For May we are taking some time to get to know Patrick S. A 501st member since July 2018. He brings a super fun presence to each and every troop that he attends. Afterwards, he is always one that is so much fun to chat and hang out with.
What was your first costume and why was it your first?
My first approved costume was an AHN stormtrooper. I always loved the classic TK. I can’t tell you how many times over the years that I took literature from a 501st booth at a con but never acted in it. But.. as usual, my granddaughter became the driving force to push me off the end of the diving board. . She was 3 and picked out a kids TK costume at the Halloween store… and when she said, “Pap… you need to be a stormtrooper too”… well that sealed the deal. The road to approval began…Eight months later, I was approved as TK-22471
Do you have a costume that you would love to build one day, what costume is it?
I’ve noticed that the only two costumes that get a much bigger ‘pop’ from the general public than my TK are Vader and Chewie. I’d love either.
Honorable Mention: I suppose that now Mandalorian has given us a dad-bod middle-aged Boba Fett.. it lends hope for a more accurate costume for me!
Do you have a favorite event you’ve done or a special memory you’d like to share?
Hands down, UPMC Children’s Hospital visits. There is something magical about the whole visit. It’s an event where you can make an actual difference. In that place, when you put on that costume, suddenly you are on the same level as a Sidney Crosby or a Troy Polamalu when they walk those halls. And somehow, it’s ALSO the most humbling thing you could ever experience. That few minutes of distraction from their treatments, it’s worth more to those kids than can be put into words, and they honestly truly deserve every last smile that you give them.
Do you have any advice for potential members or our newest members?
Those first-troop jitters… Find your comfort zone. Be a squire for several kinds of events…. Get a feel of how things work and then wade into the fray. Maybe you are a giant crowded Con lover, with 25 other members that you can blend in with… or maybe more of a small library troop with 3 or 4 other troopers. There are so many opportunities in his group, and after a year of COVID lockdowns, I expect some real energy and enthusiasm for a huge variety of events.
What is your favorite Star Wars film?
So hard to answer this. I’ll have to say A New Hope, as I think it was the first non-Disney movie (ironic) that I ever saw in a theater. I was 6 and it blew my little mind…It was so far above ANYTHING else out there. An unpopular opinion, I also loved Episodes 1 and 2… Yes I hated the CGI, but I had waited over 20 years to see lightsaber battles on that scale. Maul and Dooku fight scenes still give me goosebumps.
What are some hobbies that you enjoy?
I’m a weird amalgam of redneck, punk, hockey fan, and middle aged geeky nerd: I hunt, fish, coach kids hockey, go to punk shows, and oh yea.. I am a builder and wearer of Star Wars costumes…
If you could travel the galaxy in anything, what would it be? Where would you go?
Who could say no to a trip in the Falcon? Although, I think I’d like to take a Star Destroyer, with all that it would have on board, to Endor moon… I’ve travelled to California to see the redwood forests twice in my life… yea, Endor would be amazing.
Do you have a nickname? How did you get it?
Not really. I’m open for suggestions though…
What does trooping together mean to you?
For me, it’s like being in an improv troupe, you hit the event like hitting a stage, and you make up the performance as you go along. You start clicking with people and trying to get the people into your show. I prefer the goofiness over the seriousness, and I gravitate towards the silly side. And no matter how different we are as individual members before and after a troop….when the suits go on, we’re ALL just Star Wars fans giving back.