Hey everyone, welcome to the Farpoint 2022 edition of THE INTERVUE. Yes, it is our first convention of the 2022 season, and we got a great one for you. Our first guest on the docket, we have a professional costumer, prop maker, puppet builder, author & ghost hunter. She has worked on such films as “The Hunger Games” & one of my favorites “The Muppet Christmas Carol”. She’s also worked on the TV series “Dinosaurs”.
And by the way, she was the Romulan Commander who made me fly out of my seat – literally – in a Starship Farragut episode.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have the wonderful Cheralyn Lambeth!
Welcome to the interview, Cheralyn!
Thank you, Dean, I really appreciate you asking me to be part of the show.
Well, it’s great. And I can’t believe it took all these years and God knows we know each are longer than that.
A long time!
So, let’s get down to business. This is the first convention for the two of us during the pandemic in 2022. How does it feel to be back?
I am really excited to be back doing conventions, Again, Farpoint is one of my favorite conventions. It’s where I meet up with a lot of old friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. Sometimes, I only see them at Farpoint. And of course, Farpoint didn’t happen last year didn’t but the year before. So, it is great to be back.
I hear you. You’ve mentioned moments ago that Farpoint was your favorite convention. Tell us why.
Well, it’s one of my favorite conventions, and it’s one that I’ve been coming to for about 20 years now. And I’ve made a lot of really good friends at Farpoint. It’s almost like a family reunion in many ways because I’ll come back and see people that I normally don’t see any other time except here at the convention.
I can understand about dating yourself because I’ve been coming here since 1999. The time I started Farpoint, it was in October. And….
Yes, I did too. I came to a few Farpoints in October.
So, tell us about the panel you did for Friday evening. What was it all about? If you have a theme, it’s about ghostbusting?
Yes, the panel that I just finished was “Ghostbusting versus Ghost Hunting: The Science and the Fiction”. And as you know, I’m a Ghostbusters cosplayer. I had a team called the Southern Belle Ghostbusters, but I’m also an actual paranormal investigator. And I belong to a group called the Charlotte Area Paranormal Society in Charlotte, North Carolina. And I’ve written a book called “Haunted Theaters of the Carolinas”.
And this panel talked about the science of the tools and the ideas that you see in the Ghostbusters films. Dan Aykroyd, who was one of the Co-creators of Ghostbusters, is himself interested in the paranormal. His brother Peter, who recently passed away, has written quite a few books on the paranormal and Dan Aykroyd actually based a lot of the equipment ideas you see in Ghostbusters movies, on actual paranormal theory.
So how does one become an actual ghost hunter? Do they have to go to school they have to learn some annex courses, how do they do that?
No. So the group I belong to does offer what we call a meet up every month and people who are interested in ghost stories, parallel investigations, come and join us on a public investigation. And it’s interesting to know that because of shows like “Ghost Hunters”, “Ghost Adventures” and some of the other shows out there, it’s become a lot more mainstream, a lot more acceptable. And a lot of people are really interested in the phenomenon the genre, so to speak.
That’s great to hear. So, you’ve been a cosplayer for as long back as far back as I can remember. What was the very first cosplay you ever done?
The very first cosplay I ever did was one of the original “Battlestar Galactica” uniforms from the 1978 show. That was one of my favorite shows growing up as a kid still one of my favorite shows. I still have that costume. And surprisingly, I can still fit into it.
That’s amazing. I wish I could fit in a mind but some not yet. In your humble opinion, how has the world of cosplay evolved because when we started doing conventions back in the 90s, cosplay was a huge thing as it is now.
It has definitely evolved. I can tell you as a professional costumer, you know you just mentioned I’ve worked on quite a few films, TV shows professional productions. When I first started in the industry, I didn’t tell people I was what later became known as a cosplayer, because they felt that was very odd. “Here is what you do for your job. Why do you want to do it on the side as well?” But of course, Cosplay has definitely become much more popular, much more mainstream. You know, people have written books, there are so many YouTube shows so many Instagram videos, so many Tik Tok videos. It’s a huge thing now, and it’s evolved from something you kind of hid, that you did on the side to something that you know, many people are very interested in even people who don’t necessarily go to the conventions.
Indeed, yes, there are many rules or regulations as to become a cosplayer but what would you recommend to a person who’ve never been to a convention, but will like to cosplay one day?
