What has inspired your gender bend cosplays?
I have an obsession with badass female characters. Maybe it has something to do with me growing up with a badass single mother that raised me by herself. I’m just drawn to women that know how to throw down, so I naturally gravitate toward those characters and figure, “So what if I don’t have girl parts, I’m cosplaying her!”
Do you ever get hassled for being a male cosplayer?
ALLLLL the time. One time that I remember in particular, I was sitting down to eat with some friends in my gender bend Rogue and a guy walks over and started telling me that I can’t cosplay Rogue because I’m a male and that it was ruining the character and didn’t make sense. Luckily my friend Jesse spoke up for me and said “She’s also a fictional character in a made up universe soooo…” and gave him the up and down, using only his eyes to tell the guy to get lost. It was brilliant.
We’ve read a couple of your posts about cosplay popularity, how do you balance your real life with the demands of social media?
I don’t think I take social media as seriously as a lot of other cosplayers. I honestly just created my facebook page so I could stay in touch with photographers and friends that I met at cons. At any given point I could walk away from it and be perfectly fine and I like that feeling. It’s a vice to a lot of other people and unless you’re making a career out of it, I’m not so sure that should be the case.
What do think the biggest mistake new cosplayers make when deciding to take on this hobby?
They get caught up in the hype of what this hobby is now. It’s become a popularity game full of politics and “Who you know”. They stress wayyyyy too much about looking perfect and doing costumes that other people want to see. Everyone needs to just have fun with it. I love making original costumes that aren’t from anything, just because I enjoy creating stuff and going to cons. That’s what keeps me happy, personally.
What’s one thing you’re determined to do in the next 3 years?
I REALLY want to get into voice acting. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. I never ever fangirl over actual celebrities but when I see a voice actor at a con from a show or anime that I watch, I admit I get a little giddy. Honestly, that keeps the dream alive for me.
Any other interesting hobbies or activities outside of cosplay?
Oh heavens, too many. I really enjoy running, biking, (Exercise in general), exploring, gaming, driving (Only my car, not other people’s cars) and heaps more. I have to arrange my hobbies by season so I don’t get overwhelmed.
Five things you love the most about cosplay?
1) Meeting new people (My absolute favorite thing about it)
2) Being inspired by other people’s costumes and talent
3) Having crafting parties with friends
4) Bringing a character or creation to life
5) Forever feeling like a kid (One of the best feelings in the world)
What are your thoughts on “sexy” cosplaying and all the internet bullying and harassment for cosplayers, especially females?
I have a TON to talk bout on this but I’ll try to keep it short. Guys need to stop feeling threatened that attractive girls that like to show skin are becoming a strong force in the community.
No man, she probably doesn’t want to date you, but that’s ok. You don’t have to treat her like trash because of it. Learn to look at people as people. Same thing goes for women. Stop feeling threatened that other women want to show off. You don’t have to do it, so don’t poo-poo on other girls that want to. I can’t stand slut-shaming. I only use the example of women dressing sexy because you don’t see many people complaining about guys running around shirtless (Funny how things work that way, eh?).
Have you started selling prints yet? People seem to want to see your face immortalized on card stock.
Hahaha, I’ve actually been thinking about it lately. I get quite a few requests for my Vi to be made into prints so I may have to do it soon. I’m almost to 5k likes on the page so maybe it’ll be a limited run thing in honor of that. If I see people actually wanting them, I could keep the store open for a while. I like making people happy so if I can do something simple like that to make people smile, then you’d better believe I’ll be doing it!
Officer Vi vs. Rogue: who walks away alive?
Oh man, that’s a toughy! Vi is a badass but Rogue can fly and puts bitches in comas soooo… I’ll have to go with Rogue.
Which super villain would you get along the best with?
Probably Catwoman. She’s got a good side to her but she’s also a little craycray. Plus she seems like she likes to exercise with all that running around, stealing junk and what not. I need a gal I can go for a run with once in a while. I’d just hope that she didn’t empty out her pockets full of watches and jewels once we got back to the house.
One thing about you that you really don’t want to tell us, but you’re going to anyway?
I like 90’s boy bands and regularly sing Backstreet Boys and N*Sync songs while I’m in my car or doing things around the house. #DealWithIt <3
So that’s the end of the train with the incomparable, Ryan Brandt. He’s an electric personality, infusing fun and creative energy into the cosplay community, and exuding a care-free sense of leadership, taming this beast, all while listening to boy bands. *bye bye bye, Mr. Brandt.