Chris Salce here, bringing you another edition of “The C-Word.” In this second edition of “The C-Word,” where we talk all things cosplay, I interview the beautiful and talented Claire Anastasia aka Cosplay Claire. Claire Anastasia is a model who combined her love of modeling with her love of fantasy and brought some well known characters from the comic and cartoon world, to life. Here’s our interview:
Chris: So when did you first get involved in cosplay?
Cosplay Claire: I have always loved fantasy and getting dressed up, but had never thought much about getting into cosplay until the amazingly talented Jeff Zoet approached me about being Daphne in a Scooby Doo shoot a year and a half ago. After that, I was hooked!
Chris: What was it that got you hooked about it?
Cosplay Claire: I’ve always loved to act because acting allows me to completely become another person. Cosplay held the same appeal for me. I get the opportunity to be amazing vixens like Jessica Rabbit or Poison Ivy. These women are strong and sexy and I love being able to bring them to life.
Chris: and you do a great job at it.
Cosplay Claire: Why thank you!
Chris: I’ve seen that you’ve done Poison Ivy, Jessica Rabbit, Daphne and Red Sonja (which is one of the best Red Sonjas I have ever seen) which one was your favorite so far?
Cosplay Claire: My favorite would have to be Red Sonja. The costume alone took over 100 hours to create. I sewed each scale on by hand (which led to lots of finger pricks!) and, when finished, used over 2,000 scales to complete the look. I also loved that particular character because she’s such a powerful warrior. She’s fierce and commanding, while still looking sexy, and I simply love that about her.
Chris: That was going to be my next question. I was going to ask if you made the costumes yourself. It’s cool because you actually put in a lot of hard work and study these characters that you cosplay as.
Cosplay Claire: Yes! I make all of my costumes myself. My grandmother was a seamstress so she taught me how to sew when I was very young. I also have an exceptionally active imagination, so being able to creatively work with my hands is a great outlet.
Chris: Those are two major qualities you’d need in the cosplay world.
Cosplay Claire: Absolutely! And, of course, it’s a great way to combine two of my loves – modeling and being a huge nerd!
Chris: (Laughs) that’s very true. It’s kind of like me with writing and talking about movies, comics, and all this other stuff. It’s definitely a bonus.
Cosplay Claire: I’m also a writer! I’m currently a double major in English and Communications. My goal is to be a young adult writer (hopefully in the fantasy genre!).
Chris: Wow really?
Cosplay Claire: Yes. I’ve always loved to write and create characters that leap off the page.
Chris: That’s amazing. You’re like a complete package. Brains, beauty and nerdism (laughs).
Cosplay Claire: (Laughs) Thank you. I’m a perfectionist, so I like to do it all!
Chris: That’s awesome. When it comes to writing, do you want to write novels? comics? Or a little of both?
Cosplay Claire: I’m definitely into novel-length works. I’ve written quite a few short stories, but I love to spend time with my characters and develop them over longer pieces. If an opportunity arose to do a comic, however, I would love to do it. Like I’ve expressed, the more creativity in my life, the better!
Chris: What other characters would you love to cosplay as in the future?
Cosplay Claire: I’m currently working on a Kim Possible/She-Go cosplay and an Ariel cosplay. Luckily, I’m a redhead so there are a ton of characters for me to chose from. I would also love to do the Black Widow and Witchblade.
Chris: Those are all good ones. The Kim Possible, you don’t see much of.
Cosplay Claire: I agree! I’ll be playing both the part of Kim and her evil alter-ego, She-Go, so it should be an awesome project!
Chris: That sounds pretty cool. Something pretty unique as well.
Cosplay Claire: Thank you! I always try to take my own spin on the characters I portray.
Chris: It’s always good to put your own spin on things. Will you be attending in cons coming up?
Cosplay Claire: I will be at Steel City Con in August. I am working with the company I run CosplayClaire.com with in order to make more con appearances in the future. I went to the Steel City Con a few months ago as well and had the best time. I loved meeting my fellow nerds and taking pictures with everyone!
Chris: You won’t be going to SDCC this year?
Cosplay Claire: I would absolutely love to, but unfortunately I am operating on a college student’s budget. So my financial priorities are feeding my cat and paying the bills (in that order haha).
Chris: Believe me, I get the whole budget thing.
Chris: If someone wanted to get into cosplaying, what tips would you give them?
Cosplay Claire: Just do it! I feel like a lot of people fear doing cosplay, either because they are self conscious or because they are worried that people will think they’re weird. I say, to hell with it! Be weird. It’s far more fun. Cosplay has something for everyone. You can be whomever you want to be. If someone is looking to make their own costumes (which I highly recommend), try looking at thrift stores for materials. Fabric can be expensive and, oftentimes, you can find exactly what you need in a garment at Goodwill and just deconstruct it for your own project!
Chris: I’ve always thought about doing cosplay myself, but I don’t know how to sew (laughs). But when I did a few costumes for like Halloween and stuff, I just used the clothes I had in my closet and it seemed to do the trick.
Cosplay Claire: The best thing about cosplay is that there is really something for every skill level. Being able to sew helps, but there are definitely costumes that can be created with only minor alterations.
Chris: Okay, if you can only pick one super power, what would it be?
Cosplay Claire: Oh wow! That’s a hard one. I think I’d have to go with teleportation, if only because I get severe road rage if I’m stuck in rush hour traffic. Plus, I’d get to see my family much more if I could just apparate in between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia! I think that the ability to change my appearance at will would have to be a close second. After all, who doesn’t want to be Johnny Depp for the day?
Chris: Aww that was a sweet answer and interesting one.
Chris: Okay, so I think that is all the questions I have. It was amazing chatting with you & thank you so much for taking the time to do this.
Cosplay Claire: Absolutely!
So this concludes the end of the interview. Claire Anastasia is like I said, the total package. Brains, beauty and nerdism. She is a very sweet, down to earth person who I can tell, has a lot of passion for anything that she does. If you see her at any conventions, be sure to say hello and I’m sure she would be more than happy to meet you guys and gals. I hope the tips that she gave to those of you that want to get into cosplaying, come in handy. Until the next edition of “The C-Word,” I’ll leave you with these pics and links to check out more of her work. Thank you all for reading.
All credit for the cosplay photos go to Jeff Zoet Visuals