Cosplayer Interview

Cosplayer of the Week: Thomas Blasco

Leo Nocedo : How did you discover cosplaying?
Thomas Blasco: A friends of mine discovered UD replicas when they made their first Dark Knight suit and shared it with me because I rode a motorcycle. I finished it off with cape and cowl and took it to Megacon, then I was hooked.
Leo Nocedo : What was your first cosplay?
Thomas Blasco: Outside of the Halloween experience or attending Renaissance festivals I would have to say Batman.
Leo Nocedo : What are your next 3 cosplay plans?
Thomas Blasco: I don’t usually plan out that far ahead, cosplay for me is all about quality over quantity, I don’t have many outfits, but want I have has a great deal of time and effort put into them. However, there is a Bat-armor from the Alex Ross book “Justice” that I’ve giving thought to building.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever been in a cosplay contest?
Thomas Blasco: Yes, several and happy to say I took first prize in most all of them. I’ve also been asked to be a judge in a couple of them.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer sewing, armor making, or wig working?
Thomas Blasco: None of the characters I portray call for wigs, however I do alot of sewing and armor making, it all kind of goes hand in hand, but I do like shaping the armor pieces the most.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to do photoshoots at cons or at specific locations?
Thomas Blasco: Both are a lot of fun, at cons, photos are spontaneous and with a variety of people and characters which I enjoy, but a scheduled photo shoot at specific locations with proper set dressings or backgrounds will yield much higher quality photos for sure.
Leo Nocedo : Is there a type of character you cosplay frequently?
Thomas Blasco: I prefer the heros, they are the kind of person I aspire to be, the characters I looked up to as a child and in the cosplay charity groups I’m in I can provide that same inspiration for children today. My #1 is Batman.
Leo Nocedo : Do you have any favorite cosplayers?
Thomas Blasco: I’d say Alyson Tabitha, the girl is a true chameleon.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the most detailed cosplay you’ve ever done?
Thomas Blasco: I’d have to say my main Bat-suit, I created the armor from fiberglass using a double molded method, the utility belt is fully functional with Batarangs, binoculars, handcuffs and more, plus I made a custom portable closet/display case to cart it around to events.
Leo Nocedo : What are your top 3 craftsmanship tips?
Thomas Blasco:1.Don’t be afraid to be original, you’re not limited by only what you see in comics or film. 2.HD foam I feel is the best for armored characters. 3. High powered magnets make great fasteners
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite cosplay you’ve done?
Thomas Blasco: That’s a tough question, I love them all for different reasons. Batman is my all time favorite character and I portray him the most, he is the most popular and the most requested. Space Ghost is a novelty I love introducing or re- introducing people to such a retro character, Martian Manhunter really freaks kids out because the mask is so realistic and articulate and people genuinely love the elegance of the outfit and my most recent Groot and Rocket outfit allows me to really adlib in character quite a bit, since I’m playing both Groot and Rocket at the same time and since Rocket is such a raunchy character, he gets away with a lot, but I guess it would all come back to Batman, he’s the hero that has inspired me most throughout my life.
Leo Nocedo : What is your worst cosplay “horror” story?
Thomas Blasco: I really can’t say as I haven’t had any really bad experiences cosplaying, though once I did leave my chest plate at home on a Batman party gig, but no one really seemed to notice, it was all moms and little kids.
Leo Nocedo : What’s your funniest cosplay story?
Thomas Blasco: I was pulled over by the police on my batcycle returning from a gig in full costume. As the police officer gets out of his squad car he gives me the elevator eyes (looking me up and down ) as I reply, in a deep gravelly voice, “What can I do for you officer? Does Commissioner Gordon need me, I didn’t see the signal.” He’s trying hard to restrain from laughing. He asked me if I’m aware that it’s against the law to wear a mask in public, to which I reply yes I do, I continued by telling him that the law was put on the books solely for the KKK and that if you read the entire law it states that it’s against the law to wear a mask only while involved in a hate crime, to which I added, “That’s clearly not the case here for I am the very symbol of Justice.” To which the officer readily accepted and then ask me if it’s okay if he takes a photograph with me ( which at this point I’m beginning to believe was the reason he pulled me over in the first place) and then another police officer arrives and the second officer is the one who took the photograph for the first officer. The best part was right before we parted the officer shared with me that Batman was one of his Inspirations for becoming a police officer in the first place.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the best in-character interaction you’ve ever had?
Thomas Blasco: I was visiting a little boy who were just had a tumor removed from his brain, he was sullen and melancholy as he laid in his bed, as soon as I entered the room he popped up like a spring and started shouting “you’re Batman you’re Batman!” He proceeded to fight his way to his feet so he could shake my hand and take photos with me we talked for about 30 minutes all about villains and how, in a previous video I had sent him, that he would be my next Robin. This a little boy I was so overjoyed by the experience that he was a completely different kid than the one I saw when I walked in, it’s one of the most profound experiences in my cosplay career and the one that made charity cosplaying less of a hobby and more of a calling.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever cosplayed with a family member?
