Summer is one of the people who really introduced me to cosplay. She started seriously costuming/props while we were in college.
I am absolutely thrilled to introduce you all to my super talented friend.
ISO: Hi, what is your name?
SS: Summer Shakespeare of “Shakespeare’s Workshop”
ISO: What is your favorite beverage?
SS: I sound like such a weirdie saying this but Pumpkin Juice! My husband has perfected a recipe that tastes better then even the theme parks! I am always happy to share!
ISO:What is your favorite food?
SS: That is like choosing a favorite child…. Sushi, Pasta, Grilled cheese, Anything Potatoes, Crab Legs!
ISO: What is your favorite sweet?
SS: Really anything dark chocolate or minty! Double points if it is both!
ISO: Tell me a little about yourself.
SS: I am a lover of all things nerdy! I was a bit of nerd before I got married loving musical theatre and Disney and a little bit of harry potter. However it had really gotten to be full blow weirdie in the past 5 years! I love going to comic cons, talking about the latest hero movies, can tell you anything about harry potter and I super nerd out over theme parks!
ISO: When did you realize you were a weirdie?
SS: Its been a gradual decent into the kingdom of weird and strange but it really hit me in 2017 when we decided to decorate our house in full blown Harry Potter mode.
ISO: What are your Weirdie interests?
SS: I love so many fandoms! I love to make nerdy items and show them off, Cosplay, Costuming in general, Visiting Movie locations, and visiting Theme Parks around the world!
ISO: Who are your weirdie idols? Unconventional people you look up to.
SS: I truly look up to the actor Charlie Day and the cast from Its always sunny in Philadelphia. Charlie talks about in a commencement speech given a few years ago that he was unable to get acting roles. He would try and try to fit what casting directors wanted and they made it very clear he was not their type. He went forward with the Sunny team to create something just for him. He did not have to mold himself to fit into the world, he made a role and a space for himself. His passion on not giving up and forging his own path keeps me strong in moving towards forging my own in this world of replicas and copycats.
ISO: Tell me us about your business.
SS: I sell weirdie stuff for one business and do kids birthday for the other! Honestly my online store is so mismatched because I sell what I love. Each piece that I make has come from a idea of how cool would that be! From our hoodies to 3d prints, dog costumes, wigs, costumes, accessories, baby clothes, bags and adult clothes. Its there because I love it.
ISO: How did you get into the Party business?
SS: I was young and in college and broke. I saw an add to be princess characters for kids. I applied and got an interview for that Friday evening. I went and interview in makeup and hair as Cinderella since the owner requested it. She had me try on the cinderella dress. I cam out and she said it was great and handed me a paper and said “your first party is in 30 minutes at this location have fun”! I went and did the party and was hooked. After working for that company for a few years the owner decided to sell it and I bought it! It is now my full time job and I love love love it!!
ISO: I know you have some amazing house decorations and holiday traditions. Can you tell me about them?
SS: Yes! I LOVE decorating my house for Halloween and Christmas! For the past 13 years we have a pumpkin carving party the last week of October! We make lots of fun themed food and decorate the house top to bottom for everyone to come see. It started off pretty simple 13 years ago but it has gotten way crazy lately! Our other fun thing to do for Halloween is to set up a mini haunted house in our garage! We love bringing all the families in our neighborhood together for some fun while trick or treating! For Thanksgiving we have a friends giving the week before which is Harry Potter themed! We hang over 250 candles form the ceiling, have a full house cup challenge and eat and drinks lots of Harry potter food!
ISO: What are your favorite hobbies?
SS: I end up turning all my hobbies into business for my shop lol. Other than making things to sell I love to play with my dogs, travel the world, visit theme parks, read and watch movies
ISO: What do you love about those hobbies?
SS: I love my dog hobbies because they are my babies. I love traveling the world because seeing new places brings such incredible inspiration! i love theme parks because the creativity that goes into them is insane!
ISO: What is the most difficult thing for you about being a geek?
SS: Sometimes its finding normal things to talk to people about if they are not such a big geek fan. I also get super passionate about talking about certain fandoms and people are like woah she is nuts lmao
ISO: Who are your favorite fictional characters?
