How long have you been cosplaying for and how did you get started?
I guess you could say I’ve been “officially” cosplaying since AnimeNEXT 2010. I had always wanted to go to a con and cosplay, and was finally able to afford to go to one. However, my first cosplay was for Halloween when I was in middle school. My friends and I all wanted to dress up as fighting game characters, and I picked Tira from Soul Calibur. I made the costume myself and it was terrible! I hope one day I can do her justice and re-do the costume.
A majority of your cosplays are Marvel characters, what is it about cosplaying Marvel characters that you like?
I grew up watching X-Men and Spiderman, which is where my love of Marvel started. I started reading comics as I got older. When I was younger, I think I just liked the aesthetics of the characters, but as I grew up, I started to relate to a few characters. Others, I just looked up to. I love bad-ass women. I love how strong they are, both physically and mentally. Rogue is hands down my favorite. She was a favorite of mine as a kid, and she was one of the first characters I could relate to. She was her own worst enemy and had to accept herself. She really grows as a character. I loved her character even more after reading X-Men Legacy. As for the future, I want to do a few more Rogue cosplays, Typhoid Mary, and Moonstar.
You are currently training to be a pro wrestler, a very unusual hobby for a copslayer! How did you get started, what does it involve?
It involves A LOT of dedication. Aside from the obvious physical side of it, it’s definitely straining mentally and socially. I train 3-4 days a week on top of a full time job. I also go to wrestling shows on weekends and work out through out the week when I’m not training. Right now, I’m out on injury. I broke my leg during training, so that should say something to people that think it’s fake. It really is a lot of work, but I think it’s completely worth it.
Do you find cosplaying helps influence or improve your wrestling – vice a versa?
Absolutely. When I first started, the trainers were trying to get me to break out of my shell and knew that I cosplayed, so they would have me get into character. After learning the basics, they wanted me to show emotion. They would have me be a Ninjetti some days, Rogue on other days, they’ll reference characters and moves when trying to get something across. It’s great that I’m surrounded by fellow nerds. On the opposite end, wrestling has helped with cosplaying. Being that I like to portray badass characters, wrestling has definitely helped with action poses. The last shoot I did was me fighting a putty from Power Rangers, and I used some actual wrestling moves on him. The photos came out awesome!
As someone who models and makes videos, you have been both behind and infront of the camera, do you have a preference?
At this point, I really love doing both. I started out in front of the camera since I was a child. My mom used to bring me to NYC for modeling throughout my childhood. I started working behind the camera in high school and continued throughout college as a film major. I love creating the videos from the production end. I’ll admit, I’m a total control freak. The best experience I had was when I was in high school. I had to write my script, be the talent, film it myself, and edit everything together. I’d like to think I’m well rounded. I’m very comfortable on both ends, and would be very happy to end up either in front of or behind the camera for a living.
Many may know you for your amazing crossplays, any advice for those looking to create a successful crossplay, or who might be scared to?
The beauty of genderbending, is you can do whatever you want, and it can’t be wrong. It’s your own design. Personally, I try to take a character and think “if the artist was creating this character as the opposite sex, what would it look like?” That’s why for Gambit, I tried to turn his costume into something more feminine by adding the corset as a replacement for his armor. I also added heels, but I try to add flat combat boots when possible. The majority of the female characters are completely covered, so I felt that a “female Gambit” would also be completely covered. I don’t believe in making a character “overly sexual” for the sake of attention. The same for Magneto. There are ways of turning women into strong masculine characters as well. I’ve seen it happen. When I did my Gambit for NYCC last year, I had a male friend as Rogue. I helped him with his costume. He portrayed Rogue as a strong character, so it didn’t look feminine at all. Be confident, and it will show. I think by being confident, less people will question it, and if they do, who cares!? Have fun and be you!
What are your feelings towards ‘cosplay consent’ have you ever experienced this or been judged by wearing a ‘sexier’ cosplay?
I’ve been very lucky to not have too many incidents with this. I don’t think I do many “sexy” cosplays as it is. The only costume I can think of where I had issues was when I was in Elektra last NYCC. I had a guest of the con grab at me inappropriately and I had guys trying to take photos of my backside and up my skirt. I understand by wearing that costume that I’m “putting myself out there”, but that doesn’t mean it gives someone a reason to lose all manners and act like a Neanderthal. I didn’t just stand there and take it. I made it very clear that I was not okay with it. Speak up, don’t just let it happen.
Personally, what do you feel has been you greatest cosplay achievement?
I’ve made a lot of friends and had a lot of opportunities through cosplaying, but I’ll be honest, having Marvel feature my Domino on their site and the BlazBlue website share my Noel Vermillion cosplay was epic.
Have you been to the UK before? Do you have any plans to attend a UK convention soon?
I’ve never been to the UK but it’s always been a dream of mine to go. I would love to go out there for a convention. I’d honestly love to spend a whole week out there so I can do the tourist thing for a few days too. Maybe one day I’ll be able to afford it.