For as long as I can remember I have always loved to play make believe. This of course attracted me to acting as I grew older, and then later modelling. When I was a child, Halloween was (and admittedly still is) my favourite time of year. Halloween was always so magical: decorating, spooky movies, trick-or-treating, free candy and most of all, getting to be someone else!
However I found hunting for the perfect costume an exercise in frustration. Firstly the costumes were never quite accurate, and secondly they were always so incredibly itchy. The worst part of all, they rarely had characters I wanted to be. Where was my Buffy the Vampire Slayer costume? Some kids had parents make costumes for them, I was not one of those kids. I also had an ongoing battle with my mother, where I wanted to be say, a zombie.. She wanted me to be a princess. We met halfway with a witch. I have always loved witches, ghosts and monsters. Fantasy and horror were my security blanket.
I was a geek, and back then geeks were not cool. I had difficulty interacting with other kids who did not understand how unbelievably cool Xena The Warrior Princess is. I think they had the problem. That being said I felt very isolated. It became something I was not comfortable with embracing publicly. Like any youth, I grew rather insecure. Modelling was the last thing I expected to do with my life.
As a teenager I would rather hide in a garbage bin then grace a camera. One day my friends decided to give me a makeover and take photos. The experience gave me a sense of confidence. I later began to post images online where people told me I should model. I thought they were joking. I decided I had nothing to lose and posted them on a website called Model Mayhem. I was approached by local photographers and my career took off from there. Through modelling I met many amazing people, one of them was Photographer John Burrage.
John and I hit it off instantly. We had worked together many times. I had discussed with him how cool I thought cosplay was, that I myself always loved bringing characters to life as an actor and model. He was more than willing to collaborate on my wacky ideas. He provided his photography and craftsmanship, while I provided guidance, my presence, and post work. I think so far we have made a pretty dang good team!
When I started cosplaying, I had noticed a change in the world. People were more accepting and I felt like I belonged somewhere. I started making more friends and socializing more. Cosplay brought myself and one of my favourite ladies to work with, Teryl Dactyl, together. So far we brought to life female alternates to Spock and Kirk from Star Trek (a childhood favourite of both of ours). We have also cosplayed together Cordelia Chase and Vampire Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (my all time favourite). I hope for many more cosplays with this talented lady in the future.
Cosplay has helped me achieve my childhood dream. I can be whoever I want and I do not have to be itchy while doing so. Here’s to confidence and being a part of such a loving community!
-Xo Xo Chrisscreama