It was quite delightful interviewing all around renaissance cosplayer, Rose of May. Her diverse background, coupled with an incredibly creative spirit, and huge heart for charity gives her an illuminated aura, with a little edge to it.
Roller derby and boxing are a part of ROM’s repertoire, but so is writing fiction novels. Well-balanced, compassionate, and talented, enjoy our goofy q&a with Rose of May.
What’s been the biggest way cosplay has impacted your life?
It’s opened a lot of windows of opportunity for me as well as connected to me to some amazing people, but the biggest impact has been getting involved in the charity work. Cosplay is a hobby in which self-importance can be shamelessly rampant, and the charity work has kept things in perspective for me.
It’s very sobering to see the sick and injured, and when I visit the hospitals, cosplaying is no longer about me and my vanity – it’s about making others happy, and that has brought me a lot of joy.
Give us some insight on your cosplay charity work, what’s been your best moment up to this point?
It’s a little awkward to define any of it as ‘best moments’ given the gravity of some of the patients’ conditions, but I can say that it never gets old when you walk in and see their faces light up at you.
Rose of May sounds like a fragrance of some sort, where did you come up with the name?
I wish it was, I would buy it! Rose of May is the title of General Beatrix’s theme song, a character that I deeply relate to. My birthday month is May, and my favorite flower/scent is rose. The name was a nice fit for me.
Tell us about your boxing career, specifically how you got into the sport, if you were ammy or pro, what your record was, if you fought southpaw or traditional, do you still train, and the best moment so far in your boxing journey?
I got into boxing during a period of my life in which I was at some major personal crossroads. It turned out that I had a bit of a knack for it, and was taken in by a local trainer after my first official fight, which I won by first round TKO.
I crosstrained in weightlifting, martial arts, and yoga. Today I no longer fight on record, but I have kept on with the training which did so much for me in terms of reversing some of the body issues that I had developed after I started cosplaying; I no longer valued being ‘skinny’ and ‘hot’ as much as I did being CONFIDENT and STRONG. I think that influence comes through in the characters I tend to cosplay as.
And from one gut busting sport to another, Roller Derby. What position do you play, Jammer, Blocker, or Pivot? And how long have you been knocking other women’s teeth out?
I actually discovered derby the same time I got into boxing, but I held off committing to a league until I was ready to hang up the gloves. I play all three positions! The amazing thing about team sports is that the dynamic changes very easily, so you have to be adaptable.
Lineups can change seconds before the jam starts. My boxing background really gave me a leg up on the endurance, and which position I play depends on (1) who else is on the roster for my team and (2)what kind of team we’re playing against.
So, you’ve balanced your creativity, athleticism, and aggression into a neat little package. How do your family and friends support your polar opposite hobbies?
I am fortunately surrounded by a very supportive group of friends and family that understand who and what I am. In general, if someone in your life makes you doubt yourself or your abilities in a way that is detrimental, that person doesn’t deserve the privilege of your confidence.
Do you have some nerdish tendencies as well?
Lol, everyone is a nerd! We only vary in what we are passionate about. Jocks are just sports nerds. Fashionistas are style nerds. Pick a genre – it has a nerd, I promise. (But I do write fantasy and steampunk novels, does that count??)
Rocky versus Lui Kang, who wins?
Ha! This is an unfair question, since these men hail from very different fighting creeds. Both are extremely dedicated. Liu Kang has an advantage with the martial arts giving him a more versatile attack arsenal, but Rocky’s character was based on some of the greatest boxing legends of all time and his sheer stamina could be just enough to outlast.
Tell us about some of your cos awards (you’ve got quite a few), and which one you’re most proud of?
I haven’t competed in a while!! In the beginning, awards were a nice encouragement to keep learning and aspiring, but as I got more experienced my perspective changed. Competing became more like a job, an obligation I didn’t want, and it’s now more important that I do a costume because I love it.
Now that we know a little about your background, can we hire you as our official Glomp assassin?
I gotchu, boo. ;D
Photo Credits: Bryan Meeks, RazzFerry Media, Saelee Photography, TBrindisi