Spotlight

Cosplayer Spotlight – Janet Rayne Cosplay

 

Word of the Nerd and Living for the Moments are 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 week 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.

 

Janet Rayne Cosplay

 


What do you do when you’re not cosplaying?  Help rich alcoholics keep companies afloat…. Seriously in real life I tend to be Pepper Potts to the Tony Starks of the world. I’m the calming force and paperwork guru keeping everything in line in whatever business I tend to find myself in. Currently I work in a performing arts school and I’m the Assistant to the Director of the school. And I mother like things with a six-year male product of my reproductive organs…  And I write…  And I game…  Better question to ask is what DON”T I do really… I can go on and on… 

What does cosplay mean to you?  Cosplay is showing a love and passion for whatever character you choose to play. It’s art because hell it is an art form to manage to put a costume together that technically was never supposed to be on a human body in the first place. It’s also means reminiscing on childhood memories. Rehashing them and get to together with other people who’s as animated about the character as you. And in some ways it’s a chance to not be yourself. Which let’s face it, most of us dorks/nerds/geeks needed that growing up. 

What is your personal cosplay style? Accuracy? Hardcore? Casual? Competitive?  I’m closer to accuracy and casual. If I’m not throwing something together because it was a fun last-minute cosplay I try to be as accurate as possible…. even if I’m genderbending or a different race of the character. Even if it’s a character I’m really passionately in love with. I’m fiercely accurate and have not shown cosplays I’ve completed because I hate how it isn’t up to my standards of accuracy. I would one day probably move onto more hardcore stuff. Once I get better, have funds, have time… etc. I don’t see me competing, I don’t have the stomach for it. I’m fiercely competitive and I’m already emotional over too many things in my life to add on that kinda stress. 

What is your most well-known cosplay? Why do you think that particular cosplay is your most popular?  She-Hulk…. duh.  At first I had no idea why it took off the way it did. Hell, it was my 1st cosplay. First time body painting myself (yes I did it myself) and I mostly put things together. No sewing or crafting involved and I wasn’t as buff as She-Hulk is known to be. But I always tend to underestimate my height and compared to most I am a bit of a giant, especially in heels. Then there was that lawyer outfit that would hide muscles anyways and I had a thicker/ curvier frame then so I was a match.  Then as time went on and people got to know me they recognized that my personality is much like our dear Jennifer. So before I knew it I was Shulkie to everyone. Which I don’t mind one bit. I love the character and more than happy that that’s the cosplay people recognize me for.

What do you prefer to cosplay – comic books, video games, books, movies, other? Why?  I would prefer cosplaying everything! But I noticed that my bigger lists of future cosplays fall in the video games and movies categories. More so because video game cosplays are such a challenge to complete. I love the designs and the characters and visually appealing. Movies… well because I like my fun cosplays and movies references are the best! It brings all the feels! As much as I love my comic characters only a few costumes catch my eye as a challenge to complete. I love a challenge and that’s what I look for in a cosplay.

Do you construct your own cosplays? Do you alter store-bought products?  I’ve done all of the above. I do whatever is as accurate and easy on my pocket at the same time. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s cheaper to buy a red leather trench coat from Goodwill for $10 than constructing it from scratch myself. I’m also aware of my skill set and again I try to go for accuracy so I made Jafar’s staff from a snake toy and a pvc pole that I attached together and painted. Because I’m not a sculptor and ain’t nobody got time for that…. lol.

 

How long, on average, does it take you to complete a costume?  My average is really out of whack… because I’ve completely a cosplay in less than two days and I have this Bayonetta costume that is now going on two years to complete…. because accuracy.

Do you regularly attend conventions?  Not lately, I trying to aim to go to more but life as a single mother only let’s me stretch my pocket so much. 

 

Which cons do you regularly attend? Are there any others you’d like to attend in the future?  I don’t have a regular…. yet. I’m really been at this for about 2 years and I have gone to different cons but I haven’t found MY con yet. I find pros and cons to a lot of them. I absolutely love DragonCon but it bleeds ones’ pockets. MegaCon seems like it will be my regular if things go the way I want them to. The ones I’m dying to go to are SDCC, NYCC, ACBC  and any overseas cons.

 

How did you get into cosplay? How long have you been participating in the cosplay community?  I have an AA in theater, dressing up has been in my blood since I could remember. Instilled in me by my mother really. Every Halloween she insisted that my siblings and I had the most unique costumes (which is why I may be the only person never to be a Power Ranger in my school). I may not act anymore but the urge of dressing up has always been there and I loved any excuse to dress up.  Then I started going out with a guy… and he introduced me into the wonderful world of cosplay and conventions. I seriously thought before conventions were for the crazy hardcore/ Larp kinda fans. (Not that’s there’s anything wrong with that, just that wasn’t me, I’m more of a dabbler in everything) I honestly thought the only people who dressed up were Star Trek people… sorry I’m all about that Star Wars… ;P

I was proven wrong and he helped me put together She-Hulk and went to my 1st convention for my birthday weekend. I’ve been cosplaying now for 2 years, roughly.

What do you think is the biggest strength and weakness of the cosplay community?  Strength- How quickly everyone bands together to defend/ support someone when something is amiss and how we all ban together and just love to be geeks.  Weakness- How quickly people can be attacked and ridiculed. The whole classes of ‘who is really is geek and who is just in it for the cosplay’ or ‘weight and race’ crap. The elitist mentally you can say.  In everything we have our good and bad seeds… every community has it’s good and bad so can’t really expect any different and just makes you appreciate the good that much more.

