The interview with the Tuxedo Team has been long overdue, and since I hate procrastinating too much, I’ve decided to post the interviews as they go. In this post, I had a short email correspondence with Tuxedo Team member China Capay and sent her an email arranging for an online interview. As follows is the flow of the interview. Enjoy and hope you learn something from the interview, especially for avid cosplayers and budding photographers.
1. Are you a cosplayer? A photographer? Both?
Both, although, I am more of a photography hobbyist than an aspiring professional.
2. When did you begin interest in such things? Why? Who/What influenced you?
My interest in cosplay stemmed from my early childhood when (I) glimpsed anime shows like Dragon Ball on TV with my older brother. Anime wasn’t widely popular in the country back then so I used to watch the shows on the Japanese channels until they started showing them on local TV. Fast forward to the summer before entering college, I, along with my friend Jin were surfing the net and many times, we’d see beautiful photos of cosplayers that enthralled us. Later on, we discovered that an anime convention was to be held in a local mall so we did our research and given our long-standing passion for anime, we decided to try it out.
Cosplay it seems, was something just bound to happen, given my ready passion for playing dress up and anime.
3. Did you do things to get yourself more learned/experienced in that field? What?
During my first cosplay attempts, I didn’t really have much experience at all; neither did my friends. So we kind of just stuck it out. Initially making visual parodies of anime clichés using our own clothes until after much trial and error, we slowly figured out how to put a costume properly together. It was awkward at first, like I didn’t know a single thing about styling wigs or make-up, and things looked pretty dreadful. But at the end of every convention, it was always the fun and the silliness about cosplay that kept me going. With much experience, I learned to be more particular about fabric, wigs, props, and portraying the characters.
4. How would you define yourself in relation to your field of interest?
I’d say I evolve in the way I do things as much as I have grown from cosplaying the characters. There’s a sense of maturity in being able to experiment and revamp methodologies, and widening one’s perspectives in each little project I do, be it in cosplay, painting, design, or photography.
5. Have you won any awards, or been given any recognition in your particular field?
In cosplay, I don’t recall winning much awards because I hardly ever joined the contests. I have however, been given recognition for my portrayals along with my friends and have been invited to judge a couple of cosplay contests.
6. Do you think your works, or you yourself, have any influence on people or a certain trend in society?
I didn’t think much of my influence towards others when I started this hobby; but as I continued on with it, many people seem to have reacted positively towards my cosplays. That’s not to say I haven’t received negative comments either, I have. More importantly, I’ve received feedback regarding how I, along with my friends, have inspired people into having better outlooks not just in cosplay, but in some area of their lives as well. This is greatly overwhelming. It validates my friends and me, knowing that our silly hobby amounts to some form of constructive good for people.
7. What message would you like to share through what you have learned in your field?
Cosplay is a wonderful means for expressing one’s passion for anime, manga, and Japanese culture. It’s a great way to meet new people, enhance one’s craft, build confidence, learn different trades, and be resourceful. It is not however, an excuse to put others down for the sake of shallow popularity and recognition because at the end of it all, it’s a hobby where geeks play dress up. It can lead to many awe-inspiring things and also very abusive things.
The reality is that, there are many who lose track of what cosplay is all about: having GOOD FUN. Some make it into a sort of contest for recognition; hence, egos burst, insecurity issues build up, and friendships get strained which shouldn’t be the case at all.
Cosplay is a great, creative escape for anyone who’s ever watched anime and fallen in love with the characters, the story, and the anime-world in its entirety. It shouldn’t be some kind of nightmare where people mess with other people’s feelings or lives.
Model: China Capay
Photography: Sanda Dans
Model: Ginger Lim
Photography: China Capay
Please do not steal any of the photographs.
These pictures have been posted here with permission from the photographers.