Where are you from originally or reside currently: Stafford, Virginia on both accounts
How long you have been cosplaying: Since 2009
Other Characters cosplayed: Raven from Teen Titans, Water Mage, Hades from Disney’s Hercules, French Maid Minion from Despicable Me, Spectra Vondergeist: Monster High Doll, Pokemon Lapras, Sephie from Crossgen’s Meridian
Website or facebook fan page: Skel Medium Cosplay
- Who or what inspired you to cosplay?
Honestly, Lady Gaga. She was my very first cosplay. I had been making costumes for myself and friends for years, mostly just for Halloween, but when Poker Face came out, I just HAD to make that mirrored mask and black suit and buy my first wig so I could be super blonde. There was something powerful and inspiring about her music, lyrics and costumes. We know today that Poker Face was just the beginning. Wearing that costume, I was recognized and applauded for my “identical” costume and that positive reinforcement made me feel great and know that my crafting skills had some value by bringing something to others.
- What do you do when you aren’t cosplaying? (hobbies, community service, or work)
Oh goodness, all sorts of things. I have a 40hr a week job designing steel structures and trusses. On weekends I love to go Geocaching…. Using million dollar satellites to find Tupperware boxes in the woods. I do community service through it. We call it CITO: Cache In, Trash Out. Basically it’s picking a park once a month and we spend hours cleaning up mostly the beach lines. I love to read; I’ve been a librarian for a little over 10 years now, but just a few days a month since I picked up an adult job. I also love gardening; I was a florist for a few years and took lots of horticulture classes. I have so many other crafting mediums that I mess around with. I quilt, crochet, knit, create all kinds of polymer clay figures and beads, make jewelry, scrapbook and a dozen other crafts.I have a wonderful photographer friend who loves to dress me up and do fun shoots with, so I have some plain Jane shoots, like my gothic pinup set that I love so much and I go hang out and come up with cool new things to photograph.
- What costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far and why?
My Water Mage was the biggest challenge so far because it was my first time working with worbla. Thermoplastic is temperamental, if you haven’t found out yourself. You get burned, but the worbla, stick it together and rip it, you learn that it does NOT bend around you horizontally AND vertically. If you press hard enough it will break your folding bone (I use it in scrapbooking but its great for smooshing worbla into corners). Surfacing and finishing it were truly the easiest. Oh, and how to actually attach everything to me. I had to figure out how to get the worbla to stay around D-rings without ripping off when I tightened my leg pieces. That took some finagling.
- What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying?
Figure out what you are good at in the craft world and start from there. Can you sew? Start with some fabric costumes that are not too intricate. Can you design really well on paper? Offer someone you know who’s great at sewing the opportunity to trade costume concepts for sewing lessons. Start with small “easier” costumes. And by easier, I mean that it doesn’t require more hours than you have to give before you want it finished. A 100 hour costume that needs to be done in 4 days is unrealistic and GOING to stress you out, and you don’t need that.
Don’t be afraid to be any character your love OR any character that you just see and love the outfit and know nothing more about. COSPLAY THEM ALL. If it makes you happy, and you feel great and proud of what you’re doing, then keep doing THAT.
- What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other?
I’m not sure, other than stay on top of the harassment issue – that cosplay is not consent. Lots of cosplayers have been very vocal about this, offering panels and speaking out when harassment occurs, and cons are doing a great job with making a safe environment with zero tolerance policies. The only thing I can think of that I hear a lot about is the negativity. That’s just got to stop. I can’t say it enough. So many people fight so many internal battles with themselves or even things that go on at home that you will never know, and they don’t need the negativity about not cosplaying this character “correctly’ or that your take isn’t at all what it “should be” or you’re too tall, skinny, curvy, short or any number of other nonsense that doesn’t make a lick of difference because they worked hard on that outfit and it takes real courage to wear it outside and be who you are.