First name and last initial: Arthur S., a.k.a. Star City Cartman.
Where are you from originally, or where do you currently reside? I’ve lived in Southwest Virginia all my life. Specifically I’m from Rocky Mount.
How long have you been cosplaying? 4 years or so.
Which characters have you cosplayed? Z-Fighter (Dragonball Z), Banepool (Bane- Dark Knight Rises & Deadpool crossover), Vacationing Stormtrooper (Star Wars with Hawaiian shirt), Droopy Dog (Looney Toons), The Coon (South Park), and Cartman (South Park).
What inspired you to start cosplaying? I’ve always had a knack for character acting, and really didn’t even know that conventions were a thing until I started watching G4 cover SDCC one year. I got so excited at the people in their costumes, doing voices without being judged by the people around them, dressed up like their favorite characters. I decided then I wanted to go be a part of something like that. See, I was home schooled from middle school to graduation, so while all my peers were discovering themselves & what they wanted to be, I was chilling at home, doing chores or schoolwork. I never found something that was “me” until I walked into the hall of my first convention. I swear I was about to weep. Now I chase that feeling to every con I can afford.
What do you do when you’re not cosplaying? I work for a subcontractor of VDOT, mainly replacing bridges & pipes in my area. When I’m not doing that, I’m practicing imitations, playing video games, hanging out with friends or getting into drunken escapades on my Instagram or Snapchat. I like to do “Snapshots”, a game invented by Carl Sherberne, wherein I just do shots & give shout outs to people I like or deserve it.
Which costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far, and why? Both of those are Cartman. It’s a challenge to stay in character all weekend, especially in a winter jacket in July. The voice dries my mouth out quick & the constant jabs at other congoers are honestly risky because some people don’t recognize that I’m in character & just think I’m being a jerk. I’m honestly surprised that someone hasn’t tried to kick my butt yet.
The rewards from Cartman are far outweighing the challenges though. He’s the reason I was invited to be a guest at Con Of The Mountain & Marscon last year, he’s also the reason I’m with Spectrum Entertainment now, acting as a guest at 5 or 6 cons this year alone through them. You also have no idea how awesome it is to have people think you’re cool when you’ve been the lame fat weird kid your whole life. I was chilling at a room party at a convention, keeping character at like midnight with a couple drinks in me. All of a sudden I hear someone yell, “HEY, CARTMAN IS IN THERE!” & like 15 people come in to to liven the place back up. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life & I owe it all to that jacket & hat.
What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying? Do what you’re comfortable with & never let anyone tell you that you have to do something new. If you’re having fun dressed like Deadpool, then be Deadpool. The first con I did Cartman all weekend at, I went in thinking it wasn’t good enough to be an all-weekend costume. I left with my first cosplay contest win & guest opportunity. Do not get discouraged if you don’t win or you don’t get a lot of pictures, just take it easy & enjoy yourself & it will all work out.
What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other? Stop putting people on pedestals. We’re all just a bunch of geeks dressed like fictional characters; don’t take it so seriously. I mean, I’ve had people stop following me because I didn’t live up to the expectations they set up for me. I’m just a dude. I know plenty of famous cosplayers that just want to make some friends & because other people see them as some kind of “figure”, nobody will talk to them because “they must be busy, they have x amount of followers on Instagram.” You’re not cooler than me because you’re hot & I’m not cooler than you because I’m quick with a roast. Just chill out & be excellent to each other.