#TeamSMC member Tesla Isley caught up with Fan Expo Dallas guest Alexandria the Red and was able to get us this interview for the site. Check it out and read all about Alexandria’s cosplaying adventures below.
SMC: Why did you start cosplaying?
Alexandria: Mostly because I needed a creative outlet. I was in an extremely challenging nursing program at age 18 when I discovered costuming. I taught myself to sew using YouTube videos and it became more of a passion for me than my subject of study was.
SMC: What was the first convention you attended in cosplay?
Alexandria: My first convention was Wondercon in 2012. I went alone, knowing only a couple people within the community. I made dozens of new friends that day that I still spend time with.
SMC: What has been your most memorable convention moment?
Alexandria: The memories that stick out most to me are moments with my followers. When I started this, as a fan, I never knew how far my cosplay career would go. So for people to tell me that I’ve inspired them in some small way, it warms my heart. However cheesy that may sound.
SMC: What is your favorite thing about cosplaying at a convention?
Alexandria: I enjoy the camaraderie. The feeling that everyone surrounding you loves the same things you do. That feeling when suddenly, your geeky jokes that are met with crickets in “the real world” are understood and appreciated. That feeling when you have a meaningful conversation with a stranger over your shared love for a fandom. It’s just a really wonderful community experience.
SMC: Where can fans expect to see you next? (2016/17 Schedule)?
Alexandria: I will be at Megacon Orlando in May 2017 but stay tuned for a more international announcement!
SMC: What cosplayers inspire you?
Alexandria: I really look up to costumers like JoEllen at Firefly Path and Vanessa at Creature of Habit. They do really incredible fantasy pieces. I appreciate their mastery of fabric manipulation and an attention to detail. The kid in me just really loves fairy princess designs.
SMC: Which is your favorite cosplay you’ve created?
Alexandria: Choosing a favorite cosplay is like asking me to choose a favorite child! I put a lot of thought and care into each one so I don’t think I could choose a favorite. Some are definitely more comfortable to wear than others are!
SMC: What cosplay are you best known for?
Alexandria: I’ve asked my fans this question and they usually say Poison Ivy or Dawn. I understand Ivy, because I’ve done 5 versions of her over the years! Dawn is interesting, as she is a really underrated and somewhat obscure comic book character. But I admit, I do look a lot like her!
SMC: If money was no object what would be your dream cosplay creation?
Alexandria: I feel very lucky to be supported by many amazing arts patrons through Patreon. Thanks to them, I am making my cosplay dreams come true with a screen accurate Xena Warrior Princess cosplay!
SMC: Do you have any new cosplays currently in the works?
Alexandria: Besides Xena, I’m working on Triss Merigold’s alternate costume from The Witcher 3, Jyn Erso from Star Wars: Rogue One, and a fun elven ranger look for the Renaissance Faire.
SMC: What are your cosplay strengths? (Tailoring, fabric painting, worbla armor, in-character performance etc.)
Alexandria: My strengths lie in fabric work. I really enjoy working with gauzy, flowing materials and experimenting with draping. I love detail work. Most people hate hand sewing but I really love how therapeutic it can be. I can also rhinestone for days. Give me a gas mask, some E6000, and Swarovski crystals and I’m good to go.
SMC: What’s one thing you wish you knew about cosplaying before you got started?
Alexandria: I wish I knew that my idols are people too with their own flaws and prejudices. I think I put a lot of people up on pedestals and was disappointed when they didn’t live up to my crazy expectations. It wasn’t fair of me and definitely shook my confidence.
SMC: Any advice for people interested in cosplaying for the first time?
Alexandria: My best advice is to not allow others to define what cosplay means. You’re the only one who gets to decide what cosplay means to YOU.
SMC: What do you do in the real world for a job?
Alexandria: I used to! I was a waitress while going to school. But after awhile, my cosplaying and modeling became a more serious part of my life and a more serious source of income. It has allowed me to be a creator 100% of the time. But it’s not all rainbows, working for yourself. Every time I take a moment to relax, I kick myself for not working!
SMC: What is something your fans may not know about you? Other hobbies?
Alexandria: I was in dance and color-guard for many years. I actually marched in the Tournament of Roses parade with my high school band.
SMC: What part of “geekdom” is you favorite avenue of entertainment (i.e. comics, movies, video games, anime, etc?).
Alexandria: I’m a huge movie and television buff. I really enjoy cinematography and costume design! I tend to learn towards fantasy or period set films and shows.
SMC: What Comic Books are you currently addicted to?
Alexandria: I have a lot of love for Lady Mechanika! It’s a steampunk adventure series about a cyborg woman. The art is by Joe Benitez and I can’t get enough. Rat Queens is another I follow.
SMC: Any favorite TV shows, movies or cartoons?
Alexandria: I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. It was my stepping stone into cosplay. My friends and I made costumes to see the film in 2011, and during the premiere, an acquaintance told me about cosplay.
SMC: What is your gaming system of choice?
Alexandria: I don’t have much time to game these days and I don’t have much of a preference. I use both the XBOX ONE and my old PS3. Thinking of getting the 4 soon!
SMC: What are you currently playing / upcoming video game releases?
Alexandria: The last game I played was The Witcher 3
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Happy Canadian, as well as a hardcore video game addict. Spends all day and night trying to come up with new ideas for Share My Cosplay. Need help with something feel free to contact me.