What do you think about the term “cosfamous” and the competitive nature of cosplay social media?  Ughhhhh I can go on and on…. but to be honest this subject has been talked to death and there’s really nothing I can say that would be different. Cosplaying is different things to different people… if some want to use it to jumpstart their fame well…. I guess power to them. I won’t judge, if they are talented I will praise them for it just like the non famous cosplayers. Life is nothing but competition so I can’t begrudge it. I just know not to involve myself with it because it’s not my particular cup of tea. Cosplay for me is a fun and creative journey. I love learning about things and cosplay has taught me a lot. Everyone has a lot to say but if more people just did THEM and not worry what the person next to them is doing the ‘cosfame’ and all the other stuff wouldn’t be really an issue. But can’t change human nature I guess.

Is every cosplay appropriate for every person?  No.  I feel strongly over this. Not saying an overweight person can’t cosplay a skinny character but please take your weight into consideration and make needed changes to it. I’m sorry but there are plenty of overweight cosplayers I know who play to their weight and do phenomenal work. Then there’s those who think they are skinny and do cosplays that isn’t flattering.  One awesome example of playing into your strengths  is one of my favorite cosplayers Sweet4aSweet Cosplay. She’s gorgeous and chooses cosplays that fit her. She’s not trying to show the most skin to get unwanted attention. I understand some feel confident in their bodies to do that but it’s a fine line to just looking trashy. I get wanting to be your favorite characters but I think they can take creative liberties to make the cosplay fit the person.  Like me, a slimmer person wanting to be Ursula. I will never do the original one justice so I will do any version I find that fits my body.  Same as having a 10-year-old girl cosplaying as a sexual character… just common sense.  Again these are my opinions and I will never knock anyone down who chooses to cosplay and put themselves out there but in my head, this is what I am thinking.

If you had no financial or time limits – what would be your dream cosplay? Why?  Every time I am asked this I change my mind. I have so many dream cosplays but it’s right now a tie between doing a female version of Kratos all armored out when he becomes a god from God of War 1 and…. Sil in her alien self from the movies Species.  Kratos because that video game is my freaking obsession and I have the biggest, craziest hots for Kratos… don’t judge… and I love anything Greek… *snort* and that armor… gah!!!  Sil because I was five when I 1st watched that movie. (I know, my parents weren’t prepared for the graphics of that movie when we went to see it). I think it was the 1st movie that shaped me into the person I am today. The 1st movie the woman was the bad guy and how she used her feminine wiles as her weapon. Talk about girl power! Lol! I’m sure a lot don’t see it that way…. plus that costume would be SICK!!!!

If you could take one cosplayer out to lunch and ask them anything – who would you take, and what would you want to talk about?  Bellechere, Bellechere, Bellechere, Belle-freaking-chere!!! God I love everything about her, from her cosplay choices, to her body, to her sewing skills, and she’s such a sweetheart. I want to pick her brain.  Talk about costume designs, bodypainting, and theater. All of my favorite things!

What is one piece of advice you’d give to a beginner for cosplay?  Have fun!  For your 1st cosplay, take it easy, don’t compete. Just get a feel for how you like the atmosphere in the first place before doing of any of the extra stuff. Attending a con as a civilian and in cosplay are completely different. So to not ruin your experience, just have fun with it at first.

What is one thing you wish you knew before you started cosplaying?  To anticipate that there is drama. You can escape it but know that it is coming and people will try to drag you in. I tend to have a thick skin so I haven’t been part of any of it. Thanks to my theater background I know how it is and what to do….(You’ll be surprised how similar both worlds are) but I wished I had gotten a bit more of a heads up. I wouldn’t have been as shocked and had more of a clear mind when making friends in the beginning. But that’s me. 

What is a skill you wish you had or a skill you would like to improve upon?  Building armor, making molds, making corsets

What do you think is the hardest part of cosplay? Why?  For me has been the motivation. Maybe because I am a mother with a ton more responsibilities and not a lot of support locally. I have to think to ask myself why am I doing this time and time again. Most of my cosplaying friends don’t live near me so it’s not like I have my friends to push me or go on crafting get togethers with them. And the friends who are local to me aren’t into cosplaying or aren’t into cosplay for the same reasons so that can be disheartening. Then when I see the drama or the gossips or the article of the week regarding cosplay in a negative light I’m like ugh….. over it. Then I see an image of a character I like and go ‘I HAVE TO MAKE THIS!’  In general, which I find what most people struggle with is the balancing of real life with this unorthodox passion…. the muggles…. they just don’t understand…

What is your cosplay message?  Do it for you. Do it because it makes you happy. Whether it’s the attention, the creative process, the love for the character, or whatever that makes you happy. You find that inner reason and hold on to it. It makes everything, the naysayers’, the ‘elitists’, the haters’ and anyone’s opinions mean squat. Find that passion and drive for what you are doing and run with it. That really should apply to everything you do in life.


 

Janet Rayne Cosplay Janet Rayne Cosplay Janet Rayne Cosplay Janet Rayne Cosplay Janet Rayne Cosplay Janet Rayne Cosplay Janet Rayne Cosplay


 

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Photographer Credits

Dante, Ursula and Fem Jafar by SGH PhotoArt

Susie Carmichael and Storm by Bryan Humphrey: Mad Scientist with a Camera

Lawyer She Hulk by Superhero Creations by Adam Jay

Shana by David Ngo

Fem Joker by Papanotzzi


 

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Word Of The Nerd

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