Leo Nocedo : How did you discover cosplaying?
CosFX: Rob and I found cosplaying on our own before we joined forces as ‘CosFX Studios’ in 2017. I (Kyla) started cosplay when I was 12 when my mom taught me how to sew. Back then I didn’t even know the word ‘cosplay’. My first time at a con was Jacon and AFO in 2006 I cosplayed Child Link from Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I was always making costumes, and over the last decade have been working as a costume designer and professional entertainer. I found cosplaying as a very special form of costume expression project after project. Rob started as a professional Marty McFly impersonator at Universal Studios (amongst a bunch of other characters). He started cosplaying as Beetlejuice for events and had the opportunity to have an interactive booth at Spooky in 2017. I had just made my first Lydia Deetz red wedding dress cosplay. We had worked together before and had been friends at UO for years so we thought of doing Omni Fandom Expo earlier that year for a day. We had a blast and agreed to do Spooky Empire together as a photobooth with the grave set. That October was our first full weekend show and it was the best time we had and (yeah it’s cheesy) it was “love at first fright”.
Leo Nocedo : What was your first cosplay?
CosFX: Our first Cosplay together was Beetlejuice and Lydia (red wedding version we like to call “Wed the Undead”) at Spooky Empire 2017. That was when CosFX Studios was born and we have since been making different fun cosplay booths at cons.
Leo Nocedo : What are your next 3 cosplay plans?
- Grinch and Cindy Lou Who at the SilverMoon Drive-In for a Holiday socially distanced photo-op experience in Lakeland FL on select nights December 25-26.
- Gozer the Gozerian Ghostbusters interactive booth for 2021 shows.
- Bringing our booth to DragonCon for the first time in 2021.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever been in a cosplay contest?
CosFX: No cause we are always at our booth working (playing) when we are at cons.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer sewing, armor making, or wig working?
CosFX: I (Kyla) prefer sewing and Rob prefers making set pieces and lighting FX.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to do photoshoots at cons or at specific locations?
CosFX: We do photos in our interactive photobooth at cons where guests feel as though they are stepping into their favorite movies.
Leo Nocedo : Is there a type of character you cosplay frequently?
CosFX: We love Beetlejuice and have done many different versions of him and Lydia. We’ve done Wedding, Classic black and white stripes, Circus, Beach, Hawaiian Honeymoon, and Christmas!
Leo Nocedo : Do you have any favorite cosplayers?
CosFX: We love them all! We live in a community of very talented people.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the most detailed cosplay you’ve ever done?
CosFX: Gozer the Gozerian from Ghostbusters. We are still working on it and have so many more pieces to hand sew to the bodysuit. Rob has integrated lighting FX downs the arms of the suit for her powers.
Leo Nocedo : What are your top 3 craftsmanship tips?
- When cutting fur fabric, always cut it from the netted back-side using an exacto or razor blade.
- When curling or straightening wigs, use a steamer with a plastic grocery bag over it to keep the steam around the wig. It works way better than a curling iron or straightener.
- Our favorite sewing machine is the ‘Singer Heavy Duty’. Every cosplayer should have one because it can handle all kinds of materials from spandex to leather.
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite cosplay you’ve done?
CosFX: Beetlejuice and Lydia are our absolute favorite as it is what brought us together in the first place. The wedding scene is our favorite set of costumes. Playing those characters together is such a fun time!
Leo Nocedo : What is your worst cosplay “horror” story?
CosFX: We’ve really never experienced one. We always strive to never have a cosplay horror story.
Leo Nocedo : What’s your funniest cosplay story?
CosFX: At our first show Spooky 2017 a cosplayer came to our booth as Dracula from Hotel Transylvania. He was amazing and in full character. He said as we were playing around with him as Beetlejuice and Lydia he said “You both really ZING”. I had no idea what that meant because I had not yet seen Hotel Transylvania at the time so I was confused what that meant exactly. Rob knew exactly what he meant and laughed at my look of confusion. In hindsight, that guy was more right than we realized.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the best in-character interaction you’ve ever had?
CosFX: We had a marriage proposal at our booth! We were doing our Beetlejuice wedding setup at Spooky Empire 2018 and this one couple had such a great time that the boyfriend came back by himself and told us he wanted to propose to his girlfriend in our booth. He pretended that something happened with the photo to get them to come back and then he got down on one knee, the girlfriend (who was cosplaying as Lydia) started tearing up. Her little kids were with her too and after she said “yes” she turned to them and said “did you know about this?” the kids gleamed and said “yeah!” as they giggled. Such a beautiful moment that we got to be a part of and we’ll never forget it.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever cosplayed with a family member?
