Wednesday, January 6, 2016

SW22: The Magical Mythic Music of Dogwood!

We are very pleased to feature the dynamic force that is Dogwood hailing from "the moss-covered sloth family that is the Pacific Northwest; specifically the slightly-neurotic-techie member, Seattle."

How would you define or describe yourself?
  I’ve been recreating myself a TON over the past couple post-college years, but some things always stay the same. I come from folk music, blue collar parents, which means certain things. I’ve been performing on stage in one form or another since I was three and in daycare, mostly musical theatre, but surrounded from birth by the bluegrass, folk, eighties pop and rock, and opera my parents listened to. I graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a BFA in Theatre and Playwrighting...and then immediately got into doing music as my full-time creative focus. But I still pull on those storytelling skills I learned (what is the point of your story, how clearly can you tell it, what is the world/social/political/civic/etc. context, how do you acknowledge and respect that), and that’s the element I love the most in whatever art I’m doing. I'm not a fan of single-word descriptions, but storyteller does in a pinch; so does actor, singer, writer, visual artist, model, burlesquer, drag king, feminist, queer, gender-bendy fae-being, urban witch, Irish-tempered millennial, Shakespeare nut, and fantasy/mythology nerd. Gender and sexuality are things I think about a lot. Mostly, I’m a messy human meat suite; full of extremes and contradictions, still learning how to use my emotions constructively, and I do not always get things right.

How do you define Steampunk? Steampunk was one of those things that I always leaned toward, but didn’t discover the name for it ‘till I was nineteen and walked into my first Abney Park concert, here in town at Columbia City Theatre. Coincidentally, that’s where I first met my current partner in crime, Nathaniel Johnstone. As I went to more shows, I fell in love with this strange subculture so comfortable with outwardly expressing their creative selves. The fashion and literature were huge hooks, but what always made the biggest real-world impression was the spectacle of the concerts and the energy of the bands. These folks became my heroes, the celebrities of my world, and I kind of grew up with it all. When Nathan asked me right out of college to join this new project he was cultivating, I had to keep hitting myself to make sure it was really happening. It’s beyond surreal that now I’m getting to do what those first groups I looked up to were doing. A few have even become respected friends and collaborators, a Cinderella story if ever I heard one.

Please describe one of your creative processes... Whoo, the creative process! Man, it is not the same every time. Occasionally, songs will pop Athena-style out of my head fully-formed, but most times I write the first line without having any idea how everything will end. The story takes over in that case, with some coaxing. I work a lot with pre-existing tales, but prefer picking my way through the hidden game trails and back country roads to find whatever undiscovered nooks I can shine light on instead. Everything stays funky fresh that way, it keeps the material from going stale. Staleness is my Worst. Enemy. Going to other people's shows is a huge part too; when my well is dry and I hear the passion behind someone else' work, that experience wakes me back up and I always walk out with a couple pages of notes for new material.
Who or what inspires you? When it comes to musical inspirations, they’re all over the map. My father was a stringed instrument prodigy who instilled in me the impetus to go forth and find the right instrument for myself - I tried guitar, violin, dobro, and steel drums before I settled on the ukulele. Dad gave me bluegrass, Dylan, Croce, Flatt & Scruggs, and Jimmy Buffet (for whom my love is particularly fierce). Mom gave me pop and classical, Sarah Brightman, Gordon Lightfoot, The Pointer Sisters, and The Magic Flute. On my own, I found Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Disney and Ella Fitzgerald. I would be dead inside without Jason Webley and Amanda Palmer. Ryan McDow gave me The Mountain Goats and folk punk on the punk side. My partner Adam Bratman, featured guitarist on the track Neil & Selena who has an encyclopedia-brain for music knowledge and trivia, recently gifted me Black Sabbath and a further love of seventies rock and metal. I’ve studied classical, jazz, musical theatre, operatic, and bluegrass singing styles starting from a young age. Because of the nature of musical theatre, I have heaptons of practice fitting my voice to whatever genre or character I need. It’s a blessing and a curse - sometimes I can’t make up my mind what to sound like!

