First name and last initial: Samantha Claire M
Where are you from originally or reside currently? Johannesburg, South Africa
How long you have been cosplaying? 3 years
Other Characters cosplayed: She-Hulk (Marvel); Supergirl (DC); Powergirl (DC); Bastila Shan (Star Wars); Magneto (X-Men); Mera (Aquaman); Wonder Woman (DC); She-Ra (He-man); Shiro (Deadman Wonderland); Kiki (Kiki’s Delivery Service) and more.
1. Who or what inspired you to cosplay?
I’ve been a Geek all my life – I love movies and comics. I was always aware that people dressed up in costumes and went to comic book conventions but it wasn’t until I was living in London and I went Star Wars Celebration 2007 – this completely blew my mind – Jedi, Storm Troopers and Twi’leks in this giant line to get in, it was mind-blowing. Just watching the Troops march up and down was incredible and I even got strangled by Darth vader – it was truly an experience. So when I moved back to South Africa, I discovered there was a small community of cosplayers, I was a groupie for a couple years, following them around and taking pictures. One day, I decided to give it a go, I put on my Cassie Hack (Hack/Slash) cosplay and I’ve never looked back. There are so many talented cosplayers out there all over the world, who inspire me everyday to make something magical.
2. What do you do when you aren’t cosplaying (hobbies, community service, or work)?
Logically being into movies, I ended up going to film school. I work full-time as a Video editor, as well as doing some freelance film-making on the side – mostly in the cosplay arena. I’m a big comic book nerd, so I hang out at comic book stores on the weekends. And whenever I get the chance I love to go fishing, I’ve never caught anything big, but it’s still pretty cool pulling in a fish, giving yourself a high five and then releasing it!!
3. What costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far and why?
My Wonder Woman (New52, Divine Armor by Cliff Chiang) cosplay has been the most difficult for me so far. As soon as I saw her in the comic book I knew I had to make that outfit, I went about getting foam for the armor and pleather for the skirt, but how-in-the-world was I going make it. My main problem was that I needed her Manica piece to be able to bend and move around easily – as I still need to shoot videos. It took me at least a month of different ideas and examples before I decided on the final construction. I even learnt to do simple electronics to make my lasso light up. The cosplay was really uncomfortable to wear, but I got such a great response from everyone at the Con and Cliff Chiang liked one of the pictures too – which had me beaming! Another challenge was my Magneto helmet. This was the first time I used a pepruka template and I was so useless, the first one I made was too small – hint remember to measure your head with a wig on, cos I have long hair in a wig it’s an extra 2-3cm bigger! But once I got it right, I felt invincible!
4. What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying?
Don’t be afraid to just cosplay! I have a few friends who would love to cosplay but they are too scared or just don’t have the confidence to do it, but cosplay truly is for EVERYONE, and ANYONE can cosplay. Once you put on that costume, you become the coolest person ever, you can be the bad guy or the good guy, you can be the dragon or robot, the princess or the prince, nothing can stop you but you. Also there are so many tutorials online that you can build anything – so go for it!
5. What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other?
Acceptance and Love! We live in a world where everyone can have an anonymous opinion, people can say and do such hurtful things to someone they don’t even know. I really wish we could all stop the “shaming” and competing with each other. I also think that cosplayers need to be more accepting of people with different ethnicities, not everyone can look like a character, that doesn’t mean they can’t cosplay that character that they love. But on the bright-side, I have met the most incredible people threw cosplay from all over the world, everyone of them is willing to learn and help teach, and if we stand together, nothing can destroy us!