Name: Michelle (AKA Zadra)
City: Brooklyn, NY
What was your first Cosplay experience?
I wore my first cosplay, Zero Suit Samus, at Nintendo Power Magazine’s 20th anniversary party at Nintendo World in New York City. They were hosting a costume contest during the event, which I entered, but unfortunately didn’t place in. I did however meet another cosplayer there that is now a very close friend of mine. Its incredible to see how much his skills have improved since I first met him.
How long have you been Cosplaying?
I’ve been cosplaying for 8 years.
Who or what inspired you to take up Cosplaying?
There are two very important figures that have inspired me to begin cosplaying – My mother, whom is no longer with us, and Samus Aran, whom is one of the strongest female characters in fiction. I used the ambition to begin making Samus’ costume as a way to get past my mother’s death, as well was get into shape since I was very overweight at the time.
Samus was my role model through the entire yearlong process, which consisted of maintaining a healthier lifestyle, and exercising regularly so that I could wear the Zero suit (a skin tight outfit that Samus wears underneath her power armor).
The costume itself was relatively simple to make; I think my biggest accomplishment was losing 100 pounds to wear it! I’d know my mother would be extremely proud to see how much cosplay has helped me grow into such an expressive and successful artist.
If you had to pick a favorite Cosplay you have worn, or have seen someone else wear, what would it be?
This is always a tough question to answer, because while my Samus costume holds a very special place in my cosplay history, one of my favorite costumes is Anya Stroud, from Gears of War. Anya was the first complex costume that I made, and through its construction I discovered that I had a talent for creating armor and building props. I love wearing my Anya costume because I feel that it was my biggest cosplay accomplishment.
If you had unlimited funds and resources, what Cosplay would you create?
I would definitely create Samus Aran’s Power suit armor. It has always been a dream cosplay for me, and while I do plan to attempt it at some point in the future, having unlimited funds and resources would DEFINITELY help speed up the process!
What advice would you offer to those who are aspiring Cosplayers?
Start small, and work your way up. It’s the best way to learn what your strengths and weaknesses are, and discover what type of costumes are best suited to your style. Most importantly, follow your heart, and don’t let anything or anyone discourage you!
To learn more about Zadra feel free to follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SOS.Zadra
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