Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Interview With a Cultural Vampire

Today I will be interviewing Netsenshi. He is a good friend of mine, and also a local photographer and cosplay artist.

DS: So, I thought I'd start out asking about your alternative lifestyle. How long ago did you come out publicly as a cosplayer?
netsenshi: Publicly I came out in 2005
DS: How did that come about?
netsenshi: After having attended a couple anime conventions already, I asked myself two questions. What costumes are popular, and what characters have I not seen cosplayed before. I had noticed there were a lot of costumes from the Squaresoft game Kingdom Hearts, specifically the mushrooms. I then frowned, because my favorite mushroom characters in games are the power ups and Toad's from Super Mario Bros. I was then inspired to make my first costume, The Poison Mushroom, for the anime convention Kamikaze con.
DS: Of the costumes you felt were missing, why start with The Poison Mushroom?
netsenshi: I think I started with him because I thought it would be easy. It's a character that has appeared in only one game, and since it was a power up and not an actual person, It left a lot of room for creative interpretation.

DS: Was it as easy as you thought it would be?
netsenshi: No.
netsenshi: My first attempt is somewhat embarrassing. I used a grim reaper outfit, Halloween makeup for the face, and used about two pillows to make the mushroom cap originally. The hat never stayed in place so I had to modify it there. It was extremely heavy and uncomfortable. The makeup was cheap, and it burned my eyes. I later had to go back to the drawing board and completely redesign the character.
DS: How many different characters have you created costumes for?
netsenshi: Well, I have sketched out many different costumes on paper as well as wanted to do others, but I haven't actually fulfilled a lot of them. I have finished costumes for 10 different characters. The Poison Mushroom has had 3 different incarnations though, so 12 different completed costumes.
DS: So, The Poison Mushroom is the only one you've done multiple times?
netsenshi: I've done a couple different iterations of the 1-Up mushroom. I mainly only count the first costume on that one though, because I only made the cap and recycled the mask from one of my Poison Mushroom costumes. The rest of the costume was different plain clothes, each incorporating the color green when I wore it.
DS: I'm to understand you're one of the minds behind the Pose Off panel that has been circulating around a number of conventions. Maybe you could share a bit about what that is and who you made it with, perhaps give a bit of background about its origination?
netsenshi: The Pose Off first started in 2005 in Austin, Tx at the convention Ushi-Con 4. It was started without a name randomly that sunday with several people present. The main person was my good friend Geoff Greer. I didn't have much to do with that one, but ultimately I helped refine it under the name The Pose Off months later. What the event is, is it's a competition amongst two or more individuals in a period of three rounds. The first two rounds have the contestants repeating the pose of a moderator, while the third round has them come up with their own pose. We used to always try and make it where the contestants would always win one, and force it into the third round, as me and Geoff were big into 2D fighting games like Street Fighter and Guilty Gear. Eventually though, we admitted that the first couple of rounds are more for our entertainment and is a way to help the posers come up with poses for their third round.
DS: You have also created several cosplay and gaming videos, correct?
netsenshi: That's correct.
DS: How did that start?
netsenshi: 10 years ago, my girlfriend at the time showed me how to make music videos to anime in windows movie maker. Later, I started going to anime conventions. I might have been inspired by my friend Marzgurl's anime convention videos, but I eventually decided to make some videos eventually after buying a flip video camera. A year or two later, my friend Evan Normand asked me to make videos on a website with him, and I did that for a year or so. I always intend to make more videos, but I never end up getting around to it.
DS: Why didn't you?
netsenshi: My friend Evan Normand is currently in school, so I ended up having to come up with most of our content. I ultimately got burned out quickly after making several gaming videos for the website www.funwithmirrors.com .After taking what I thought was a shorty break, I attempted to start back up after buying a camera that captures in HD. My other hardware is really old, and conversions take up a lot of time, if they convert at all.
DS: Are you working on any projects currently?
netsenshi: Outside of my blog and future commitments to Louisianime, none come to mind.
netsenshi: I would like to do some Let's Play videos, but I don't know when and if I will get to them any time soon
DS: We are running out of time for today's interview, and I don't want to keep you for too long. Is there anything else you would like to say to my readership before we say goodbye?
netsenshi: Yes. There is. I urge your readers to try many different things, simply on the whim to do so. Do NOT scoff at things because you think they are embarrassing. I could have gone to anime conventions years before my first one, as well as traveled abroad a couple years sooner if I would have done that 100% of the time.
DS: Well, thank you so much for your time, I hope you have a wonderful afternoon!
netsenshi: You as well. Drive carefully

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