Aquawoman CosplayWhen you get around to reading the following interview, try to keep in mind that a parent stalking their child on the internet can be a good thing. You got that? Good. Now sit back, relax, and say 'what' a lot with my mate Jenna. Trust me. Saying what is on the same par as parents who stalk. 

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1) What are your own origins, Jenna?   My origins start in Southern Illinois. Cosplay isn't a really big thing there, although when I worked in a club where I became a "featured entertainer" I did costumed performances. This, of course, was before I even knew cosplay was a thing. I just enjoyed the entertainment aspect of it.

There was a character that I portrayed once, Poison Ivy (being a red head at the time), and made (all done with hot glue and hand stitched) my cape, bra top, shorts, and even super glued ivy leaves to myself. Not one person got it. It was a total disappointment. 

Dark Phoenix CosplayUpon coming to North Carolina 5 years ago, I decided to go to the NC Comic Con dressed as a pinup Captain America. I didn't know how to use a sewing machine so I just went shopping and spent about $150 on a body suit and corset! I was nervous going into it because I didn't know what to expect.

Then, I was blown away by the costumes and felt sub-par to everyone else. But the reaction to my Captain America was really positive, and joined a group called the 105th Squad. However, I was terrified to go to a meeting for 3 years! I didn't even attend a con the following years because I felt going as Captain America again would be boring. 

The next NC Comic Con I went to was in 2014, and I decided to just bring back Captain America and I had decided to jump right into the deep end and sew (using a machine) a lycra body suit for Ms Marvel. So many things were learned with sewing lycra! But I was so proud of it! I felt like I accomplished a huge milestone!

Since then, I didn't just jump down the "cosplay rabbit hole", I fell on my head, cracked my skull, and I'm totally cool with not getting back up. I have finished (in less than a year) Dark Phoenix, Ms Marvel, Psylocke, gender bent Aquaman (my first armor piece), Rose Tyler, Beach R2D2, and gender bent Scarecrow (my first LED project)! I'm still working on 3 more projects, and not slowing down! I even have Ursula (done by my mother) and Ariel in the works for 2016! 

2) What are the most persistent comments you’ve received from your followers?   Oddly, the most persistent comments come from my mother! She is the biggest JSW fan out there and she stalks me on all forms of social media! Her main comments are, "I hope your not ignoring your fiance", "What is it going to be like when you have kids", "Don't make my makeup for my Ursula look like this (followed by pictures)". Aside from my mothers comments I tend to just get asked if I can do certain characters or do certain YouTube videos.

3) What is your ‘regular’ job? And does it in any way shape or form aide you as a Cosplayer?   My regular job is working as a Phlebotomist. You know. That person that draws your blood. Strangely enough, it has shaped a few of my cosplay choices and aided in them. I was really stumped as to how I was going to create the needle fingers for my Scarecrow cosplay, and then realized that urine tubes are exactly what they looked like. So I snatched up four tubes and tested them out on my fingers and they were perfect! 

No, they were not used tubes! I'm not a Disney fan (not even when I was little) so I never wanted to cosplay a Disney Princess. But since I work in an office that sees children, I decided to run with being a princess so I could come to work and make the kids smile (just when we dress up for Halloween).

Female Scarecrow Cosplay4) How did your friends, family, and work-colleagues first react to the news that you like to cosplay?   I've systematically been shocking my family / friends / co-workers for the entire time I've known them. So nothing, I mean NOTHING phases them anymore. I dressed goth, collect oddities, came out as Pagan, and came out as Bi-sexual all before I turned 19, so all the shock bombs have already been dropped! So when I said, "Hey! I'm doing this thing called cosplay" and showed them pics, they were really thrilled and thought it was the coolest ever! 

In my family, Halloween is THE HOLIDAY of the year. So this was something my family was actually jealous of. I realize I'm lucky to have a great support system in my life (most of my life I didn't). I enjoy being that "weird kid", and always feel for those kids that do this and their family thinks it's "weird" or "stupid". I got that when I was 10 years old dressing in all black and carrying around a coffin purse.

