Alyssa:  What do you enjoy most about the hair/make-up “getting ready” process for each shoot that you do?

Anthony:  It’s always a great opportunity to put the final pieces into place. I’m an actor who builds my character from the inside, and I really enjoy it when the look of the character matches how it feels to be in his skin. 

Alyssa: What will you be for Halloween this year?

Anthony:  I dress up for a living, so I’ll be myself for Halloween, as I generally have been in my adult life. I love seeing how other people dress up, though.

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There will be no end to the curveballs that life throws. As soon as you feel comfortable, another setback or new challenge will arise. Alyssa Rapp is driven to help people like her—the doers, those who keep swinging—seek to succeed in both life and career. Every challenge is an opportunity, are you making the most of yours?

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