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Cosplay Spotlight: Cosplay Dad!

First Name & Last Initial: Sam G.
Where are you from originally or reside currently? Rockville Maryland
How long you have been cosplaying? 4 years
Other Characters cosplayed: Batman, Soundwave, Lex Luthor, Harley Quinn, Red Hood

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1.    Who or what inspired you to cosplay?
My daughter inspired me to Cosplay. I have been going to Comic Cons since I was a teenager but I never considered Cosplaying. When she was about a year old I took her to her first Con. I commissioned a sketch of her as Robin next to Batman. The following year I bought her a Robin costume and she “demanded” that I go as Batman.

2.      What do you do when you aren’t cosplaying (hobbies, community service, or work)?
Cosplay takes up a lot of my free time even when I’m not making a costume, I’m constantly thinking about my next build. Outside the Cosplay world I go to concerts, collect kidrobot Dunny and comic books.

sam-gras-soundwave

3.    What costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far and why?
There are a few criteria I look for before I take on any project. 1) is it a character that inspires me? 2) is it unique/ can I make it my own 3) is it going to challenge me. 4) can I wear the costume and still care for my daughter. If the answer is yes to all four questions I can start my build.
Two challenges standout in my mind. The first one was my transformers Soundwave costume. My daughter was about 3 years old and we were attending NYCC, so I needed a costume that would keep her safe. At the time she rode on a harness on my back when we rode the subway and explored the city so I incorporated this harness into the costume. The other challenge that stands out was making a cowl for her batgirl costume. I needed to make a light weight cowl that would be comfortable. I had never worked with pep files and the learning curve was steep but it paid off in the end.
My Lex Luthor Costume has been the most rewarding because it feels like I finally know what I’m doing. While the build had it’s challenges, I felt confident in my skills and the entire build came together seamlessly. The reaction I receive from fans and fellow cosplayer is incredible. My favorite compliment has been ‘I look like an action figure’ that just makes my day!

4.      What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying?
Choose a character that you love that you will feel comfortable wearing in public. Being confident in your costume makes all the difference.
Cosplay is not cheap. There are many costumes you can piece together but if you are a perfectionist like me even the smallest details cost money by plotting out your builds you will have a better sense of how much you can afford.
There is a big community of Cosplayers online and at conventions get to know everyone. Watch tutorial videos, follow fellow Cosplayers on Facebook. Ask questions! I love to help other improve their craft. I can’t build 24/7 but if I can help you improve your costume while I’m stuck behind a desk- it makes my day.

sam-gras-red-hood

5.      What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other?
As a community we can be our own worst enemy. We invest so much heart and soul into our costumes it’s easy to turn around and criticize others, whether it’s body shaming, mocking ones costume or judging what makes a someone a “real” cosplayer. We need to always be inclusive and do a better job building people up than tearing them down.

About Doug T. (491 Articles)
A lifelong gamer, disabilities advocate, avowed geek, and serious foodie. Doug was born in South America, currently resides in Northern VA, and spends the majority of his time indulging in his current passions of gaming & food, while making sure not to take life or himself too seriously.
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