Meet three Halloween-costume overachievers 

Q&As with people who take their costuming seriously, plus a list of costume contests with cash prizes

  • Photo courtesy Wayne Fowks

Name: Wayne Andrew Fowks

Instagram handle: @bulldogpunk

Orlando Weekly: How much do you usually spend on a Halloween Costume?
Wayne Andrew Fowks: I usually spend anywhere from $300 to $400.

What is the most you’ve ever spent?
About $450.

What was your favorite costume through the years?
I got super inspired by the movie 30 Days of Night when it first came out, so I wanted to do a Euro-trash vampire thing. Like a bad guy in an Armani suit, no pants of course, with knee-high patent leather shoes and with teeth, blood and hair everywhere.

What is your earliest costume memory?
I think it’s of my mom making me a pirate costume from scratch. We didn’t have a lot of money, so a lot of the clothes and things I had were homemade.

What is your dream costume?
I like things that don’t make sense or are unexpected. I’ve always wanted to do a mythical creature or something with stilts. Like a four-legged My Little Pony stilt walker … a rainbow brony Pegasus with glitter everywhere.

Do you feel that body type matters in making the perfect costume?
Of course not! It’s a costume. It’s not you, it’s only an extension of yourself, an illusion. You can wear whatever you want.

What are you going to dress up as this year?
You’ll just have to wait and see! (evil laugh)


Name: Danny Garcia

Instagram handle: @thatssodanny

Orlando Weekly: How much do you usually spend on a Halloween Costume?
Danny Garcia: I usually spend $100, and my friends get so mad at me because I’m always broke when Halloween actually arrives. I usually design my costume and then get someone else to sew for me.

What is the most you’ve ever spent?

What was your favorite costume through the years?
Definitely my Snookie costume – I’m a pacifist, but I had to defend my friend’s honor when a guy wouldn’t take no for an answer at the bar. I got in a fight in the parking lot and ended up with a black eye – in costume. So Snookie.

What is your earliest costume memory?
This one stands out because of a traumatic experience: We were broke, and my mom had to buy a last-minute one, and she had to get a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup costume from the store. The orientation of the mask, it looked like I was in blackface with rosy cheeks and red lips – totally little black Sambo, but with a scratch and sniff patch. You can find it on a Google search. I wasn’t allowed to wear the mask until the actual end-of-day party, because the principal found it so offensive.

What is your dream costume?
I think I would like to break into making my own custom prosthetics, where I would create and design my own costume from scratch. The problem is alcohol and the glue that hold the prosthetics on don’t often mix. Something reminiscent of Darkness from Legend (Editor’s note: Played by the oddly sexy Tim Curry) with that Stan Winston quality. I think I blame Curry’s costume with the spindly legs and big chest for my attraction to body builders.

Do you feel that body type matters in making the perfect costume?
It certainly helps, but mismatched body types often add comedy to the costume. Like (local artists) Cake Marques and Mikey Bear dressed as Disney princesses in baby-doll dresses. They’re these large, burly men in beautiful
princess dresses. So funny.

What are you going to dress up as this year?
Typically I start planning in September, but I’m a little behind this year because I’m in Rocky Horror at Sleuths Mystery Dinner Theater.
I always go through three themes – sexy, grotesque/scary and funny – and cycle through them each year, but my body isn’t up to par this time for my “sexy witch doctor” idea. I’ll just have to wear a shirt with my long-tailed jacket and short-shorts.


Name: Brendan O’Connor (Orlando Weekly calendar editor)

Instagram handle: @bkeepz

Orlando Weekly: How much do you usually spend on a Halloween Costume?
Brendan O’Connor: Since Halloween is my birthday, it’s kind of a month-long affair. I traditionally make more than one costume and go to more than one party … like a big Halloweenathon. I love it! I probably spend about $300-$1,000 on my gear. OMG, don’t tell my boyfriend!

