First name and last initial: Andrew S.
Where are you from originally, or where do you currently reside? Waynesburg, PA
How long have you been cosplaying? 4 years
Which characters have you cosplayed? Deathstroke, Jane from Firefly, Ronan from Guardians of the Galaxy
Who or what inspired you to start cosplaying? When I was 40, I began playing airsoft with a group of 14-16 year-olds. I was attempting to keep a strong bond with my oldest and his friends. I was impressed with their full tactical gear set-ups. So I decided to build my own. Deathstroke was a favorite villain of mine after seeing him in the Teen Titans animated series. So, I found an airsoft mask, ordered it, and built an outfit based around it. My own take. After a year, while attending a local comic convention, I suddenly realized I had built a cosplay outfit. And an idea began.
What do you do when you’re not cosplaying? When I’m not cosplaying, I spend a lot of time with my family, reading, watching cartoons, and being a basic nerd. I am an electrician, I help manage the 170 acres we live on as a Christian camp called Father Son Camp East. I also manage our family business selling custom sugar cookies. We are Your Cookie Rookie.
Which costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far, and why? As far as challenging costumes, well, pretty much anything. As a 47 year old, balding, white guy, there are only so many options. That’s where the mask comes in. Outside the outfit, I am unremarkable to a stranger. In the outfit, I demand attention. The response from everyone is amazing. All 5 of my kids cosplay. So, anytime we attend a con, it is a family event. My wife is very supportive and comes along for the fun. Getting to help the kids sew, or build something is great!
What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying? To someone just starting out in cosplay I would ask, why are you doing this? Is it just for attention? Likes? Be careful. So many people become obsessed with the numbers. You need to do it because you really enjoy it. Talk to other people. Offer advice. Share what you have learned.
What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other? As far as cosplayers dealing with each other, I feel most do a great job when in person. But, many lack interaction when online. It’s hard to interact with someone who is only worried about a “perma-like”, but forget the people that are already here. We must learn to be content with our followers and share more with them.