TLG: How long have you been cosplaying?
Callie: I have been cosplaying for a year and a half.
TLG: What made you decide to get into cosplay?
Callie: I didn't decide for myself to get into cosplay, funny enough. I had always been a huge fan of superheroes and also of dressing up, but the term cosplay was new to me when my husband put together a Black Widow costume for the Avengers premiere. I wasn't sold on the idea that I would appropriately embody the character physically, as he had been planning. However, upon putting on the catsuit, belts, holsters, gloves, and wig, I looked in the mirror and didn't recognize myself. It was in that moment all the possibilities of cosplay came rushing at me, and I found a new passion I'd have forever.
TLG: Do you like video games? If so, what are some of your favorite video games?
Callie: I love video games. My whole life, I've been a huge fan of RPG games. I've played the Sims for a decade, I love the Fable games, to name a couple. Crash Bandicoot and Banjo Kazooie were my favorite games when I was a kid, and Beyond Good and Evil was my favorite when I was a teenager. I'm also really looking forward to the Lego Marvel Superheroes game for the Xbox One. I'm a regular Rock Band player (I have the stage kit and a real PA system hooked up to my TV just for when I play), I love XBLA games such as Castle Crashers (go Orange Knight!), State of Decay, and Far Cry III Blood Dragon.
TLG: What was the first cosplay you'd ever done? Tell us about it. Was it good?
Callie: The first costume I ever made was Rogue, because she was always my favorite character since I was a child. I loved her Southern girl appeal, and could also relate to her in the sense that she's Rogue...she's untouchable. Where she physically embodied keeping her distance from people, I was socially distanced all throughout my years at school. I was different, and no one liked me or wanted to be my friend because I was the girl with glasses in the corner clinging to her books.
Costume wise, I taught myself how to sew and doing the two toned green and yellow spandex fabric posed to be a challenge for a beginning seamstress. The costume needs to be redone now that I've learned a couple more things about needles and thread, but it's wearable and definitely something I'm proud of.
TLG: What is the most outrageous or ridiculous thing you've ever done?
Callie: The most ridiculous thing I've ever done was a couple years ago when I demounted and stole a street sign with my rare last name on it for my dad as his Father's Day present. I was with a friend and I had to stand on the roof of my car in the middle of the night pulled up to this street sign while I clung and worked with tools I'd never before seen in my life.
TLG: Do you feel that cosplaying is competitive? Do you find yourself judging the other artists?
Callie: I want to say no. The fact of the matter is yes...it is absolutely competitive, for better or for worse. I would like to think it brings out the best in people. I've been exposed to both friendly and not so friendly competition since starting cosplay, and I'd prefer the former. It is such a motivator to see one of your friends and fellow cosplayers put together an amazing outfit and then go back to the drawing board and see if I can meet their high level of craftsmanship. Do I judge other artists? No. I'm not one to judge. Everyone has different skill sets and abilities.
TLG: What do you enjoy most about cosplay?
Callie: The characters and all of what they stand for. Also, it's awesome to be a superhero for a day...or two...
TLG: What is the hardest part about cosplay?
Callie: Translating something that is drawn in 2D to real life. Especially women in comicbooks, you know what I mean...
TLG: What were your least and favorite costumes? Why?
Callie: Least favorite - Ms. Marvel, my second made costume. It was the first time I worked with a Spandex foil, and I soon found out why it had been in the clearance department at the fabric store. It was the most difficult costume to make, and it turned out the worst. Definitely on the top on my to redo list.
Favorite costume - Gamora. The costume design was so intricate and it really pushed me to my full potential to discover what my capabilities were. Since that costume, I've learned I can make my fabric design by hand and reconstruct my own corset. I discovered I have endless control and manipulation of the supplies I'm working with. Also, that anything is possible.
TLG: Do you currently make a living off of your cosplay? If not, do you plan to in the future?
Callie: Right now, cosplay pays for itself. I do plan on making a living off of it.
TLG: What advice would you give to someone who has never done it before, but really want to get into it?
Callie: I believe that anyone is capable of doing anything. Don't hold yourself back, tailor your skill sets, get to the drawing board, and DO, don't just talk about doing.