Although I'd heard a few of David Bowie's songs growing up, it wasn't until I saw Labyrinth in eleventh grade (2002/2003) that I really became a fan. We were going to start making masks in my high school Crafts class so my teacher showed us the ballroom scene from Labyrinth. I fell in love with it: the song, the set, the costumes...and Jareth. Admittedly I didn't realize that it was David Bowie until a classmate pointed it out.
Upon seeing the ballroom scene, I had to watch the whole movie. It was instant love; Labyrinth soon became one of my favorite movies where it remains today. I loved to pretend that I was Sarah and wished that I could wish myself away to the Underground. I even got a friend into loving Labyrinth and David Bowie. We had fun writing our own Labyrinth roleplay stories and had even thought of our own sequel. Unfortunately we never got far into writing the screenplay for our sequel, nevertheless we had fun dreaming about it-especially our big scenes with Jareth.
In high school, I met a few friends online, through Labyrinth themed message boards. I still have parts of a few roleplays from those boards, that I cherish.
In college when I got back into collecting dolls, I knew that my first American Girl doll, Felicity, was my David Bowie/Labyrinth lover like me. Appropriately, my high school Labyrinth/David Bowie-loving friend had her first AG doll, Molly, love David Bowie and Labyrinth as well. Our Felicity and Molly dolls have had fun sleepovers watching Labyrinth and dancing to David Bowie's music. When I started making videos with my dolls, I was not only inspired by other doll collectors who made them but by Rankin Bass and Tim Burton, for stop-frame videos, and by Jim Henson for live-action videos. In a way, the live-action doll videos are similar to puppetry. In some ways, I was also inspired by David Bowie because he had fun making Labyrinth, a movie full of puppets, and I have fun making my doll videos.
While there are still many David Bowie songs and albums that I have not yet heard, and movies with him that I have not yet seen, I still consider myself a big fan and that's not going to change. I've made some nice friends throughout the years who are also fans of Labyrinth, Jareth and David Bowie. David Bowie will continue to inspire me, not only through music and movies, but with other aspects of life. He was an amazing person who was down-to-earth, friendly, fun-loving and a kid-at-heart. He wasn't afraid to act silly, which I admire. Being a shy introvert, sometimes I have trouble "letting loose." Seeing all the interviews and videos of David Bowie helps me to know that it's okay to be silly and let my kid-at-heart personality shine through. He also inspires me to continue doing the things I love, no matter what other people think. Acting, singing, writing...and playing dolls which can incorporate all of those passions and more.
David Bowie was truly one-of-a-kind. He inspired and influenced many people and will continue to do so. He will always be here in spirit, looking down on everyone who loves him. He will always be in our hearts and will help all of us to dance our Magic Dance, just as he is dancing his.
~Melissa and Felicity