Cosplay Confessions is yet another monthly feature I’m adding to my blog. Every month, I plan on featuring a different cosplayer and my interview with them, along with photos featuring their cosplays. This will not only be beneficial to the cosplayers themselves – because any publicity is good publicity when it comes to updating your fans on which conventions you’ll be at, and what you’re working on – but it will also be beneficial to those who are interested in cosplay as a hobby.
Since this is a new feature, I have asked some cosplayers I know to fill out my questions and I hope to hear back from them soon. Since I have nobody to go at this particular time, I figured I’d start off by completing the interview myself. This way, you all can see what sort of format you have to look forward to and, if you don’t know much about my cosplaying – you can find out about that, too.
With that said, here is my interview.
QUESTION: Hello! Many people reading this may not know much about you. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been cosplaying?
My name is Joseph Carro. This is sort of masturbatory, but I had to go first so that I could get the format down. Anyway, I work at a coffee shop and I just graduated from an MFA program called Stonecoast. I’ve been actively cosplaying since 2011, but I’ve always been interested in costuming and Halloween was always my favorite holiday because of that. I cosplay mainly as Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars: Episode III these days but I also cosplay as Jareth from the movie Labyrinth and Abraham Lincoln from the novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter when my facial hair allows.
QUESTION: Do you attend many conventions? Which ones are your favorite to attend?
I am sort of infrequent with the amount of conventions I attend. I have mostly attended Coast City Comicon, which I started to go to in South Portland, Maine back in 2011 and went every year until they stopped doing it (2013). Other than that, I’ve gone to PortCon (South Portland, Maine) and the Portland Comic Expo (Portland, Maine), as well as Super Megafest (Framingham, Massachusetts). I planned on going to Boston Comicon (Boston, Massachusetts) one year, but the city shut down on the day of the convention to look for terrorists. This year I plan on attending New York Comicon (New York City, New York) and possibly Super Megafest again. The Bangor Comic & Toy Convention (Bangor, Maine) is also coming up, and I hope to go to that so I can meet Billy Dee Williams. Finally, it’s not a convention (though it feels like one), but every year I try to walk around in Salem, Massachusetts on or around Halloween. It’s cool to see everyone’s costumes. I’ve been doing that for years and have even met a couple of good friends that way.
QUESTION: Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to cosplaying?
Not really. Just the drama, to be honest. There is so much drama in the cosplay community. People competing for booth space, people at odds with competing cosplayers, people tearing each other down. At the end of the day, we’re all just nerdy folks dressing up as our favorite characters to make other people smile. Whenever I see other cosplayers tearing down people new to the art form or hobby, it sort of gets my blood boiling. Not everyone is out to become “famous” with their cosplay. Most, like me, are just out to have fun and to make other people enjoy their time and maybe get a few photo opportunities with their favorite characters.
QUESTION: What’s one cosplay project you’d like to do in the future?
There are a couple cosplays I’d love to do in the future. I think the one I might work on next is Dr. Strange from Marvel Comics. I also would love to do Spider-Man Noir, and Punisher. I’d like to do a DC character as well but I’m not sure who I would do as of right now.
QUESTION: Are there any cosplayers (professional or otherwise) who inspire you? If so, why?
Everyone who puts themselves out there inspires me, but I’d have to say that one of my favorite cosplayers is Anthony Le – aka “Master Le”. He creates amazing pieces of art in the form of Iron Man cosplays, and creates them for other people to boot. Fully functional, looks great. I wish I could create cosplays at that level.
QUESTION: What do you think sets you apart from other cosplayers?
As of right now? Not a ton. I’m pretty new to the cosplay game and am still learning the ropes. I do have to say that I put a lot of effort into looking the part of the characters I portray. I take months to grow out my beard and facial hair in different ways and for Obi-Wan, when I debuted him, I dyed my hair and beard which was a long process and cost me a bit of money. I make sure to get decent props, too. It’s the details. If I can’t make anything myself, someone usually makes it for me or I buy it. I’m not rich, so I do what I can without taking away any enjoyment from the hobby or being financially irresponsible.
QUESTION: Any advice for someone wishing to begin cosplaying?
Just pick a character and go for it. Don’t try to be too over the top. Don’t pick something beyond your means. Do something that’ll be comfortable and that you’ll have fun in. If you’re like me, you’ll be walking the convention floor for hours on end, and it’ll wear on you after a while if you’re wearing something crazy-uncomfortable. If you pick something too complicated and you fail, you might become discouraged. It’s supposed to be a fun experience, so make sure you have fun with it above all else. If you want to get lots of photo opportunities, pick a well-known character. If you don’t want your photo taken, I would suggest not cosplaying. If you’re in a costume, you essentially become a sort of “attraction” for the event, like it or not.
QUESTION: Last but not least – do you have a website or Facebook page where people can check out your cosplay endeavors?
Sure do. I have a Facebook cosplay page simply called JOSEPH CARRO COSPLAY PAGE.
I also have a blog (this blog, naturally) where I sometimes post cosplay-related stuff. It’s called AWAY WITH WORDS.