Cosplayer Interview

Cosplayer of the Week: Vivian Alexander

Leo Nocedo :How did you discover cosplaying?
Vivian Alexander: I think from the cosplay features in the old Animerica magazines in the early 2000s.
Leo Nocedo :What was your first cosplay?
Vivian Alexander: Lina Inverse from the Slayers anime.
Leo Nocedo : What are your next 3 cosplay plans?
Vivian Alexander:   Senku – Dr. Stone, Inosuke – Kimetsu no Yaiba, Hanako (Ayaka6 idol ver) – Jibaku  Vivian Alexander:  Shounen Hanako-kun
Leo Nocedo :Have you ever been in a cosplay contest?
Vivian Alexander:   Yes, I compete every chance I get.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer sewing, armor making, or wig working?
Vivian Alexander:  Definitely sewing.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to do photoshoots at cons or at specific locations?
Vivian Alexander:   Specific location if time/money allows, but con shoots can be cool, especially if there’s interesting locations in the vicinity.
Leo Nocedo : Is there a type of character you cosplay frequently?
Vivian Alexander:   I crossplay as shounen boys a lot.
Leo Nocedo : Do you have any favorite cosplayers?
Vivian Alexander: Not particularly, but I would say all the local friends I’ve made are my favorites.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the most detailed cosplay you’ve ever done?
Vivian Alexander: Probably Oko – Hoozuki no Reitetsu
Leo Nocedo : What are your top 3 craftsmanship tips?
Vivian Alexander:   Hmm…Probably:
1. Add a lining and/or finish your seams well.
2. Look for patterns that fit you/the design that you can modify. I’m not huge into drafting patterns if there’s an easier way that can save time.
3. Test your cosplay for wearability before wearing to a con. If you walk around in something for a little bit first, you’ll quickly figure out things that need to be adjusted.
Leo Nocedo :What is your favorite cosplay you’ve done?
Vivian Alexander: Tanjiro – Kimetsu no Yaiba
Leo Nocedo : What is your worst cosplay “horror” story?
Vivian Alexander:  At Lumicon last year, I ill-advisedly signed up for a super early pre-judging slot on the same morning I was supposed to be checking out of the hotel. In the process of trying to get everything out of my room in full cosplay, I managed to put my phone down in the hallway. I immediately knew where I left it but I went back and it wasn’t there. I had to go to pre-judging a slightly-sobbing mess with no reference pictures to show. Fortunately, I later found my phone
Leo Nocedo : What’s your funniest cosplay story?
Vivian Alexander: Probably SugoiCon in 2013. My husband and I went Saturday as Alucard and Seras – Hellsing for the cosplay contest. I had gone all-out and crafted the Anti-Midian Cannon Harkonnen (6” long gun thingie) and carried it around most of the day. We got lots of Hellsing Abridged jokes shouted at us, but probably the best time at that con was meeting Shinichi Watanabe (Excel Saga director) and doing a skit in which I pulled the Harkonnen out of his ‘fro. I wish I had photos!
Leo Nocedo :What’s the best in-character interaction you’ve ever had?
Vivian Alexander: I honestly don’t do a whole lot of in-character stuff.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever cosplayed with a family member?
Vivian Alexander:   I cosplay with my husband when I am able to talk him into it. He’s picky about characters.
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite cosplay photo of yourself?
Vivian Alexander:   Right now, my photos of Oko from Mika Bridges photography. The Anime Iwai venue had a really nice rainforest-esque surrounding that turned out amazing.
Leo Nocedo : What are your go-to stores for cosplay materials/full cosplays?
Vivian Alexander:   I make 90% of my stuff because it’s most of the fun for me. I shop primarily at Joann’s out of convenience.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to buy pre-styled wigs or style your own?
Vivian Alexander: Pre-styled, but most of the ones I have bought have required at least minor styling to be character-accurate.
Leo Nocedo :Have you ever had someone mistake you for a different character?
Vivian Alexander: Nobody recognized my Oko cosplay (it’s not a popular anime), and I had a lot of people ask if it was “something from Demon Slayer”.
Leo Nocedo :List all the cosplays you’ve done.
Vivian Alexander: I’m just getting back into it after a long hiatus thanks to real life, so I don’t have as many as I would like.
Lina Inverse, Yuna – Final Fantasy X (I was like 13 for these and they were “not great” to say the least)
Alucard & Seras, Jotaro & Kakyoin — Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Tanjiro, Oko, Gen Asagiri – Dr. Stone.
I also have a couple handmade OC outfits I wear for non-convention events – kimono-style idol dress, seifuku, and yukata.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the biggest con you’ve cosplayed at?
Vivian Alexander:   I really haven’t been to a lot of big conventions (planning to change that this year), but I would say MTAC (Middle TN Anime Convention), years ago.
Leo Nocedo :Do you prefer cosplaying characters with props, or characters that you don’t need to carry a prop around all day?
Vivian Alexander: Preferably no props unless my husband is going out of cosplay and can help me carry things.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever lost a cosplay piece at a con?
Vivian Alexander: I don’t think so.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever bought a cosplay piece at a con?
Vivian Alexander:   No.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to cosplay solo or in a group?
Vivian Alexander:  I would prefer a group, but I haven’t been able to organize or be a part of anything like that yet.
Leo Nocedo :If you had a chance to meet your all-time favorite cosplayer, what would you say to them?
Vivian Alexander: Not really sure what to say because I don’t think I have an all-time fave. But I do like asking for advice from talented people.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever done a cosplay panel?
Vivian Alexander:   I’ve done a “cosplay basics” style panel at RathaCon, a small con in Ohio.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to buy or make cosplays?
Vivian Alexander: Definitely make.
Leo Nocedo :If you could tell your past self anything about cosplay, what would you say?
Vivian Alexander: It gets easier!
Leo Nocedo : What is your ultimate dream cosplay?
Vivian Alexander: I don’t think I have one currently!
Leo Nocedo :What’s the most difficult cosplay you’ve ever done? (Craftsmanship, wearing of, ect)
Vivian Alexander:   Definitely wearing Oko at Iwai. The plush snake obi was a huge, heavy pain in the ass and got stuck on literally everything. And my wig hair was getting stuck in the Velcro.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the most difficult character makeup you’ve done?
Vivian Alexander: Probably Kakyoin because I’m a total newb at contouring my face to be more “manly”. But I’m getting better.
Leo Nocedo :What, in your opinion, makes a cosplayer a “pro” cosplayer?
Vivian Alexander:   I’ve wondered that myself. Maybe getting invited to be a guest at events?
Leo Nocedo :What is your favorite part of cosplaying?
Vivian Alexander:   The actual sewing/crafting and meeting new friends at cons.
Leo Nocedo : Make up your own question!
Vivian Alexander: – What are your current favorite anime?
I’m waiting for the new seasons of Kimetsu no Yaiba and Dr. Stone. This season I’ve been watching Welcome to Demon School Iruma-kun and Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun.

Links: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vivichibi_cosplay/
Cosplay Amino: vivichibi_cosplay

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Leo Nocedo is a cosplay photographer who has been using a camera for the last forty years in many forms , in the military and professional studios in Miami and New York city . He got his start in cosplay photography attending conventions with his brother Juan Nocedo . He keeps on doing what he does to honor his late brother .

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