Besides music, my inspiration comes from the other artists around me, books, cartoons, cop shows, psychology, abandoned places, In Between places, the forest, the city, hyenas (seriously look these bad bitches up), Yoshitaka Amano, Labyrinth, Sandman, and ghosts. Tamora Pierce gave me my first taste of gender role shenanigans and ladies doing all the badass things dudelies can do, and beating them at it. Brian Jaques gave me a love of nature and food and badgers. Cartoons introduced me to anime, which introduced me to Sailor Moon, which introduced me to Greek mythology and astrology, which in turn has become a lifelong obsession with gods, faeries, heroines, Kings, magic, curses, and personal victories. Above all else, I am inspired by people and their stories. At present, I am particularly intrigued by Underworld mythologies and how they convey both specific and universal religious and social views on death; how we grieve life, how we celebrate life, and how music can be the catalyst for both of these essential healing processes. Greek mythology in particular is an excellent conduit, because it's gods are incredibly human and it's interpretations are various.

Tell us about one of the projects you're working on...For the last year, I've been working on that solo album Nathan promised me when I first joined the band, and in October of this year it was finally released! Persephone Is Dead, Long Live Persephone! is my first child, basically. It’s pretty rad, it has a lot of my Seattle music buds on it doing their thing, as well as a few super talented guests from faraway states I was blessed to work with, which is my favorite because I love sharing projects with as many friends as I can. I even talked my musical-hero Dad into making a banjo cut for one of the songs, Sinking Sands, so there’s a life goal I can check off my list!   

I wrote the title track Persephone in 2011, and that was really the beginning for a lot of things that followed after. The song is about and dedicated to my friend from high school, Sarah, who was taken from her friends and family under very violent circumstances. Persephone is a character that has been with me in one form or another since that first daycare play; she was the first role I ever played and in all my earliest memories, so it was fitting that she stepped forward and let me use her story to help me get everything out of my system. Thus sparked our Muse relationship. She is the through-line of everything I make. If you listen, some aspect of her is present in every song on Persephone Is Dead, which are all about love and death happening at once, with varying degrees of desperation, rebellious joy and manic anger. In terms of style, I'm still massaging out my own mashup of the folk melodies I was raised on and the screaming rock’n’roll demons in my heart, so this album is the first attempt to find that equilibrium.

What advice do you have for young Steampunks? Steampunks have some of the most beautiful and generous imaginations of any group of folks I've come across. That being said, naysayers gunna naysay, so my advice for young Steampunks is to DO YOU, vigorously and with all your might. Give nary a thought to those naysayers, those self-proclaimed experts, those who poo-poo anything not within their bubble of context or experience. The world is a wide place - there are as many ways to live in it as there are people on the planet. If your version of Steampunk includes cyber robots and aliens, good! If it includes gods and magic, excellent! If your Steampunk includes a matriarchal syndicate of mixed-ethnicity, non-binary telepaths fighting for peace, justice, and equality all over the world, FREAKING AWESOME, I WANT THAT TO EXIST. Don't be afraid of where you come from. Don’t be afraid if your interests, or who you are, takes you in a different direction than everyone else. I’ve lived my life by looking at what the herd is doing, and my instincts stubbornly choosing to go the opposite direction. It's unbelievably hard sometimes, but worth it. Know your own context, own it, and never say nay!  

My other offer would be to remember kindness. Always and to everyone. Eighty-five to ninety percent of the gigs I’ve gotten were because I made friends with someone who became some kind of booker or event organizer further down the line. Be kind, be professional, say Yes And to other people, and to yourself.

Find out more at:"You can follow me on Facebook for show updates, projects, dumb mythology memes, and cat pictures at:"
- Solo music can be listened to and purchased here:
- YouTube channel:

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Holiday Joy to You! Music!

We've had to postpone the SW22 interview until next month's edition.  So in its place, we're sharing with you the gift of music for the holiday season!

The Nathaniel Johnstone Band is making their entire catalog available to download for FREE (or donation!) through the end of TODAY. (See the named link for the announcement)

Not only is there a lot of SteamWomen power behind the band (Dogwood on vocals and ukulele, Tempest on percussion and dance, and Alyssa Rosenbloom on lyrics to name a few), their songs feature a lot of introspection into women's issues, history, and twists on myths - such as an airship captained by a young woman in "Flight of the Ikarus", Cassandra gets to tell her side of the story in "Cassandra Knows", Medusa gets her say and revenge in "Stone Woman", a look into a not so innocent and helpless Little Red Ridinghood in "Red" and a celebration of the original Witch in Russian mythos in "Baba Yaga" - and that's just a few!

