In this installment of the Cosplayer Spotlight, we talk with Kimberly Moore, a 24 year old from Hoosick Falls, NY!
COMIC ATTACK: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you into Cosplay.
KIMBERLY MOORE: What got me into Cosplay? Well I sing, dance, act and model. I love musical theater, the stage and performing. And a part of performing is dressing up, and I love getting into character. My first cosplay was Laura Croft and it was for Halloween. I didn’t know I was cosplaying until a friend introduced it to me and told me all about conventions. So in 2009 I went to my first convention at Otakon and I cosplayed as Luigi. I fell in love with it right away. I was in a place where I can be comfortable and not be judged, where I can be myself and have fun, where people loved the same things I did and can make new friends. Plus having your picture taken constantly didn’t hurt either. When I cosplay I like to go full out. I think about the character I want to be, I have a vision in my head of what I want it to look like and I make it happen. I don’t stop until I find what I’m looking for and the results of my cosplays are impressive.
CA: Being an actress, how far do you go when in character? Do you stay in character the entire time you’re on the Con floor?
KM: I go full out when I’m in character. When you cosplay you are obviously being the character that you love, inspires you and you can relate to. I study the character on how they move, talk, how they interact with others and basically their story. With my cosplay of course I do dress sexy, however, I do keep the character’s innocence. When I design the cosplay I keep the character’s identity. Never lose track of who you are cosplaying. I do stay in character the entire time because not only is it fun, but at a convention this is the only time you can perform the character that you worked so hard to be. It’s like having that leading role and you’re the star. At a convention it’s your time to shine. You never know who is watching or recording you, so you always want to be your best.
CA: Some of your cosplays are female versions of male characters. What kind of feedback do you get with those costumes, and why do you choose to go that route?
KM: I received excellent feedback from my male character cosplays. Luigi and Tails are my favorite video game characters. I looked at other girls’ cosplays of Luigi and Tails and I didn’t like what I saw, and I said to myself that I can make it better. To me it’s like a girl wearing a guy’s shirt. Every guy fantasizes about it and they know it’s incredibly hot. I knew that dressing like my favorite male characters my way would make me happy because I loved the way I looked. Others liked the way I looked too. For Luigi, of course I didn’t want to wear pants- I wore a dress that I was very lucky to find. The reaction to my cosplay was huge and every Mario or Luigi male cosplayer wanted a picture with me, which I was very happy to provide. Now with Tails I didn’t want to wear a corset to have as his white tummy because I wanted Tails to look sports-like because he runs and flys. So I sewed fur on my bra and wore shorts with sneaker heels. Tails was more difficult to do because finding matching orange was harder then I thought. When I was Tails I had a Sonic and we made a pretty good pair. Sonic cosplays are very rare to find so we became very popular. The reaction to my Tails cosplay was mind blowing because no one had seen a Tails cosplay like mine before. Both of my Luigi and Tails cosplays were sexy and cute, just like me. I am very proud of my female version of male character cosplays because I wanted it to be memorable and I think I pulled it off quite nicely.
CA: Which video game character do you plan to take on next? What do you have in mind for a costume design?
KM: Well, actually I’m planning on doing more comic based characters next, however, the next video game character I would love to portray is Sonya Blade from Mortal Kombat. I love to play Mortal Kombat or any fighting game and when I play I’m always the female character. Sonya is a very recognizable character because of the way she dresses and carries herself. She knows she’s a bad ass, so her designs look very masculine. When I portray Sonya, I want to keep her feminine charm alive without losing her image as a bad ass. So when I design her outfit I’ll go through different looks and see what works. The reason I would pick Sonya is not only because of the blonde hair, but because when men piss me off I tend to want to knock them out just like Sonya does.
CA: That sounds awesome! Which comic characters are you planning on portraying? Tell us a little about the costume designs.
