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Cosplayer Spotlight – Marz Stardust

This adorable cosplayer is a fabulous resource and a wonderful cosplayer. Check out her great answers!

HI, WHAT ARE YOU KNOWN AS?

Marz Stardust

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BEVERAGE?

As far as alcoholic beverages, I enjoy Bloody Mary’s, margaritas, and wine. When it comes to non alcoholic, I enjoy coffee and tea, either hot or iced!

TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.

I grew up in Southern Illinois, where geek culture is not normal or accepted, but luckily, I grew up within a family where geek culture was normal. I grew up loving video games, and over the years, I feel into loving anime, manga, D&D, Magic the Gathering, comic books, Dagorhir, and more. I’ve struggled with depression, anxiety, and low self esteem since high school. After high school, I got into a relationship that ended up being an emotionally and physically abusive relationship. My mental health issues were used against me, and I was made out to believe I was just crazy. In 2011, I was able to get out of the abusive relationship, and that’s also the year I found out about cosplay. Halloween had always been my favourite holiday, one year dressing as Link from Legend of Zelda, another year dressing as Princess Leia from Star Wars. I knew I liked dressing up as different characters, but I never knew there was a name for it until I met my significant other at the time. He introduced me to cosplay, and everything seemed to fall into place from there. Since then, I’ve used cosplay as a way to help cope with my depression, anxiety, self confidence, and more. I started a panel called “You’re Not Alone” about how cosplay can help with depression and anxiety issues. During the panel, myself and other cosplayers speak of our experiences, and then we open up the mic to anyone that wants to talk and share their experiences as well. Dealing with mental health issues can make you feel completely alone, and isolated. I want people to never feel like they are alone, because I know how hard that is.

WHEN DID YOU START COSPLAYING?

I started cosplaying in 2012 after having my kid. My first cosplay was Yoko from Gurren Lagan. I also made my partner a Leeron cosplay for Gurren Laggan. We wore them at Anime Expo in Los Angeles, CA, which was my first con! Going there and meeting new cosplay friends and having random cosplay dance parties in the hall, and seeing all of the talent really inspired me to keep going and keep improving.

WHY DO YOU COSPLAY?

I cosplay, because it’s fun. I love the feeling of getting to be a completely new person, getting to be your favourite characters. I live for the moments when I’m dressed as Moana, or Supergirl, or Wonderwoman, or even Pyramid Head, and little kids stop me wanting to talk to and meet their favourite characters. Plus, if I don’t cosplay, I’d probably go insane. Working on a costume helps keep me calm. Busy hands help keep a busy mind full of depression and anxiety at bay.

WHO ARE YOUR COSPLAY IDOLS?

I love Yaya Han, because of her ability to really take something she loves doing and turn it into a career. I also admire my wonderful friends with Gateway Guardians, a charity group of superheros, because they are always putting smiles on kid’s faces. I love doing work with them, and I hope to do more in the future.

WHAT TYPES OF COSPLAY DO YOU DO?

I do a mixture of everything. As mentioned above, I kind of fall under a broad category of geek fandomism (is that a word? ha, it is now). I love anime, and video games, and comic books, and so much more. Currently, I have a lot more comic book cosplays than anything else, but I’m hoping to make more cosplays from video games and anime in the near future.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE COSPLAYS?

Everyone of my cosplays I love for different reasons. I love doing Harley, because I get to embody her character and bubbly personality, and I relate to her. I love doing Supergirl and Wonderwoman, because they are strong female characters and great role models. I love doing Disney characters, such as Moana, because the look on children’s faces when they get to meet their favourite princess. I love She-Ra, because I worked extremely hard on that cosplay, and it was my armor build, plus I love She-Ra in general. I love wearing Pyramid Head, because I get to be on stilts, and I get to be creepy. Each cosplay I do is special to me.

WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WANT TO COSPLAY BUT PROBABLY NEVER WILL?

I have so many costumes in my mind and on the back burner, it’s not even funny. There are a few that I put on the way back burner, that I might never do, because I get distracted with new ideas/I’m not as passionate about it as I was before. For example, when I first started doing cosplay, I started a Ryuko cosplay from Kill La Kill, but I never finished it. I might still, but I have other things I’ve moved on to instead.

DO YOU MAKE, BUY or SPECIAL ORDER, YOUR COSPLAYS?

I make most of my cosplays, but I buy some things too. I love the Wish app, and how addicting it is, and they’ve got some great costumes on there. I used to be extreme about wanting to make my own things all the time, but now I’m more lenient on buying things. Buying something doesn’t make you less of a cosplayer, and that’s important to note.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT COSPLAY?

