Share My Cosplay Interview: Angi Viper

Location: California, USA

SMC: Why did you start cosplaying?
Angi Viper: I started cosplaying in high school because I was heavily into anime, manga and Japanese culture and it seemed like the logical next step once I discovered it.  I had my mom help me make costumes of my favorite characters and then discovered the local university held a convention every year.  I was hooked from the first moment I stepped out of the car.  I never wanted it to end.

SMC: What was the first convention where you cosplayed?
Angi Viper: The first con I cosplayed at was I-CON (short for Island Convention).  It was a small con held on the SUNY Stony Brook University campus and encompassed everything from anime to manga to fantasy role play to scifi literature.

SMC: What has been your most memorable convention moment so far?
Angi Viper:At Long Beach Comic & Horror Con 2012 I met an adorable little girl dressed as Wolverine.  I was Pumyra that day and she saw me while I was ordering food and proceeded to tell me about how her daddy showed her Thundercats and it was her favorite show and she knew all the characters.  I talked with her for a moment and then we parted ways.  Later that day she came running up to me, frantic.  She explained how upset she’d been that she thought I’d left already and she really really wanted a picture with me.  The photos that followed are in my top 5 list of favorite con photos.  She gave me a huge hug and thanked me for taking photos with her and told me that getting photos with me was her favorite part of the whole weekend.

SMC: What is your favorite thing about cosplaying at a convention?
Angi Viper: I love meeting new people.  I think I’ve made a new friend at every con I’ve attended – either a fellow cosplayer or con-goer who I connect with over mutual love for the character or series I’m cosplaying or a photographer I’ve never worked with before.  I also love inspiring others to start cosplaying themselves.  I’ve had a few instances where I met someone at a con, started up a conversation and a few weeks later they messaged me to say they were working on their first costume and I just get so excited for them.

SMC: Related to conventions, where can fans expect to see you next? (Schedule?)
Angi Viper: I will be at Anime Expo and San Diego Comic Con in July, Central Coast Comic Con and Long Beach Comic & Horror Con in September and Comikaze in October

SMC: What cosplayers inspire you?
Angi Viper: I’ve been following Yaya and Vampy since they first started and their level of quality is something I’ve always pushed myself towards.  Traci Hines has been a big inspiration as well.  Her work introduced me to Firefly Path who’s costumes are at the top of my list of favorites and working with Traci recently has inspired and motivated me to push myself to a new level.  My bestie Claire De Lune inspires me as well. She’s so passionate and enthusiastic and working with her on group cosplays is invigorating.

SMC: Which is your favorite Cosplay you’ve created?
Angi Viper: This is always a tough question for me.  Because I’m constantly evolving my craft, each new costume I create becomes my favorite for a time.  If I had to pick one it would always be Elsa.  I’ve put everything I have into that costume/character and I absolutely love letting myself be her.

SMC: What cosplay are you best known for?
Angi Viper: Probably Elsa or Madame Hydra.  They’re my two favorites and I relate to them the most of anyone I’ve cosplayed so I tend to put them out there a lot more than my other cosplays.

SMC: If money was no object what would be your dream cosplay creation?
Angi Viper: I don’t like to reveal cosplay plans until I know I’ll be able to do something, but I do have a number of dream cosplays I would love to invest in if I had the funds.  I do accept donations through my facebook, youtube and blogspot pages for those who are interested in seeing me tackle some of those currently out of reach ideas, but for the time being you’ll just have to wait and see 😉

SMC: Do you have any new cosplays currently in the works?
Angi Viper: I do!  So very, very many lol.  I have a new cosplay I’ll be debuting this month, 2 for Anime Expo and 2 for San Diego not counting the new ones I’ve locked in for the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015.

SMC: What is something your fans may not know about you? Other hobbies?
Angi Viper: I sing and act.  I have some singing videos on youtube and have been in a few musicals with Random Encounters Ent as well as a few short films of my own production as well as with Three Degrees Off Center Productions.  I use both of these skills in conjunction with cosplay to perform at events and character parties.  I love to swim and spend most of my free time in the pool over the summer.  I draw, though not as much as I used to.  I also love animals.

SMC: What part of “geekdom” is you favorite avenue of entertainment (i.e. comics, movies, video games, anime, etc?).
Angi Viper: Movies and comics are definitely my big draws, but I do enjoy video games and though I don’t watch any current series, I do have a number of older anime/manga series I’m still obsessed with.  I’ve never been one to be able to focus all my attention on just one thing.  My interests are constantly changing as I find new things I enjoy.

SMC: What Comic Books are you currently addicted to?
Angi Viper: I’ve always been a Marvel girl and I love X-Men, but I also have mad feels for Batman and anything involving the Gotham Sirens.  Recently I’ve been trying to read through the X-Men Compendium from the beginning.  I’ve also been reading Hack/Slash, Hatter M and Grimm Fairy Tales.

SMC: Any favorite TV shows, movies or cartoons?
Angi Viper: Anything Disney or Dreamworks.  I’m obsessed.  Frozen, The Little Mermaid, Tangled and How to Train Your Dragon are personal favorites.  I love Jem and the Holograms, Beetlejuice, Addams Family, Invader Zim, Kim Possible and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  I’m also addicted to Tim Burton.  I’m a huge fan of his movies and own all of them.  I also love Guillermo Del Torro and Tarsem.

SMC: What is your gaming system of choice?
Angi Viper: Playstation.  I like the Wii, but I struggle with the controller.  I never had game systems as a kid and only played my cousins’ , so there’s a learning curve for me.

SMC: What are you currently playing / upcoming video game releases?
Angi Viper: I love Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Darkstalkers, Marvel vs Capcom, Journey, Flower, Smash Bros and Mario Kart.

SMC: Any comments or words for the fans?
Angi Viper: Do what you love and let yourself be happy.  There will always be people who try to stop you from being happy, but there are those who will support you too.  Don’t be afraid to make decisions for yourself and fight for what makes you happy.  You never know where it could take you.  Cosplay has opened so many doors for me that I never thought possible and made me happier than I ever dreamed.  You never know where your dreams will take you, but you’ll never find out if you don’t follow them.

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