KM: Well, this year I am Harley Quinn. I went with my own design and I am so happy with the way it came out. I knew I wanted to keep the jumpsuit colors, but I wanted to make it a little more modern. I loved Harley’s nurse outfit, but I wanted to keep her identity as a gymnast and have the costume she wears be comfortable and movable. However, I did love the boots and fishnet stockings and so I added that to the design. The most difficult part of making this costume was finding the boots. I was trying to find boots that were the same design but had to come in red and black. I was lucky enough to find a pair of boots just like that. The blouse I was fortunate to find in an online dance store. I love the blouse because the two toned colors are on the right sides of Harley’s jumpsuit, and it has some bejeweled detail to it. I also wanted a gun for Harley so I added one to the outfit. Plus it’s hot to see a girl carry a big gun. I have made some changes to the costume but only towards the mask and wig. You won’t see the new and improved version until the next convention I attend which I hope will be soon.
On the side I am also designing a costume for the comic character Black Cat from Spider-Man, and also a female version of Captain America. If I complete both looks I will alternate the costumes and wear all three this year. Which is very exciting for me because I am usually just one character a year. I hope other cosplayers and fans will love my cosplays as much as I love to wear them.
CA: Which Comic Cons do you plan on attending this year? Which do you usually enjoy the most?
KM: I will most definitely be attending Albany Comic Con and New York Comic Con. I’m gonna try and make it to my third trip to Otakon. I also plan on going to Dragoncon for the first time. I usually enjoy the bigger conventions only because there is so much to do and there are so many people attending. I went to New York Comic Con for the first time last year and that is by far my favorite one to go to. I like NYCC because everything you have ever grown up with is there, and those once in a life time things you’ll see are all around you. Every convention I go to is very exciting and I always have an amazing time.
CA: What are some of your best memories and experiences at a Con you can share with us?
KM: Just being at a convention for a whole weekend is a memorable experience itself. I think the most memorable experiences I have at conventions is when nerds ask for my picture. I find it so cute when boys get all excited to see me, or they are being shy around me when they ask for my picture. When it comes to asking me for my picture, I will never say no. I love getting my picture taken and all the complements I receive. I also love seeing peoples reactions to my cosplays when I walk on the streets heading towards the convention. I also love being asked for an interview because I get all excited for it and it makes me feel special. Plus, finding my interview on Youtube and my pictures online makes me feel like I’m already famous. Don’t get me wrong I love the attention I receive, but I am also very grateful for it too because it makes me feel really good and makes the whole experience of being there even better. I think the most important thing I remember is how extremely happy I was to be there at the convention. I want to attend more conventions so I can have more memories and experiences to share.
CA: Have you ever had any negative experiences while in costume you can tell us about?
KM: Actually I have had some negative experiences while in my costume. For some reason I always tend to want to use high heels for every cosplay that I do. Walking around the convention all day in high heels is terrible for my feet. So sometimes I’ll have sit and watch a panel or whatever movie is on just so I can sit down and take off my heels because my feet would hurt so much. Another negative experience I had while in costume was when I was wearing fake eye lashes, or the time I wore my mask that required me to use adhesive glue. The glue and the chemicals were irritating my eyes the whole time. So I decided to not wear fake eye lashes or wear masks that required me to wear adhesive glue for my cosplays anymore, unless it was necessary. Another negative experience I get while wearing my costume is sometimes I will catch boys checking out my butt or doing sexual gestures towards me. I find it very inappropriate. I know it’s because of the way I am dressing, however I don’t feel like I have to change the way I look or don’t dress that way at all for it to stop. It will happen because boys are boys, and as long as I’m happy with the way I look it doesn’t matter. Now I do have negative experiences out of costume as well. I will receive negative comments from women and men on my interviews on Youtube. It happens and it does bother me a little bit, however I let it pass by because I know better than to cowardly insult someone on the internet. However, when I receive nice comments I always try to reply back and say thank you.
CA: Can you provide us with links to some of your Youtube interviews?
KM: Of course I can! I only have a couple and they all take place at NYCC.
CA: The one’s with the Mario guys were…interesting. I’m curious as to your thoughts on how these guys presented themselves on the Con floor as zany characters, but then proceeded to rudely objectify the women they were interviewing with what comes off as low-brow videos and crass comments?
