Share My Cosplay Interview: Leaping Lizard Cosplay

Location: Key West, FL

SMC: Why did you start cosplaying? What was the first convention where you cosplayed?
Leaping Lizard: It all started back in 2006: my friends were doing a One Piece cosplay group for Metrocon, and they asked me to join. Chopper, being the adorable companion he is, was an instant choice. I didn’t really understand what cosplaying was, but after experiencing it, I fell in love.

SMC: What has been your most memorable convention moment so far?
Leaping Lizard: When cosplaying, I like to make every moment as fun and memorable as possible. I have so many goofy photos, that it’s pretty hard not to have so many. I’m a big goof and any of my friends can verify this. When anyone acts out of character I always cracks me up. I especially loved the shenanigans from my SSB photoshoot. I met some really awesome people, and had a blast doing crazy fight photos with everyone.

SMC: What is your favorite thing about cosplaying at a convention?
Leaping Lizard: Meeting new people of course. 😀

SMC: Related to conventions, where can fans expect to see you next? (Schedule?)
Leaping Lizard:

  • Florida Supercon July 3rd-6th in Miami, FL
  • Metrocon July 11th-13th in Tampa, FL
  • Dragoncon August 29th-September 2nd in Atlanta, GA
  • Anime Weekend Atlanta September 26th-28th in Atlanta, GA
  • Nakamacon November 14th-16th in Panama City Beach, FL

SMC: What cosplayers inspire you?
Leaping Lizard: This may be a cheesy answer, but all of them. I can learn something new from the big names and the little ones. 😀 The big names are usually too swamped to answer questions, but it’s actually easier to talk and coordinate with others. 😀

SMC: Which is your favorite Cosplay you’ve created?
Leaping Lizard: Now if you want to say what was the most difficult costume for me to wear, I’d have to say Meru. I’m not a shy person, but I am when it comes to my figure. Most people don’t know this, but I had a history of being very sick all of the time. I’d be hospitalized multiple times a year. Once I graduated and started my career, I decided enough was enough and that I was going to get my body in tip top shape. I’m very proud to say that I have lost 50 lbs in the past year. I definitely feel much better physically and mentally about myself. My self confidence has risen, but I’ll admit I’m still a little bashful, and when I was overweight, I hate to admit it, I dodged any form of swimwear. I look back on it now and shake my head that I had so little confidence. I had always wanted to get over this, and cosplay would finally be the way in which I did it.

I’m an adamant supporter of all cosplay, and I do believe the human body is a beautiful art form. Seeing women of all shapes and sizes cosplaying whether liberally or conservatively really helps me look at myself, and my body in a different light. These beautiful women rocking what they got has motivated me to do the same, and they may never know who I am, but I’d love each and every woman cosplayer to know how grateful I am to them for going out there and putting themselves on display. You women are setting an amazing example for everyone, and you should be proud of it.

Throughout my weight gain and loss, I continued to cosplay and in those times I always remembered feeling great about myself. I look back on it now, and I will admit I was foolish to let something so silly hold me back. I have to say to any woman reading this who relates, please learn from my experience and don’t hold yourself back. You are a beautiful individual. Fall in love with yourself, and set an example for others. By cosplaying you have already set one for me. 🙂

Now clearly you know I wore Meru. I remember pulling into the convention and I was so nervous to get out of the car. I finally forced myself to get out of the car and before I could get my foot on the ground the car parked next to us had a gentleman yell, “MERU!” I of course looked like a deer in headlights, as he ran over and complimented my outfit. We then started walking and shared our love of the game I was cosplaying from. Before I knew it I was inside the convention striking up the same conversations with others. I had completely forgotten about all of my insecurities almost in an instant, and from that point on I felt liberated and so comfortable in my skin. That is the absolute beauty of this community. It has given me so much more than what I have put into it, and for that and everyone I have met, I am eternally grateful.

SMC: What cosplay are you best known for?
Leaping Lizard: Your guess may be better than mine. Some know me for my Dusk of Oolacile from  Dark Souls, others my Succubus Catherine from Catherine, and even more recent my Meru from Legend of Dragoon.

SMC: If money was no object what would be your dream cosplay creation?
Leaping Lizard: I say that it would easily have to be Screaming Mantis from the video game Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. I want  to do the full mechanical suit on stilts, with the dolls  hanging from my side, and full mechanical arms moving. I’d also like to have the outfit allowing me to eaisly come out of it, while wearing the full screaming mantis body suit. It’s definitely a dream at this moment, but I’m slowly building up my skills in the meantime.

 Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Photo credit to Konami Screaming Mantis Exterior Suit. 

MGS 4: Guns of the Patriots Photo credit to Konami. Screaming Mantis Exterior Suit.


MGS 4: Guns of the Patriots Photo credit to Konami. Screaming Mantis Body Suit

SMC: Do you have any new cosplays currently in the works?
Leaping Lizard: Too many to count. Lol… I have 3 new cosplays for Florida Supercon, 2 for Metrocon, 5 for Dragoncon, and 1 for Anime Weekend Atlanta. *MY LIFE IS SEWING!!!!* I’ll slow down after this con season.

SMC: What is something your fans may not know about you? Other hobbies?
Leaping Lizard: Well, I’m in real life a Meteorologist. 😀 (I’M NOT ON TV! *Big pet peeve*) For hobbies, I enjoy doing a lot of things, but working out is probably become the most rewarding hobby of all.

SMC: What part of “geekdom” is you favorite avenue of entertainment (i.e. comics, movies, video games, anime, etc?).
Leaping Lizard: Video games. Hands down. I received my NES when I was only 4 years old for my birthday, so I’ve been gaming religiously ever since. 😀

SMC: What video games are you currently addicted to?
Leaping Lizard: Dark Souls series, and I’ve been going back and playing a lot of PS2 RPG’s I never got around too. (Persona Series, Shadow Hearts, Rouge Galaxy, etc…)

SMC: Any favorite TV shows, movies or cartoons?
Leaping Lizard: Well my favorite TV series is the Star Trek Series. Movies are weird for me, because my favorite movie of all time is The Shawshank Redemption. Cartoons? Freakazoid is at the top along with TMNT, Animaniacs, Ren & Stimpy. I could go on and on. If we discussed anime… That list would be infinitely longer.

SMC: What is your gaming system of choice?
Leaping Lizard: PS3. 😀

SMC: What are you currently playing / upcoming video game releases?
Leaping Lizard:
Dark Souls 2! 😀 And I’m looking forward to the release of Bloodborne.