Charlie Rocket Cosplay To look for your inner child, sometimes you have to be able to embrace your inner child. So go on, take it by the hand and lead it to pastures new. Taking with it the additional promise and hope that one day you too could become a great cosplayer. My mate Charlie did. And trust me, she did it with style. 

1) What are your own origins, Charlie Rocket?   I'm originally from Montgomery County, Maryland, but moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, during my senior year of high school. I was bullied a lot in school and found it difficult to relate to others. In college I started modeling, and met some life long friends as well as learnt some useful skills. Years of modeling with Evalesco taught me about confidence, makeup, hair, and how to make clothing on a budget.

Spider Woman Cosplay
Towards the end of my college career my grandmother got married. The reception was held in downtown Raleigh the weekend of Animazement. I saw people walking by dressed as Naruto and Bleech characters and had to ask where they were going. The next year I attended Animazement, my first convention. The following year I made a Lucy (from Fairy Tail) costume and became hooked on cosplay. I have never felt that I belonged somewhere the way I do in the cosplay community. 

2) What are the most persistent comments you’ve received from your followers?   I'm always surprised when I'm told how much I've impacted someone's life, and it's the comment I receive the most. Many of my followers have sent me messages saying that they never thought that someone like them (someone unable to sew, someone who is a minority, someone with no experience) would be able to cosplay, and that I am inspiring others to believe in themselves.

A lot of people have followed me since day one. I wasn't able to sew. I had never worked with worbla or body paint. With no prior knowledge other than glue gun skills, I created a full costume and documented each step. Since then I have learned so much and try to bring my followers on the way.

3) What is your ‘regular’ job? And does it in any way shape or form aide you as a Cosplayer?   I am a full time pharmacy technician at an oncology pharmacy. I am also a mother to a four year old boy. I think the only thing aiding me with cosplay is being a mum. I have to constantly find my inner child, and it forces me to open up my imagination to more things. 

Uhura Cosplay
4) How did your friends, family, and work-colleagues first react to the news that you like to cosplay?   The first question I always get asked when I say that I like to cosplay is, "what is that?". Once I explained it to my parents, and other family members, I don't think it was much of a surprise. My mum is an actress and both of my parents have always been big fans of nerd culture. My family and friends have been extremely supportive. 

5) How do you decide what Cosplay costume to wear for a convention? And who makes them?   There are many factors that I consider when deciding on a costume. The first question I ask is what kind of convention I'm going to, as I try to dress for my audience. Will they prefer sci-fi? Anime? Comic books? Next, I look to my list. Yes. I keep a list of characters who I enjoy and I choose my costumes from that list. My third step is determining what can be done. What do I have the time / money / skill to make? I don't always make my costumes from scratch, but I do make my costumes in one way or another.

Most of my costumes are at least 75% hand made by me. I have some partially commissioned pieces, closet cosplays, and a couple of fully made-from-scratch costumes.

6) What have you learnt about yourself whilst Cosplaying? And were their any unforeseen obstacles you had to content with?   I never thought I would be able to make costumes, but I've learned that I am a little craftier than I knew. So many aspects of cosplay are new to me. Sewing has been my biggest obstacle so far, and I avoid it at all costs. When I have to sew I'm not too bad at it, but once I encounter an issue I'm not sure how to come back from it. 

Black Widow Cosplay7) What was the best / worst convention you ever attended?   I love all of the conventions I've attended. Even all conventions can truly surprise you. My two favorite conventions were Wizard World Raleigh and Animazement. Animazement was my very first convention and you never forget your first love. As for Wizard World, it was my first convention I attended as a guest. Everyone was so nice and it was an amazing experience.

I wouldn't say there are bad conventions, just bad experiences. I always have such great stories that result from "bad" conventions and it makes it all worth while. 

And on that note, I'd like to thank Charlie for telling us about her life as a cosplayer, before directing you towards her great facebook page

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