Leo Nocedo : How did you discover cosplaying?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : I first encountered cosplay while working my first job at SeaWorld back in 2008. I would see costumes (now knowing the proper term cosplayers) walking on Idrive twice a year. I always thought it was so cool but never knew what was happening. Fast-forward to 2017 (so 9 years later) I started my career job, going through a separation and needed an outlet to handle the stress. My little brother was into gaming and been exposed to cosplaying. He asked me to join him at Megacon a week before.
Leo Nocedo : What was your first cosplay?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : My first cosplay was a closet put together Laura Croft (with electrical tape as the leg harness, man was that life waxing my legs when trying to take it off)
Leo Nocedo : What are your next 3 cosplay plans?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : Honestly I have sooo much more than 3 planned (life of a cosplayer is the list is forever growing). If I hand to narrow it down it is Mina from Dracula Bram Stoker, Red from Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and Scarlet Witch Chaos version.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever been in a cosplay contest?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : I have competed in a few smaller local contest from the Castle, Oblivion Taproom and my favorite DragonCon event The Bunny Hutch (2018 and 2021)
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer sewing, armor making, or wig working?
Victoria Amanda Bradley :I am a sewer all the way. It was something my grandmother taught me at 8 years of age and have been growing my skill in ever since.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to do photoshoots at cons or at specific locations?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : I enjoy doing location shoots because you can bring the whole story together for your cosplay. Of course there are some you just have to do studio shoots and edit the universe to make it work.
Leo Nocedo : Is there a type of character you cosplay frequently?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : I am highly known in the cosplay community as Mera of Xebel. It was a character I was asked to do by my fiancé and ever since than I have grown so close to the character and her story line.
Leo Nocedo : Do you have any favorite cosplayers?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : I do have a few amazing cosplayers that are my favorite. Thevhenix is a lovely hard working woman that I look up to. Artbymazz is a makeup artisit goddess. Her work blows my mind and is the sweetest to talk to. Mark_knight_rises is the most open hearted and kindest soul I have ever met.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the most detailed cosplay you’ve ever done?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : My most detailed cosplay would have to be my Ashoka Tano Mandalorian version. From the clothing, soft details to the armor, makeup, and headpiece. It was hours of research and creation time.
Leo Nocedo : What are your top 3 craftsmanship tips?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : 1.Don’t always have to buy the most expensive products to create your cosplay. 2. If your realizing things are going wrong with the creation that day STOP and walk away. Give yourself time to relax and refocus. 3. Research, research, research. I find the time I spend on researching details, patterns, tutorials, IG and the internet the better and faster I am able to create the cosplay. I find when I don’t I go in blindly and have to stop what I am doing to figure out how to make the armor or shirt and that creates stress.
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite cosplay you’ve done?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : My most favorite and proudest cosplay I have created is my Mera Royal jellyfish gown. That creation hit a road block for 3 months for the floating jellyfishes on my back and when I finally figured it out it was the greatest moment ever.
Leo Nocedo : What is your worst cosplay “horror” story?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : When I began to first cosplay in 2018 I was excited to connect with other cosplayers and do group cosplays for fun. I was directed to join a female cosplay group and thought it was going to be awesome. The first few outings were wonderful but as time passed and the group grow it became a mandatory obligation to attend all conventions and cosplay your character that Saturday. The main point of contact for the group wasn’t very understanding of individuals wanting to still be a part of the group but not always attending the convention with that group. This has been my only negative experience during my cosplay career. I wouldn’t say horrible just negative.
Leo Nocedo : What’s your funniest cosplay story?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : Back in 2020 I did a photoshoot in Virginia as Captain Amelia. It was the first time wearing the full outfit. We made it out to a rock wall and I was posing at the top. We got some amazing photos and while shooting I started to feel a breeze on my butt. I thought nothing of it as it was so hot outside and we got some breeze for the ocean. While taking my shoes off (crazy thigh high boots) I felt the rock I was sitting on. I got up and looked to see that I had ripped my pants from top to bottom down the center. Thankfully I had the long coat covering it. We all started laughing when we discovered it.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the best in-character interaction you’ve ever had?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : While cosplay at Dragoncon 2018 I was with my fiancé Khal_of_Atlantis as Aquaman and Mera movie version just walking the Marriot convention floor. We turned the corner by the pool area and George Perez (Comic book artist) Stop us to take our photo. I was in complete shock. As being new to the cosplay world I didn’t know he walks the convention floor as an attendant. He told us we looked like we jumped off the comic pages. He asked if he could take a photo of us and when we were done he turned and gave me a kiss. What a legend he is. Best experience I had as a character.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever cosplayed with a family member?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : I have cosplayed with my fiancé numerous times but does that count lol 16: What is your favorite cosplay photo of yourself? One of my favorite cosplay photos is when I did a gender-bend version of the Night King. The reason I love it so much is it doesn’t like me at all.
