Aussie Open Got Morphed

It occurred about a month ago. As I scrolled down my Instagram photo stream, I came across an old picture of myself photographed with all of my tennis friends. That was nothing unusual, considering friends reposted photos of past events all of the time.

However, this time, it was different. It wasn’t my friends who had reposted the image. I studied the photo intently for a few seconds, before it actually sank in.

Camp Counselors USA (CCUSA) had reposted the photo of my friends and I, and were using it for their advertising campaign. (Is that even legal? Should we be getting some sort of payment for this?)

And then, only two weeks ago, there we were again. Well, half of us at least.

The photograph was captured at the 2012 Australian Open. As eager tennis fans and players ourselves, we annually attended the event to cheer on our favourite sporting heroes.

The year before, sisters Jess and Caitlin Watson, and I, had made a small appearance in 
The Sydney Morning Herald. We were photographed in the crowd cheering on Australia’s Bernard Tomic.

But in 2012, we wanted to be noticed. After witnessing the eye catching and crazy outfits worn by other fans each year, it was finally our turn. We ditched the green and gold zinc and opted for something much more extreme.

Jess had the brilliant idea of morphsuits. We couldn’t stop laughing when we saw pictures of the costumes and wasted no time in buying ten of them. They were hilarious. But nobody could have predicted the amount of publicity we would later attract wearing them.

It was the morning of January 16th 2012. Day one of the Australian Open. After staying in the city the night before, the ten of us, nicknamed “The Morphs,” piled into an already crowded tram. The people on it laughed and pointed. Nearly every second person would ask us for a photo. We loved all of the attention we were attracting and we weren’t even at the tennis yet.

Finally, we arrived. We ran through the stunned onlookers and made our way to Margaret Court Arena. We wanted prime seats for Casey Dellacqua’s match. Some of the boys were stopped at the entrance and frisked by suspicious security. But nothing could ruin our excitement.

As we sat in our blue huddled group, preparing our chants, we were approached by both Channel Seven and Herald Sun cameramen. We posed for their photos and were later interviewed by each. We had another interview with a Japanese reporter who was covering the event, as well as many other camera crews who had approached us. We were not even sure what channel half of them were from.

Not an hour had passed before friends started ringing us excitedly, screaming they had seen us on TV. Herald Sun also updated their website. A stream of ‘Morph’ photographs had appeared.

We caused some controversy when we were chased by a number of angry security men around the Park. They begged us to reveal our faces. We were told that if we covered them again we would be kicked out. This caused debate between the security and the Herald Sun reporters, who desperately wanted us dressed up for their footage.

In Garden Square, more cameramen approached us, and this footage appeared during the 2012 and 2013 event coverage on Channel 7.

Morph Video

However, I was unable to find the full version. If anyone has stumbled across it for some unknown reason, (perhaps you were googling me), then please let me know. You can comment on this post, email me, or follow me on Twitter.

The next day we awoke to our faces on page 5 of the Herald Sun.

Our costumes had gone worldwide. This image of us was published on Britain’s national daily newspaper, The Guardian’s website.

We also appeared on a morphsuit website in Scotland, an Italian tennis forum, a German website ‘20 Minuten Online’, the Morphgang Facebook page, a Polish website and a Chinese website. Other Australian websites we appeared on were Alter Egos Australia, Squidoo, news.com.au, Tennis Warehouse ultimate equipment blog and Twicsy.

Each consecutive day, as we arrived at the Australian Open, a different camera crew welcomed us. We also received free tickets each night from other friendly fans that were leaving.

Following the popularity and the excitement of the morphsuits at the 2012 Australian Open, we wore them again at the event earlier this year.  We continued to cheer loudly and made our presence known.

This photograph, posted by Morphsuit’s Facebook page, was reposted again during the men’s final. It attracted over 500 likes from people all over the world.

So, there you have it. If you want to appear on television, or be published in the Herald Sun, there is no need to work hard and worry about this journalism degree. Just dress ridiculously and the papers won’t be able to get enough of you.

Oh, but then once your fifteen minutes of fame are over, you should probably start studying again. Obviously I didn’t get my big break in the media industry, but, we still managed to cheer on many Australian tennis players to victory.

If you have any suggestions for other exciting costumes we can wear to the 2014 Australian Open, then please contact me.

The Australian Open Twitter handle are already asking how we will top these costumes in 2014.

There is no doubt, “The Morphs” will be hard to beat. We already have a few ideas, but with your help, we can make it to the front page of the Herald Sun next year.

Stay tuned.

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