What got you into cosplay?
I got into cosplay through 4-H more than anything else. I made my first costume when I was 10 for a rabbit dress-up competition. I dressed my rabbit and I as Jedi. I had a friend in 4-H who told me about anime conventions and cosplaying, but I didn't go to a convention until high school when I went to my first sci-fi con.
My husband, when I met him in 2004, told me that he wanted to go to cons too, so I started helping him with his own costumes.
What was your first costume and why?
The Jedi costume (hot-glued together) was the first one I MADE, but I attempted Sailor Moon a year later. My first REAL costume (a.k.a. costume that actually looked good) was a Renaissance peasant costume with a bodice, full skirt, and shift. I still wear the shift, but the rest of it looks pretty shoddy compared with anything I've made lately.
What is your favorite costume and why?
It used to be Snape simply because of his status as my favorite male character (and that cape!), but my new favorite is The Boss from Metal Gear Solid. I love the BDUs costume because it's comfortable and not hot. She has the awesome advantage of being a woman, so I don't have to bind. Also, Metal Gear cosplay is so much fun!
The sneaking suit is great too, but it takes over an hour to put on and has a four-hour time limit even with adequate air conditioning.
Do you have a dream costume you'd like to make?
I want to learn to do prosthetics because there are several anthropomorphic cat and mouse characters I want to do, including Gadget from Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers and the goddess Bastet.
What has been your most memorable cosplay experience?
I've found that Metal Gear cosplay gets you a lot of friends. :)
We did our first Metal Gear photoshoot at A-Cen 2009 and found that the fans of the series are hardcore and love to role-play for pictures. It just spiraled from there when I did my Boss costume.
Possibly the most fun cosplay experience was having a whole group of Naked Snakes and leading them to McDonald's at a con this summer while we marched and sang. The role-play opportunities for MGS cosplay are amazing!
Being the first to do a group for inonibird's webcomic The Cobra Days was also a great experience. There's nothing like having the creator of a series you love compliment your work in re-creating her drawings.
Do you participate in masquerades?
I mostly compete at Marcon and Archon. I sometimes compete at anime cons, but the drama there is too extreme for me.
I am also a masquerade judge at several conventions and formerly the masquerade director (was for three years before it became too much to handle with my other responsibilities) at Anime St. Louis and Kawa Kon.
What was your best masquerade experience?
Archon is the best masquerade in the country, if not the world, and they always provide food, drink, and a comfortable green room for costumers. They have den moms who will pretty much bend over backward to make sure you look your best on stage. I strive to make our masquerade as good as theirs.
Have you won any awards for your costumes?
Quite a few now, at least four Best in Shows, a lot of Best in Classes, and a good number of workmanship awards
Best award so far - Best in Show at the Costume-Con 28; it was such a surprise that we had actually gone back to change out of our hot costumes. I came back to see who won Best in Show when I heard them announcing the winners, and as I walked into the room, they said our names. That was insane! It was our first CC masquerade too! WHOA!
Tell us a little about yourself
I'm a college grad and a video editor.
I work on costumes between my job and meetings for the clubs and conventions I'm a part of. My husband and I are active members of the St. Louis Costumers Guild, a chapter of the International Costumers Guild. We're currently trying to organize a St. Louis chapter of Ghostbusters International called the Greater St. Louis Ghostbusters, but we've been so busy!
My husband and I chair four conventions in St. Louis, Missouri - Kawa Kon, Bishie Con, Escape from Outer Heaven, and Ecto Con. We were also the chairs of Anime St. Louis until the staff broke apart.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I only dress as characters I like unless Mikhail begs me to cosplay with him. That's why my costumes might not always be the most challenging in the world. I love what I do though, and that's all that matters.
A good challenge is fun too, though. ;)
With so much to do in my daily life, it's a wonder I find time for costuming at all, which is another reason you'll see me doing only one really difficult costume a year with four or five simpler ones.
My favorite anime
My favorite anime are shoujo fantasies. Top two are Kyou Kara Maou! and Saiunkoku Monogatari.
Why doesn't it ask about other shows that aren't Japanese? Lost, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Burn Notice, The Wild Wild West, Star Trek...
My favorite game(s)
Metal Gear Solid is my favorite game series of all time, but I also enjoy the Final Fantasy and Chrono games.
My favorite book(s)
I love fantasy, especially the Harry Potter series. I'm a fan of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, but don't get me started on its flaws! ;)
Besides that, I enjoy classic Russian literature and the occasional hard science fiction. I do prefer my science fiction in short story form, though, and had a subscription to Analog until it became too expensive for me to keep it going.
Great prose and characterization is what keeps me reading, though, and my favorite book of all time is still The Great Gatsby.
My favorite character(s)
My favorite male character is Snape. I loved him before Snape's Worst Memory, but I felt for him even more after that. I believe that he really does care a lot about Dumbledore and definately Malfoy. What happened in the sixth book shows that he truly would do anything, including being hated by the entire wizarding world, to save someone he cares about. He's intelligent, which is the most important characteristic for a good character. He has an interesting backstory full of lies and self-discovery. Maybe I'm just trying to justify liking him, but I find more that I like about him on every reading of the books.
As for a favorite female character, that goes to The Boss from Metal Gear Solid 3. I envy her strength of character and physical strength. I don't envy her life, but I love her story. It's tragic but somehow immensely beautiful.
I guess I like characters whose intentions are misunderstood but who are highly intelligent and somewhat charismatic.
My favorite movies(s)
Pink Floyd The Wall, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Star Wars, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Back to the Future III, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and many more
My favorite actors/actresses
Sir Ian McKellen
Dame Judi Dench