Interview with a Cosplayer (Who’s Cosplayed as a Vampire)

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By: Scott Muller

On Memorial Day weekend, May 25 through May 28, Megacon will take place in Orlando, FL. MegaCon Orlando is the Southeast’s largest comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming event. At the convention, you’ll be able to peruse vendors, take pictures and get autographs from big-name celebrities, buy art and books from artists and authors, and take pictures with any of an army of cosplayers. I’m sitting down with one of those cosplayers today: Amy Nicole Cosplay.

Scott from Nerd HQ (NHQ): How are you today, Amy?

Amy Nicole Cosplay (ANC): Fantastic.

NHQ: For the non-nerds who might be reading this interview, what exactly is “cosplay?” Is there a difference between a cosplayer and someone who’s just dressing up in a costume?

ANC: Tough question right off the bat! I think the answer probably differs depending on who you ask, but since you’re asking me, cosplay is typically thought of as a combination of the words “costume” and “play.” It’s basically dressing up as a character from any variety of genres as a show of love for the fandom. I think someone dressing up in a costume may not necessarily be a cosplayer, but a cosplayer is essentially someone dressing up in a costume.

NHQ: So, wait, is “cosplay” a verb or a noun, or both?

ANC: I’ve heard it used as both, although more commonly as a verb. Usually, you’ll hear, “I’m going to cosplay such and such,” but cosplayers also sling it around as a noun like, “Let me pack this last cosplay for the convention.”

NHQ: How did you start in the world of cosplay? Is it something you’ve started relatively recently or did you start when you were little, dressing up as, say, Wonder Woman?

ANC: Mentally, it started when my mom let me be She-Ra for Halloween. She made me the outfit and sword. I was like five. I started taking it seriously at Supercon in 2013. At first, I thought it would be stupid, but then decided to give it a shot. After creating and wearing my costume for the first day, I thought it was awesome and the rest is cosplay history.



NHQ: You’ll be attending all four days of Megacon this year, correct?

ANC: I’ll actually be attending Friday through Sunday. I’ll be cosplaying, but not at a booth.

NHQ: I’ve seen you at several events in the past: charity events, past Megacons. How many events do you do a year?

ANC: Last year I did around 20 on my own or in groups. I do my own stuff and I’m part of a few groups including being an admin for a group called Florida Con-Artists (on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). We cosplay together at smaller conventions and I help them do cosplay-related events. We’ve already done four events this year. I’m also part of a group called Team Firestorm with Havok Cosplay out of Fort Myers in South Florida (on Facebook and Instagram), which does more competitive cosplay.

NHQ: What’s the furthest you’ve ever travelled for a convention?

ANC: Epicon in Albany, Georgia.

NHQ: I’ve seen you cosplaying as Black Widow, Sally Jupiter from Watchmen, Lara Croft, Elektra, and a female Punisher. Do you know how many different characters you’ve cosplayed?

ANC: I’ve done 51 different cosplays.

NHQ: This might be like asking you to pick your favorite child, but is there any particular character that you really enjoy cosplaying?

ANC: I like to cosplay as the badass chicks…the ones that can hang with the guys. I’d rather cosplay someone with a weapon than one that’s just pretty. For example, I love being Lady Sif, Lara Croft, Black Canary, Black Widow, and Elektra.



NHQ: What would you say is your “hottest” costume? And since we’re in Florida, I mean that literally…what cosplay is the hardest to wear because it gets so hot?

ANC: Probably Black Widow. It doesn’t look like a lot, but the suit material doesn’t breathe well, she’s got gear everywhere, and her super-thick wig tends to bump everything up a few degrees.

NHQ: Do you make your own costumes, or do you buy most of them, or does someone make them for you?

ANC: I mostly make my own, but sometimes I’ll buy parts if it’ll save time or give me a better starting point.

NHQ: Is cosplaying something you do for a living, or are you like Clark Kent, with a “cover” job that hides your secret identity? Do you know anyone who does it full time?

ANC: No, my “real life” job is crime scene investigator. I do know people who do it full time. There are ways to do it, but it’s one extreme or another.

NHQ: I know a few other cosplayers that seem to appear at every event in Florida and Georgia, like Cecil Grimes. Is the cosplay community mostly friendly, competitive, or is it really cutthroat…like dueling Rick Grimes getting in fist fights at a convention?

ANC: It depends on the people you surround yourself with. While there’s a serious side to competitive cosplay, the people in my con family have been supportive and friendly, which has allowed me to do more group cosplay.

NHQ: Can you recall a really cool experience you’ve had at a convention?

ANC: That’s hard because I’ve had so many cool moments with attendees. At one convention, though, we had an artist next to our booth. Jason Momoa came up to her booth shopping and bought everything with a particular image on it that he liked. The artist couldn’t snap a picture, so I took one for her and sent it to her. She was super happy about that.