I will tell them cosplay a character that speaks to you. And when you know, when I first started out, I loved Battlestar Galactica. That’s what prompted me to make the costume that I did. And usually, I will make costumes genres that speak to me Ghostbusters, obviously, I also love Harry Potter. I’ve done quite a few things from the Harry Potter universe in the past. Marty McFly from Back to the Future. He’s one of my favorites.
I always tell people do something that you enjoy doing. If there’s a character you really like, if here’s a genre you really like, pick a costume from that, and create it. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be this huge, elaborate production. You can find things at thrift stores. One of my favorite things to do is fine costume pieces at thrift stores and put together costumes from that. And I certainly tell people, you know, do what speaks to you.
Now, I’ve read that you attempted to break the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of finger puppets, which if I read the number correctly, 553?
I currently have 553 Finger puppets in my collection. And I applied to break the world record, I just have to submit my final documentation and my witness statements. And then we’ll see what Guinness says.
Nice! Well, we wish you all the best with that. I read that you’re working on a brand-new book called “Art in the Time of Corona. Can you tell us about that?
Absolutely. Well, when you know, of course, the Corona Pandemic lockdown started back in early 2020. The Getty Art Museum in New York issued a challenge, like people take three items from your home and recreate one of the classical artworks in our collection. And like many other people, I did that myself. And as I continued doing different artwork like this is a lot of fun. And I have recreated, I should say an artwork almost every week since the pandemic started.
And it’s gone from very simple to very elaborate. I think my favorite is “George Washington Crossing the Delaware”, which is of course, George Washington and all the people in the boat and it’s all me, I recreate all the costumes, I photoshopped myself together and I recreated that portrait. So, I am currently working on a book about my art recreations and I’m also getting ready to launch a YouTube show here before too much longer.
Oh, then we’ll keep an eye on that. Another book that you worked on is “Introduction to Puppetry Arts: First Edition”, and you actually worked on one of my favorite films, “The Muppet Christmas Carol”, which is always near and dear to my heart. Tell us how did you get that sweet gig?
Oh, that was one of the highlights of my career. I so enjoyed working for the Muppets. And you know, like many people my age, our age, I grew up watching Sesame Street, watching the Muppets, and they always looked like they were having so much fun. Friend of mine rightfully put it that Jim Henson and his associates were basically out to enjoy life themselves and we were just along for the ride, and I couldn’t agree more. I study puppets on my own on the side and was lucky to be able to connect with some folks who worked at Muppets and through all of that was able to get the job in the Henson workshop in New York.
And not only you got to work in “The Muppet Christmas Carol”, but you also got to work on “Dinosaurs” Yes, that’s another childhood favorite of mine
That was a lot of fun too. I really enjoyed working on that it was so such a great experience being in the shop working with other creative people seeing familiar faces. Dr. Bunsen Honeydew sat at my table for a little while. And it was so much fun seeing you so create this beautiful Victorian coat, but it was only about you know, 10 inches big and it had eight arms because it was made for a spider.
So, we went from talking about puppetry to ghost hunting. And then somewhere in between, you played a Romulan Commander in Farragut. What does it feel like to dress in the Romulan Commander’s costume and be on a recreation of that bridge?
That was amazing because they did such an incredible job of recreating the bridge and the effects of the original Star Trek series. And of course, the Original Series was a little before my time but one part of my career I worked with Paramount on some of their Star Trek interactive properties.
I remember being so impressed when I walked into the scene shop once and there was the entire Enterprise original bridge. And I was just standing there amazed and one of the scene shops takes it away, it gets better. He walks around, and suddenly, all of the lights just come to life. And it was such an amazing experience. I really enjoyed being part of fairy goods. I always loved the Romulan Commander in the original Star Trek because she was strong woman. And she was a great character. And so, I loved recreating the Romulan uniform.
If you have any advice for anyone who has never attended that convention, even during the pandemic, what advice would you give them?
Well, I guess I would say take it slow. For many people, conventions when they have large crowds, it can be a little overwhelming. One of my usual conventions is Dragon Con every year in Atlanta and I love going to Dragon Con this past year because of the pandemic the numbers were a little lower. And I have to admit, it was kind of refreshing to be able to walk through the hallways not quite so crowded.
But of course, Dragon Con is more and more people every year. It’s a great convention. And so, I tell people you know, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Just enjoy the convention. Go to panels that you enjoy. Check out the schedule, make sure to catch up with friends. Make sure to get enough sleep and have to eat and pace yourself. Don’t overdo it.
Where can people find you if they want to get more information about you?