SS: Merida, Darth Maul, Oogie Boogie, Hades, Megera, Jessica Rabbit, Arya Stark, Jamie Lannister (until the last season!), Gir, Reyuk
ISO: If you could live in or visit any fantasy world, where would you go?
SS: The world where magic from Harry Potter exists would be flipping great!!!
ISO: What are your “fandoms”?
SS: This is gonna be a list! Musical, Disney Anything, Harry Potter, Marvel, DC, Lord of the Rings, Pokemon, LARPing, World Travel, Theme Parks, Star Wars, Dragons, Dogs, Hunger Games, Jurassic Park, How to train your dragon, The Office, 30Rock, Parks and Rec, Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, IT, GOT (until that last season)
ISO: What is some advice you have for people who want to make costumes/props a living?
SS: Make something that no one else is. That is the way to keep moving forward. But you gotta understand if you are making things based off a fandom or character people will copy you. Just make sure you are doing it better and the best quality you can!
ISO: What projects are you working on?
SS: Right now I am in full Christmas mode! Lots of hoodies, stockings and gifts for nerds everywhere! I have about 18 open orders at any given time!
ISO: What projects do you want to do if money and time were no object?
SS: There are so many cosplays I would make. Rem from death note so she was 10′ tall. A life sized hulk cosplay for my husband. I would want to build an incredible haunted house every year for everyone to come!
ISO: When did you start cosplaying?
SS: Technically I cosplay for my main job as a party character though there is so much more you gotta do than stand and look good. So I started that in 2008. My first real cosplay was a mashup of Merida/ Darth Maul in 2013
ISO: Why do you cosplay?
SS: I love being the characters I love this most. I also like taking pictures with other people and having them see all the hard work and details I put into my costumes.
ISO: What types of cosplay do you do?
SS: Disney mostly, Star wars, Harry Potter, and lots of Disney bounding inspired stuff.
ISO: What are your favorite cosplays?
SS: I love going out with my husband as obi wan and me as Darth Maul. Merida is always a fav. Fairy godmother is my go to when I am feeling lazy. I loved being Pam fro archer with my hubby as Keriger. King Candy gender bend is also a fav. My Mahna Mahna monster is great as well!
ISO: What is something you want to cosplay but probably never will?
SS: Probably Jade from Beyond good and evil. I personally don’t like showing my stomach.
ISO: Do you make, buy, or special order, your cosplays?
SS: I make, buy and special order a ton for my cosplays. I always try to buy normal clothing items first to see if I can modify them to fit my needs, then I make it if it does not work out and I special order last if there is no way I can make it.
ISO: What do you love about cosplay?
SS: I love all aspects of it. I love making the items, working last minute on them, showing it off on the convention floor, finding others in my fandom to relate to. Cosplay is such an outward love for your fandom and its great to quickly find others who love it too!
ISO: What is the most difficult thing for you about cosplay?
SS: Personally it is my fuller frame. That is just a personal note. I get very critical on myself if I don’t look exact.
ISO: Who is your favorite character to cosplay?
SS: Darth Maul for sure! I love the villains!
ISO: Where do you get your inspiration for your cosplays?
SS: TV and movies for sure. I will pull up over 50 images to get all the details I can correct.
ISO: What is something you wish beginning cosplayers knew:
SS: Cosplay whatever you want. Seriously anything. The sky is the limit. Just do it!
ISO: What tips/tricks do you have for other cosplayers:
SS: Always bring safety pins and super glue to the convention. Make a plan for getting into and out of your costume to pee. Make sure you eat the morning of and stay hydrated you want to feel good while strutting around. Don’t be like me and start a cosplay 3 days before a convention. Start like at least a month in advance.
ISO: What is something you wish non-cosplayers knew:
SS: That cosplay is not consent. I really dislike when people try grabbing me or touching me while in costume. Also don’t take a pic of me without asking. They always freaking do it when I am eating and its the worst.
ISO: What cosplays are you working on:
SS: Right now nothing but I am working on some frozen 2 stuff for other people!
ISO: Where can people find your cosplays:
SS: Either on my facebook or instagram!
ISO: Where can people find you online?
Please remember I do not own any of these pictures and the opinions in this survey belong to the interviewee.