The Schuster Family:
Steve (dad) Instagram: @starkwizardcosplay
Carolyn (mom) Instagram: @bubblywizard
Leo Nocedo : How did you discover cosplaying?
The Schuster Family: We discovered cosplaying after attending the 2018 Harry Potter Celebration at Universal Orlando.
We’ve always been obsessive about dressing up for Halloween; so, when we saw “cosplay” we thought “hey, wait, we can do this all year-round?!” And we were ALL IN.
Leo Nocedo : What was your first cosplay?
The Schuster Family:The Malfoy Family from Harry Potter
Leo Nocedo : What are your next 3 cosplay plans?
Steve: Star Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy, and a Star Wars/Disney mashup.
Carolyn: Mantis from Guardians of the Galaxy, and a Star Wars/Disney mashup.
Kaiden: The Collector from Guardians of the Galaxy and a Star Wars/Disney mashup.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever been in a cosplay contest?
The Schuster Family:Yes. 2019 Tampa Bay Comic Con, 2021 Central Florida Comic Con and 2021 Tampa Bay Comic Con
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer sewing, armor making, or wig working?
Carolyn: I probably prefer sewing, but that being said, I just started working with foam and really enjoyed it.
Steve: Armor and prop making is my favorite. I am learning to sew and enjoy that as well. Okay… So I guess I enjoy it all!
Kaiden: I like helping to design it and wear it.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to do photoshoots at cons or at specific locations?
Carolyn: I don’t have a preference. I’m still working on NOT feeling awkward in front of the camera. Haha.
Steve: I love the photoshoots at the Cons, but I really want to find that specific location that nails it for the character.
Kaiden: No preference
Leo Nocedo : Is there a type of character you cosplay frequently?
The Schuster Family: Marvel Characters.
Leo Nocedo : Do you have any favorite cosplayers?
Carolyn: I don’t really have a specific favorite cosplayer, BUT we have met the most amazing COSPLAYERS at the Cons. If I had to pick one, though, I’d say Yaya Han. Yes, it may sound cliché, but she is the ultimate cosplay trailblazer.
Steve: I love Kamui Cosplay. She is so talented and has some pretty cute Corgi’s.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the most detailed cosplay you’ve ever done?
Steve: Thor Ragnarok
Kaiden: The Grandmaster (from Thor Ragnarok)
Leo Nocedo : What are your top 3 craftsmanship tips?
Carolyn: Patience, patience and Google.
Steve: Know that you will probably fail the first time, pick yourself back up and try again. Then, watch You Tube Videos!!!
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite cosplay you’ve done?
Carolyn: Lady Loki
Steve: Thor Ragnarok
Kaiden: The Grandmaster
Leo Nocedo : What is your worst cosplay “horror” story?
Carolyn:I was attempting my very first zipper, on my Lady Loki dress, and it wasn’t going well. I “HULKED OUT” on it and ripped it out. The hole is still there today.
Steve: Debuting my Ironman suit I built out of EVA foam. I had built the helmet to have 2 mini servo motors to open and close the face mask. Just before walking into the con, I accidentally squeezed the helmet too hard and “POP” the mini servo motors popped off, leaving me to have to duct tape the face mask. I went from thinking I was going to have a motorized helmet to a duct tapped helmet for the con.
Kaiden: After Megacon Orlando, on the bus ride to the parking garage, my mom sat on (my) Winter Soldier’s Gun.
Leo Nocedo : What’s your funniest cosplay story?
Carolyn: So far, my funniest cosplay story is from the 2021 Cosplay Contest at Central Florida Comic Con. My feet were hurting so bad; so, after we “presented” our costumes, I immediately took my shoes off. Well, I didn’t think we’d win. We won. And I was holding my shoes.
Steve: We met our best friends at a Con. They are pretty funny
Leo Nocedo : What’s the best in-character interaction you’ve ever had?
Carolyn:None that I can think of. But I will say that I feel honored, and flattered, by the kind words that I’ve received at the cons. I admit – I’m totally blown away that someone wants to take my picture.
Steve: I agree with Carolyn. It is humbling and flattering that people even want to take my picture.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever cosplayed with a family member?
Carolyn: I have only cosplayed with family members.
Steve: The family that Cosplay’s together… Well you know… Stresses out, Con Crunches and walks around in uncomfortable shoes together.
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite cosplay photo of yourself?
Carolyn:I have two. My Captain America Photo, by The Project, and my Lady Loki Photo, that Steve took in our backyard, complete with smoke bombs from Walmart.
Steve: I like the Thor Ragnarok pictures taken by The Project, but I do like the Ironman picture Carolyn took of me off site.
Kaiden: The Winter Soldier taken by The Project.
Leo Nocedo : What are your go-to stores for cosplay materials/full cosplays?