NHQ: On the flip side, I’m sure you’ve had at least couple uncomfortable experiences at a convention. Instead of asking you about them, straight up, let’s use them as a teaching moment. If there’s any advice you could provide cosplayers at a convention or attendees at a convention when it comes to cosplayers, what would you tell them?

ANC: For attendees, when meeting cosplayers, don’t touch their weapons! Also, please come up and talk to me instead of staring at me; I won’t bite! I’ll gladly take a picture; there’s no need to try to snipe a picture or be sneaky about it. Seriously, I can totally see you when you’re trying to sneak a picture on the escalator. I’m more than happy to take a picture with anyone, just come up and ask. To the cosplayers, to avoid horror stories, do your homework about a con before you go. Also, consider the costume in the environment. For example, if you’re wearing comic book character cosplay to an anime convention, you might not get the reception you want. Finally, in environments like Florida, be conscious of the weather. It’s always hot; keep that in mind.



NHQ: One thing I’ve always talked to my friends about is the whole “cosplay is not consent” campaign. It seems that most convention goers are pretty cool people. Do you have a lot of issues with convention goers getting too “touchy feely” with you?

ANC: I have. Cosplayers are, ironically, the worst about this. At least two or three times a convention I have to admonish someone about invading my personal space.

NHQ: On a related note, it seems like some cosplayers (or people who are just dressing up) are just doing it so they can dress up in provocative costumes and show off as much as possible. Do you just shake your head at those people or do see all cosplayers as equal?

ANC: That’s another tough question…I feel like there’s a common ground between us all, but I think everyone gets something different out of cosplay. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you might be after something different than I am. A little advice for some cosplayers is to keep in mind that some people are kinda mean and depending on what you wear, you might be drawing the wrong type of attention.

NHQ: Do you have any costume ideas that you tried that just didn’t pan out? Like you tried on the costume and were like, “Ugh, I’m not pulling this off?”

ANC: (Laughs) All of them! No, I’ve made a few that I had to redo or scrap. I started Aquaman and had a hard time completing it because there weren’t any pictures of him from the waist down available yet. So, I had to put that on hold until I had a chance to look at pictures of his full body armor.

NHQ: So, are there any costumes you have in the wings? Or do you not want to spoil anything?

ANC: (Laughs) I have a list on my phone of about 30 that I’m working on. As for major stuff, Havok Cosplay does an epic Ghost Rider with full flaming motorcycle. I’ll be taking on some more armor building to create a female version of Mephisto from Marvel Comics for a team up with his Rider. I’m also lucky enough to be grouped with some very talented cosplayers for two upcoming Pokemon crossover groups that should be pretty show stopping.

NHQ: Are you really a nerd at heart? What are your favorite nerdy indulgences? Nerdy hobbies?

ANC: Yes. All of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, comics, TV shows, conventions. Star Wars. D&D. Magic: The Gathering. I’m also a science nerd.



NHQ: I asked earlier about advice to convention goers about interacting with cosplayers. You attend a bunch of conventions; do you have any advice for attending conventions, in general? Especially Megacon?

ANC: Be patient. Florida is going to be hot and crowded and you’re going be in long lines. Know you’re going to have to put up with that. Even food vendors are going to have lines. If you accept it early, it won’t be that bad.

NHQ: Anyone you’re looking forward to meeting at this year’s Megacon?

ANC: It was Jeffrey Dean Morgan until he cancelled. I’m also looking forward to seeing James Marsters together with Nicholas Brendan and Eliza Dushku. It’s going to be tough to see a lot of them because we’ll be so busy.

NHQ: If people want to interact with you, what are some ways they can do so?

ANC: I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; you can find me on all of them under Amy Nicole Cosplay. I’m good about responses, so I will message you back…even if you’re a jerk, I’ll at least take the time to tell you so! If someone takes the time to message me, I will message them back. If you see me at a convention, please come say hi – I love meeting people I’ve interacted with in real life.

NHQ: Well, one last question before we go. If you could give any advice to little boys or girls (or big boys or girls, I guess) that want to cosplay, but are shy or don’t know how to get a cool costume, what advice would you give them?

ANC: Stop talking about it and just do it! Pick a character that you think is realistic for you (and I mean that logistically; like, it won’t be super-complicated to put together). If you buy the costume, I challenge you to try to make one part of it yourself to make it unique. Go from there.

NHQ: Before we go, anything or anyone you’d like to give a shout out to?

ANC: Major thanks to my family, especially my dad, for always nurturing my inner geek, and to my friends, fans, and crew for never judging me in my weirdness! I love you all!

NHQ: I really appreciate you taking the time to chat with me. I look forward to seeing who you’ll be cosplaying at this year’s Megacon. Thanks, Amy!

ANC: Thanks!


    One Comment

  1. Scott MullerMay 24th, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Author’s Note: Amy Nicole Cosplay is no longer associated with the Florida Con-Artists group.

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