First Name and Last Initial: Elizabeth “Izzie” G.
Where are you from originally, or where do you reside currently? Denver is my first home and where my heart is.
How long have you been cosplaying? About five years (since beginning college).
What characters have you cosplayed? Winry Rockbell (Fullmetal Alchemist), Lust (Fullmetal Alchemist), White Pawn (Homestuck), Rose Lalonde (Homestuck), Derpy (aka Muffins — My Little Pony), Applejack (My Little Pony), Pinkie Pie (normal, science, Winter Wrapup, Rapper, and Hearthswarming Eve versions — My Little Pony), and Princess Celestia (My Little Pony).
What inspired you to start cosplaying? I have always liked acting, and was in theater for a number of years, both on stage and as a stage tech, doing sets, props and costumes. When I got to college, theater wasn’t in the cards, but cosplay was a great way for me to still get to act like my favorite characters, and wear costumes I worked on myself.
What do you do when you are not cosplaying? I have a podcast about mushrooms and fungi called Morel Dilemma that I produce (available wherever you get podcasts!). That has been my main project between college and graduate school, which I’ve applied to and hope to enter this fall. I also really like crafting, especially scrapbooking, and am starting an Etsy store.
What costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far and why? The biggest challenge was definitely my first cosplay, a Princess Celestia “ballgown” I made my freshman year of college. My main “MLP” friend and I wanted to cosplay the princesses from My Little Pony at Anime Boston, and we started the dresses not really knowing what we were getting into. Unfortunately, that was also my biggest cosplay failure – though I finished my dress on time, it required hot gluing the zipper in! The most rewarding thing about cosplaying has been the feeling of accomplishment when something comes out perfectly. I’m also very proud to have gotten my husband into it a bit!
What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying? Start slow! Challenging yourself is the only way you’ll improve, of course, but don’t try to make a ballgown for your first ever project. I recommend finding a piece of clothing or a prop at a thrift or craft store and modifying it for your first project. This reduces your time commitment while still giving you a good chance to make something that looks good, and that way if it doesn’t come out the way you’d have liked or it turns out cosplaying isn’t for you, you won’t feel like you’ve wasted your time.
What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other? I think it’s important to remember the “playing” part of cosplay – a costume is a representation of how much someone likes or identifies with a character. If someone wears a short or revealing costume, cosplays as someone outside of their presented gender, ethnicity, or age group, that should not be an issue. Characters are like a canvas that we can paint ourselves onto. The important thing isn’t that the cosplayer’s skin color or age match the character’s; the important thing is that someone is expressing their love for a character.