I admit it, I love Star Wars cosplay, and it seems a lot of people appreciate additional characters such as BB-8 being built too. Introducing MADsCosplay and her awesome “Rey”, and while I couldn’t really get into the TV series “100”, I certainly can appreciate the fantastic rendition of “Lexa”. So less waffle from me, and on to the interview!
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m 22 and from Minnesota. I work as a technician, I perform maintenance and troubleshoot machinery. I’m a huge Star Wars fan which is part of what got me into cosplay. Most of my free time lately has been spent working on new cosplay projects, I’m very new to all of it so I’m still trying to learn as much as I can. My current goal is to build a functioning BB-8 so that has tied up a lot of my time.
What or who inspired you to Cosplay?
I had a Chell costume I put together for Halloween about 5 years ago, I really just wanted to build the portal gun. After I went to my fist convention about 2 years ago I decided the costume would fit in there. I had so much fun going to the convention in costume I wanted to make more costumes. I’ve always loved star wars so as soon as I saw Rey in the trailer for The Force Awakens I knew I had to make that costume.
Are there specific types of character that you particularly gravitate towards and why?
Strong female characters. I like to cosplay characters that girls can look up to and be inspired by. Rey is one of the best female characters I can think of, she is smart, independent, and courageous. My other cosplays, Lexa from The 100, Jessica Jones, and Maggie Greene from The Walking Dead all are strong characters in their own way. My current cosplays have all been “heroes” but I do think it would be fun to add a villain someday.
What for you have been the most challenging characters that you’ve cosplayed as, and which have been the most enjoyable?
Lexa is the most challenging to put on and move around in, the hair and make up take about an hour. The coat for that one is also very hot. Rey is an easy costume to wear but when I bring BB-8 with me that limits my movement a lot. I’ve been improving BB-8s wheels so it rolls easier on my surfaces, and some day BB-8 will hopefully be rolling by itself! I would say Rey is also my most enjoyable character mainly because of BB-8. Everyone gets pretty excited to see BB-8.
Could you take us through a little on how you made your outfits?
I look up a lot of pictures and then I just jump in to trying to recreate the costume. I can’t sew so I do a lot of improvising. If sewing can’t be avoided my grandma has been willing to help me out a little. I’m very new to cosplay so everything has been a learning process, I look up tips online and just keep trying things until I get the results I’m looking for. When I built BB-8 I got into 3D printing which has helped me make some pretty cool props.
Which Conventions have been the most enjoyable for you to attend and why?
I really enjoy local conventions. I love getting to talk to the local artists each time and getting to know more people in the area that have the same interests. The smaller conventions feel like a community and it’s great to be a part of that.
Have there been any memorable reactions to your costumes, and if so, what were they?
The best reactions are to BB-8, everybody loves droids! I’ve also had cool reactions to my Rey cosplay, just a couple weeks ago I had 2 little girls run up and hug me while I was dressed as Rey. One time when I was dressed as Lexa a girl came running up to me yelling, jumping, and swearing in excitement, which was pretty memorable.
A question about photographers. Obviously cosplayers are a dream come true for photographers, great outfits and poses, does it ever get a bit tiring having to pose endlessly for them, and how do you prefer to be approached by a photographer?
I’m not used to posing for pictures so it was a little hard to get used to people wanting to take my picture, but it has always been flattering. I am happy to stop for a picture any time someone asks. All people have to do is ask permission first!
What impact has cosplaying had on your life?
I think it has made me a bit more outgoing. I’m still definitely an introvert but when I’m in costume I can be a bit more outgoing, I talk to a lot more people than usual when I’m out with BB-8! It has also helped me learn new skills, my BB-8 build forced me to learn about 3D printing, a little coding, motors and torque, along with a lot of other things.
Do you have any advice for anybody thinking of cosplaying?
Go for it! You don’t need to be a professional seamstress to make a costume, I still can’t even sew without help. Play to your strengths and interests, I’m not good at sewing but I have an electronics background so I use that to make some cool props with fun effects like flashing lights and sounds. Even if you haven’t done anything like it before look at it as an opportunity to learn something new, watch youtube videos, talk to other cosplayers, google it! I’ve gotten into leather work recently and every time I have a new idea I show the guy that works at my local leather store and he points me in the right direction. Not every project will turn out perfect but all that matters is having fun!
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