What got you into cosplay?
I'm not really sure. I love dressing up in general, so I suppose that had something to do with it. I also had to learn to take in clothing very early in life (I'm tall and scrawny so nothing ever fit), so when I learned about cosplay, I thought I'd give it a try. It's a lot of fun to bring a character to life through cosplay.
What was your first costume and why?
My first costume was Botan from Yu Yu Hakusho at Otakon 2000. I had never tried making a kimono before, and wanted to, so I chose Botan. Her costume is not complex and she's easily identifiable. While the costume itself came out fine, I wasn't able to get my wig to work or to dye my hair. This is a costume I'd like to try again someday.
What is your favorite costume and why?
If you'd asked me a year ago, I would have said Holo, but now my favorite is definitely Dakki. Dakki's final outfit from the series was one of my dream costumes, and I felt absolutely fabulous wearing it. It was challenging but fun to make, and I learned so much in the process. Even though putting the whole thing on is an ordeal (and taking it off is painful - body tape everywhere!), the costume is comfortable and not too hot. I also had a fantastic group for this costume, who looked amazing and helped perpetrate some hilarious shenanigans. I'm so proud of the way this one came out, and it'll take quite a lot to dislodge this costume from its current title of "Favorite."
Do you have a dream costume you'd like to make?
There are so many costumes I'd like to do, and my list is always changing. I feel like I add something new to my list every week. Currently, my dream cosplays are June May (Cloth Road), Maniwa Kyouken (Katanagatari), and Jin Kisaragi's NOL Uniform (BlazBlue).
What has been your most memorable cosplay experience?
I'm not sure I have a "most memorable" experience, but I have a few fantastic moments I'll never forget. For Phoenix Comic Con 2010, toiea, placidmage and I spent nearly two months choreographing our skit, "How to Win at Poker." toiea, who was cosplaying Road Kamelot (D.Gray-man), was using Lero in the skit, so she always brought him over to the house. It turned out that one of my dogs was absolutely terrified of Lero and while we were practicing our skit, she would hide behind the couch and watch us fearfully. At Otakon 2010, placidmage and I made good on our threats to capture Allen, Kanda, and misuse of doughnuts on film. I'm shocked I managed to take so many in-character photos during this, because I was struggling not to burst into laughter and tears.
Do you participate in masquerades?
As of September 2012, I've done six masquerades.
What was your best masquerade experience?
Con-nichiwa 2010, and I doubt this will ever change. My friend meiye and I entered together as Captain Kidd (One Piece) and Holo (Spice and Wolf), performed a bizarre but entertaining skit, and took home first place in the Master's division. We had a great time writing the skit and celebrating afterwards.
Have you won any awards for your costumes?
Holo took first place at Con-nichiwa 2010 in the Master's division. Gokudera won third place at the 2009/11 Mesa Atomic Comics Anifest in Mesa, AZ. I also share the Phoenix Comic Con 2010 "Best Performance" award with placidmage and toiea for our D.Gray-man skit, so that award goes with my Tyki Mikk costume. Meiye, placidmage and I won a Judge's Award at Phoenix Comicon 2011 with our Houshin Engi group, where I was Dakki. Our Umineko group (with myself in Eva-Beatrice) took Best in Master Craftsmanship at Taiyou Con 2012. Our Dantalian no Shoka group earned us First Place in Nan Desu Kan 2012's Cosplay Contest.
Tell us a little about yourself
I'm a grad student, and I love biology and the natural world as much as I love anime and cosplay. In addition to sewing, I keep fish, write, and bird-watch. I'm also a beginning photographer, though I mostly take pictures of birds.
My favorite anime
Katekyou Hitman Reborn!, D.Gray-man, Tennis no Oujisama
My favorite game(s)
Final Fantasy Tactics, Suikoden II, BlazBlue, Katamari Damacy
My favorite book(s)
Gould's Book of Fish (Richard Flanagan), The Last Unicorn (Peter S. Beagle)
My favorite character(s)
Kirihara Akaya (Tennis no Oujisama), Alibaba Saluja (Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic), Asakura Hao (Shaman King), Kanda Yuu (D.Gray-man)
My favorite movies(s)
Jaws, Jurassic Park
My favorite actors/actresses
Takayama Minami (voice actress), Morikubo Shoutarou (voice actor)