Recently, I had the chance to hop on a Skype session with Central-Florida-based cosplayer Angel of Dorkness.  She’ll be appearing as a guest at MegaCon Orlando and she answered some questions about her interest in cosplay, shared some of her cosplay experiences, and provided some advice for aspiring cosplayers and convention attendees.

Scott (GNN):  So, what I’ve learned from my interviews with cosplayers is that there are basically two aspects of it: there’s being a nerd and there’s dressing up. Which one of those two came first for you, the dressing up or the nerdiness?

Angel of Dorkness (AOD):  I feel like it was simultaneous. I was always super into Halloween because my mom was super into Halloween. I feel like that’s how it starts for a lot of people, like, “I loved Halloween so I started to cosplay.” I actually found out about it while I was still in high school, which was crazy because I feel like now, it’s a lot more mainstream with, just in general, nerd culture and also cosplay. But I had a younger cousin who was even nerdier than me and he was like, “Oh, my God. There’s this convention that I’m going to.” And I’m like, “What’s a convention?” So that’s when the official cosplay started but I was always a nerd. In third grade, I got into a fight with boys over Star Wars because they didn’t think that I knew about Star Wars because I was a girl. And I was like, “Let me tell you.”

Yeah. So, I think it was kind of both simultaneously just morphed.

GNN:  That’s interesting. As far as I’ve seen, some of the reasons you just said but normally, it’s the dressing up first. People loved Halloween and then as they got older, they got into some nerdy comic books and they’re like, “Oh, my God. I can do this. I can blend them.” So, if you started your dressing up and nerdiness at the same time, what was the first Halloween costume you can remember?

AOD:  Okay. The first one I can vividly remember myself picking, because I remember all of them because of the pictures and stuff but that doesn’t really count. The first one I chose was I wanted to dress up as Padmé Amidala [from Star Wars] and there were no costumes for little girls as Padmé because the only little girl costumes were Princess Leia costumes.

So, my mom helped me make the costume. We had part of the costume…we wanted to create her white outfit, her badass fighting outfit…so, we just had this cream-colored blanket that we used for the scarf so that I can dress up. I remember trick or treating that year and not too many people knowing who it was. And then every once in a while, I’ll get the one house that’s like, “Are you Padme?” And I’m like, “Yeah.”

GNN:  So, based on what you’ve said about dressing up for Halloween, what’s the difference for you between cosplay and just going to Party City and buying a Spider Man costume?

AOD:  So, I think my biggest thing is, if you are dressing up outside of Halloween I will consider that cosplay. It doesn’t matter if you bought it. It doesn’t matter if you make it. If you’re a person that wants to be a character and it’s not Halloween and it’s not your job; you don’t work for Disney; you don’t work for a princess company or anything like that. You’re a nerd. And you’re dressing up. That is cosplay.

GNN:  Okay. My cosplay experience is pretty low; I’ve dressed up one time, so I don’t really think I merit an opinion, but do you find that some cosplayers are kind of snotty about it?

AOD:  Yes.

GNN:  All the people I’ve interviewed, including you, have all been super cool about it. But as I start to like cosplay pages and link to other cosplay pages, I’m starting to find that there are some cosplayers who are somewhat snippy about it, like, “Oh, you didn’t make your own costume?  Then you’re not a real cosplayer.” I mean, I would think, again, like you, it’s all about fun…

AOD:  It is. That’s the, “play,” part of cosplay. I think a lot of people have lost that, which kind of sucks. And that’s the issue with anything going mainstream; it’s going to get more criticism with it. But I mean, I make a majority of the parts I use, but that doesn’t mean I don’t build off of other things. For example, I have a costume that I just did that required grenades. And I was like, “I don’t have the time to make it.” So, I bought them and painted them the way I wanted. I think it’s very strange to me that people– Whether you make it or not, you’re spending your money and time to become this character because you like the character. So why do you have to be mean to other people about it? It’s confusing.

GNN:  Absolutely, it is.  I mean, some of the cosplay I’ve seen, the sheer amount of skill you would need to have, like you said, being able to make the armor, being able to sew, being able to make wigs and hairpieces and makeup, that’s a lot to learn. I’d like to know how many people in the cosplay world can actually, from soup to nuts, do everything.

