Location: Memphis, TN
Photographer(s): Chasing Photography/Films.
1. What does cosplaying mean to you?
It’s a challenge… it’s figuring out how to make something you never thought you could make. I’ve learned so many different techniques and processes just because I needed it for one prop, or one stitch, etc.
2. What was your very first cosplay experience? What inspired you to take up the craft?
In the late 80s, my family attended MidSouthCon for several years. I liked seeing the people wearing costumes so one year I wore my Star Trek: TNG uniform my mom had made for me. (My mom swears she has pictures from this, but we have yet to find them) After that it was many years before I picked it up again – in 2001, my cousin and I decided to go to Animazement, and I was hooked.
Growing up, my parents always loved making crazy Halloween costumes every year for their party, and for many years my whole family was involved in local theater… so for me now, I feel like making costumes is just an extension of growing up in that. I love making costumes even more than I like wearing them!
3. If you could select a favorite costume that you have worn, which would you choose?
It’s hard to pick just one, and it changes day to day… if I had to pick one, right at this moment, I’d say my Anne Boleyn coronation gown from Anne of the Thousand Days. But other days I might pick Belle, or Leia, or so on and so on…
4. And, if you could select a favorite costume that you’ve seen someone else wear, what would that be?
I’ve seen so many amazing costumes, especially in the past few years. Gosh, I didn’t know how to pick. One of my faves I’ll mention; Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem at Dragon Con 2004. My friend and I were in the masquerade and backstage, and when they came down the hall for their turn, it was like seeing real celebrities. Like they were the real band! We were so geeked over them.
5. What is an upcoming costume that you’re currently working on?
Right now I’m working on Disgust from Inside Out, and I finally got a good start on Leia’s Bespin outfit from Empire Strikes Back – I’ve had the fabric ready and cut since 2006 but kept putting it off.
6. If you had unlimited funds and resources, what costume(s) would you create?
Oh gosh. I’ve been lucky to be able to create most of my dream costumes over the years, but if I had unlimited sources and funds, I think first I’d just go through and make every single one of Padme’s prequel costumes. In order. And then maybe work my way through all of Arwen and Eowyn’s LOTR costumes, too.
7. How do you prepare yourself, mentally and physically, for an upcoming convention/event?
First, I make lots of lists – packing lists, to-do lists. I like making lists, it keeps my brain organized. I TRY to have all of my new projects finished and packed a few days before I leave, so I have time to clean up my workspace (and the rest of the house, because nothing ever stays confined to just the workspace…). Once I’ve got everything finished and packed, I like to spend my night before a convention doing as little as possible. I’m a shy person, so I have to mentally work myself up to being sociable at a convention for the next 2-3 days – having that downtime right before the con is helpful for that.
8. At the end of the day, in your opinion, what is the best part about cosplaying?
Standing back and looking at something and thinking, “Wow, I made that!”
9. What advice can you offer to those who are aspiring cosplayers?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. If it ever stops being fun, take a step back and regroup.
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