Welcome to Cosplay Hottie fans! This month we talked to the lovely and talented Cassandra, who goes by the alias “Breathlessaire Cosplay.” Cassandra is an award-winning cosplayer from our nation’s capital with hypnotic eyes and gorgeous hand-crafted costumes.[quote]
Location: Washington, DC Area
Hair: Naturally blonde
GLA: So, thanks for sitting down with us. Tell us how long you’ve been cosplaying and what got you into it?
BA: I’ve been cosplaying since mid-2006 and I really got into this hobby thanks to my friends at the time. Before I started cosplaying I had always been interested in anime and manga, so when I was in high school a few of my friends took to me to Otakon. I didn’t cosplay at the time, so I just enjoyed it as a con rather than anything else, and it was amazing! I saw so many people running around Baltimore Inner Harbour dressed up as my favorite anime characters and many other crazy colored characters I had never seen before, so of course I wanted to do it too. So the following year I dressed up at Haruno Sakura from Naruto Shippuden and Sloth from Full Metal Alchemist, my very first cosplays.
BA: Almost all of my costumes and props are hand-made, but there are times that buying accessories online is necessary. An example is buying a plush, or toy to act as an additional prop.
GLA: Following up on that question, is there a divide in the cosplay community when it comes to that? Do cosplayers who hand-make all of their costumes “look down” upon cosplayers that don’t, or is it a tight-knit fan community regardless?
BA: There is definitely a divide in the cosplay world between those who make their own costumes and those who wear pre-made costumes. I don’t believe it can be really called ‘looking down’ or not, but I know when I make my own costume and wear it to a convention I feel a lot of pride in wearing it and being recognized for my skills or whatnot. So for someone who is new to cosplay and it’s their first time making and wearing their own costume they feel a lot of pride and excitement in wearing the costume to a convention and being recognized for the costume itself, or the character they are portraying. But then you have someone roll up in a pre-made costume getting the same amount of attention and it can sometimes hurt that someone else is getting attention for something they didn’t put any effort into. But once again every person is different so this is only my point of view.
GLA: How competitive has the cosplay world become? Have you ever won any awards for your costumes?
BA: I’ve been competing in the cosplay masquerades and craftsmanship competitions since 2007 and I will definitely say the cosplay community is very competitive and sometimes very cutthroat. It all depends on the competition and what the prize is – the bigger the prize, the bigger guns people will bring out. I’ve been in competitions ranging from hallway craftsmanship awards where you win a plastic trophy, to competitions where you compete for a prize to Japan, and I have won a lot as well as lost a lot of these competitions.
GLA: What are some of your favorite films, comic books, TV shows, video games, etc.? Where do you draw your inspiration for cosplay ideas?
BA: My favorite movie is Interview with the Vampire, but overall I watch a bunch of horror and fantasy movies since they tend to pull at my imagination more. I of course watch a lot of anime and read a lot of manga, ranging from frilly frilly frou frou magic girl to bloody vampires and zombies… such fun! As for TV I’ve recently been re-watching Dead Like Me and The Tudors, nothing new though. I can admit that the only video games that I’ve played and beaten are Pokemon, Katamari Damacy, and all of the Fatal Frame games.
I draw all my cosplay ideas from just the idea of wanting to dress up as my favorite characters and usually I lean towards the more majestic looking outfits, but that is obviously the case sometimes.
GLA: What’s the most challenging cosplay you have attempted?
BA: The most challenging outfit I have ever attempted was Hikaru from Magic Knights Rayearth because it was the first time I had ever made armor. That was a major learning experience, but thankfully my brother is also a very crafty person so he was able to help me figure the construction out.
GLA: Naturally, being a cosplayer and attending cons, you attract lots of attention from fans and photographers. Do you have any stories or instances where a photographer caught you at a bad time or some out–of-the-ordinary interactions with con-goers?
BA: I’ve never really had any trouble with photographers at conventions since they are almost always nice enough to ask before snapping a photo out of common courtesy. As for any particular stories I can’t think of any defined ones, usually just people coming up to me for hugs or asking me advice on something or just plain curiosity. As well as the insane ‘OMG You’re Blah Blah Blah!!! That’s AWESOME!!!’ Can my daughter have a picture with you?”
GLA: Have you ever experienced pieces of your costume falling apart, tights running, weapons or accessories breaking, etc.? Have you ever worn a costume that was physically painful to wear or walk around in?
BA: I’ve definitely had pieces of my costumes rip or loosen as I’ve worn them around, but I’m lucky that I never had a complete costume malfunction. Though I will admit it’s very frustrating and there have been times I get so frustrated with a tiny little thing going wrong that I go and change even if I’ve only been in an outfit for 20 minutes. As for painful costumes, my shoes for Magic Knight Rayearth left blisters all over my feet for a while after I wore them the first time and I’ve lost a lot of breath wearing some of my corsets, but nothing major.
GLA: We like to ask this every week: What are your thoughts on “poseur” geek women – women that perhaps cosplay only because they want to attract attention to themselves, or because a romantic partner asked them to? How do you feel about actresses or musicians who claim an interest in comics or things like Star Wars just to appeal to a demographic?
BA: I don’t agree with it and I think it’s wrong to cosplay as someone else’s favorite character or wearing less than one normally should just to attract another’s attention, but to each their own and they’ll find out in time that it was pointless and childish to do so. As for actors and musicians that say they like Star Wars or Star Trek or whatever, they most likely do, but only the movies and I highly doubt any of them have read the books, watched the original episodes, or know anything outside the movie, but who am I to judge? I don’t know them personally and will never get the chance to ask them.
GLA: Lastly, what future cosplay plans to you have, and what cons can we expect to see you at?
BA: My next and last convention this year is AnimeUSA where I think I’m wearing another version of Suu from CLOVER, Cure Marine from Heartcatch, Angel Panty from Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, and maybe one or two small fun surprise outfits! ^^