As a comic fan you might have considered what it would be like to step into the shoes of your favorite hero/villain. Some fans take this fantasy a step further by creating costumes reflecting, or in the vision of their favorite characters. This craft is affectionately known as Cosplay. The BioWars team has a deep appreciation for anyone bold enough to cosplay their favorite characters. To show our love for the cosplayer community, we’re interviewing a new cosplayer each week. This week, we have the pleasure of talking to Victoria Cosplay! A performer, model, and professional princess, you can follow Victoria’s latest cosplay at Confessions of a Cosplay Girl.
Let’s get started!
- What got you into cosplaying? Were you influenced by fellow cosplayers or was it through comics/gaming/film?
My boyfriend showed me a photo of a beautiful cosplayer from Japan dressed as Rikku from Final Fantasy X-2(one of my favorite video games). I loved the craftsmanship of the costume, how she was posed and the photography. It was a new level of fandom and expressing yourself. I wanted to try it for myself. That was in 2006 and I have been doing it every since.
- What is the one of the most challenging aspects of cosplay that you have seen or faced?
Learning to work with new material can be challenging. The core of this hobby is trial and error in everything you create.
- Do you copy a character’s costume exactly, or do you prefer to add your own interpretations?
I’ve done both. There are times where I want to be as accurate to the character as possible. Other times, I like to create an original concept such as my Couture Maleficent.
- How long does a costume take to make for you? Do you make them from scratch?
It really depends on both counts. Sometimes you can knock things out pretty quick. On other occasions it takes a lot longer. I don’t really time myself. I’ve made many items from scratch such as my Maleficent horns, staff and gloves and my New 52 Wonder Woman armor.
- What’s your favorite part about putting on your cosplay?
It’s fun transforming yourself into something different. I love the reactions from children. They get so excited, ask lots of questions and want hugs. I personally love being body painted. I’ve done several body paint shoots and it’s awesome to see an artist use your body as a canvas and create art ON you.
- Cosplay can be very expensive. Do you participate in cosplay events or competitions to win money? Or is it more about meeting others and having fun?
No, I do not compete. I never got into this to complete with others. I have a part time job and I also run my own princess birthday party business. I am also a model for hire and have done professional modeling. I also watch what I spend. Guess I’m old fashioned and make money the traditional way. lol I’m not going to rely on spending money then enter a contest in the hopes of winning some of that money back to pay my bills. It’s not logical to me. Cosplay is about self expression and making friends to me.
- You have probably had great memories participating in cosplay at numerous conventions. What was one of your fondest and where one was it at?
I’m the coordinator for the Pennsylvania branch for the Heroes Alliance. Recently we were volunteering at a charity event for kids suffering from cancer. I was dressed as Supergirl. A little boy gave me a hug then kissed my hand. Then he tells me “I kicked Cancer’s butt!” What a truly brave and wonderful child and I was thrilled to hear he was in remission.
- When relaxing at home after a convention, what is your comic or video game of choice to wind down with?
When I’m tired I have trouble focusing. My vision gets blurry and I have difficulty reading. I usually like to take off my clothes and hop into bed. I’ll upload any pics I took at the con on my phone onto my social networking sites. Then I turn on Netflix!
- Is there anything you learned through your years of cosplay that you wish someone had told you about when you first started?
I would have liked more guidance in dealing with internet trolls who say hateful and racist things but then again, that’s a personal journey and you have to learn to handle it in your own way.
- Besides cosplaying, what are some other hobbies you have?
I have a Blog Confessions of a Cosplay Girl where I write about a variety of topics in the geek world. I’m a book worm and love to read. I just finished the Hunger Games Trilogy. I’m a doll collector and love Barbie, Monster High, Disney and Bratz dolls. I love legos too and watching movies.
- Is there an unwritten code amongst cosplayers? If so, how would you feel was someone to break that code? There’s no code. Everyone does whatever they want. There is kindness and friendship but there’s also backstabbing and egotism. That’s truth not only in cosplay but everyday life.
- When deciding on what cosplay you will be, are there any distinct characteristics about a character that draw you to them or do you follow a specific theme or genre of cosplay?
I’ve done everything from TV characters to comic books and Disney. I just love strong female characters. Lately anyone who has black hair is catching my attention as I am looking to use my real hair more rather than wigs.
- Being a cosplayer, you are bound to have fun and unique personalities. Is there anything you would like to share about yours that your fans don’t know?
I really can’t think of anything so I’ll just say that the one and only time I sang karaoke, it was to Eminem’s ‘Guess Who’s Back’ however I sang the song impersonating Elmo from Sesame Street.
- I see you’re the coordinator for the Pennsylvania branch of the Heroes Alliance. Can you tell us a little about that?
The Heroes Alliance is a nationwide non profit volunteer group of costumers who give back to their community by making superhero appearances at child related charities and community events focusing on medically fragile and terminally ill children. I volunteered to create and manage the branch in November 2013 and we have appeared at many charities such as The Ronald McDonald House, St. Jude’s Hospital, Shriners Hospital, Make-A-Wish, St. Christopher’s Hospital, numerous Cancer Support Centers and many more. I have an amazing team of local costumers who suit up and sacrifice part of their weekend to making appearances for children in need. If we can brightened their day just a little, it is worth it. As coordinator it’s my job to contact local charities and offer to volunteer, attend meetings and manage my team.