First name and last initial: Katrina T., a.k.a. GeekUnique Cosplay
Where are you from originally, or where do you currently reside? I am from Queens, NY and I currently live in Orlando, FL. I’ve been here for over 10 years already.
How long have you been cosplaying? If we are talking about dressing up in general, then I would say all of my life. I became a more “serious” cosplayer over the last 5 years or so. It all started with my first Batgirl costume.
Which characters have you cosplayed? Pre-New 52 Batgirl, New 52 Batgirl, Supergirl (my own version), Harley Quinn (upscale style), anime school girl, anime-style cat, Wonder Women (80s style/my own version), Lois Lane, and various steampunk and Victorian style outfits.
What inspired you to start cosplaying? My love of art inspires me to cosplay. I have always been creative-minded and I was never happy being in a box. Growing up I was made fun of in school everyday and I’d look to comics and particularly the Batman animated series of the 90s as a way to forget about my problems. I grew up with DC comics and Batman culture and I always wanted to be the hero and defeat the bad guys and negativity in the world. It was natural as time went on and I got older that when I found great costume designers online that I’d cosplay as Batgirl. Batgirl as a character is an inspiration. The struggles she went through to regain the use of her legs and her amazingly beautiful intelligence makes her a great role model for young girls. She also inspired me!
What do you do when you’re not cosplaying? When I’m not cosplaying I love to get the fandom community fit with my business Fan Fit Go. Through my business I can train cosplayers all over the world online. It’s inspiring to see so many people who are like me getting healthier. I am honored to be a part of the fandom community! In my spare time I also enjoy photography. I’m new to it and every time I shoot I learn something new! It’s fun to go to conventions and take photos of cosplayers. I’m usually behind the camera so taking photos brings another dimension to my con experience. Learning about photography helps me also be a better model and cosplayer as well. I also enjoy playing video games, although I do not play as much as I’d like to. Overwatch is life! I also love Batman Telletale and any of the Telltale games, really. Anything with a good story!
Which costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far, and why? My Batgirl New 52 style costume was commissioned almost a year before I got it. It was made based on my measurements and turned out great but the turn-around time had me worried that I would not have it for the bigger conventions. Luckily it all turned out well. I respect people who can make costumes because it is a skill I have yet to learn and I know it is difficult. Other than that I have put together costumes that just were not working. My 80s style Wonder Women needs to be fit to my body to the point where I may just need a new one. In the last year I’ve lost 60 lbs and now it is very large on me.
What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying? I’d say if you’re new to cosplaying, go outside of the box! Do what makes you happy and do not care what other people think. You will get haters out there and that’s normal. All you have to do is let the negativity roll off your back. I wear things that inspire me and I portray characters that represent me in some way. I’d say if you are new to cosplay take time to read comics and watch movies for characters that you like and really learn about them. It’s going to have you pick out a better costume and learn how the character talks, walks, and acts so you can present yourself more like the “real thing.”
What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other? I’d say when dealing with each other as a community we need to be less competitive. I get that there are people who can make a lot of money from cosplay so you do not want everyone to know all your contacts or how you do things, but there is a difference between “keeping it close to the vest” and plain being rude. If we are in cosplay, lets try to be friendly to each other and at least civil. If you see someone who can benefit from your advice kindly tell them you’d like to help them in the nicest way possible. Chances are they will listen to you. As a community we should be supportive of each other!