STEP ONE: PICKING A GOTH NAME
When it comes down to truly exploring your new found Gothic freedom and 'individuality,' nothing helps more than a new Gothic name. Now is your opportunity to display your inner turmoil to the world and begin a new life of answering the eternal question 'Is that your REAL name?' First decide what facet of your blackened heart you truly want to explore...
1) Your tragic, teary eyed, poetry writing, romantic soul?
2) Your arcane, mysterious, sexual, ancestral vampire past?
3) Your giggly, speed snorting, obnox...ahem...'perky' id?
4) Your scarred, angry, tormented and angst ridden ego?
5) Your carefully cultivated self loathing and destructive nature.
Your main focus should be creativity, so let your imagination run wild. However, be sure to throw in a healthy dose of pretense and creepiness (You're Goth dammit!!).
As an aid, here are some Gothic mainstays...
1) Names from the animal kingdom. The spookier the animal the better! (Bat, Rat, Raven, Cat, Spider, you get the idea.)
2) Names from fairytales and folklore (I think there are enough 'Liliths' in the world and Brother Grimm is already taken, so hands off!)
3) Names from the underworld (There's a great book offering the names and descriptions of many minor and lesser demons called 'Fallen Angels' by Robert Masello. Pick it up!)
4) Names from the bible (Unless you're Hispanic, I'd stay away from Jesus just to avoid confusion.)
5) Names of nasty inflictions or bad habits (Hmmm...how about Melena?)
6) Names from horror movies and/or books (No...Jason or Freddie don't count.)
"7) Names from poetry (For you weepy types...*grrr*)
Feel free to mix and match to taste. After all, Goth is about diversity, creativity and individuality (to a certain predetermined extent at least) right?
STEP TWO: CLAIMING YOUR GOTHIC SELF
Now that your named your Gothly self you will need to pick what kind of Goth you are.... And claim it as your own. This is most easily done by exploring the dark, sinister, self absorbed, angst ridden side of your personality... If you are a hippie, then dig down to the darkness that is the basis of all personalities... Become a Summer of Love Goth - If you are a Geek become a Cyber Goth, if you love the Ren Fair then try Ren Faire Goth, if you think of yourself as a Stevie Nicks clone then become an Etherial Goth. There is an endless list of the type of Goth you can be....Explore your inner darkness and let it shine darkly through!!!
STEP THREE: GothITUDE
While lurking in eerie, shadowy corners, your posture must be theatrical, vibrating with a melancholy that is as tangible as the clove cigarette you are smoking. Hunch lightly forward your delicate shoulders and perch vulture-like as you gaze despondently around the hazy club.
Clenched gracefully in your pale hand with your jewel-laden, tapering fingers, slowly wave your ebony lace fan and keep your inky, kohl-rimmed eyes downcast, gazing gently and demurely. You are bleakly serene, demonstrating a superb maudlin poise.
If your mournful, ivory face, should unexpectedly ripple with a rebellious glimmer of happiness, or even playful enjoyment, lethargically, with a tragic soft sigh, lower your head and shield behind your fan that unacceptable smile. Excuse yourself with a breathy whisper or a mysterious polite phrase and a tearful eye and languidly stroll toward the murky bathroom where you obsessively, with a poetically tragic stance, begin powdering your nose. Take great care to avoid sprinkling your silver nose ring, remember not to powder over your bhindi.
When dancing, think of your dance as a magical conjuring or ceremonial evocation. Whirl, sway, twist and swoop to your own private and tormented rhythm. All movement should be listless, sultry, at times suddenly dipping dramatically to one side or lunging forward to express a sudden stab of inner angst or passion that is coinciding with (or not) a certain place in the music.
Poetically speaking: You must convince people that you are trapped here on this dreary physical plane - forever wandering in search of mysterious, shadowy dimensions. The dark, yet gossamer wings of unremembered memories subtly inspire you, as you endure all the despair of your soul's existence, past and present.
