I spent many years as a shoot and run photographer. In the last few I have found that actually speaking to the people I take photos of has enhanced my life greatly. Performers, Pirates, and Renaissance festival participants I understand pretty well. Cosplay folk - not so much.
Most are half my age... or less. A lot less. And the fact that I have no knowledge of what they live and breathe does not lend itself to common ground conversations.
Yet, here I was con after con, making friends, learning about the characters, marveling at the art, the crafts, the makeup, and the work that these folks put into their costumes. I made connections I never thought for a second would be possible. I got to know people on a much more personal level than I expected. I could fill a book telling of the those I met at these events but one in particular impressed me more than all the others.
I chanced upon Seraphima very early on the last morning of my very last con... and I spoke with her a dozen times that day. The more I got to know her, the more I had the feeling she was the embodiment of everything I had experienced. A stay at home mother of three (shocked me too) who makes most of her own costuming, jewelry, sells her photos, and does commission costuming. I have no idea how many times I may have come across her in the past. The day before she was blue and I spoke barely two words to her.
I found Seraphima to be engaging and easy to talk to, as in I didn't stutter once. She was willing to discuss all the nuances of con life I wanted to know but was not willing to ask anyone else. An experienced woman and cosplayer but with that down to earth and non-judgmental quality that permeates this world. About 30 minutes into our first conversation of the day she looked right into my eyes with the confidence of a state trooper and admitted to me she had a bit of a social anxiety problem but these cons had really helped.
Yeah - I'll say. It is a very common ailment that I too suffer from. When a phenomenally beautiful woman you just met is willing to talk to you like a life long friend, it's easy to put it aside for a while. After I left the for the day and went home, I found myself wanting to know more. For the first time in this new blog of mine, I thought it would be an appropriate moment for an online interview.
Bob - "How long have you been doing Cosplay?" Seraphima - That depends on what you would call "cosplay." Cosplay is defined as "costume play." So, I guess I have been doing it all my life. I was the only kid in middle school who still dressed up for Halloween. Honestly, medieval faires, pirate fests, zombicons, and comic book conventions are my escape from the real world. I love dressing up and pretending to be someone else for a few days. It also helps me break out of my shell. I suffered from social anxiety for years, and I grew up with a much more confident younger sister. I also had a hard time making friends growing up because I was so awkward, so going to faires and conventions surrounded by other people in the same awkward boat really changed my life. As far as comic book conventions go though, I have only been going since 2011. Megacon in Orlando was my first convention. Bob - "What is your favorite character to Cosplay?" Seraphima - My favorite Character to cosplay is Rogue, from the X-men. I try to do a different version of her at every convention I attend. I have done her costumes from specific stories, but I have also put my own spin on the character as well. My favorite version that I cosplay is a Steampunk Rogue that I do. It is also my most recognizable and most popular cosplay in the community. Bob - "So I don't overstate things, how well known are you?" Seraphima - I'm not too well known yet. I have been recognized by a few people, but I am still relatively new to the convention scene. In the last couple of weeks though, since Supercon (because I spent 3 days there), I have become more well known, mostly as "The Steampunk Rogue." Bob - "How many cons do you do a year." Seraphima - In the past, I would only do a convention a year (as an attendee). But, in the past, comic book conventions weren't as popular, so there weren't nearly as many previously as there are now. This year alone I have been to three conventions (2 as an attendee, 1 as a guest), and I will be attending at least 3 more before the end of the year (4 if you count Zombicon). And as I find more conventions, I will attend more conventions. I have never attended a convention outside of Florida though, but maybe someday.
For a link to her website [click here]