The decision to take off your clothing in an auditorium full of strangers is not an easy one to make. I realize that strippers and streakers do it every day -- but they're doing it for money or sprinting for their lives at the time (that has to take your mind off the embarrassment).
Yet still, when it came to the "Breaking Dawn" Convention costume contest, I decided to bare it "all" (in jean shorts), unable to hide or sprint, for the opportunity to win a gift certificate and bragging rights around NextMovie. I'm not saying that makes me a hero, but it shows I have balls (not literally).
Since my Twitter avatar gets a great response, I (un)dressed as Wolf Pack member. I'm white and my torso resembles a skin bag filled with jelly beans, so it's impossible to attempt this costume seriously. Therefore I went as the Wolf Pack member whom everyone "forgets" to call. My character hasn't even met Bella yet -- that's how little he comes around.
The awkward thing about these contests is there is nowhere to hide: no backstage, no dressing room, no curtain. You just line up next to the stage for everyone to see and wait for your turn to go up. Waiting awkwardly in line between two 13-year-old girls dressed as different Bellas kind of breaks your game as Wolf Packer, even with a Shake Weight. My iPhone started buzzing in my pocket with tweets from various bloggers in the room: @Twilightish wrote, "@maletwihard I see you shirtless and with a shake weight. WHAT ARE YOU DOING??" @letter2twilightwrote, "Hey @maletwihard you're killing all the fansites in the back. We love your shake weight."
Looking up from my phone, I saw a teen girl dressed as a skunk looking at me. Why was she dressed as a skunk? Did I miss a human skunk in one of the books? Uh-oh, now she's talking to me … "Nice abs!" she yelled.
I slowly moved toward the stage. I was the only guy in the contest not in a couples costume with his girlfriend, besides one dude from Europe dressed as Emmett Cullen. The crazy skunk girl went onstage and danced to music from a small boom box; the cheesy announcer pretended to be excited about the 50 different girls dressed as Bella. Finally, it was my turn.
Shaking my Shake Weight, I walked onstage and the crowd laughed. I felt better, since that's the reaction I had hoped for … unless they were laughing at me, not with me. The judges, who were the girls behind the "Hillywood" video series, asked what inspired the costume and laughed at my attempt at the Wolf Pack tattoo. I explained I'm right-handed, and had to draw the tattoo on my right shoulder with my left hand. More laughter. I took my place in the line, continuing to shake my Shake Weight for something to do.
Two ladies dressed as Edward and Bella after their wedding won and really deserved it, since they put the most work into their costumes. As I walked off the stage, no one in the audience wanted to make eye contact with me. Weird. Thankfully, @SLCTwiFans had my back and took photos.
Unfortunately, I had to leave for the airport before Alex Meraz was scheduled to sign autographs. I wanted to get him to sign my Shake Weight. However, Kandi Prickett from @SLCFans told Meraz about it, and messaged me via Twitter: "Ha! Alex wanted to see the photo of you with the shake weight. Showed him & he loved it. Was laughing and said 'That is Great!". I have to say, that message made the experience totally worth it.
Confessions of a (Male) Twi-Hard is a “Twilight” humor column by Ryan McKee that publishes every other week on NextMovie. Read Ryan’s introductory post here and follow him on Twitter to tell him what you thought of his costume.