5) How do you decide what Cosplay costume to wear for a convention? And who makes them?   I decide months in advance as to what I wear to a con. I feel the sooner I work on them the better they will end up being. I mean, I hate working on cosplays the night before. It's awful and your dead tired the next day! I make everything myself, and I tend to record what I do step by step. This way I can post it to my Jenna Say What?!? YouTube channel and help others.

6) What have you learnt about yourself whilst Cosplaying? And were their any unforeseen obstacles you had to content with?   I'll go into this answer saying the following: I am easily defeated. I have trouble asking for help. And sewing machines and I have been at war for the past decade. That being said; I have learned to keep my defeatest attitute at bay (at least for cosplay). 

Ms Marvel Cosplay
It is really challenging when you feel like your whole project is crap and you spent all this time on it, as I did this with my Aquaman. I went to Wizard World with the feeling that it was crappy. I was stopped every few steps for pictures, and when I got them back I said "WHOAH! That's ME?!?", and I look at that costume in a TOTALLY different light! 

You are your worst critic. My Aquaman was also the first cosplay I had to ask for help. I had never done armor before, and it scared the living crap out of me! I had to ask for help. I did and I learned things I wouldn't have thought of going alone! This cosplay also required me to sew up green lycra pants! I knew a bit how to sew (thanks to my Ms Marvel) but this one needed a pattern. Patterns scared me. After a few bad runs I finally made my pants! Not too many unforseen obstacles but I now will wear an armor set or any other cosplay article out to the stores to see if it holds up. Yes, I'm kinda embarrassed, but I think would I rather this break at Target or at a con?

7) What was the best / worst convention you ever attended?   The best con I attended would be, hands down, Wizard World in Raleigh. I met celebrities that I had crushes on (hello Jason David Frank, Steve Gonsalves, and David Tennant), met some amazing new friends, and learned that I have a high pain tolerance (6 inch heels for 7 hours).

So far I haven't had a bad con. Even a small con I just attended (like 300 people) was cool. I made new friends and Charlie Rocket and I got some killer BBQ. I tend to see the best in every situation, so if there are friends, comics, food, or Starbucks, I'm pretty much a happy lady!

8) What would be your dream Cosplay gig and outfit?   My dream cosplay is somewhat obtainable. The way I explain my parents to people is my mother is a Klingon, my father is a Vulcan, and I'm a mix in between. To have my parents dress up as a Klingon and a Vulcan and me as a mix would be the highlight of my life! (Mum, Dad, make it so!) I'd say the second one would be me cosplaying Doc Yewell from Defiance. As I have a head cast this may end up happening.

My dream cosplay gig would be to do anything that helps kids that were abused or domestic violence. Those two subjects hit home for me. My second would be doing panels at Cons across America and / or overseas.

Say What Jenna With David Tennant
9) Has their ever been an outfit you just did not like wearing? And if so, why?   So far I haven't had an outfit that I don't like wearing. I see all of my cosplays as my "babies". I do have some that are favorites, but I pretty much wear them all equally.

10) Do you have a credo you live by?   Hmmm, that's a tough question. I'll start off with my personal quote: "Be yourself, it's easier said than done, but in the end the only person who matters is yourself". Life is hard, especially when you are doing something others find "crazy" or "weird", yet it takes true courage to be yourself even if you just have to fake it till you make it.

And on that lovely note, I'd like to thank Jenna for telling us about her life as a cosplayer, before directing you towards her facebook page and youtube channel

JENNA SAY WHAT COSPLAY -- SAY WHAT AGAIN?!?!?! JENNA SAY WHAT COSPLAY -- SAY WHAT AGAIN?!?!?! Reviewed by David Andrews on June 12, 2015 Rating: 5
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