First name and last initial: Missy “LifeByMissy” P
Where are you from originally, or where do you currently reside? Born and raised in NYC!
How long have you been cosplaying? Since 2006.
Which characters have you cosplayed? Ciel Phantomhive (Black Butler), Ramona Flowers, Jubilee, Indiana Jones (genderbent), Storm, Zatanna, Bombshell Harley Quinn, Blastoise, Temari (Naruto), Aladdin (genderbent), Vambre Warrior (Mighty Magiswords), Bulma, Poison Ivy, Emma Frost, Gambit, Jade (Mortal Kombat), Aquagirl.
What inspired you to start cosplaying? I went to my first convention with my brother and my mom because we are a big geeky family. I would watch footage of the past year of New York Comic Con and San Diego Comic Con and I said to my mom, “Oh my goodness! Wouldn’t that be so fun to dress up as our favorite characters?!” So my family and I got super excited and we started getting pieces together, buying wigs and makeup and anything else we needed and we were just so happy. We all cosplayed together at our first con and it made the experience so unique for us. So really, it started as a family thing and they inspired me to continue and enjoy doing it.
What do you do when you’re not cosplaying? Well, after I finished college, I wanted to just take a break to focus on me and have fun. So, I work as a barista and do a bunch of freelance jobs on the side. I go to a lot of concerts, travel, and work out a lot. To be honest, cosplay has taken over my life so when I’m not working I’m sketching, buying fabric, sewing, building props and planning new cons. It’s something I’m truly passionate about and I’d rather be cosplaying than doing anything else.
Which costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far, and why? I don’t think any of my cosplays have been too challenging, to be honest. My problem is procrastination. I get into a funk and I panic and think that I can’t finish in time or do it right but then I just saddle up and push through it. I suffer from anxiety and depression and sometimes that affects my ability to do anything but I really do my best to get myself to do what I love. My most rewarding cosplay, though, was definitely Vambre Warrior from Mighty Magiswords on Cartoon Network. The little kids at NYCC were so excited to take photos with their favorite cartoon character so I kept the British accent on for them and they were so happy I almost cried! The creators of the cartoon located my fan page and loved it so much and were super impressed. I actually DID cry from joy when they kept complimenting me!
What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying? HAVE. FUN. Sometimes you get so stressed out and people will try to tell you that you can’t do this or can’t do that or that you shouldn’t, but who cares? You’re dressing up as your favorite characters because it’s fun and you love sharing that connection with other fans. It’s something that brings us together and it’s so beautiful to see a bunch of people just bonding over their love for a film, anime, TV shows, video games, comic books or any other genre of fandom. Cosplay whoever you want. It doesn’t matter if you buy it or make it, if the character doesn’t match your skin color or race, or if you are thinner or bigger than them. Just put on that outfit, have fun and make new friends!
What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other? Honestly, we all need to remember that whether we do this as a hobby or career, we are doing it because we love our fandoms. We tend to watch out for each other but we could probably be a little more inclusive. The thing is that cosplay is international and people forget that different parts of the world will do things differently. We just need to be accepting, understanding and loving. You don’t have to be everyone’s best friend but you can all share a little love and kindness, whether it’s in the cosplay community or in our everyday lives.