AOD:  Yeah, and I think a lot of it, too, that I’ve learned especially in this past year that I’ve started, I guess, “taking it seriously,” (Laughs) if you can even say that. I’m not quitting any jobs to go make costumes. It’d be great but I’m not realistically doing that. And just the amount of people that I’ve met has been so helpful that almost every costume that I’ve worked on in the past year has had help from other people whether it’s me messaging someone, “Hey, how do you style this wig?” Or “Hey, what kind of foam do I get? How do I use foam? How do I use a Dremel?” Anything like that.

So, it’s nice that I’ve kind of found a little group of people that are not the snotty ones, that will gladly tell you how they did stuff, how you can do stuff, what worked, what didn’t work. And I strive to also be that person (Laughs) that I can like, “Oh, yeah. This worked really well for me. You should try this.”

GNN:  So, as far as asking for help, are the people you reach out to relatively friendly? Do they usually get back to you and offer help?

AOD: I would say yeah, there’s– I don’t think I’ve really ever had an issue of me asking someone for help that they didn’t help in some way. So, I’d say 100% of people are willing, but I’m also asking people I know that’ll probably help (Laughs).

GNN:  So, you talked about not doing cosplay as a full-time job.  So, based on a scale of 1 to 10…with 1 being, “I throw on a Party City costume and I go to cons and that’s my cosplay,” versus 10, being, “I’m quitting my job and I only cosplaying,” where would you say you are right now on that spectrum?

AOD:  I would say maybe like…that’s a hard one. Maybe a six and a half (Laughs). I’ve definitely kind of thrown myself more into costuming and learning new techniques; I worked with foam for the first time on a project that I’ll be wearing to MegaCon. And I realized when I was working on that, that was the first time I’ve ever worked with foam, the first time I ever used a Dremel, the first time I used contacts, and the first time I did a lot of different techniques. And I think that I’ve kind of thrown myself more into that and realizing, “Hey, I can make stuff and I know people that can help me make stuff.”

So, while I may not be amazing, I definitely would like to get paid to travel the world and dress up and make costumes. But that’s not really where it is for me. My income from my job is going into this, and it’s not self-sustaining so I feel like that’s where I would like to get to…just make enough money from cosplay to put back into cosplay (Laughs).

GNN:  There you go. That sounds like a realistic goal. Basically, you’re just hoping to get to that extra half point to hit seven and then you’re good?

AOD:  I want to get to the solid seven! (Laughs)

GNN:  As far as my “scale” goes, I basically made it up, but some of the cosplayers I’ve researched, like Alyson Tabbitha, would she be a ten on my made-up scale?  Do you know her well enough to know if she has a real job or just does cosplay?

AOD:  Yeah, she has a big girl job. So, that’s one of those things that’s interesting. She’s a crazy-talented costumer and she gets to travel and go to all these conventions, but she still has a job. Even where she is right now, she’s still…I don’t know if she isn’t making enough or if she just isn’t confident enough to or if she doesn’t want to because I mean, I still want to have a job outside of cosplay career-wise but– so I guess it just depends on the person.

GNN:  Now let’s go back in time a little bit. You mentioned one of your first times dressing up being Padme from Star Wars.  So, what was your first, for lack of a better term, “official,” cosplay? When you went to a convention for the first time, who did you dress up for as?

AOD:  Okay, so when I do one of those things where when I’m putting stuff for bios or stuff like that I’m like, “My first convention was MegaCon, and I dressed up as Poison Ivy. Technically, my first convention was a tiny little con back on Long Island where I’m from and I was kind of the Wicked Witch of the West (Laughs).

My prom dress was all black and I had it in my closet and my cousin asked me to go to this convention. I was like, “Cool. I want to dress up. It’s an excuse that’s not Halloween to dress up.” So, I was like, “What do I have?” and my mom says, “You have your prom dress.” Well, who wears a black dress? The Wicked Witch of the West! So, I borrowed a witch’s hat from my aunt and I wore my prom dress and my prom shoes, and I put some little green spots of sparkly eyeshadow on my face because I didn’t want to cover my whole face with paint and I didn’t know nearly as much about makeup as I do now…and face paint and body paint and all that. So, I was like, “I don’t want to cover my whole face in eyeshadow. I’ll just do spots so you get the point.” And that was technically the first time I ever cosplayed.

