I like to refer to myself as a "movie fan who went pro," having been able to turn my love of movies, costuming, and prop building into a full time career. I’d always loved the film Star Wars, and was so intrigued by the creatures and fun costumes/props that I decided I wanted to build them myself. So I did, creating numerous fun costumes growing up, and carrying the hobby with me into college. After a brief stint in the Air Force Reserve (where I quickly learned I wasn’t cut out for the military life, sadly), I went on to study drama and Radio/Television/Motion Pictures at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and from there to the Juilliard School to study costumes/wigs in their Professional Production Program. It was while I was living in NY that I had the opportunity to earn my first (and probably only!) 15 minutes of fame performing Off-Broadway with John Leguizamo in his one-man show Mambo Mouth, and discovered I enjoyed acting as well as the technical side of the entertainment business. But I decided not to attempt to pursue an acting career (probably a wise move—it’s hard enough finding work in the technical side of the business!)—and went from NY to Minneapolis to create Muppet costumes for Sesame Street Live! (as well as a large purple bunny for the film The Net). I then returned to New York a year later and fulfilled a long-time childhood dream, that of working with Jim Henson Productions on the TV series Dinosaurs! and the film The Muppet Christmas Carol.
After my time at Henson, I’ve been very lucky to be able to work on a wide variety of some pretty amazing projects. I worked with Paramount Production Services, creating costumes and props for Paramount properties such as the Star Trek Earth Tour, Titanic: The Movie on Tour, and Star Trek: The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton; on films such as The Patriot, The New World, Evan Almighty, and Leatherheads (both behind and in front of the camera); a National Park Service film (Manassas: End of Innocence), which still plays at the visitor center in Manassas; and an opportunity to still keep my hand in acting, as a principal character in the History Channel docudrama Isaac's Storm (2004) as well as a few commercials here and there. My most recent professional work includes tailoring work on a promotional photo shoot for the film The Hunger Games, and on the Showtime television series Homeland.
On the hobby side of things, I’m glad to be an active and long-time member of the international Star Wars costuming club the 501st Legion, serving as Legion Historian/Archivist, and as Public Relations Officer for the 501st Carolina Garrison. I also work with the Carolina Ghostbusters, conducting paranormal research (yes, we actually hunt ghosts!) as well as participating in the "fun" side of Ghostbusting and serving as a regular co-host on our weekly podcast, The Sci-Fried Eggs. In addtion, I swing swords as a pirate with The ShadowPlayers Stage Combat Group, travelling to festivals and participating in other pirate things all along the Eastern Seaboard.
Most recently, I've been expanding my writing career, combining my interest in paranormal research with my theatrical background to produce my first book, Haunted Theaters of the Carolinas, with Schiffer Pubishing. I also write regularly (more or less) for Examiner.com as the Charlotte (NC) Paranormal Examiner and the Charlotte Sci-Fi Examiner, and have just completed a book on puppetry, The Well-Dressed Puppet, scheduled for release by FocalPress.com in October 2014. Lastly, I've just begun work on a costume/cosplay book titled Creating the Character Costume: Tools, Tips, and Talks with Top Costumers and Cosplayers, also through Focal Press and scheduled for release in 2016.
If you'd like to see more of my professional work, please visit my writing website at Cheralyn Lambeth Media, and my on-line costume/prop portfolio at Cheralyn Lambeth Perspectives. I hope you enjoy your trip through the Gallery!