Carolyn:Hobby Lobby, JoAnn’s, Amazon, Ebay, Poshmark and ProCosplay. If I don’t make the costume and I piece it together, I love to scour different places for that right “piece.”
Steve: TNT Cosplay for EVA foam. Amazon for 3D Printer Filament. Joann’s for fabric.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to buy pre-styled wigs or style your own?
Carolyn:Pre-styled. Once, I had to cut a wig and let’s just say that if I had kept going, it would have looked like Annie Lennox. And that wasn’t what I was going for. 😉
Steve: Pre-Styled. But… I’ve only done one wig.
Kaiden: NO WIGS.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever had someone mistake you for a different character?
Leo Nocedo : List all the cosplays you’ve done.
Carolyn: Narcissa Malfoy, Captain American, Lady Loki, Men in Black, The Umbrella Academy
Steve: Lucious Malfoy, Ironman, Thor Ragnarok, Men in Black, The Umbrella Academy
Kaiden: Draco Malfoy, The Winter Soldier, Hawkeye, The Grandmaster, Men In Black, The Umbrella Academy
Leo Nocedo : What’s the biggest con you’ve cosplayed at?
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer cosplaying characters with props, or characters that you don’t need to carry a prop around all day?
Carolyn:I never plan on having a prop, but I always have a prop.
Steve: PROPS, PROPS, and more PROPS!!!! Print and make all the props!! 😊
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever lost a cosplay piece at a con?
Carolyn:If I say “no” does that jinx me?!
Steve: Yes. I had put good thought and effort into having a small “Cospital” pouch magnetized to my belt. For two Con’s it worked great. The third time wearing it, it was lost. It’s still a sore subject. Ha ha.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever bought a cosplay piece at a con?
Carolyn:No. Our money flies out of our pockets for all the AMAZING ART.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to cosplay solo or in a group?
Carolyn:I’m not comfortable in the spotlight, so, I love cosplaying in a group.
Steve: We always cosplay as a group with the family. I can’t wait till we are able to add onto our friends group.
Leo Nocedo : If you had a chance to meet your all-time favorite cosplayer, what would you say to them?
Carolyn: Yaya Han. I’d probably just stare at her blankly and giggle.
Steve: I like your Corgi’s 😊
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever done a cosplay panel?
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to buy or make cosplays?
Carolyn: It depends. I’ve done both and I think both work great.
Steve: I prefer to make mine, but there is nothing wrong with buying it either! So a mix of both!
Kaiden: Observe and oversee!
Leo Nocedo : If you could tell your past self anything about cosplay, what would you say?
Carolyn: I would say “stop stressing and it doesn’t have to be perfect,” which I’m still trying to learn.
Steve: I think Carolyn just nailed it…. It doesn’t have to be perfect!
Kaiden: It gets better.
Leo Nocedo : What is your ultimate dream cosplay?
Carolyn: Proxima Midnight from Marvel’s Infinity War/Endgame (The Children of Thanos.)
Steve: Corvus Glaive from Marvel’s Infinity War.
Kaiden: Ebony Maw from Marvel’s Infinity War.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the most difficult cosplay you’ve ever done? (Craftsmanship, wearing of, ect)
Carolyn:Ladi Loki. A lot of “blood, sweat, and tears” went into that costume.
Steve: Thor Ragnarok was the most detailed and most effort. Ironman is the most difficult to wear because you can’t do anything while in the suit.
Kaiden: The Winter Solider with the “Arm,” the gun and the wig.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the most difficult character makeup you’ve done?
Carolyn:Lady Loki. Do you see a trend here?!
Steve: Haven’t done makeup yet.
Kaiden: The Grandmaster with coloring the hair, nails, makeup.
Leo Nocedo : What, in your opinion, makes a cosplayer a “pro” cosplayer?
Carolyn: Hmmm…. I’m not sure.
Steve: What I love about Cosplay is it gives everyone a chance to be who they want to be for a moment. So, if you cosplay and it brings you joy, then I would say everyone is a pro, cause that’s what it’s about.
Kaiden: It is subjective, if you consider yourself a pro.
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite part of cosplaying?
Carolyn:The people!! We have met so many amazing people, at the Cons, that have become a part of our lives and become family. Not to mention, this is such a friendly, accepting wonderful community to be a part of.
Steve: I have to agree with Carolyn. We have met so many friends through cosplaying.
Kaiden: Going to the Cons; having people take your picture.
Leo Nocedo : Make up your own question!
What do you say to Cosplay “Naysayers” that just don’t get it?
Steve: I say we all have an inner nerd in us. This is just my inner nerd hobby.
Carolyn: I’ve seen some “raised-eyes” or “rolled eyes,” but that is okay. Life is short; find what makes you happy. Life is to be lived; have fun. We grow old when we stop having fun!