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Leah Rose – Exclusive Interview

1061221_10152930326685244_847931343_n“Our friend and World-Class cosplayer Leah Rose sat down with Omega 1 creators Mark Edward Lewis and Alina Andrei and spoke from the heart about her dreams, origins and why cosplaying can be brutal.”

Omega 1: How old where you (or how many years ago) when you first realized that you were destined to cosplay the most powerful women heroines?

Leah Rose: Honestly, it’s been a consistent thing since I was walking. I think… Well, obviously I don’t remember this TOO clearly, but I don’t ever remember playing princess dress up as much as superhero or secret agent. I started as a bamf and just grew more and more into it. I mean, I made a sailor moon costume when I was 5 – if she didn’t have super powers, I wasn’t interested.

O1: What happened the first time you stepped onto a con floor as another character?

LR: My first con as a cosplayer was pretty unintentional. My first con was anime expo my freshman year of high school, and I didn’t know cosplay was such a THING! My friends said that people dressed up at cons and I should make our outfits, so I did… Aaaaand we show up in them and my first reaction is “what have I got myself into…”. But I was so happy and knew that these were all my kind of people.

O1: Do you have any advice for men/women getting into cosplay?

LR: This might not be what everyone wants to hear, but I gotta be honest – it’s brutal. Don’t go into it expecting anything more than a hobby, and I’d recommend starting with a costume that you can perfect and that’s on a character physically similar to you. Is easier to have creative freedom later on and tackle the biggies when you have one or two masterpieces, no matter how simple, under your belt.

O1: That sounds like amazing advice! What has been the most challenging aspect of cosplaying and being a cosplayer?

LR: Money and travel are the biggest two, I think. Costumes aren’t cheap, flights aren’t cheap, fabric is… Well, it can be cheap but you go through it like it’s air… That’s the biggest reason why I can’t make many out of state cons and try to thrift everything I can.

O1: Do you have any advice for cheap ways of getting costumes made?1060524_10152930326655244_940356739_n

LR:To make cosplays cheaper, my first step is break things down into pieces like real clothes! Making a maid outfit from a white blouse, white ruffles, a black jacket, and black skirt is so much easier and cheaper than doing it from scratch. Also, thrift shops are your absolute best friend!!!!

O1: If you could, from here on, play only one character, who would it be?

LR: If you’d asked me this like last year, it would be sooooo easy – Rogue, no questions asked. Now, I have so many costumes with such an emotional attachment… I honestly couldn’t choose between Rogue, Kiani, Shi, and Princess Mononoke.

O1: If you had it all your way, what would Leah Rose’ life look like in five years?

LR: With two billion dollars! Haha. But really, I’ll just be leaving Hawaii, so I’d hope to have my career on the right path, solid schedule being sent to conventions to hang out and work, and more chances to show off this industry I love!

O1: You’ve done a lot of amazing things. What is the one thing you are proudest of?

LR: I’m really proud of two things more than anything  else - making the official Shi costume with Billy Tucci was the dream!!!!! And I also took over the charity one of my best friends made before she lost her battle with cancer. Keeping it running for her makes me so proud, but mostly proud of her.

O1: What is the most rewarding part of running Tracie’s Toothfairy?

LR: Everything about Tracie’s Toothfairy  is rewarding. Knowing that Sarah was so selfless as to start it is heartwarming, and being able to help some incredibly brave but unlucky people is an honor. Its so rewarding that I can use my cosplay for the greater good, not just for funsies.

O1: If you could change one thing about the Comic/Fantasy world, what would it be?

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LR: I think I’d do two things: I’d make it less about the money and more about the characters, creators, and fans that are the core of why we have what we do. And to put it briefly, I’d also try to do something about the gender inequality both in the entertainment industry and in the creations themselves.

O1: What would you say about your fellow cosplayers: Toni Darling [see her exclusive interview here], Ivy Doomkitty [exclusive interview], AZ Powergirl [exclusive interview], etc? Perhaps how you met them? Any support, appearances or projects that you’re all doing together?

LR: From all the ones you named? I love every single one of them. One of the things I never expected from cosplay was a sisterhood, but the girls you mentioned are all some of my best friends that I can call at any hour. I wouldn’t have had that with them if it weren’t for conventions, as that’s where I met every one!  We’re all on cosplay calendar together, a big project that Toni and I run and it’s so much fun being able to work with everyone.

O1: What can fans of Leah Rose always count on her for?

LR: For me to yell at them when they call themselves fans!! But really, they’re all my friends. I talk to all of them, in person or online, and I’m so lucky to have every single one. I’m very Irish in that way – even strangers are friends I just haven’t met yet.

O1: Is there anyone that you look up to?

LR: I look up to anyone that can embody grace under pressure and values honesty more than opinion. That shortens the list way more than it should!

O1: Any thoughts about the upcoming San Diego Comic Con?

LR: I’m so excited!!!!! I’ll be there hopefully, working with aspen comics which is a huge inspiration and honor!!!! I’m wondering how the con will be compared to last year, the growth of the pop culture sections has been insane and I know quite a few people aren’t exactly thrilled.

O1: We hope that you’ll come by our booth #5535 and say hello! Do you have any special talents that Omega 1 fans should know about? Juggling? Sprint Car Racing? Jazz pianist?

LR: I do yoga, does that count? I also draw and paint and am really good at making Pokemon noises.

O1: What’s the most important aspect of Leah Rose that Omega 1 (and Leah Rose) fans should know about her?

LR: I hold the triforce of wisdom, I’m always myself around everyone, and I really hope that everyone is happy!!!

O1: Thank you for your commitment to cosplay and supporting the entire cosplay and fantasy world as you do so well!

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[edited by Wilfred Hahn]

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Permanent link to this article: http://omega1comic.com/appearances/leahrose/

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