GNN:  So, you were the Disagreeable Witch of the West. Not quite wicked…just kinda’ disagreeable.

AOD: Yeah, correct (Laughs).

GNN:  So, when you cosplay, do just enjoy dressing up or do you get into character, with the voice and the mannerisms?

AOD:  I think it definitely depends on who I’m with. I find that if I’m with a group, we’ll wind up all kind of throwing each other into character. I have a theater background, so that’s also a whole fun thing as well. So, I guess it kind of depends. A lot of times, we’ll kind of be in character, so to speak, and then someone will come up to me. I’m the kind of person that when people compliment me, I’m like very awkward about it. So, I wind up doing this thing. Me and a couple of my friends just do this thing where we get really low and we just kind of squat down and just talk to people from down here because it feels safe. And I don’t know why but it’s like a very strange thing that we do where we wind up kneeling. So, I think I wind up in character until someone’s like, “Wow, you look really great.” And I’m like, “Thanks.” (Shrinks down)

GNN:  All right. So again, you have a Facebook page and, like you say, you have some pretty cool Black Cat, Black Canary, Poison Ivy – your Poison Ivy is incredible. Which one of your costumes is your favorite? Any in particular, or is it like asking you to pick your favorite dog or child?

AOD:  So, which one is my favorite that I’ve made or that I like to wear? What do you mean by favorite?

GNN:  Let’s go with fun to wear.

AOD:  I haven’t worn Black Cat to a convention yet but she’s a lot of fun. So, I think she’s probably my favorite at the moment. But she’s not the most comfortable.

angel of dorkness

GNN:  That’s one thing I never understood with conventions in Florida. I mean I realize that it’s the spring holiday season, so some people are down here already, but the weather is brutal. Does that ever affect what costumes you wear? Have you ever said, “Wow…can’t wear this because it’s about 99 degrees outside”?

AOD:  It depends. If it’s something that I know that I’m going to be outdoors in, then yes. But a lot of times with conventions, like at MegaCon, I’m always freezing once I get inside. The place gets so cold when I’m inside the convention hall. So, if I’m in something that’s warmer, I don’t mind. But if I know for like photo shoots or something that are outside, it can be too hot. It was like, I cannot wear this outdoors right now. That’s not happening. I have a Catwoman cosplay that’s finished that I haven’t done anything with because it’s been too hot. I can’t wear this because I will pass out.

GNN:  Do you have any stories about fun interactions you’ve had?

AOD:  I think Disney Princesses are the ones that wind up with the best interactions and a lot of it is because of children.

GNN:  Okay…I remember Ariel was one of the cosplays on your Facebook page.

AOD: Yeah. Ariel’s a lot of fun because she’s super bubbly, so it’s really nice. Every time I cosplay her, especially if I’m outside anywhere even if we’re just going to a photo shoot, I get stopped by a child or by an adult. A lot of times it’s an adult. But it’s like, “Ariel’s my favorite.” I’m like, “Me too.” When I wind up as princesses, I find that I stay in character almost always. Even if someone compliments me, I don’t get awkward, that’s because I’ve done princess parties and stuff. So, I think it’s something mental about having the wig and the costume, I’m like, “I am this princess now.” I can’t act in a way that this princess wouldn’t.

GNN:  Right. That’s got to be huge. Have you done other princesses? 

AOD:  I did Elsa, which I’ve redone her since and haven’t worn her or done fixtures with her because I’ve been so focused on new stuff that I haven’t gone– even though I’ve gone back to change aspects of costumes, I haven’t actually proven that I’ve changed aspects of costume.

GNN:  Speaking of working on cosplays, what was your most involved cosplay? It sounds like one of this recent one you did where you had to learn all these extra things, has that been your most involved yet?

AOD:  It used to be Elsa because Elsa was one of the first costumes that I did where I sewed for the first time since I was like 10. And I had to sew it, and I made her corset which I just used glitter and duct tape cut into little rectangles and glued it all over the place and then put Swarovski crystals over it. Up until recently when I did a character from My Hero Academia, which has tested me in many ways. So I had to learn foam work because he has these giant grenade gauntlets that– I mean these things are massive. They take up my entire forearm and then there’s another trigger piece that goes over them. That was the thing that I learned everything for. I had to sew to get the top correct; I had to style the wig; I had to figure out makeup. I had to learn new painting techniques, new sewing techniques. So it was definitely the most involved. I realized today that he has 30 pieces to him.