So go, GET SOME! It ends tonight!

And yes, our next issue will feature Dogwood and her newly released solo project - watch for it in January!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

SW21: Eve of Talismana Designs - Inspiration Junkie

 We are very pleased to present to you Eve of Talismana Designs. She is based out of McMinnville, OR which is West of Portland (of which she notes: "We came for the historic architecture, stayed for the wine...") - and therefore should be a familiar face to West Coast Steampunks (and dancers!), as she's done events from California up to Washington.  To everyone else, you are definitely in for a treat!
How would you define or describe yourself?
Clothing, accessories and jewelry designer for my business Talismana Designs. I love the high of being flooded with inspiration and vision.Lately I've had to take measures to prevent myself from being the Muse's overworked puppet.I'm grateful (and relieved) to have built a lifestyle of travel, art, crafting and design. I love historical fiction and costume dramas, ancient ruins, dancing, old architecture, ambient spaces, brokedown palaces, estate sales, and all the imagined charms of the romanticized past. You know the type.

 How do you define Steampunk?
 I'm frequently groping for a concise definition of Steampunk for people who've never heard of it. “...A subculture based on the science fiction of the Victorian era...with great costumes...” As a clothing designer my entry to Steampunk was through costuming. Steampunk is primarily an aesthetic for me. It's sexy, romantic, and offers grown ups a chance to play. I can't even say I particularly 'like' the Victorian era – it's more that it's somehow an immutable part of me. I need dark velvets, crowded parlors, hour glass figures,
 and detailed architecture. I find it of interest that the first wave of hippies also identified with the Victorian aesthetic. The Granola Goth in me relates to Victorian occultism and their fabulous burial customs. I appreciate the creativity of science within Steampunk, but my personal connection is through the Victorian mystique.

Please describe one of your creative processes...
My travel schedule leaves me only pockets of time in the yearly cycle to get serious about which designs are going to come into being. I sketch ideas as they demand then toss them in a folder. When it's time to get real about the next year's production I leaf through this collection. Some are chosen for practical reasons, some are chosen because they won't stop banging on my mind's eye. I love designing and diagramming on paper but many things require samples sewn at home. It's a rude surprise when I take what I thought was a gift from the Muse and find out while sewing it into a garment that it was more of a practical joke. Things can look so good in my head! I believe the best designs come through a refining process of repeated samples.

Who or what inspires you?
I am an inspiration junkie. It feels so good to be lit up with the possibilities of new ideas and I love that Steampunk offers an outlet for that.

Art museums are a huge source of inspiration for me. And it's great if they include a costume department of course. There's so much beauty in historical clothing, the grace of the seams, the detailed construction, and the flow and drape that we don't use much of today. It is such a pleasure to fall into a state of wonder enjoying the treasures that have survived time.

Ambient spaces are hugely inspiring to me. Walking into an atmospheric space is like entering a romantic alternate reality. What could I wear to play in this charming space? I like creating fusion wear that offers subtle hints of costume while still being compatible with modern living. I want to wear something acceptable for the grocery store while I buy wine and take the subway, then slip into a dream state for an afternoon in Highgate Cemetery. The ideal designs have a chameleon quality that comes to life in ambient space.

The dance floor has always been a great creative channel for me. My best work communicates the visuals of our tribes and subcultures and we tend to come together on the dance floor. Moving the body clears the mind and offers a clean surface for inspiration to land on. I work with trends in my business and trends are a great reflection of the group mind. Staying connected to the tribe I'm designing for is key.

Tell us about one of the projects you're working on...
My favorite current projects are huge and ambitious and only exist in my mind thus far. I will be amazed and grateful if I ever have a chance to network with people and create these mindscapes. I feel it's a gift to be visited by a dream and that it's not always necessary to make it a reality. I dream of creating festival spaces with elaborate permanent architecture and gardens where we can have immersion experiences. I dream of reviving a ghost town populated by artisans crafting with salvaged relics of the past. And most unlikely of all – I dream of a planned neighborhood of Venetian micro-palaces for architecture lovers, set around a central swimming grotto, with a ginormous estate house at one end, divided into apartments and ateliers, with a shared ballroom that serves as a yoga and dance studio between balls.

