What’s going on heroes? Happy Wednesday, apologize for going radio silent with Cosplay Cafe. Con season is in an upswing at the moment so getting guest to chat has been tough but anyway we have Lady Espeoi making her debut in the cafe today. So sit back and enjoy readers.
1.What were you like growing up? What were some of the things you were into as a child/teenager?
Growing up, I was always busy with something or had too tight of a schedule to be able to hang out with people my age outside of school. Any time I had to myself was filled with watching anime, drawing original characters with their hands and feet hidden, and reading lots a fanfiction. I was an awkward kid that had weird interests and mostly keep to myself because I didn’t really know how to talk to people. My interest in anime really helped me in the “making friends” department. Thinking about it now, I don’t think I’ve changed too much from my child/teenage years. I still busy, still read lots of fanfiction, still have weird interests, but now I’m less self-conscious about myself and not as afraid to talk to people.
2. Who or what got you into cosplaying?
For what got me into cosplay, I’d say is was the various pictures I saw of cosplayers before I attended my first convention. I had always loved the idea of dressing up and pretending to be someone else so it was cool to see all the costumes people made even if I didn’t know the character. As for who, ultimately, I have to blame the Blockbuster cashier that told me about a local convention in 2006. If he hadn’t told me about the con and given my dad the idea of allowing me to go to said con as a birthday gift, I think I would have gotten into cosplay much later than I did
3. First off, props for hosting both Yu Yu Hakusho photoshoot at Katsucon along with the One Piece photoshoot Saturday. What goes into hosting photoshoots at a convention?
Hosting convention photoshoots for one fandom can be very stressful and I’m crazy/love my fandoms enough to host for two. I find that a lot of that stress comes from creating the event. The four things a host should think about when creating a fandom photoshoot are the time of the shoot, what location would work best for the size of the group, who to notify about the shoot, and how to spread word. Once you got all that figured out, then you keep your fingers crossed that nothing comes up before the convention. Once at the convention, a host must be on top of things and they got to be flexible because there is a huge chance of something coming up. Two perfect examples of things going wrong I can give are my Saturday shoots at Katsucon 2016. Example #1: due to a fire alarm going off, I had to reschedule my YYH shoot to a much later time (getting the word out about that was a pain because the internet connection was not very good). Example #2: If you’ve ever been to Katsucon, then you would know that the gazebo level is very popular area and can get very crowded. I didn’t have any problems on Friday at that location, but on Saturday con security told me that we had to move. Thank goodness, I had helpers that were willing to scout out and hold down another location for the shoot while I directed everyone to the new location. I know it make sound like hosting is a very stressful experience, but I find that kind of stress to be fun because I know once I start the shoot, I’m going to have fun and I know everyone else is going to have fun. The success of a fandom shoot really depends on the participants’ willingness to work with the host(s). The hosts can only do so much planning, but the more involved the group is with requests, the easier it is to get through the shoot(s).
4. Quick off topic question, since you’re a big Yu Yu Hakusho fan. What are you looking forward to the most with it being the 25th anniversary? So far we have the animated special along with the Blu-ray box set. Is there anything specifically you want to come out?
I am so happy, Yu Yu Hakusho is getting more love. I’ve been trying to keep up with the news on the anniversary and I am very curious, and excited, to see what the new animated special is. Part of me hopes that it is a continuation of the anime ending, but I’ll probably be happy with whatever they put out.
5. Back to cosplay, what is one thing cosplay has taught you about yourself?
I have learned that I love doing photoshoots. Before I got into cosplay, I never liked people taking pictures of me because I felt that the poses I tried doing were very awkward and I just didn’t think I looked good. When I started cosplaying, I found it a little easier to pose because I wasn’t posing as myself; I was posing as the character I was cosplaying. That idea of posing/acting as someone else helped me with doing non-cosplay shoots as well. Now that I have several cosplay and non-cosplay shoots under my belt, I’m much more comfortable in front of a camera and posing is a little more natural for me if I don’t think about it too much.
6. What is a aspect of cosplay you feel is downplayed in the cosplay community?
I feel like some people take cosplay a little too seriously. Cosplay is a hobby and unless it becomes a source of income. A hobby is something that’s supposed to make you happy, if that hobby starts ruining your convention experience or even your normal life (especially your finances), then I think it would be a good idea to take a break. I’ve taken a little break from cosplay before so I could focus on my normal life.
7. Is there a convention you would like to attend?
Nakamacon. It’s a small Florida convention that was created for One Piece cosplayers. Only reason I had not gone to it yet is because I’m waiting for my little brother to finish college because he is also a One Piece fan and he is the Shanks to my Mihawk.
8. Second off topic question, favorite food?
I really love fish, especially if it’s fried or grilled. Currently my favorite is grilled pompano.
9. Is there anyone whether it’s a cosplayer or photographer that you want to work with?
There a so many people I want to work with. Too many names to list and I swear that list grows with every convention I go to.
10. Can you hint at any cosplays you’re currently working on?
I’m going to be fixing up one of my older cosplays One Piece cosplays. It’s been a long time since I had brought her out and I would love to have it ready for the summer.
11. What conventions can people find you at later this year?
So far, I can confirm that I will be at Tidewater Comicon, Hampton Comicon, and AnimeExpo this year. Super excited for AX because it will be my first con on the West Coast and first one I am flying to. This con adventure is definitely going be an experience for me.
12. Final question, anything you want to say to your fans?
Thank you all so much! I know I’m not as active with cosplay as I would like to be but I’m very thankful for you guys sticking around. I am very grateful to all the wonderful fans I have managed to meet and I hope to meet more of you as I try to branch out to different conventions.
As always you can find Lady Espeoi online, her social media links are down below. Again thank you for your patience and Cosplay Cafe should be back on a regular schedule. So until then, I’m still XBen3000 and I’m out!