I've been a cosplayer since 2011 and have been pushing myself to get better and grow more and more with each costume. In that time, I've made costumes from Star Wars, Castlevania, Dragon Age, The Legend of Zelda, The Last of Us, Undertale, Final Fantasy, basically all the things that I love. I'm often drawn to cosplaying as video game characters; bringing them off of the TV and into the real world, but I'll do things from TV, movies, and even real life characters!
I have been a regular panelist and cosplay contest judge at conventions over the past few years. I have put together panels on all sorts of topics including Nerd Culture and Gamification In The Classroom, Various levels of Cosplay Contests, highlights on Men of Cosplay, Crafting Workshops, and many more. I have also now judged cosplay contests at 4 different conventions and helped award prizes in the tens of thousands of dollars. Panels and judging are things that I love doing because it lets me give back to the community as well.
I love being able to act in character - skulking around as Joel, creeping people out as Chara, yelling at people (in a loving way of course) as Gordon Ramsay. It's amazingly fun being able to actually BE those characters. To me, cosplaying is more than just wearing a costume... it's about being that character. I especially love when you get to do some improv and think about how a character would interact with another character from a completely different game or universe.
In my "real life", I'm actually a teacher. I've even had the chance to bring cosplaying into the classroom and got a chance to help this next generation of up and coming talent take their first steps. And I mean, come on, how great is it when your math students ask you "when are we going to use this in real life?" and you get to reply with "when you need to make a prop sword!"