Featured Cosplayer: Sam Gras

Name: Sam Gras
City: Gaithersburg MD
Twitter: CosplaydadSAM
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Cosplaydad

What was your first Cosplay Experience?
While I’m relatively new to the Cosplay world, I have been making costumes since middle school. School plays, Costume parties and Halloween were always exciting opportunities to make costumes and dress up.

How long have you been Cosplaying?
I started Cosplaying about 3 years ago as a fun activity to do with my daughter. We attended the NYCC2012 Dressed as Batman and Robin. One of my closest friends dresses as Nightwing. This was a fantastic experience and while I swore I would never do it again three days later I started my next build.

Costumes I’ve built:
Robin- Tim Drake (Me), Radiohead characters for Street Team Batman- Young Justice (Me), Robin-Young Justice (My Daughter), Nightwing-Young Justice (Friend), Ninja Turtle- (My Daughter), Transformers- Soundwave G1 (Me), Transformers- Rumble G1 (My Daughter), Yo Gabba Gabba- DJ Lance Rock (My Daughter), Wonder Woman (My Daughter), and Robin- Stephanie Brown (My Daughter).

What is your favorite Cosplay you have worn/created?
My favorite build was the Transformers Soundwave G1 costume. This was a huge challenge and everything was guess and check. The anchor to this build was a harness for my daughter to keep her safely secured on my back. I spent nearly a year fabricating this design. Somehow it all came together in the 25th hour. The costume was made primarily out of insulator & EVA foam. It had 6 fans with  Blue LED lights. 2 fans mimicked the look of the cassette tape. My daughter was dressed as Rumble one of Soundwaves cassette minions. She chose the colors of pink, silver in black. I also made Laserbeak with 2 Red LED lights for the eyes and Ravage based off a Chibi drawing I found online. While Ravage was not true to G1 he was a cute addition to the build which my daughter loved. This Costume one two awards: NYCC 2013 Most Difficult Costume & Fan Favorite AOL Contest

If you had unlimited resources, what Cosplay would you create?
I would continue the Transformers theme and make 10-12 G1 characters for the ultimate battle scene. I would make some of them Transfomer too.

What advice would you offer others trying to break into Cosplay?
1)    Cosplay for yourself not because it’s trendy.
2)    Have a plan and checklist. Draw pictures/ collect sample pictures
3)    Watch as many Youtube tutorials’ as possible.
4)    Start small and figure out your budget. Cosplay is expensive.
5)    Friend / follow other cosplayers make friends!  The Con will be a lot more fun
6)    Don’t listen to the haters. There are a lot of people (especially on the internet) that like to criticize your hard work.
7)    Bring an emergency kit to the Con, Duct Tape Glue gun, needle and thread.
8)    Make sure you can go to the Bathroom in Costume or you have a really close friend that will help!

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