How to be awesome at playing Dracula

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Since 1999, Jimmy Orrante has played the lead role in BalletMet's Dracula, which runs through Saturday. A dynamite count on stage, he offered these tips for those who want to be a convincing vampire on Halloween.

1 Get a cape

Your most crucial accessory is a heavy black cloak wide enough to wrap around your entire body and long enough to reach the floor. It also should have a rigid collar to hide the face. Decent ones can be purchased at starting at $20.

2 Wear teeth

Orrante's choppers have come from the Ohio State College of Dentistry and BalletMet's wardrobe department. If you don't have such connections, try Yankee Trader, 463 N. High St., where you'll find sets ranging from 15 cents to $10.

3 Learn to float

Dracula could fly and float across the ground. With practice, you can float. Orrante suggests closing the cape in front of you and making sure the hem reaches the floor. Take small, quick, shuffling steps; the smaller the steps, the less reaction from your upper body, which should remain still and straight.

4 Become a bat

You need to form wings with the cape. Crouch down with the fabric hanging in front of you and stretch your elbows up behind your head. Orrante says you should feel a burn between your shoulder blades. Make furtive, rodent-esque gestures with your head.

5 Swirl the cape

Capes have a mind of their own, Orrante said. Practice swirling by holding your arms straight and grabbing cloth wherever your hands reach. Let the wind catch the cape via windmill twirls, and it does all the work. Synchronize steps once you learn how the cloak moves.

BalletMet's "Dracula"

Through Saturday, Oct. 18

Capitol Theatre, Downtown