A project I'm actually working on, in reality – packing my suitcase for a visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Finally! See you in Diagon Alley! (SW: We are jealous!)

What advice do you have for young Steampunks? A few things I've noticed about crafting: I have to make a lot of things a lot of times to develop my style. “Perfect is the enemy of good.” Thank you Voltaire. Jump in and get your hands dirty. When I feel terrible I can't create, it seems I need a baseline of confidence. But there is a rich sweet spot of vision that comes in the aftermath of trauma. There's an endorphin activated portal of creativity that opens when I start to exit a dark fugue state.

Find out more at:
instagram as Talismana Designs    

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

SW20: Katherine The Great

We are pleased to introduce to you Katherine the Great from Oakland, California, the woman behind Blue Moon Designs and a member of Obtanium Works

How would you describe yourself?
Seamstress, librarian, dancer, maker, wannabe badass. Basically, if it involves costumes and/or dancing, I'm so THERE. After rediscovering the joy of playing dress-up after technically becoming a 'grown up', I haven't looked back.

How did you find Steampunk?
I love telling the story of how I found steampunk, because I think it really captures an important element of how I define steampunk.  In 2006, which was by the way my fourth time attending Burning Man and a time when my Burning Man costumes involved disco sparkles and bright colors, as if in a dream I encountered the Neverwas Haul, a self-propelled Victorian-style house art car.  The house actually drives!  The rumor flying around the playa was that you would not be permitted to ride unless you were wearing the proper attire, and upon hearing that my first thought was "Darn it! No one ever told me to bring my Victorian costumes to Burning Man!"  It wasn't until the following summer that I even heard the word "steampunk," and immediately I thought of that funny little house/train/car.  When I finally found out how to get in touch with the creators of the Neverwas Haul, I sent them probably the most overly-enthusiastic message I've ever written to anyone. They graciously invited me to pay a visit to their workshop in Berkeley, and I've been honored to be a member of the Neverwas crew (whom I now call my "art family") ever since.  A couple of months ago at Burning Man 2015 I was delighted to command our first excursion with an all-female crew (which is no small feat since it takes 10 trained people to safely operate the Haul). 

Please describe for us one of your creative processes.
A really important part of my creative process is collaboration with other creative people. If I have an idea for a project that is beyond my expertise of what I know how to do, I find it so valuable to ask my friends or people in my network how they would do this or that part of it.  A great example of this is The Tea Engine, which is a tea-serving robot that I built (with a lot of help!).  One friend showed me how to solder plumbing parts together for the body, my brother-in-law helped me wire a rotary phone dial to the microcontroller 'brain' of the robot, and my neighbor helped me design the circuit that gets the correct voltage to the various parts.  I find that projects get so much richer when you reach out to others and invite them to collaborate with you.

Where do you find your inspiration?
 The people around me! I'm blessed to have an abundance of creative friends who dream up all kinds of crazy ideas and then are able to manifest them into reality.  In some respects, I think that each of us enables the impossible dreams of the others, since we routinely make amazing impossible ideas happen.

What are you working on now?
I'm currently up to my elbows in creating about a million pocket belts and bustles for The Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco, which is the next event that I'll be vending at (it runs from the weekend before Thanksgiving through the weekend before Christmas).  I also recently helped to create fan-powered moving tentacles for a giant Cthulhu stage prop for the climax of the Obtainium Works production of "The Maltese Cthulhu," a mashup of "The Maltese Falcon" and "The Call of Cthulhu."

What advice do you have for young steampunks?
People who tell you that you're doing it wrong are themselves doing it wrong.  Ask for help and input, you might be surprised at what results.

Find out more at: &

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

SW19: Hat's off to Deborah Olson - Milliner Extraordinaire!

Welcome to SteamWomen's new format.  We are now publishing on the first and third Tuesday of the month to best accommodate our editing staff's schedules.

We're very pleased to bring you Deborah Olson Milliner Extraordinaire who resides
near La Crosse in Western Wisconsin, also known as the "Driftless Zone."

How would you define or describe yourself?
I have always been a Victorian at heart living in a modern world.