GNN:  Wow. That’s involved.

AOD:  Yeah, so it’s going to be a lot of fun to get in and out of.

GNN:  The only cosplay I’ve done is Dale from The Walking Dead. And that’s just an old guy. It was a pain in the ass just finding something to make my beard gray…I can’t even imagine something that complicated.

AOD:  Yeah.

GNN:  When you work on these complicated costumes, do you try to plan or draw them out?  Or do you just Google an Elsa picture and kind of work from that?

AOD:  It depends. If there’s anything Disney that I’ve done. I’ve looked a lot at the Disney parks and seen okay, what do they do? How do they do it? And kind of going off of that. For me, it helps especially when it comes to like makeup or wigs, you look at something special because a cartoon, you look at something you’re like, “Okay, but I’m an actual living human being, and cartoon to human, I have a hard time sometimes translating what that would look like. So, I always try to find other cosplayers that do the same character and see what I like that they’ve done or how I would adapt something they did for me and my face. I draw out some stuff because there’s a couple of things.

GNN:  So, based on that, have there been any cosplays that you’ve like started out and then you kind of started to delve into it, and after a little while, you thought to yourself, “Okay, this isn’t working,” or you just gave up?

AOD:  Darth Vader is one of the ones that I’ve started and then was like, “I can’t finish this right now.” But I have a whole sketch of that that my boyfriend drew for me because I have convinced myself that I can’t draw (Laughs). So, I’m like, “Hey, here’s my concepts. Can you draw these for me?” I’ve done that a lot where I’ll just have somebody else kind of sketch it out. I’ll draw a very, very crude version of what it is that I’m talking about and have someone else try to do it more detailed. But even my crude drawings, because it’s me doing it I know what I mean.

It’s usually just enough for me to see it generally laid out.

GNN:  Other than Darth Vader, have there been any that you’ve tried to layout and you’ve looked and you’ve tried to find it in person and then it just was like, “forget it.”?

AOD:  Not really. There’s a lot of stuff that I’d like bought patterns or bought fabric for or said I was going to do and it didn’t. But most of that was just because I just didn’t, I got distracted by something new that came out and was like, “I’m going to make this instead (Laughs).”

GNN:  Okay, here’s the pinnacle question for you. If you had unlimited resources and for one full day had the ability to make anything you wanted: you had these sewing skills, and hair skills, painting skills, foam skills, and carpentry skills in one day you can build this, what cosplay would you want? What is your holy grail cosplay?

AOD:  Oh, God, I don’t even know. And I feel this is a question that I should know the answer to and I don’t know because there are so many and it genuinely changes all the time. I don’t know. Recently, I wanted to make The Wasp and I want to do a suit with it and I want moving wings with it and I have no idea how to do any of that. But I’m also super stubborn and determined so I know that I will get it done eventually. So, I’m trying to think maybe that’s so crazy that I probably couldn’t do it.

GNN:  So, we’ve talked about your history and what you’ve done. Now let’s move to advice you have. What would you say to someone who’s new to cosplay or hasn’t cosplayed yet and doesn’t know where to start? We’ve talked about the skills, from stem to stern. There’s sewing, there’s doing woodworking or props, and a little bit of sketching involved. What are some of the base minimal, if you’re going to do cosplay, not just buying everything what would be the most common skills you’d learn first?

AOD:  How to hot glue something, and painting in any way, shape, or form, because I feel like that’s a lot of what makes a costume stand out. You can paint a wig; you can paint fabric; you can paint a costume; you can paint foam; you can paint plastic; you can literally paint anything, so kind of getting better at that and finding new techniques is important. And I, on one of my more recent costumes, literally finger-painted almost like an entire section of it, because the brush wasn’t doing what I needed, and I said, “Nope.” And I just took my finger and started doing it, so just being open to learning stuff also. But paint is definitely one of those things that there’s a million different types of paint, and there’s a million different ways that you can use it. So that’s probably number one because you can take a store-bought costume that maybe you don’t like the way it looks because it’s a store-bought costume, and they’re not tailored to you; you can just take it and you can paint it to look however you want.

