What got you into cosplay?
Initially, to get my guy friends to see me as something other than a "sister." I also thought it would be cool to learn to make costumes. Then the bug of competition really sucked me in! I did lots of martial arts tournaments through high school, so I just kinda fell into the competitive mode in cosplay.
What was your first costume and why?
I was given a Ranma 1/2 costume to wear in a skit at AWA '97. However, the first costume I put together myself was Naga the Serpent... to prove that I had the courage walk around in public in what amounts to a bikini and cape... with boots and spiky shoulders.
What is your favorite costume and why?
Naga the Serpent. She's cool! And I've remade the costume like three times and there's STILL things I want to revamp.
Do you have a dream costume you'd like to make?
I have a lot of those. They're mostly robots, so it may be a while before I get to them. Then there's the Saint Seiya women in beautiful outfits. Gah...
What has been your most memorable cosplay experience?
There's too many. I've been at it for years!
However, I have always loved the thrill of working my ass off for cosplay projects that do well in competition. Recently, I got a group together for martial arts skits and we had a blast hanging out before the con getting our costumes and props made. It's been an amazing bonding experience having fun with friends while diddling with costume stuff at the same time!
Do you participate in masquerades?
I participate in all parts of the masquerade experience. I don't compete much anymore, but I run the Anime Mid-Atlantic cosplay events, and have judged at Katsucon (and several others) in the past.
What was your best masquerade experience?
I've had a lot of good memories, so it's too hard to narrow it down to the "best" one. But winning top awards at Otakon's 1999 masquerade with a sumo-wrestling Totoro vs. Pikachu skit was a lot of fun. Then there was the classic Go Nagai robot showdown at Katsucon a few years back... I had working breast missiles! Sweet!
The ultimate moment now is winning Best in Show at this past Otakon (2006). I pulled friends from the dojo into a Street Fighter skit and it just came together amazingly well. We had a lot of fun together getting ready, making costumes and just hanging out. The con was awesome, too!
Have you won any awards for your costumes?
Yes, roughly 30 awards on individual and group projects since 1997. I absolutely love the challenge of competition! But I don't need to stoke my ego any more by listing all of them. What I focus on the most nowadays is making sure that my costumes are the best that I can make. I've proven several times that you can win in a simple, well-made costume(s) over something complicated and ornate.
Tell us a little about yourself
I've graduated from Mary Washington College (now a university) a few years back, live with my boyfriend and roommates, love my job teaching way too many children martial arts and have plenty of hobbies that I've picked up from my man.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I'm a horrible procrastinator.
My favorite anime
Slayers OVAs & movies, Macross Frontier, anything by Ghibli is awesome (!!), and Go Nagai creates some really wacked out stuff.
My favorite game(s)
Settlers! Oh, wait, that's a boardgame! Uh... I only JUST started playing videogames seriously, so I'm liking the Final Fantasy games (played VII and IX so far) and am currently immersed in Kingdom Hearts and FF VII.
My favorite book(s)
Anything from Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series has been read like three times... or more.
My favorite character(s)
It's a strong tie between Naga the Serpent (Slayers) and Sheryl Nome... such gorgeous strong women!