How did you find Steampunk -OR- how do you define it?
A professional milliner by trade since my youngest son was born, I had been creating hats for the reenactment community for over ten years when I was approached by someone who asked me if I did "Steampunk". Not knowing what she meant, I did ask her to tell me what she wanted and I could make it. When I got back home, I asked my sister-in-law if she knew what "Steampunk" was and she introduced me to a very talented young woman, Stephanie Schultz (Silversark) who designed Steampunk / Lolita dresses. Our personalities just clicked and we started working together. The results have been spectacular, we have been published in several alternative fashion magazines as far away as Japan.

Describe one of your creative processesI do repurpose a lot and sometimes a detail piece will start the creative process. Or the catalyst could be a design element in a garment that the whole hat is built around. A signature hat design of mine is called the "Cage-Crin" topper. It started as a idea to make the exposed cage skirt Silversark was making and I wanted to make a hat to compliment it. I reamed about dimensions and materials for a couple of weeks and suddenly knew how it was going to go together. I woke up, drew a sketch and went back to sleep. The next day, I started. The first one hit the garbage (yes, it was really bad!) but the second turned out just like the sketch. I have since done the hat in a number of fabrics and in metal as well. The name comes from the "cage-crinolines" worn by the ladies of the Civil War era, exposed concentric steel hoops suspended on cotton twill tape worn under the full skirts to give them a bell shape.

Who or what inspires you?:
Vintage photographs from the Victorian age, and actual vintage pieces for start. High fashion photographs, designers' concepts, sometimes from what is in the entertainment world. My dear friend, Stephanie Schultz, designer of Silversark and my sister-in-law, Joan Junghans, designer MusesJewelry. I am indebted to God for giving me an "eye" to find beauty and function in discarded items and give them new life for others to appreciate and enjoy.

Tell us about one of the projects you're working on (or just finished)
I just finished a first for me, a 1920's (Miss Fisher) inspired brimmed cloche for a client. Coming up, I am making new hats for the my biggest Steampunk convention, TeslaCon in Madison, WI. This will be my fifth year as a vendor with Lord Bobbins and company.

What advice do you have for young Steampunks?
Follow your dreams and don't be discouraged if the end result isn't exactly how you imagined it. Hard work and perseverance can't be become who you want to be is worth every ounce of "sweat equity."

Check out Deborah's fabulous work:

Monday, September 14, 2015

SW18: DragonCon RoundTable Recap

Photo by Nicole Nikolai Attercop
Hello everyone!  It's been very busy behind the scenes here at SteamWomen, with much of our staff traveling.  We're hoping to settle back into our regular publishing schedule as Fall sets in.  If you're a maker who identifies as female - and would like to be interviewed/featured, please fill out this form, and we'll get back to you ASAP.

Over Labor Day Weekend, we were at DragonCon, where we held a SteamWomen Roundtable as part of the Alternate Histories Track.  Much thanks to Doctor Q, aka Enrique Velazquez for including us in the schedule!

For our panel we had Emmett Davenport, Samantha Stephenson, Talloolah Love, Tempest (as moderator), and alas our fifth panelist Sarah Shown was delayed en route and was unable to join us.

Each of the panelists introduced themselves, Tempest described the founding and mission of SteamWomen, we discussed various issues, and experiences in the Steampunk community, and took questions from the audience - which involved a pretty full room - so thank you all who attended!

Individual highlights:
-Emmett talked about the Clockwork Cabaret Podcast, and experiences of being a businesswomen running a Steampunk-themed cafe in a small North Carolina town.
-Samantha discussed being one of the lone women majors in her college Sculpture department and the importance of learning/discovering how to make and do things.
-Talloolah talked about producing burlesque shows, crafting community, and what she finds empowering in the performance process.

Particularly interesting questions posed:
-Do we find the Steampunk community more welcoming to women than other more "classic" genres found at DragonCon?  It was generally agreed that Steampunks are very open and accepting of a whole wide array of folks, which is part of what makes it awesome.  The fact that it's a bit newer on the scene (then say traditional Sci-Fi genres) was also believed to help boost that effect. There was also a subsequent discussion about the amount of female authors producing Steampunk Fiction - particularly Erotica, and consideration for why that may be so.