CosFX: Yes I (Kyla) cosplayed with my mom as the Grady Twins from the Shining. We look so much like twins already and had the characters down so well we scared so many people.
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite cosplay photo of yourself?
CosFX: A candid photo of us at our booth in Spooky Empire 2017. Rob as Beetlejuice made me laugh so hard and our photographer of that weekend Patrick Buckley took it.
Leo Nocedo : What are your go-to stores for cosplay materials/full cosplays?
CosFX: For Makeup and wigs, we love going to Embellish FX in Orlando on Edgewater Drive. For fabrics, we always try Jo-Anns or the Sewing Studio in Maitland, or online if it is hard to find locally. We always love to find good things at the thrift stores.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to buy pre-styled wigs or style your own?
CosFX: We prefer to style our own. It’s more fun that way and I love to play with wigs.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever had someone mistake you for a different character?
CosFX: A sweet little boy saw us at Omni Fandom Expo as Beetlejuice and Lydia (wedding) and called us Joker and Harley. We didn’t correct him cause he was so adorable!
Leo Nocedo : List all the cosplays you’ve done.
CosFX: Beetlejuice and Lydia (in many different forms), Uncle Fester and Wednesday, Marty Mcfly and Jennifer Parker, Jack and Sally, Aunt Bethany and Uncle Lewis, Parzival and Art3mis, Pennywise (on stilts) and Georgie, Sarah Sanderson and Billy Butcherson, Jareth and Sarah from Labyrinth, Grinch and Cindy Lou Who,
Leo Nocedo : What’s the biggest con you’ve cosplayed at?
CosFX: Megacon Orlando, FanExpo Dallas, Fanexpo Boston.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer cosplaying characters with props, or characters that you don’t need to carry a prop around all day?
CosFX: We love a good prop! Especially if you build in a place where you can store your belongings inside. Did that one time with Harley Quinn’s giant hammer and it was so much fun!
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever lost a cosplay piece at a con?
CosFX: Not yet (knocks on wood).
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever bought a cosplay piece at a con?
CosFX: No. We usually collect art when we go to cons.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to cosplay solo or in a group?
CosFX: As a duo we love to make cosplay pairings together or be part of a larger group depending on what we are cosplaying.
Leo Nocedo : If you had a chance to meet your all-time favorite cosplayer, what would you say to them?
CosFX: Yaaaaass **snaps approvingly**
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever done a cosplay panel?
CosFX: Yes! One of our favorites was being on the panel of judges for a costume contest at Jekyll-Hyde ComicCon. All the contestants made their own original characters and had a special performance as that character. Everyone was so amazingly talented! Rob also did a hilarious script read panel with fellow voice actors at Omni Fandom Expo. It was done as a roulette of different scripts and characters at random.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to buy or make cosplays?
CosFX: We prefer to make our cosplays from scratch, but depending on the character, costume piece, or time, we’ve “doctored up” or “frankensteined” things we buy at the thrift store or online.
Leo Nocedo : If you could tell your past self anything about cosplay, what would you say?
CosFX: Keep doing what you love! One day you’ll make a living doing it!
Leo Nocedo : What is your ultimate dream cosplay?
CosFX: Sarah and Jareth (ballroom scene) from Labyrinth. One of these days, we will do a screen accurate set of costumes and do that as a theme for one of our upcoming shows.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the most difficult cosplay you’ve ever done? (Craftsmanship, wearing of, ect)
CosFX: The most difficult cosplay we’ve ever done was the Christmas Beetlejuice and Lydia costume. So many hours of sewing Santa-esque suits but the most time took distressing and painting all of the stitches with Tulip paint to give it that Tim Burton feel.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the most difficult character makeup you’ve done?
CosFX: Not necessarily the most difficult, but the most time consuming makeup was when recently we did old age makeup as Aunt Bethany and Uncle Lewis from Christmas Vacation. It was several layers of wrinkle stipple latex and 6 hours total to apply.
Leo Nocedo : What, in your opinion, makes a cosplayer a “pro” cosplayer?
CosFX: Someone who is an expert in costume fabrication, makeup, wigs, props, as well as performing the characters they cosplay.
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite part of cosplaying?
CosFX: Our favorite part of cosplaying is the process to create our favorite characters leading up to the moment where you have your cosplay on for the first time, and the reaction fans of that character have when they see us in character. There’s nothing like it!
Leo Nocedo : What type of material would you like to work more with?
CosFX: We’d love to practice more with Worbla and other thermoplastics. We don’t get much practice because we sew more than making rigid pieces like armor but would love to enhance that side of the craft more.
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