What got you into cosplay?
A sheer love of costuming and dressing in non-normal clothes. I started out on simple things for the Renaissance festival, then worked up to more complicated costumes a little at a time. The first 'full' costume I put together myself of any character was Lucius Malfoy from Harry Potter, which considering my sewing skills at the time was a feat in and of itself. Each thing I've made afterwards has pushed my abilities a little bit further out, which is important to me. The best part about the hobby is learning new techniques and skills, and in turn passing them on to others when possible.
Each costume I've constructed has been a learning experience in some way or another. I either pick up a new technique or I do something a little different to create a certain end result. I consider that learning process to be one the biggest rewards in the hobby. The other is when someone sees it and tells me that it's a special favorite of theirs (especially if it's something lesser known or less frequently done).
What was your first costume and why?
My mother tells me that I used to raid her closet for clothes and dance about on the coffee table for her friends...does that count? (oh how that may come back to haunt me..) Actually, it depends on what you mean in terms of 'costume', as there have been many, but I think the first one that was anime/video game/whatnot related was Alucard from Castlevania...scraped from pieces in my closet (ah, gotta love the ghetto!). He was a Halloween closet costume that I put together for work (I did tech support at the time, and could get away with a bit). He was fun, even though he wasn't too great (I mentioned he was a closet attempt, right?). There were pictures, but they would be embarrasing now next to the Alucard I finally broke down and made later.
What is your favorite costume and why?
Each thing I've made has something about it that stands out to me in one way or another. The two that people seem to comment on the most (for now) are my Mina Harker costume (from the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie) and Vampire Hunter D. It depends on what crowd I'm in at the time, as I seem to wander from one type of costuming to another. I like to keep things fresh :) As a result, it's hard to pick my favorite.
Do you have a dream costume you'd like to make?
A far more complicated and spiky version of my Vampire Hunter D costume, though that version may end up being worn by my husband, as he has the height and look to pull it off. Also, perhaps something with absolutely huge mechanical wings and light-up parts....something entirely otherworldly and overwhelming. But I'm all about baby steps, really, moving to those things gradually. In many ways, I still feel like a newb!
What has been your most memorable cosplay experience?
Lucius Malfoy's premiere for the release of "Order of the Phoenix", which happened not too long before I started doing costume events at conventions. It was just neat to walk into the store and have a bunch of people step a pace or two back when they recognized who it was that just arrived. I also could never forget either time that my husband and I put our Dawn and Death costumes onstage. It was the first set of major costumes that we did together, and they mean a lot ot both of us.
Do you participate in masquerades?
It's something that night_x_walker and I like to do together, yes. Call it family bonding or something silly like that :) While hall costuming is awesome, going on stage is what we really like to do..it gives you a chance to bring the character to life for an audience, even if it's only for a minute or two. The reactions when people see the characters, especially when they are not as well known, really makes me happy.
What was your best masquerade experience?
All of them have been great learning experiences for me. I think Lucius' appearance at CostumeCon (which is not usually the first costuming event anyone does) will stick in my head for a good long while because he was my very first entry, and I did well with him considering my complete lack of experience. However, I have to add that the 'I can't BELIEVE we pulled this off' award goes to the WonderCon 2005 masq. We lost a member and threw together a presentation, start to finish, with the remaining two of us in about a half hour. Crazy stuff!
Have you won any awards for your costumes?
A few..maybe more than a few. But I've always felt the biggest reward is knowing that we've done proper justice to the characters we are portraying. It's important enough that...well, let's put it this way: if we have a choice of appeasing the audience reaction or appeasing what we know of the character...the character has the upper hand. People have certain impressions of a character, and while it is all well and good to take characters a bit out of their norm, there are people out there who do it better than we can.
Tell us a little about yourself
Not in school, I work full time and have a mostly normal life. Costuming is my main hobby, and I like it as such (people will ask if will do it as a business and I adamantly say no every time), with a few smaller ones blended in for variety, such as collecting maneki neko (lucky cat) stuff.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Moo! Oh, and see you at the next con I'm at..hopefully... Unless you're scary and not in a good way. Say hello, I admit I can be a touch oblivious sometimes unless someone tugs my arm and goes "Hey you!" If all else fails, night_x_walker is tall enough to be a local landmark in some places.
My favorite anime
Vampire Hunter D has a special place in my heart..as does the lion Voltron series (guess it explains certain choices in costumes!). There are far more I could easily watch and be entertained by, however. It depends on my mood at the time. I think I've seen more anime than I can remember the titles of, and the more conventions I end up at, the more I get exposed to. This is a good thing because it means I'll always have something waiting for me to watch it.
My favorite game(s)
Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings Online (where I spend the most of my time when I have it), Tomb Raider, The Sims, Diablo...I can only devote so much to them at any one time because with work and costuming there's not always much left.
My favorite book(s)
Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Looking Glass Wars, anything scary as well. I'm actually far fonder of audiobooks because I can put them on and work on other things in the meantime. Multitasking rules!
My favorite character(s)
Most characters I like just have something about them that makes them intriguing to me. They can be good, evil, or somewhere in between. I am very drawn at the moment to the main antagonist of Looking Glass Wars, Redd Heart, as depending on whose side you are on really dictates just how "evil" she might be. But there are many others as well, and I'll happily chat up my insights on them when they come up.
My favorite movies(s)
There are so many out there, but I am open to a lot of things. I do admit to a penchant for gory horror movies, however, because I am always in awe of how, in the better ones, the effects are just frighteningly real (you go, special effect makeup people!). I'm particularly fond of the Saw series, and at some point I would not entirely be against making Amanda wearing the reverse bear trap. But I have to see where and when it will fit in!
My favorite actors/actresses
I don't know if I have favorite actors so much as favorite roles, and there are a LOT of those.