I really love that I get to be whoever I want to be. It is my childhood Halloween dreams come true. I love the community and the people that build each other up. I doing charity work and interacting with children. I love working hard on something, and being able to show off my art. I love learning new techniques and skills. Cosplay has helped me so much.

WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT THING FOR YOU ABOUT COSPLAY?

The most difficult thing for me, is dealing with the naturally competitive side of myself. I’ve been competitive since I was a kid. I’ve lost a good friend of mine, because I let that side of me take over. I was a complete jerk, because I took competitiveness too seriously, and I became jealous. I was more worried about likes and follows, and I became extremely self absorbed. I forgot why I was cosplaying. It wasn’t about likes and follows and being better than someone else. It was about having fun, building each other up, learning from each other, doing charity work, putting smiles on children’s faces, being positive.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER TO COSPLAY?

This is extremely difficult to pick a favourite character to cosplay, because each one of them is special to me. My favourites to wear though always end up being the ones that children love, because I love making their days. These would include: Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman, Moana, and Supergirl.

IF YOU COULD LIVE IN OR VISIT ANY FANTASY WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU GO?

So many choices….hmmm….probably the Harry Potter universe. I was thinking that, or the Star Wars universe, but if you’re not a main character in the Star Wars universe, you’re just a normal citizen on your planet. Harry Potter universe as a witch, because magic is cool.

Where do you get your inspiration for your cosplays?

Things I love and things I’m passionate about. I’ll take inspiration from games I love, from comic books I love, from TV shows I love, from movies I love, from animes I love. I have a hard time deciding which character I want to work on next, because there’s just so many on my list from things I love and am passionate about.

WHAT ARE YOUR “FANDOMS”?

All of them. I’m kidding (kinda). I have an extreme love for Star Wars. I could talk on and on about the movies and the cartoons. That’s probably my biggest fandom.

WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WISH BEGINNING COSPLAYERS KNEW?

You will make mistakes, and it shouldn’t discourage you from growing and learning. When I first started off, I ended up remaking at least 3 of my cosplays, because I wasn’t satisfied with my first attempt. It is frustrating, but I promise you, you will keep learning from your initial mistakes. You will learn more as you go on. Be patient with yourself, and don’t be so hard on yourself. Don’t be afraid to try new things, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
I was completely overwhelmed with sewing at first, and I wanted to hand sew everything. It took me a really long time to get comfortable with the sewing machine, and I still struggle with it sometimes, but I feel a lot more confident now. I was overwhelmed when I first learned about foam weapons and armor, but with practice, I started getting better at it. I’m still not great with making foam props, but each time I work with it, I get better and better. It will be a journey, and you have to keep going. Start small. Practice. You got this.

WHAT TIPS OR TRICKS DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER COSPLAYERS?

Use Kwik Seal for your seams on armor/props. If you don’t have a body form, wrap yourself up in cling wrap and duct tape, draw on it (or have a friend help you draw on it), and cut yourself outta there, and you’ve got yourself a perfectly form fitting pattern. Stay true to yourself and remember cosplay is about having fun.

WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WISH NON-COSPLAYERS KNEW?

We work hard on this. This statement can go towards a few different things. Like, please don’t touch our stuff, because we work hard on this. Or, yes, we do work hard on this, please don’t just write us off as freaks in costumes. We work hard on this, this is our artwork, please respect it, and respect us.

WHAT COSPLAYS ARE YOU WORKING ON?

I am actively working on Kida from Atlantis and Arleen Sorkin’s jester costume from “Days of Our Lives”. The next cosplays I’ll be working on after I get these done are my Power Armor from Fallout, Akroma from Magic the Gathering (I’ve been working on this for like 2 years now, and I scrapped my original wings and have to start over), and Hyrule Warriors Link (also another one I’ve been trying to work on for like 2 years now). Trying to get all of my big projects off of the back burner and on to my body.

WHAT COSPLAYS DO YOU WANT TO DO IF MONEY AND TIME WERE NO OBJECT?

My dream cosplay is Kefka from Final Fantasy III. I’ve always been too afraid to start it, because I want it to be perfect.

WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND YOUR COSPLAYS?

https://www.marzstardustcosplay.com
https://www.facebook.com/marzstardustcosplay
https://www.instagram.com/marzstardustcosplay

Please remember I do not own any of these pictures and the opinions in this survey belong to the interviewee.

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