I remember the first time I ever did cosplay. I was in high school and I dressed up as Chun-Li from Street Fighter. (I looked just like her at the time.) I remember people thinking I was strange and received some dirty looks. Cosplay was a new concept then and people just didn’t get it. Today, cosplay is as mainstream as it can get. It has become synonymous with comic-con/conventions. Philly’s own cosplay scene has been ever growing in recent years.
Our Geek of the Week is the brains and beauty of Cosplay Philadelphia; SiddeeQah Love. The Philadelphia based Otaku studied fashion and fine arts in college (currently studying mechanical engineering) and uses that creativity to fuel Cosplay Philadelphia. Besides being the president of Cosplay Philadelphia; Love also has two other businesses and a blog.
Running multiple businesses can be time-consuming but I was able to ask SideeQah Love some questions.
What got you into cosplay?
Since a toddler, I’ve found myself in costume on many occasions between pageants, dance school, and plays. I believe I just grew into loving cosplay. As an adult, it combines what I love: designing/creating garments and the otaku lifestyle. Cosplay allows me to explore various aspects of my personality through characters I love (or hate) and it just feels right. I love cosplay because I can become whatever I want and it’s totally ok.
What is your favorite cosplay that you have done?
There are many to choose from. It must be Her Imperious Condescension from Homestuck! She is witty, brilliant, stylish, powerful, hella confident, wears a deserved crown, and lets nothing get in the way of her ambitions! So, basically me (in my head). Cosplaying her is when I receive the most insane reactions and she’s the easiest for me to emulate. A revival of this cosplay is on my must-do list.
Can you tell me more about Cosplay Philadelphia and how it started?
Cosplay Philadelphia is a literally how I make my otaku/cosplay dreams come true. A few years ago, I found it hard to meet other cosplayers and there wasn’t an online hub for us. Cosplay meetups were few, far from me, and mostly awkward with no activity. It’s always been a goal of mine to combine cosplay, community, and charity while filling the gaps between conventions with similar fun. So, in March 2014, I began taking pictures and interviewing cosplayers at local events to post on a Facebook page I called Cosplay Philadelphia. Months later, I planned a meetup full of games, cosplay swaps, panels, and had a couple friends help with spreading the word. After dozens of events, appearances, collabs, ups and downs, and charitable drives, Cosplay Philadelphia has become what it is today: a local cosplay organization hosting monthly events and providing fun programming to fellow cosplayers, nerds, and otaku while giving back to our local community through volunteerism and charity. It’s a pretty big deal to me that Cosplay Philly is owned and ran by a black woman. Not only do I intend to spread acceptance amongst other like myself, but to all peoples, no matter the walk of life.
Any upcoming or future events that you can share with us?
Yes! There are many cool announcements in the upcoming months that I can’t wait to share. Cosplay Philadelphia has many events and charity drives planned for 2018. I can say I am very hype for February. We also have a big announcement sometime in November. In April, our official Cosplay Café debuts. Finally, there will be more regular cosplay meetups that will begin soon.
What advice would you give anyone looking into cosplay and possibly turning it into a career?
Have fun. Sounds simple, but cosplaying gets stressful and one could get overwhelmed easily, forgetting to have fun in it all. Your cosplay does not have to be perfect! Because there is no such thing. I always say with cosplay, accuracy is not required. When it comes to turning cosplay into a career, I’d say….be genuine and stay true to yourself. There are so many opportunities for cosplayers out here and there is no one way to have a career as one. So, it’s ok to try new things, but it’s also ok to turn down things you don’t agree with. Also, incorporate other interests/talents/work into your cosplay career.
Now for the hardest question: Tell me the geekiest thing about you or that you have done?
This is hard! Some years ago, I developed a secret language with my best friend consisting of numbers only. Funny thing is most of the language was centered around anime and yaoi terms.