GNN:  So, painting and hot gluing.  Those are two of the bigger skills. Now, when it comes to learning those skills or any of these other skills, do you find yourself more often doing YouTube videos and self-teaching or finding those people that already do it well and reach out to those people? How do you find yourself learning these skills?

angel of dorkness

AOD: It really depends. Usually, I’ll try to find out as much information as I can. So, I’ll go on YouTube; I’ll go on Pinterest; I’ll just Google it and see what comes up. There’s a lot of subreddits about cosplay and painting techniques and stuff also. I’ll just start Googling stuff, find out as much as I can, see if I can do it, and if I’m still not confident to even try it, that’s when I’ll reach out to people. Because I’m also the type of person that doesn’t like to talk to someone unless I do my basic research, because I also don’t think– if you’re asking for a specific technique that someone used, then yeah, go ask them directly, but if you’re asking someone, “How do I sew on a button?” Well, I look it up first, try to find out the basic information that I need before asking someone.

GNN:  Sure, sure. No, that makes 100% sense. It seems as cosplay gets more popular, it’s probably not like it was 10 years ago, where it’s like, “I Google “cosplay” and there’s nothing out there, so based on what you’re saying, there are plenty of places, like you just said, subreddits, Google, people’s personal pages, YouTube channels.

Are there any skills or abilities that you’ve come to find out, you’re like, “Oh my God. I didn’t even think of this. This would be something I need to learn,” that you’ve either had to learn or is on the burner for you to learn. Anything come to mind, skill-wise, that someone wouldn’t immediately think of?

AOD:  Probably foam work, specifically with a Dremel. I don’t think if you had asked me four years ago that when my parents said, “Hey, what do you want for Christmas?” That I would say, “Hey, can you get me this Dremel? And a Home Depot gift card?” That was definitely one of those things that I would never think of when starting out that now it’s like yeah, obviously I’m going to bring my Dremel everywhere because we’re probably going to need it.

GNN:  Okay, you’ve talked about doing research and a portion of the research is forming relationships with other cosplayers. Do you find yourself doing that at conventions? Or do you just find it by reaching out on their Facebook page, getting in touch with them online?

AOD:  I think it depends on the person that you’re trying to reach. Also, there are people that make some of their best friends through the internet and social media and there are some people that need that human interaction of a person literally in front of them, and especially once you kind of have the bigger side and you’re getting people left and right coming up to you that want to take pictures and view, I feel like it can get kind of difficult to remember who’s who. When you have 100,000 followers and people are constantly DM-ing you, it’s kind of hard to sort through whether someone is actually wanting to talk or if someone is just being creepy or weird or anything else that doesn’t really matter.

So, I think for me, it’s been a lot at conventions. Last year I went to more conventions than I had gone to in prior years and I wound up making friends through one convention, and it kind of just grew from there because then you go to the convention and you’re hanging out with one friend, and then we’re going to go meet their other friends and then that person’s with a bunch of people so then you kind of get to know all of them. And then I think social media does help to kind of strengthen those relationships with those friends of friends, which is definitely what happened for me and the person that helped me style my wig for this one costume was that exact situation where I was hanging out with a friend and we went to go see another friend who saw another friend, so we kind of knew each other, knew each other’s name enough. And then I was like, “Hey, I need help with this. Do you mind?” And she’s like, “Yeah, I have videos. Here you go.”

GNN:  So, a second ago you said that last year you attended the most cons you’ve ever attended?

AOD:  Yeah, it was this past year. I attended eight or nine…before that it was like two or three in a year.

GNN:  Okay, so let’s talk about advice you’d give cosplayers, or basically anyone who’s planning on attending a convention.  What tips do you have for those people? For example, I know other con attendees have mentioned water, cash, and vitamin C.

AOD:  I literally went to GMC as soon as I got out of work the other day and I was like, “Hi. I have a convention this weekend. How do I not get sick?” So, I bought supplements. I bought B12 chews. They have at Starbucks this Defense Up juice, which is orange and mango and pineapple and it’s super high in vitamin C. And I’ve been chugging one of those every day for the past five days. Starting on the Airborne and Emergen C tonight.

GNN:  Exactly.  I’m definitely getting my vitamin C on.  So based on that, do you have any additional advice for cosplayers attending a convention?