At all times, emote angst, apathy, and despair.
Last, remember that being Gothic is not just a fashion statement, it's a cry for help and is a convincing solution to almost any Fashion Emergency.
Release the batttttts.....
STEP FOUR: MAKE-UP/HAIR
1) Facial hair
Yes you can be Goth too even if you have a tan and copious facial hair. The first thing you need is a razor. If you're a dude with a beard think 'topiary'. Watch the three musketeers -- the one with Michael York. Pleeeeasee check out the guy with the eye patch who boffs the Fay Dunaway character and sculpt some interesting creative facial hair.
If you want to maintain an aura of dark-manly-wolf (tm kallisti), leave your eyebrows to nature. Otherwise, shave them off. Eyebrows are an artform and cannot be contained by the whims of DNA.
All Goths who want to identify with a feminine side, should shave their eyebrows completely off to cleanse the facial palate for true expression.
2) Skin tone -- Spoooky Clown White
Use a powder base at least two shades lighter than your natural skin tone. Kryolan makes a good one. Think artifice. Think theater. All references to a natural daylight appearance should eradicated and spackled. Your lips have no boundaries. Cover their line. Your skin must have a luminous glow which will float disembodied in the candlelight. Creatures of the night unite!
3) Those lips! Those Eyes!
Eyes can wing off the face. Or they can smolder like Valentino. This is where creativity can shine!! All novices must use black. You can't go wrong. Black eye liner is a must. Black powder eye shadow is fabu. Go wild.
Lips? Don't be hindered by the memory of your previous self's lips. With a dark red or black lipstick and a liner you can create new lips. Take the liner, draw the outline of what you think your lips should be as your new Goth self and fill them in with the lipstick and blot.
Please note, the liner does not have to be the same shade as the lipstick but it should be darker.
Welcome the new flesh.
4) Hair - Rat it , dye it, torture it - Edward ScissorHands had perfect Goth Hair....Be sure to buy a can of super hold hairspray and apply it liberally. Or for a more dramatic effect, shave your hair completely off to make room for those fabulous Goth Eyes!!!
STEP FIVE: FASHION
Black is the corner stone of all Gothly styles... Do not be afraid. Find every piece of black clothing and cloth that you have available to you...
Pin everything together... Think flowing, think wispy, think of a corpse raising from the grave.... Think vampires.... What would Lestat be wearing right this second???
The most important feature of any self respecting Goth is .... Accessories and Props: A partial list of the basics follows... use your imagination to create your very own personal style....
Cheap fishnet stockings worn on legs or pulled over head (cut a hole in the crotch and pull over your head, then stick your fingers thru the toes!!!)(if you need to buy these try New York Apparel on upper Haight), any old lace, ribbon, dead roses, dead pets, incense, nail polish, rosaries, crosses or other religious paraphernalia, clove cigarettes, whips, fetish gear, black scarves, tulle, etc., One of your most important props will be: a fan, a book of dark poetry, an antique lacy handkerchief, or anything else that you can use to hide that improper and unsightly smile.
**please - No Tennis Shoes!!!
STEP SIX: MUSIC
Ahhh music - one of the most important items that separates Goths from the rest of humanity.... Check in your CD collection... Look for anything that is maudlin, dark, sad, evil, etherial, angry, angst ridden, pathetic - anything that brings self pitying tears to your eyes or hatred to your heart....anything that allows that inner darkness to come boiling to the surface... Play it over and over and over and over again... Make it part of who you are..... Identify with it..... Incorporate it into your total Goth identity.....
STEP SEVEN: PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF MAUDLIN POETIC APLOMB
Each Gothling-to-Be is required to write and internalize bitter poetic musings. This recitation can be likened to the talent portion of a beauty contest, although there is no crowned winner to be named -- Your deep inner ponderings should reflect accurately your assigned Goth name, your designated Goth type, and the resulting fashion, attitude and makeup adjustments.