What is the most you’ve ever spent?
Good lord, I just said $1,000. Why are you making me say it again? Have I mentioned that I do a lot of volunteer work to make up for selfish inflatable-donut purchases?

What was your favorite costume through the years?
Oh, that’s so hard! I went as Baba Yaga once to the big Parliament House Halloween event, and I thought I looked fucking fantastic … glowing staff, prosthetics, giant saggy titties. Hilarious. But I think my favorite costume would be when I was an “English explorer” that looked like that old Fraggle on Fraggle Rock, and I was riding an ostrich (my legs were the ostrich legs) around Thornton Park.

What is your earliest costume memory?
I used to dress up all the time as a kid – sheet turbans, crowns and beaver pelt hats. I lived in Canada; you do that there. But the one that stands out the most was when I dressed up as a praying mantis in high school. I went to a Halloween dance with a girl dressed as a butterfly, smoked my first cigarette and threw up on the dance floor.

What is your dream costume?
I made a yeti suit from hundreds of white plastic cheerleader pom poms once, and it was a giant dud because I painted my face blue and the paint got everywhere on the suit. I’ve always wanted to revisit it and make it into more of a mascot kinda thing, with a giant fake head on a backpack or something, with hands that open and close.

Do you feel that body type matters in making the perfect costume?
I’m a big boy, but I dress “inappropriately” all the time. I think if you’re over six feet, gay and have long gorilla arms you’re kind of used to looking weird in public anyway. Who cares if I dress up in a Wonder Woman costume and pick up trash on my bike?

What are you going to dress up as this year?
Well my Halloweenathon 2014 officially started with the Come Out With Pride parade, where I dressed up in dessert-drag. I’m going to be a demon with facial prosthetics at Zombie Ball, a fat ninja in an inflatable suit for Super Joy Riders and a zombie Eskimo on Halloween. I’ve got a bin full of things as back-ups if I check out any suprise events in between.


Follow the money: Costume contests with fun prizes

OCT. 22
Orlando Zombie Ball Last year’s inaugural Zombie Ball was such a killer time that we’re doing it again. VH1 Celebrity DJ Brian Dawe will be back to make your costumed booties shake and Phantasmagoria will perform live. Best costume will win $1,000. 8 p.m. Wednesday; Firestone Live, 578 N. Orange Ave.; $15-$20; 407-377-0400;

OCT. 25
Howl-o-ween Costume contest with $500 cash prize and more. 6 p.m. Saturday; Howl at the Moon, 8815 International Drive; free; 407-354-5999;

OCT. 25, OCT. 31, NOV. 1
Halloween Part I, II and III Dig deep into your haunted soul and join Orlando’s premier gay entertainment destination for a three-part Halloween costume
contest, awarding $1,000, $2,000 and $3,000 in prizes. 8 p.m.; Parliament House, 410 N. Orange Blossom Trail; $10; (407) 425-7581;

OCT. 30
Hallows Eve Featuring special guest Zuly, from Bad Girls Club. $500 cash prize for best costume. 9 pm Thursday, Oct. 30; Pulse Orlando, 1912 S. Orange Ave.; free; 407-649-3888;

OCT. 31
14th Annual Church Street Halloween Party Enjoy one of Orlando’s biggest Halloween street parties and win more than $3,000 in cash for best costume. 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31; Church Street, Downtown Orlando; free; 407-649-4270;

Kamikazi Frenzy Halloween Extravaganza An over-the-top party experience featuring speed painter Salvador Live, GymCrew Acrobatics, Drip and more. Attendee with the best costume will win a prize package valued at $500. 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31; Drip, 8747 International Drive; $12; 321-663-4265;

OCT. 31-NOV. 3
Beacham Theatre of Pain The Beacham will be giving away $5,000 in cash and prizes at their nightly costume contest every night for three days. 10 p.m. Friday-Monday, Oct. 31-Nov. 3; The Beacham, 46 N. Orange Ave.; $10; 407-648-8363;


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