Hello Lovelies! I’m Krisandra Jade. Kris, for short. I’d like to give you a short introduction to myself and my love affair with cosplay.
Growing up, Halloween was my most treasured holiday. Not because of the once-a-year onslaught of massive bags of otherwise forbidden candies and chocolates, but because it afforded me that one night of the year to do what I so often fantasized about – be someone else. Something else. A Jedi, a witch, an Egyptian Queen; these weren’t just costumes for one night of mayhem; they were a role I felt fully obligated to embody for 24 hours. As soon as I was able to muster some control over costume selection away from my parents, I began to put ample thought into each Halloween costume, planning months ahead of time, researching my “character”. It’s that love of stepping into someone else’s shoes through costume and affectations that brought me to cosplay.
I consider age 12 to be the year of my first real cosplay. That’s the year, after a childhood completely smitten with all things Star Wars, that I decided to dress up as my favorite character from Expanded Universe – Mara Jade. Now, while Star Wars movie costumes were easy to find in the late 90s, you were out of luck with the comics and books characters. I set out to do it myself. I had mediocre, basic sewing skills passed on from my mother and grandmother. But I was very resourceful in other ways, something that I think is a key skill to many cosplayers, and professional costumers alike: finding the extraordinary in mundane, everyday objects. An old set of spray painted liars dice cups became the base for thermal detonators, my mother’s old belt got some faux distressing and became a utility belt. I used toy blasters and lightsabers with new paint jobs for added realism as key costume accessories. A cheap Cat Woman bodysuit, with some alterations, became a flight suit. I meticulously went over my comics, reread description lines in the books, until I believed I had something recognizable and true to the character – at least in 12-year-old terms. I happily wore it that Halloween, though nobody knew who I was, and later to Star Wars books events at the local Barnes & Noble. It was my first cosplay, and I’m proud of my efforts to this day. Mara Jade remains my signature cosplay, though, obviously, the outfit has greatly improved – and is now crafted to the high standards of the 501st regulations.
The wonderful thing about cosplay is that it ignites those same childhood passions of stepping into someone else’s shoes, and not only for a night, but for as often as you want. Crafting the outfits yourself gives added panache to the whole affair. The time we put into our craft, the research, the sewing, the creating new things out of seemingly nothing; it all adds to that feeling of ownership over a character [at least momentarily]. I’ve been part of this crazy world for over a decade, and I plan to continue in whatever ways I can for as long as possible. I’ve taken my cosplay ventures from the north East Coast, to Southern California, and now to the Midwest, where I’ve found a wonderful group of kindred spirits in Another Castle Creations. I’m eager to see where cosplay will take us in the future.