AOD:  Deodorant (Laughs). Vitamin C. And, as hard as it can be, force yourself to sleep. Especially because I feel like a lot of the reason, at least for me, the reason that I wind up getting sick is I don’t sleep a whole lot while I’m at the conventions. And the entire two to three weeks beforehand I’m not sleeping, trying to finish costumes.

So, like trying to get sleep while I’m at the conventions is a huge thing, but I think as far as actually being at a convention, just understand the fact that you can’t do everything. Especially if it’s a bigger con that has a lot of things that you want to do, look at the schedule when it’s posted.

Also, figure out what do you want to do and go do it. Don’t get stuck with friends that don’t want to do the same things as you. Don’t feel obligated to stay with them. I had this happen too many times where you’re with a group, especially with group cosplays a lot of times, if you actually can get a big enough group, you wind up kind of getting stuck and stagnant because no one wants to be the person that’s like, “Well, I’m going to do this.” And I’m always the first one to leave stuff. I’m like, “I have a panel starting in five minutes. I want to go to it. You’re welcome to come. I’m going to go see it.” But it definitely took a lot to get to that point, because I definitely felt obligated to be with my friends, or especially to be with other people that I was cos playing with, in order to be like, “No, I want to do this thing. I paid money to be here. I’m going to go do this thing.”

GNN:  Yeah, that’s a great point. It’s always cool to go with friends, but you need to do what you enjoy to get your money’s worth. It would be nice if you could find nine friends that liked exactly the same stuff as you, but I’m sure that everyone has different interests and different things to see.

So, with all that…trying to be with your friends and trying to do what you want to do and see what you want to see…how hard do you find it is to actually take care of yourself, to get water when you need water, and eat when you need to eat?

AOD:  Well, it’s rough. I try to have protein bars or something with me, because I don’t ever eat at conventions, and I get super hungry. But then, especially in costume, it’s such a hassle, ’cause you’re like, “Oh, I have to leave the convention center and go all the way over there and get food, ’cause it’s too expensive to buy it here, and then get all the way back,” and it’s a whole process. So, it’s definitely helpful to just have something like a Quest bar in your bag that you can just pop out, eat it, drink some water and keep going. Because there’s nothing worse than– especially being in a costume and being hungry and tired and cranky, and no one wants to be around that. And it’s not enjoyable for you, and it’s just generally a bad time.

GNN:  That makes sense. I think we’ve covered everything.  Oh wait, hand sanitizer…is that another thing you recommend?

AOD:  Definitely. This year, since it’s the first time that I’m going to have a table at a convention, my boyfriend was actually the one that reminded me because I was like, “I’m going to get hand sanitizer.” He’s like, “And also hand lotion because you’re going to dry out your hands.” And I was like, “You’re so smart.” And I’m pretty sure Bath and Body Works has a hand sanitizer that’s also a lotion, so 10 out of 10! (Laughs)

GNN:  Right. That makes total sense. So, this year, you have a table. Is it just you or are you with other cosplayers?

AOD:  It’s just going to be me. My boyfriend’s going to be there to help out and stuff, but it’ll be me and I’ll be there trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do!

GNN: You’ve never even been part of another group or anything like that?

AOD:  No. I’m really lucky because my friend is doing this also and she’s got a table right next to me. So, I’m really excited because we’re going to figure this out together, and I’m not going to be alone just panicking by myself. So, it’s going to be interesting and I think that was the hardest thing, is figuring out what I need to bring. What do I need to buy? How many prints do I have to order? Because I talk to some of my other friends that have had tables and stuff, and they’re like, “Well, you’re going to sell a lot.” And I’m like, “But am I?” Because no one knows who I am. The people that I ask, they have bigger followings, so it’s like, yeah, you’re selling more stuff because you have a bigger following. So, I don’t know where on the spectrum I’m going to wind up. The way I saw it was I’m not going to order a whole bunch of stuff and then get stuck with it. I’ll order some stuff and, worst comes to worst, I take down names and addresses and mail it to them!

GNN:  So, now, instead of giving advice to cosplayers, do you have any advice for the people who interact with cosplayers?  Advice for the fans?

AOD:  I’m sorry for how I act! (Laughs) I just think…be respectful. Don’t think that it’s okay to touch any part of my costume without asking first. I think that’s one of my biggest pet peeves is people just come up and immediately try to start touching stuff, and I’m like, “Look, I know it’s shiny, or it’s cool, but don’t.”

