Who is responsible for this mess?
Jen is a starving artist from Portland, Oregon. In addition to finding new and exciting ways to screw things up during costume construction, she also finds new and exciting ways to screw up the Off the Rails blog, website, and other social media channels. Her pastimes include yelling at inanimate objects, accidentally leaving her mic open while baby talking to cats, and hoarding crafting supplies.
Patrick runs the Instagram and lets Jen invade his house with cosplay junk on work weekends. He also builds most of the electronics side of things and should be awarded for his infinite patience and decorum when playing handler to big, stupid costumes.
What is this “cosplay” you damn kids keep talking about?
Cosplay is a portmanteau of “costume” and “play,” and can be described as dressing up in a costume representing a character (or object as the case may sometimes be) from a game, TV show, comic book, or other media. Depending on your level of commitment and/or level of crazy, it may include staying in character as that person (or object).
No, seriously, why?
Cosplay is a way to show off creative skills, learn new creative skills, and share the love of nerdy things with fellow nerds. For some, including myself, it provides a means of interacting with others that we may not normally be capable of. Adam Savage’s TED talk “My Love Letter to Cosplay” is an excellent, moving glimpse into cosplay that I recommend watching.
Why are you called “Off the Rails Cosplay”?
Because, through a combination of ineptitude and the work of a universe that seems to hate me, every costume-related venture ends up veering significantly off its intended track soon after the outset.
Why low budget cosplay?
Many people have the misconception that cosplay is too expensive for them to try. You don’t need Worbla, vacuum-forming, an industrial sewing machine, or a room full of tools to make a costume (well, the tools help). There are costumes made out of just cardboard that can stand side-by-side with an $800 build and get the same “oohs” and “ahhs”. I would like to see more creativity and innovation replace overpriced materials so that cosplay doesn’t become (remain) an elitist playground.
What super cool awards and stuff have you won?
Not a damn thing! But we haven’t really tried.
Unless you count that award I should give to Patrick.
Got a burning question? Ask away!