Leo Nocedo : What are your go-to stores for cosplay materials/full cosplays?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : My go to place is Joanns and etsy. II can normally find what I am looking for at Joanns but if a need a very unique fabric I hit up etsy.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to buy pre-styled wigs or style your own?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : Honestly I rather buy pre- styled wig. I am learning how to do it but that is one less thing I will need to do when making my cosplays.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever had someone mistake you for a different character?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : All the time when I do Mera. I am told I look like the other redhead under the sea character, Ariel in armor.
Leo Nocedo : List all the cosplays you’ve done.
Victoria Amanda Bradley : Ariel, Female Freddy Kruger, Greta from the Gremlins, Female predator, Ki8ller Frost (Bombshell), Anime Wonder Woman, Megara, Mera, Verona from Van Helsing, Belle, Anku-su-namun, Vivianne from the Witcher (Cursed version), Yennifer, Triss, Rita Skeeter, Mystique, Lara Croft, Jessica Cruz, Killer Frost from the Flash, Ahoska Tano Rebel, Ahsoka Tano Mandalorian, Slave Jasmine, Jasmine, Daenerys Targaryen, Captain Amelia, Esmeralda, Jessica Rabbit, Tinker Bell, Wonder Woman, Female Night King from Game of Thrones, Thor Jane Foster, Miss Argentina from Beetle Juice, Female Venom, Meisandre of Asshai, Kida from Atlantis, Catwoman (Anne Hataway), Posion Ivy, Queen Gorgo from 300 Spartans, Selene from Underworld, Elektra, White Raven and I am sure there is more but can’t remember them all
Leo Nocedo : What’s the biggest con you’ve cosplayed at?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : Dragoncon is the biggest with a normal attendance of 80,000 people
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer cosplaying characters with props, or characters that you don’t need to carry a prop around all day?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : It really depends on the character. I feel like if the character is known to have that prop I make the commitment. But if I can get away with not carrying it around.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever lost a cosplay piece at a con?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : I have not lost a cosplay piece at a convention. Now personal item has happen before.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever bought a cosplay piece at a con?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : I have bought some props and wigs at conventions
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to cosplay solo or in a group?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : Truly it depends on what I am cosplaying. Sometimes I have taste in characters that are unique and that’s okay. I do have ever enjoy cosplaying in groups because it brings our friendships closer and we are able to share work in progress photos. Of course the coolest part if finally all getting together and wlking as a group.
Leo Nocedo : If you had a chance to meet your all-time favorite cosplayer, what would you say to them?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : I have met my all-time favorite cosplayer and told her that her methods are just so simple and affordable to the everyday cosplayer which is perfect. I have no studies to back this up but I feel like 95 percent of cosplayers do this as a hobby and not a full time job so money can be tight to create cosplays.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever done a cosplay panel?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : I have not hosted a cosplay panel. We had been asked to do one but the convention got canceled.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to buy or make cosplays?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : I prefer to make my cosplays as I know my body shape is different than the standard size for sites. I tend to do my research and see the cost difference from buying (doing alterations) to making it myself. If the online is a good quality and cost less than I will purchase. If it’s not available that I will just create it.
Leo Nocedo : If you could tell your past self-anything about cosplay, what would you say?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : I would tell myself to have join earlier. I have made the best connections with people, found my partner and has helped with being my outlet for stress.
Leo Nocedo : What is your ultimate dream cosplay? I have been wanting to cosplay a Queen Alien since
Victoria Amanda Bradley : I started cosplaying. I have always wanted to not look like myself.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the most difficult cosplay you’ve ever done? (Craftsmanship, wearing of, ect)
Victoria Amanda Bradley : Mera Royal Gown was the hardest cosplay I have ever created. I made everything from the wig to the dress to the floating Jellyfish which took me 3 months of different materials till I finally came up with the last version. I do have to be a little aware of my surroundings as I have hit people with the jellyfishes. Thankfully they are foam and don’t hurt
Leo Nocedo : What’s the most difficult character makeup you’ve done?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : The most difficult was doing my bald cap for the night watch and the full face of makeup to include the back of my head. Tons of details and layers of highlighting and contrasting. Took four hours to complete from start to finish.
Leo Nocedo : What, in your opinion, makes a cosplayer a “pro” cosplayer? Its a few things to me that makes someone a pro cosplayer.
Victoria Amanda Bradley : First there attitude to other cosplayers. I believe a pro cosplayer is someone who is willing to talk to other players about the creation of their cosplay and never thinks they are better than others. Secondly they been doing cosplay for over a year. Lastly doing the best representation of the character they are cosplaying.
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite part of cosplaying?
Victoria Amanda Bradley : My favorite part of cosplaying is finally putting the finish cosplay on for the first time. I find while creating the cosplay I would hand put pieces on but never the full look. I have cried before because I was overwhelmed when I saw myself as the character.