Mega Mouth and Me.

HWcoundowngraphic

He’s big, he’s bad, he’s bilious and barnacled–he’s Mega Mouth, and for the past two nights at Netherworld, I have been in charge of him. I have loved this guy since my friend Jayne “introduced” us when I had my interview. Then it was incredibly cool to find out that he’s in Zombieland.

MegaMouthMe2sm

Like many jobs involving puppeteering, I must wear all-black clothing. This was no surprise and no problem—knowing I was going to get hot and sweaty, I wore my Under Armor. I wear this stuff under my TIE Pilot costume when I go Trooping with the 501st. It’s great at wicking the moisture away from your skin. I threw on a black t-shirt and shorts over it,and wore black socks and shoes. I also had Netherworld-issued items like black gloves and a “blackout” hood to put over my head, to conceal my head and face.

I’m still not sure Mega Mouth even has eyes. There’s something next to my head that sort of looks like an eye, but up close it’s just another dark cavity in his face. Eyeless things are creeeeeeepy.

MM frontsm

This is generally the view you get when Mega Mouth is coming at you from behind his scrim. I work back behind the enormous puppet, using a driver sort of mechanism that reminds me of the cargo loaders in Aliens. Not showing any photos; don’t want to reveal too much of the magic.:)

It is so much fun operating this thing–while the animatronics in the Netherworld “scarecape” have  a sort of “safe zone” in which you can be comfortably out of their reach, you aren’t offered that luxury when you turn the corner and MM and I are waiting in ambush. I’ll have him barreling out of his cave faster than you can blink, grabbing you around the knees or in the stomach  with that toothy maw.

.And I’m not telling where he is, either. You’ll have to “meet” him on his terms, when and where he’s ready for you. >:)

NWbeginsm

This is me before we open, fresh-faced and ready to start the work night.

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This is me at the end of the night–sweaty, sore, and ready to go home! Mega Mouth takes a LOT of physical strength to operate properly.

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Me doling out a bit of discipline–bad monster!

Anyway, it is a great experience getting to do this; just can’t describe how much fun it is. I guess I can compare it to what I said to my team lead yesterday. “I get paid for this?”

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8 comments

  1. OOOO MEGA MOUTH! He’s big and bad like Alan Ladd.

    You’re making me want to go there more and more. That looks fun.

    I haven’t been to a haunted ANYTHING worth even minor amounts of crap since about 1999!

    Hopefully I wouldn’t implode from the sheer amounts of incredible this place is made of.

  2. I’m so glad you got this gig!! It sounds like you’ll have a blast for the whole time you’re there. That’s great!! : )

    It’s neat to hear even a little about how it all works.

    1. Well, my husband ( a Biker Scout) assembled the whole TIE costume.I was tired of sitting around watching while he was participating in a Troop.I said a TIE was what I wanted and he set to work, getting bits and pieces here and there from all over the internet and other 501st people. I can do puppets and some types of costumes, but a screen-accurate (required if you’re going to be a member) costume wasn’t something I was going to put my time,research and effort into unless I was getting paid,LOL.. My husband had a lot of knowledge and connections,so he was able to assemble it in a few months. I think that’s how all of them get put together– a bit here, a bit there, over time.
      You can join some of the 501sr forums to get you started–that’s how you get in and get the know-how on what you need for each kind of costume, as well help as you’re building. Then, once you’re complete, and you get approved, then you can officially join and participate even further.

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