Thomas Blasco: Oh yes, my son has portrayed Robin the boy Wonder with me many times as well as Jace, side kick to Space Ghost and Ned Land to my Capt Nemo.
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite cosplay photo of yourself?
Thomas Blasco:This is a beautiful shot taken by BriLan Imagery
Leo Nocedo : What are your go-to stores for cosplay materials/full cosplays?
Thomas Blasco: Reynolds Advanced materials, Jo-Ann’s Fabrics, Home Depot
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to buy pre-styled wigs or style your own?
Thomas Blasco: None of my characters require wigs
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever had someone mistake you for a different character?
Thomas Blasco: When I portray Space Ghost a lot of little kids think I’m Batman and I always take the time to educate them.
Leo Nocedo : List all the cosplays you’ve done. -Batman ( Dark Knight version, armored version based on an action figure and my own original design, with my son as Robin ) -Robin Hood ( But that’s only been for Renaissance festivals and the suit eventually evolved into just an original designed outfit.) -Prof. Cornwall Cornelius Copperpott ( an original steampunk character of my own who is a winged aronaut) -Captain Nemo (an original design and one I made for a one man play based on the character, which I’ve sported at various steampunk events. My son would tag along as Ned Land) -Space Ghost (an original and updated design, with my son as Jace) – Henry Jones senior with my son is Indiana. – Geppetto with my son is Pinocchio. -The Martian Manhunter ( an original design, though loosely inspired by The Manhunter on Supergirl ) -Groot and Rocket (a stilted suit and Rocket is a puppet built to ride on Groot side)
Leo Nocedo : What’s the biggest con you’ve cosplayed at?
Thomas Blasco: Megacon in Orlando
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer cosplaying characters with props, or characters that you don’t need to carry a prop around all day?
Thomas Blasco: None of my characters require props.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever lost a cosplay piece at a con?
Yes, I lost a set of gloves to my first batsuit once, that was very disappointing as they were quite expensive and I also lost a fin off of gauntlet for my original design bat suit, but that’s it.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever bought a cosplay piece at a con?
Thomas Blasco: I pretty much make all my own stuff, my first batsuit I bought from UD replicas is the only cosplay element I ever bought. As an FX artist building is my passion.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to cosplay solo or in a group?
Thomas Blasco: I do very much like being part of a group with the team dynamic and camaraderie of friends, but you must be careful getting deeply involved with people you don’t know that well, it can open yourself up to drama. which is why I like working in the charity groups they’re all very good-hearted people.
Leo Nocedo : If you had a chance to meet your all-time favorite cosplayer, what would you say to them?
Thomas Blasco: Simply talk shop, how they approached building this or that.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever done a cosplay panel?
Thomas Blasco: Several times, it was a lot of fun fielding questions on techniques and such, I love to share information and help others further their passion for cosplay. Also on a charity cosplay panel speaking on the benefits of charity work and what motivates us to do so.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to buy or make cosplays?
Thomas Blasco:I make all my own stuff, that’s half the fun, plus that way I can custom build them to suit my needs and create my own original designs.
Leo Nocedo : If you could tell your past self anything about cosplay, what would you say?
Thomas Blasco: Start sooner. Had I known this was really a thing I would have started years earlier.
Leo Nocedo : What is your ultimate dream cosplay?
Thomas Blasco: To finish a Batmobile I started building 4yrs ago
Leo Nocedo : What’s the most difficult cosplay you’ve ever done? (Craftsmanship, wearing of, ect)
Thomas Blasco: So far I would have to say building my custom batsuit, it involved a double molding process, much like building a car, to creat the suit and casting all the armor plating up in fiberglass it was my most time-consuming cosplay to date.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the most difficult character makeup you’ve done?
Thomas Blasco: As a professional makeup artist that’s a very loaded question, however in respects to just cosplay I would say my Groot/Rocket outfit is the most involved since it requires scleral lenses and an artificial Dental plate on top of wearing the foam latex mask, plus I’m performing two characters at once.
Leo Nocedo : What, in your opinion, makes a cosplayer a “pro” cosplayer?
Thomas Blasco: Very definition of professional is when one is compensated for what they do, so if you are getting paid to either make cosplay or perform cosplay makes you a professional.
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite part of cosplaying?
Thomas Blasco: There’s so many aspects of cosplay that I love from watching a construction come into focus as you near completion to interacting with people at a convention or a charity event but the best has to be watching a child’s eyes light up when you enter a room.
Thomas Blasco: In closing I just like to say that cosplay has provided me with the opportunity to meet some really fantastic people and express myself in ways I never thought I would. Cosplay is a wonderful medium that can appeal to anyone regardless of skill level or genre of Interest It’s a wide-open Wonderful World I highly recommend to everyone.

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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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