Word of the Nerd is pleased to present to you one of our most popular features, Cosplayer Spotlight. We feature new and talented cosplayers from the cosplay community. Be sure to check back every day to catch some up and coming new cosplay talent or get a look at some well established and already famous members from the world of cosplay.
About Kawaii Besu
Kawaii Besu (Beth) is a cosplayer, model, and costume designer. She began modeling and cosplaying in 2008 and creates costumes based on characters from anime, comic books, and pop culture. As a cosplayer, Beth makes appearances at anime and comic conventions around the country.
Beth is the daughter of voice actor Jon St. John, best known for his portrayal of Duke Nukem.
How did you first get into cosplay?
My first cosplay was Emma Frost from X-Men for San Diego Comic Con. I got my first “booth babe” job and my supervisor told me to come dressed as anything I wanted! I remember doing hours of research to find the perfect character.
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
A little of both! It’s a hobby that I do because I love learning new costuming skills, taking photos with friends, and hanging out at conventions! If it has the potential to turn into a career, it would be the best job in the world! 🙂
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
I prefer to make my cosplays from scratch, but occasionally I’ll repurpose thrifted clothing to make something unique!
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
It can range anywhere from a couple of days to months. I work full-time, so I can only work on cosplay about 5-20 hours a week.
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
I just finished Talon Widowmaker from Overwatch, and I absolutely love it! It’s some of my best sewing and armor craftsmanship, and I can’t wait to wear it again soon!
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
I’ll never forget the first convention I went to completely alone. I was nervous but excited! I didn’t know anyone, but I made great friends and the reception of my cosplay was great!
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I love group cosplays! The more people, the better it gets!! Although, I tend to prefer groups that don’t mind duplicates of characters. Blame it on an alternate universe, right?
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I’m hoping to finish Cote D’Azur Widowmaker before it gets too cold to shoot it! Other than that, my cosplay list goes on and on… You’ll have to follow me to find out! 😉
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
Handmade vs. Store Bought, Elitism and Blackface are the top three issues that come to mind. Here are the answers: Whether handmade or store bought, all cosplays are valid and deserve praise! Elitism makes me sad, I’d hate to lose a potential friend because I judged their work poorly. Blackface is never okay.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
VILLAINS! >:D I love the misunderstood, the dark color schemes, the Edgy Dads™
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
I think wearing the cosplay for the first time is the best! As long as it isn’t falling apart on me! haha
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
EVA foam, automotive primer, metallic spray paint, and a high gloss finish 👌
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
Balancing my time between cosplay and cleaning up my cosplay mess (especially when on a deadline).
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
Your cosplay isn’t always going to work. You’re going to run out of time, pieces will break, and photoshoots canceled. You’ll walk around in the most uncomfortable outfit imaginable, overhear people talking down about your costume, have your phone stolen because you set it down for a photo. (All of these have happened to me.) They happen, but if you let them drag you down, you won’t be able to continue. There’s nothing wrong with leaving the cosplay community, but I hope folks understand that the majority of us believe in you and want you to stick around. <3
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Praise every cosplay. Look for the good in every costume you see because everyone is still learning. And when you remember, compliment cosplayers who made need some encouragement!
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
Sometimes it’s divisive, but I can see social media and access to information changing the community daily. With better information and a sense of empathy, the community thrives.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
Infested Sarah Kerrigan
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
I set a budget on a cosplay-by-cosplay basis. If I’m pulling an expensive one for a con but I want to add another, I’ll make sure it’s on the simpler side to save money.
What does cosplay mean to you?
Cosplay literally means costume play. So when you’re cosplaying, HAVE FUN! Do it because you want to express your appreciation for a fandom through costume. Do it for yourself!
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
I was defamed by a convention once. I didn’t talk about it because it happened on my birthday. I never made any posts about it on my cosplay pages because I was too upset, and they ended up removing the post anyway. If I can get through that, I’m pretty sure I can get through anything. (And I totally plan on being a grandma cosplayer in the future!!)
You can follow and view more of Kawaii Besu here
Check out our other cosplay features here
If you are a cosplayer and would like to be featured, please fill out our submission form