My biggest pet peeve of all time is when people take pictures without asking. Because I will say, “yes.” We can pose for the picture and it will look amazing. But ask. Me and my friends usually just are very vocal about it and we’ll see people just coming out with their phones like this and like, “Oh, did you want a picture? I will gladly pose for the picture, but don’t just–” Or people that just hold their phone or their camera up. And I’m like use your words! You’re an adult (Laughs).

Also, if you see someone– and this is just anyone in general. If you see someone’s eating or clearly trying to get somewhere, you can say, “hi,” but don’t ask for anything more than that. There was one time where I was finally getting food. I wound up getting ice cream or something, and I just got it, and my hands are full of stuff, and I got my ice cream. Someone’s like, “Oh my God, let’s take a picture,” and I’m like, “I just got my ice cream.” They’re like, “No, but let’s just take a quick picture.” And I’m like, “If you literally wait ten minutes, I’ll be done with this ice cream. You can properly take a picture.”

GNN: I mean, it seems like there’s a compromise to almost everything, and you just had the perfect compromise. “Hey, I’m at table 102. Come over, and we can do this picture in five minutes.” Makes perfect sense.

So, we talked about interacting with con attendees. Have you ever gotten to meet anyone while you’re dressed as someone, where you met a voice actor or somebody who’s played the character you’re dressed up as?

AOD:  Yeah. Last year I got to meet Jodi Benson as Ariel, and I went up to the table, and she was like, “Do you work for Disney?” And I was like, “No, I do not.” And she was like, “Why not?” And I was like, “Because I have tattoos, so I can’t,” and she was like, “That’s a stupid rule.” And I was like, “Thank you, Jodi Benson. I agree (Laughs).”

GNN:  Have you ever had a negative experience with someone you met celebrity wise?

AOD:  I don’t think so. I don’t know. I’m a person that unless it’s someone that’s super, super impacted my life or in some way, shape, or form, I don’t really wind up spending the money to go meet them. I wouldn’t say I have. I mean, I have friends that have, and one of my friends that met Stan Lee last year, and she was like, “He didn’t move. He didn’t even turn.” They walked in. They took the picture, and that was it. So that kind of sucks. You’re paying to get to meet somebody, not just walk in, snap a photo, and walk out.

GNN:  Yeah, it’s a shame it’s like that sometimes now. I really hope you do well this year at your first con. I guess the last thing to talk about is where people can find you. You’re on Facebook, Angel of Dorkness. People can find you there. Any other places they can find you on the interwebs?

AOD:  I’m on Instagram and I do have a Twitter that I’ve converted to my cosplay stuff that I’m going to try to get better about posting, and that’s @dorknesscosplay because “Angel of Dorkness” was too long. But those are really the big three.

GNN:  Any conventions where people can meet you?

AOD:  Yeah, I’ll be guesting at Hero Hype in Orlando which is in the middle of July. And then Otakufest at the end of August I’ll be guesting in Miami as well. And potentially more, I’m still waiting to hear back from a couple of them. I will most likely be attending MetroCon and Tampa Bay MegaCon and obviously Spooky Empire because they’re amazing. But that’s not until way later. Yeah, I’m still reaching out to a couple of different other smaller conventions that are happening over the summer to try to lock in that guest spot.

GNN:  Nice. Can people find these locations on your Facebook page that you’re going to be at?

AOD:  Yes. They’ll be on my Facebook and my Instagram and also my Twitter because I’m going to use it.

GNN:  Oh yeah, I almost forgot…since this interview is for Geek News Network, what have you been geeking out on lately?

AOD:  I’ve been really geeking out on Marvel. With Endgame bringing in a lot of comic arcs, I’ve really been delving more into the backgrounds of a lot of those characters. I’ve also been geeking out on Mortal Engines, the book series. I had seen the preview for the film in theaters sometime last year and immediately thought, “That’s gotta’ be a book.” So, I looked it up, and turns out it is! And it’s super interesting. I think it’s meant for young adults, but it’s so good!

GNN:  Excellent!  Thanks for the recommendation.  Thanks again for your time!  Good luck at your first convention!

angel of dorkness

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