KM: When the Mario guys wanted to have an interview with me I knew it was nothing but trouble. They presented themselves as guys who wanted to interview me because I was a target for cosplaying as Tails. However, I knew it was also for laughs and as a joke. However, it encourages people to make rude comments about the women in the interview. Like I said boys are boys, and they think they can get away with anything. It was meant to be funny and as entertainment so I took it that way. When I first watched it on Youtube it actually made me laugh. I was disappointed that I wasn’t ranked as number one on their Top Ten but I’ll try again this coming NYCC with my new cosplays.
CA: Besides acting and cosplaying, what do you do in “real life”?
KM: (*Laughs*) I am a singer, dancer, actress and model. That is my “real life”. I am pursuing my career and living my dream. Singing, dancing, acting and modeling is what I do and is who I am. I love what I do very much because it makes me happy and I love who I have become. However, in “real life” as you put it, I do have a couple jobs on the side and I just graduated from SUNY Cortland with a BA in Musical Theater. I also take care of myself by keeping my body moving and in shape and living a vegan life style. When it comes to living my dream, I always want to stay on track and never give up because I want to be famous, have everyone know my name and who I am, and have a very happy successful career in the entertainment world. I have always know all my life that I wanted to be part of this, because not only does it make me happy, but I want to share my talents to the world. I want it so bad and I wont give up until I get it.
CA: What do your friends and family think of your cosplay work?
KM: The majority of my friends think my cosplays are awesome. The girls will give me nice compliments of how beautiful I am. The guys will say that my cosplays are hot and sexy. All of my friends are amazed by how much effort I put into making my cosplays. They always have a great time hanging out with me at the cons. My family on the other hand, thinks differently about my cosplays. Part of my family have no idea what’s going on when they see my cosplays in pictures, but they always give me nice compliments on how I look. The other part of my family thinks that my cosplays are part of this theatrical thing that I am doing, and they know it’s for an event. My family will ask me who I am cosplaying because some of them have no idea and I will have to explain it to them.
My mother on the other hand thinks my cosplays are amusing. She will sometimes help me in making my cosplays, and she will get a kick out of it. However, She does know that I take this seriously and that I am trying to promote myself as an actor and model. So every con I go to she asks me if anyone has come up to me for work or any great opportunity. I haven’t had anyone come up to me for work yet, but hopefully I will soon.
CA: Do you read any comics? Which are your favorites? Any top characters?
KM: I do read alot of Manga. I have read Kare Kano, Vampire Knight and Return to Labyrinth. I watch alot of Anime like Sailor Moon, Gurren Lagann and Death Note. I do own some Batman comics that are all related to the Joker and Harley Quinn. I think what got me into comic characters most was watching the cartoons on TV as a child. I watched Batman: The Animated Series, Spider-Man, and X-Men all the time because my brother would make me watch it, and so I learned to like them too. If I had to pick a favorite comic it would be Batman, and of course my favorite character will always be Harley Quinn.
CA: Any closing words on comics or cosplay in general?
KM: What I have learned and experienced from cosplaying and being in conventions is that it gave me the chance to actually be myself. When I was growing up in High School I hung out with friends who didn’t like to play video games, read comics or watch anime. I didn’t have many friends in High School to start with, so I had to go with what I had. Everyone judged me so it was difficult to be accepted. The only time I got to do all the nerdy stuff I loved was at home. It wasn’t until I was introduced to conventions that I learned that it was ok to let go and be myself. When I’m at conventions I’m actually with people who I can relate to and make new friends that I am grateful to have. I’ll go to as many conventions as possible because it’s the one place where I am always happy to be, and where I can escape and enter a world where I belong. I love being a nerd, I love to cosplay and I love being who I am. Comics and video games are awesome and no one should ever let you think differently about them. Cosplaying is amazing and dressing up is worth it. No matter how you look or put your cosplay together, if you are happy then that’s all that matters. My closing words would have to be words of wisdom. Always be yourself, if you’re a nerd show it with pride, follow your dreams and never give up.