I met a cosplayer about a year or two ago and recently reestablished contact with her. She agreed to an interview, and I hope you find the interview with Kacie, better known as Cheshire Cosplay, enjoyable.
Jacky the Nerd: What is your name?
Cheshire: My name is Kacie, but everyone knows me as Cheshire.
Jacky the Nerd: How long have you been cosplaying?
Cheshire: I have been cosplaying since 2010 but I’ve only been at it professionally for a little more than a year.
Jacky the Nerd: Why do you cosplay?
Cheshire: My sister got me into cosplaying when I was a freshman in high school. I felt so accepted and was welcomed into the community practically overnight. Cosplaying become a great escape from being harassed and bullied in school, and has made me so many friends since. I used to be extremely shy, but the anonymity of wearing mask made it so much easier for me to socialize and make friends. Cosplaying really helped me to come out of my shell and gain confidence; it really helped me find myself. The support I got from the community was really what encouraged me to stay with it for this long. Becoming a cosplay model was a dream I never knew I had that became an unexpected reality. Even now, as a guest at conventions, having lunch with voice actors, I have trouble grasping that it’s really happening. I have so much fun cosplaying that I don’t think I’ll ever quit. Especially now that I’ve been receiving messages on my page telling me how I have encouraged others and inspired them to keep cosplaying. It makes me feel so humbled. I am so grateful to be able to support newcomers in a community that supported me when I was getting started.
Jacky the Nerd: What is it like being a cosplay model?
Cheshire: It’s a lot of work and effort in regards to marketing and promoting but it’s also very rewarding especially at conventions when little kids think you are really a superhero
Jacky the Nerd: What is one of your favorite cosplays?
Cheshire: That would probably be either my Lady Deadpool or my Aries from Fairy Tail. Both are really fun to wear.
Jacky the Nerd: What is one of your favorite cosplay experiences?
Cheshire: That would probably be one year at MTAC we got a large group of Final Fantasy Cosplayers together and went out into the field to do a photo shot and it got really silly really fast with everyone’s crack parings and chasing each other around!
Jacky the Nerd: How do you decide which character(s) to cosplay as?
Cheshire: Most of the time I’m just watching something an a character catches my attention and I think “oh wow I want to Cosplay her!” They are usually strong female characters, not the damsels. I also tend to pick characters that I feel connected through either their personality or their thoughts and actions.
Jacky the Nerd: What is it like having fans?
Cheshire: I’m still getting used to that, I think it’s amazing to have a large number of people interested in who I am, what I do, and what I have to say. I even get recognized outside of conventions and it always make me really happy. I’ve even had a few people go out of there way to message me and tell me that I’m their cosplay idol and it makes me feel so encouraged to keep going.
Jacky the Nerd: What are your plans for the future, cosplay and non-cosplay related?
Cheshire: I plan to keep making as many convention appearances as I can as well as adding some new outfits to my collections. My photographer and I are also working on holiday themed Cheshire outfits for cards and eventually a calendar. As far as outside the convention life I’m planning on finishing my second degree in college and working towards becoming a curator for natural history or war museums.
Jacky the Nerd: Any advice to those in the cosplay community?
Cheshire: My advice is a little unorthodox, but here goes; Cosplay what you love, not what you’re expected to. Never ever, ever let the negative people get to you because I guarantee for every 1 person that’s going to say something mean, there are 100 people that love you and will back you up. If your not having fun, take a break. Cosplay should be about passion and acceptance. Don’t get discouraged by others skill levels, everyone has to start small. If you ever make it big don’t forget where you started. I love you all but sometimes you need to take a break from admiring the pros and take some time to encourage and inspire the new comers. Also, drink lots of water at conventions and take care of your health.
I want to thank Kacie for her time. Follow her on Facebook if you want to see more of her stuff.
As always, photos are copyrights of their respective owners.