Cosplayer, Librarian and tea ninja, introducing Calssara from Germany! Cosplay is a global phenomenon, and to illustrate that, if you were to look at Calssara’s Facebook page you’d see over 100,000 fans liking her cosplay exploits. When you see the costumes though, it’s easy to see why, they are stellar. And those exploits have seen her visit 33 countries (Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom) on 3 continents with her costumes as cosplay judge, panelist and messenger!
And on top of being an awesome cosplayer, she’s also lovely to chat to, speaking of which, we’d like to thank Calssara for answering out questions!
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi, my name is Calssara. I am a cosplayer from Germany and I cosplay since 2004. I have been team Germany in World Cosplay Summit in Japan twice and I am winner of the European Cosplay Gathering from 2012. In my real life I am a librarian and event manager in a big city library. I love to work with kids and young adults and my favourite hobby next to cosplay is drinking tea.
What or who inspired you to Cosplay?
I just really like to watch anime and play games :). Cosplaying is my way to express my fandom ^.^.
Are there specific types of character that you particularly gravitate towards and why?
I like all kinds of characters. From elegant elfs, to cute idols, to cool warriors. The cool thing in cosplay is that you can try out any type of character. There are no limits. I just love to change roles and discover new personality traits of mine.
We know you’re a fan of Dr Who, what do you make of the new Dr, and did the weird “OMG IT’S A WOMAN” reaction from some other fans surprise you?
I freaking love Doctor Who and I am freaking excited to see a female doctor! I really love sci-fi and the roles of women in sci-fi can be very limited. The Doctor from DW has many character traits that I would love to see played by a woman as well. I would love to see her get angry, super nerdy, having flashes of suddenly genius ideas, getting depressed, getting hyper excited about something, saving people, being devastated, fighting the Daleks…I so far loved all of the male doctors, but I would also love to see all these characteristics on a woman as well. Sadly personalities on female characters can be very limited to make the character “as likeable as possible”. Writers tend to take away all “edges” and “negative traits” of female characters, meanwhile male characters can be rude as hell and still likeable (eg. Sherlock). I really hope the writers will give her good storylines <3.
What for you have been the most challenging characters that you’ve cosplayed as, and which have been the most enjoyable?
Most challenging for me was my Saber costume, because it was a fill dress with big armors on top. I never made armors before that one and it took me a lot of time to make it. Now, when I look back, I think “OMG my armor looks so bad”. But back then, I was really proud and I still love to remember that feeling.
Most enjoyable characters for me are COMFORTABLE costumes *laugh*. Costumes (even simple looking ones) can tend to be painful. Eg I love my Ann Takamaki (Persona 5) costume. It looks simple and comfortable, but the super heavy ponytails kill me. So when I finally have a comfy costume, I actually can enjoy wearing it for many hours.
You make most of your cosplays from scratch (about a hundred or so I think you said), are there particular materials you enjoy working with more (foam, Worbla etc), and what skills have you developed in your journey as a cosplayer?
I love to work with fabric the most. I am not much of an armor person, but I could spend weeks with sewing ruffles and never get bored of it *laugh*. I just really enjoy working with fabric. Neverless, I want to practice to work better with foam. I have some characters I would love to cosplay who wear armors and I want to “up my game” with foam armors a bit :).
Which Conventions have been the most enjoyable for you to attend and why?
I visited so many, that I really cannot pick just a few. In general, I enjoy cons the most that are well organized, that take good care of their cosplayers (eg dressing rooms, helping them during contests and so on) and con that give me enough time to start good conversations with other cosplayers. I really enjoy connecting to local cosplay communities. Eg this year I visited South Africa and it was a blast to get so close to the local cosplayers!
You have a huge fanbase. What has their support meant to you, and have they ever stopped surprising you with how brilliant they are?
Gosh, I LOVE my followers. They have been so supportive over so many years. I still get amazed when someone walks up to be at a con and tells me I inspired them to also pick up cosplay. It really keeps me going to meet positive people!
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?
Well, on the conventions I visit, we never have this Japanese style of cosplay photographers. Here, you are never really that crazily surrounded by photographers. People really respect your personal space and your time and energy. We usually go on shoots with photographers outside of convention to make “the good photos”. At cons the photos I take are mostly pics with friends or fans. I always prioritize talking to a person before taking photos with some photographer. When photographers want to shoot with me at cons, they have to accept that time will be limited. So far they always do. In 99% of the cases I had, photographers were really polite and patient.
And while we’re talking about photographers, your photoshoots are very professional, who have you enjoyed working with and how does it feel when you see the finished pictures?
So many times, you can get frustrated over a costume. It takes so long to make them and I think nearly everyone has been at the point of “OMG I look horrible in this ;O;! Why I am not pretty?”. In those cases seeing a professional photo of you in the costume can feel incredibly good. You finally see the final result and can be happy and proud about your work. For me, a costume is only “finished” when I have my shooting done XD.
What impact has cosplaying had on your life?
Cosplay helped me incredibly to become more open towards people. When I was younger, I did not like to talk to strangers. I had my circle of friends and I did not like people who had other interests. Cosplay helped me to cherish all kinds of people with plenty of different interests. Everyone is a complex individual and they are still interesting and amazing, also if they are totally different than I am. I have much more respect for people in general.
You are a librarian an events manager, how difficult is it balancing work with your passion for Cosplay?
It is actually very difficult. Work takes a lot of me. We also have evening events and weekend events at work that can be incredibly stressful. So when work gets stressful, cosplay has to step back for a while. But this is totally okay! I really like my job and I am very proud of my work. So I don’t regret to have less time for cosplay than I had as a student :).
Do you have any advice for anybody thinking of cosplaying?
Everyone starts with small steps. Give yourself time to work on costumes and slowly become better. Respect people who are different than you and who like to cosplay different things and different styles. Everyone has their place in the community.
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