-What did we suggest for starting community/gatherings/finding more Steampunks?  We offered some resources to check out online (checking your area for facebook groups/events, looking at networking sites like, looking for local gaming nights at cafes and restaurants, and other similar genres/gatherings.  Steampunks tend to be involved in other marginal/sub-sculture groups (SCA, Renfaires, Bellydance, Goth, Gaming, etc), and where there's smoke, there's steam! A sampling from the panel and around the room pretty much confirmed that no matter where you are, there are probably some steampunks in the mix.

-What were our thoughts on Steampunk models? It was pretty clear across the board that doing what you love, getting paid a fair wage for it, and making sure you get proper credit for you work is paramount, regardless of what it is you do.  We do find it disconcerting when women in Steampunk are reduced to objects/things, rather than being seen as people - and the same goes for guys as well. Or when imagery feeds into some false stereotype that all Steampunk women look and dress a certain way. Photography should involve proper credit to the model, the photographer, and designer of what is being modeled.  If a fantasy is being sold, then it's important that credit/identity are still attached to that fantasy, noting that the model has agency in his or her work. Again, it's a major part of our mission to show that diversity of talent and identity that can be found in Steampunk, and to particularly offer positive and inspiring examples to the younger generation.  That not only can you look "cool" but you can learn to do and create amazing things as well.

Stay tuned for more panels in the future!

Monday, August 17, 2015

SW17: The Woman Behind the Voice: Emmett Davenport

This week we are thrilled to feature a familiar voice to many folks - Emmett Davenport who hails from Pittsboro, North Carolina. I know for me personally, Clockwork Cabaret was the way I learned about so many Steampunk-friendly bands and events back in the day, and always so entertaining and well-produced!  If you don't already listen to the CC, you need to! (Just our gentle suggestion)

How would you define or describe yourself? 
DJ, drinker, bad puppeteer, steampunk ragamuffin/superhero with a light sprinkling of drag queen, overgrown wayward orphan, and future wicked witch. 

How did you find Steampunk -OR- how do you define it? 

I came across it in my work as a DJ. Vernian Process sent me a demo CD in 2005, and labeled his all instrumental music at the time "steampunk." He was the only act I knew of doing so. I tried looking it up, but could only find information on the writing style. But, I really liked it so I was intrigued. Since I was a DJ, I approached from a musical perspective first. When we first started doing the Clockwork Cabaret, it wasn't defined as a genre at all. We were making it up as we went along, which was great, because was a way of incorporating a huge chunk of my music that didn't fit within goth or punk. 

As a subculture, I loved how it incorporated so many of my interests, and allowed me a playfulness and a freedom of expression I wasn't getting from goth anymore. Plus, I was able to reuse all my fabulous Victorian outfits, and baby, I look great in a bustle.

Describe one of your creative processes.
Like all great things, it starts with a glass of gin. It gets a little hazy after that.

Who or what inspires you? 
I've always found spite to be a great motivator. I've thought about quitting the Clockwork Cabaret several times, especially after I lost two of my co-hosts, but there wasn't another funny, music based steampunk program out there. I don't care for my steampunkery to be too serious, or too sternly defined. We aren't re-enactors; we don't have a Very Strict Set of Rules that we have to follow. There's a basic premise: the 1800s, and you can build your own world from there.

Tell us about one of the projects you're working on (or just finished)
We're in the midst of filming Lushington's Lounge, a Victorian cocktail drinking show with puppets. It's wonderful and terrible all at once, as most Victorian era drinks are disgusting. Lady Attercop and I be returning to Dragon*Con this year to DJ the Mechanical Masquerade with DJ Doctor Q, as That Darling DJ Duo, and I'll be handling the music for the Saturday night Burlesque Show. I may be on a few panels as well. If not, stop me in in a hallway, and ask my opinion on something. I'll be happy to give it to you. D*Con is always a blast, but right now, all I can concentrate on is how much we still have to pack. (Oh God! I'm not packed AT ALL!) The Clockwork Cabaret, is ongoing, as always. January marks its 8th year on air, and there's no stopping us now! Especially since the Clockwork Cabaret has picked up for syndication by a startup neo-Vintage internet radio station called Soiree Radio.

What advice do you have for young Steampunks? 
Just because there's a gear on it, doesn't make it steampunk. A hat will always tie a good outfit together. Don't buy anything off the back of a truck. And most importantly, no one can tell you how to play make-believe. Except me: buy a t-shirt.