1) What are your own origins, Gina? Plus what path did you take in life prior to getting to where you are today? I'm from Long Island, and I grew up with a deep love for crafting, as my mother is an art teacher, and my father is a contractor.
I learned not only these skills at an early age, but when I was 8, my grandmother bought me my sewing machine (that I still use today!). At middle school I began watching anime, and once I learned about cosplay... I knew that's what I'd be doing.
2) What are the most persistent comments you’ve received from your followers? I have a relatively small fan base, and I really appreciate it. Many people who follow me are fellow fans of what I dress up as, and I've been able to converse on a regular basis with them. I very rarely feel disrespected, and I really feel connected to people.
Most comments I get are support, questions to life outside of cosplay, as well as requests for costumes.
3) What is your ‘regular’ job? And does it in any way shape or form aide you as a Cosplayer? I was hired a year ago as a Japanese translator for an international medical clinic in Manhattan. I learned the language at Cornell University and I attended Nanzan University in Japan. Also, I have a level two CRLA certification for tutoring, and my degree is in Japanese translation and East Asian culture studies.
My company doesn't know anything about my cosplay, and I tend to keep it to myself while at work.
4) How did your friends, family, and work-colleagues first react to the news that you like to cosplay? My mother hates it. To this day she will call me and berate me for wasting my life, time, money, and effort over it. She could never understand why I love it. My father however, a Trekkie and con-goer himself was ecstatic, and he actually requests costumes time to time, as well as goes to cons with me.
5) How do you decide what Cosplay costume to wear for a convention? And who makes them? I began making all my costumes alone, and going to cons alone. Now that I'm dating the cosfamous Miggy Jagger, things are more fun. I sew for the both of us, and work on props and painting, while he does armor, and amazing wigs. We generally theme our outfits to fit the theme of the con.
6) What have you learnt about yourself whilst Cosplaying? And were their any unforeseen obstacles you had to content with? Body image is a major obstacle, as well as proving I actually know what I am cosplaying as. At first I succumbed to the negativity, but over the years I've found my footing and I am able to brush it off. I cosplay for myself, and frankly, I don't care what others have to say about me anymore.
7) What was the best / worst convention you ever attended? Colossalcon is now at the top of my chart. I'll be always found at the hit tub swim up bar, relaxing away with a drink. I think all cons have the potential to be fun. They only become bad when you aren't surrounded by good people
8) What would be your dream Cosplay gig and outfit? My ultimate outfit would be the God Gundam from G Gundam. I absolutely love that thing.
9) Has their ever been an outfit you just did not like wearing? And if so, why? A few actually. Sometimes an outfit is just a hassle to transport, or it's difficult to wear, or even though it's accurate to the design, it's simply not flattering to a persons body type. With those, I'll generally get what pictures I can and either sell it or give it away after.
10) Do you have a credo you live by? Nah. Generally I do what I want.
And on that note, dear reader, I'd like to thank Gina for telling us about her life as a cosplayer, as well as direct you towards her facebook and twitter pages.