Cosplay Confessions is a series we do to spotlight and get to understand the wonderful members of our cosplay community (and beyond!). This month we are talking to Caram3llo Cosplay!
How did you get into cosplay?
I've been cosplaying since I was about 15 years old, so for about, 8 years! I remember staying up all night watching Adult Swim and waiting for Death Note to come on with a bunch of friends. One night we were on the internet as teens do, and stumbled upon cosplay! We all ran home and put together some "cosplays" from items in our closets as Death Note characters, and it stuck with me ever since!
Why do you like cosplaying?
Cosplay isn’t just playing "dress-up". It's becoming a different person. A person/character you love and connect with for that moment. It really has helped with any mental struggles I have and has helped me find a safe and artistic outlet for my mental health. Plus, you meet so many amazing people through the thing you love! Whether it's the video game or comic book you are cosplaying from, you will always meet someone who loves the same thing as you! Cosplay is one of those communities that truly make you feel welcome and you wont feel like you're being judged for liking the "weird" things you like!
What have been your favorite character(s) to cosplay?
Oh man, there are so many. I would say my top two favorite characters I have cosplayed as is Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII and Misa Amane from Death Note. Lightning because I've been cosplaying her since the very beginning of my cosplay journey. Shes a very strong, independent female character who has helped me see the confidence in myself when I didn’t think it was there. And Misa because she is the reason I got into this crazy cosplay adventure! She was the first character i cosplayed and she definitely wasn’t the last!
How do you put together your costumes?
I either buy the costume or I make the costume. Either is totally fine! If you buy your cosplays, you get to support other cosplayers/artists as well as receive a beautiful costume! Or, if you make your cosplay you can walk around with your head high, proud of yourself for creating art! I've done both, and no matter which way, it's always fun!
What has been some of your favorite conventions/events to cosplay at?
Its definitely changed over the years, but my favorite used to be AnimeNEXT when it was still in Somerset, NJ. It's now moved to Atlantic City, which is fine, just different vibes. It was one of my first conventions, so it will always have a special place in my heart. My other favorite convention is MagFest in Washington DC! Magfest stands for "Music and Games Festival"! Its a very relaxed, party atmosphere!
What is one of your favorite cosplay stories?
I've made so many amazing cosplay stories over the years, but a couple stick out in my mind.
The first being at Animenext many years ago, where I was able to meet one of the composers for the Final Fantasy orchestra, he was a sweetheart and even took my picture as Lightning and said he was going to show Square Enix my cosplay. I died inside.
Another one is something I dont recommend doing because it's totally illegal so dont listen to me. Forever ago, a couple friends and I cosplayed as Silent Hill characters and we got into an abandoned school and did a photoshoot! We didnt cause any damages to the property or anything crazy, really just in and out for a couple amazing pictures (which will be listed below if you would like to see them) but, we weren't as quick as we thought we were and we left there in a couple cop cars.
What are some of the challenges you've had to overcome being a cosplayer?
Some of the challenges I've had to face in the cosplay community was not comparing myself to other amazing cosplayers. I used to have this bad habit of comparing myself to others and just really putting myself down. When it's the end of the day, we are all there to just have fun.
Another challenge I've faced is having to deal with a couple bad apples out of the bunch, that like to question you on whether or not you truly are a "nerd". There is a certain stigma when it comes to being female or non-binary in the nerd communities, whether its cosplay, table top gaming, comic book conventions etc. Where woman feel the need to prove their "nerdiness". It really sucks, but its learning you don’t have to prove to anyone, anything and just enjoying your time!
What advice would you give someone if they were interested in getting into cosplay?
Just have fun! Go into it for yourself, to make new friends, and most importantly, to have an amazing experience! Cosplay is for anyone, enjoy being surrounded by a bunch of nerds, it's amazing!
What character would you LOVE to tackle someday?
My dream cosplay would have to be Dark Brotherhood armor or Nightingale armor from Skyrim! Skyrim is one of my all time favorite games!
What has been your biggest cosplay achievement?
Probably having a drink with a Gandalf cosplayer! Haha, just kidding! Probably winning a cosplay contest for my Lightning cosplay at a convention called Derpycon!