First name and last initial: Kat D.
Where are you from originally, or where do you currently reside? Ontario, Canada
How long you have been cosplaying? Since 2009.
Which characters have you cosplayed? The Joker (Heath Ledger version), Terminator, Nazi Zombie (Call of Duty: World at War/ Black Ops), (Genderbent) Agent Smith (The Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions) and Mickey Mouse (Epic Mickey games).
What inspired you to start cosplaying? Ever since I was a kid, I LOVED Halloween and the idea of dressing up in costumes for events. One year I made my own Grinch costume and dressed up as the Grinch for an elementary school assembly and sang Christmas carols in the choir in front of the entire school. It was the first time in my life where I felt comfortable performing in front of people (never mind hundreds of them), and I felt the same in similar occurrences as I’ve grown up. As corny as it sounds, I inspired myself to cosplay because cosplay allows me to feel 100% comfortable around others due to ‘being’ someone else.
What do you do when you’re not cosplaying? When I’m not cosplaying or working on cosplays, I tend to live a quiet life since I’m not big on partying or drinking or going out to rowdy places in general. I love gardening and indulge myself in my gardens as Mother Nature allows me to (and these great Canadian winters that we receive annually). I also love drawing and playing video games – as I have since I was 2 or 3 years old! I have a background in television broadcasting and currently work in radio broadcasting as a programmer and a technical operations supervisor for and news, talk, and sports radio station.
Which costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far, and why? So far the most challenging costume for me to finish was my Mickey Mouse cosplay. It was the first cosplay I completely handmade on my own and it took me 4-5 years to complete (since cosplaying is just a passionate hobby of mine that I do not wish to burn myself out on). Since I am a hardcore perfectionist, I want my costumes to leap from their source material as if their creators had made them themselves into reality. I take an extreme amount of care when working on my cosplays due to my eye for detail.
What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying? The best piece of advice I can give to newcomers to cosplay is do NOT be intimidated by others, push your limits (in moderation), and above all, be PATIENT. As with any fandom, negativity lurks and you cannot let it nor the people spewing it bring you down. Remember: You cannot control others, but you can control how you react to them – or, rather, do not react to them. As a novice cosplayer, you’ll likely be eager yet intimidated by cosplayers who have mastered their craft. Start small and work your way up, because by doing this you can master the fundamental skills that lay the foundation to all of costuming. Jumping into a marathon with no training is not going to end well… Lastly, remember to be patient with yourself. If something isn’t turning out the way you would like, stop, turn away, and come back to it later when you have calmed down – whether that is a few hours, a few days, or even a few months. Rushing anything for the sake of rushing to a conclusion never ends with the results you originally wanted.
What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other? I think everyone in the community is guilty of being so caught up with these cosplay ‘celebrities’ and cos-fame, that they forget to focus on what (I believe) cosplay is truly about: sharing. Too often I see people being victims of negativity in the cosplay community (even the cosplay celebrities endure it) or people being negative to others for countless, shameful reasons that remind me far too much of the current issues that plague the news headlines. Step back from notoriety, step back from your cosplay class credentials, and realize that you are a human being like the many before and after you. We are meant to help each other through good times and rough times, and share our knowledge to our peers rather than keep it hidden in our minds. What good is a book without any pages in it? Maybe it’s my Canadian customs showing, but everyone just needs to be kind to each other. It will make our community much stronger and glorious!