I went to a Dead Celebrities party once, that was really good. Rockabilly Zombies from Hell would be fun...I also went to a party once where about 30 people came as a herd of cows. It was hilarious, not sure if it helps with the theme though? You could also do a color theme ("everyone wear purple" or something)
Yeah, it's normally the nearest weekend anyway. Nov 1st is All-Souls day so Halloween is the night before, when the spookies come out to play. The idea is to dress like one of them so they won't getcha! For my parties I take black trashbags and cut them in shreds and staple them to the ceiling in the hall, so the hall is filled with black streamers. Then I hang a strobe light in the middle and have a fog machine at the end, and the music from Suspiria (great Italian 60's horror, very weird and trippy) playing, so you enter the party through this weird tunnel. Inside I play Suspiria on the tv, and hang a pole from the ceiling horizontally, wrapped in black-light Christmas lights and black and purple tulle, with bats hanging down. I have a costume contest and scary food and candy. The mixture of candy corn and peanuts in a black plastic cauldron is very popular! About a week before my friend hosts a pumpkin carving party so we use the pumpkins. I also use the sea salt and olive oil method, sometimes with a bit of rosemary oil. YUM! Have fun! I once had a Halloween party in England when I lived there. My friends were a little confused and insisted on Pumpkin Pie cause they'd never had it (even though it's the wrong holiday) But they played along nicely!
I LOVE the evil girl scout! You could threaten to roast people like marshmallows if they don't buy your cookies! I did a really cute Velma a couple years ago...other ideas are rock star (ex Bono, Corey Hart, or generic rockstar), that old lady from the Old Navy ads, rockabilly girl, a saucy french kitty (or skunk...my ex bf was black and he was a hilarious skunk one year...with cateye glasses it could be sort of a female pepe le pew or that cat he was always chasing), beatnik, Dame Edna, evil business woman (I was "Corporate America one year with a suit and devil horns & tail), the billboard from the Great Gatsby (OK, that's a stretch), an evil optician, a mad scientist, Elton John....
Jenmkat also has a great point about AAM. Professional organizations are HUGELY helpful, if you have figured out the field you are interested in, or want to learn more. Conferences, if you can afford them, are great, you learn alot and most have career resources, workshops, resume reviews, etc. There are usually reduced membership rates for students, and sometimes you can volunteer for a break in conference rates. Most have listservs and forums (and not all require membership to join the list). Some I have found helpful are: Visual resources association (http://www.vraweb.org) American Library Association (http://www.ala.org) Art Libraries Association of North America (http://www.arlisna.org) College Arts Association (http://www.collegeart.org/artjournal/) American Association of Museums ( http://www.aam-us.org/)
There are tons more, too, depending on your interests & location.
I agree with Jenmkat about the term "networking", but at the same time it's so crucial! I think we "arty" types tend to shy away from "business" concepts because we feel they are cold, and we tend to be more "giving" than "taking" sorts of people. That, and it's hard to get the left and right brain working at the same time! But that reluctance is also our downfall when it comes to having good careers. So, although I hate the term "networking" too, I also can't emphasize enough how helpful it is! And there's a huge difference between having a genuine interest in what someone is doing, and wanting to be a part of it, versus coldly seeing "what they can do for you". So, if you approach it as wanting to learn from others/share ideas etc the gain is almost an afterthought. It's important that you know the difference between creating a network of colleagues and friends and who are supportive and striving toward similar goals, and using people to get ahead. Think of it as Craftster for your career! But, yeah, I wish there was a better word! Now for some Craftster networking...Jenmkat, are you a member of VRA or ARLIS? I was at the AAM conference in Indianapolis last spring. It was HUGE! Did you see the live bat guy??