FAN: Please introduce yourself!
Lisa Crenshaw (LC): Hi! My name is Lisa Crenshaw, and I’m a medical lab technologist from North Carolina. Movies and TV are what really interest in me at conventions. Going to TV show panels or actor panels are the best! I haven’t read a comic book since I was a kid, even though I do read a lot of books. And I also cosplay book characters as well. I would like to start reading comics again. And I really want to read The Walking Dead comics.
FAN: What was your first introduction to the cosplay hobby?
LC: I have always enjoyed doing little craft projects and Halloween/Themed Parties. My first cosplay introduction was at MCM London in 2012 when I made a Merida Cosplay. Dress, bow, arrows, the whole character. I even made my own Merida wig, by combining two wigs into one big one and re-styling it. The wig alone took almost 78 hours!
FAN: What was it about cosplay that made you want to participate?
LC: I love creating these favorite characters of mine. I like keeping busy and working with my hands. Making cosplays come to life is so much fun. And the cosplay community is very supportive of each other.
FAN: What is your personal approach to your costumes – how do you choose what character to emulate? Do you tend to make your own outfits or get outside help?
LC: My approach is to find characters that I think that I can portray well. Now that doesn’t mean I that I have to look like the character or act like them. Just a character that I would enjoy being for the day. I do tend to make everything that I cosplay. However, I did get my Clockwork Android mask made by another artist. I just couldn’t get it to look the way I thought it should. So when that happens, why not go to someone else who can produce it? Just make sure you give credit to the artist.
FAN: What is one of the best and most memorable experiences in cosplay?
LC: My Classic Ursula look is my most favorite cosplay. I love how adults and children react to it. The adults because it reminds them of their childhood, and the children love seeing the Disney characters in real life! At Awesome Con DC 2014, I had a dad come up to me and ask if his daughter could get a picture with me. He said they had been following me around for 15 minutes trying to get a picture with me. He said he was waiting his turn! And the daughter was super cute and a little shy. But I got down to her level and spread out my tentacles and she scooted in for a picture. The dad was so appreciative that I would sit and talk to his daughter. And she walked away with a huge smile! Those are the moments that I like the best.
FAN: What’s one of your worst?
LC: Surprisingly enough, my worst experience also was in the Classic Ursula. This time at Dragon Con 2014, I was walking back to the hotel I was staying at after being in Ursula for the whole morning into the afternoon. My girlfriends were in another panel so I was walking back by myself to the hotel. It was about 5 blocks from the host hotels. As I was walking, an employee from one of the host hotels started up a conversation with me (I knew he was an employee because he had a polo shirt with the hotel logo on it). I was wondering how long this guy was going to be walking with me and it was starting to get a little uncomfortable, a little creeper feeling. I didn’t know if he wanted a picture and just didn’t know how to ask, or what. Eventually, we were close to the corner before my hotel and I turned to him and asked did he want a picture. And he smiled and said yes. So I did an Ursula pose and said have a great day. He touched my arm and said in a low voice if he could take another photo of me. I said sure. He then asked if I would pull my top down. I was shocked! I had never had someone say something like that to me. I told him I do not do those kinds of pictures. And then he said what if I paid you? I couldn’t believe he said that! I just said that I do PG13 only and turned and walked away. When I told other cosplayers about this, they said that I should have reported him to the host hotel.
FAN: You had a couple of interesting twists on familiar characters at Virginia Comicon. How did these designs come about?
LC: Doing a different spin on such loved characters is a lot of fun! Steampunk is a style that I wish I could wear every day. And I thought, Ursula is my favorite Disney villain, why couldn’t I do a Steampunk version of her. Some people get it right away, while others need a little help. At VA Comicon, I left my trident in the hotel room by accident. I was worried that people wouldn’t get that I was Ursula without it. But most still did!
My Joker Can-Can was an idea that came up after I watched Moulin Rouge one night. I haven’t done a character from the comics yet and knew that I wanted to do one. So I thought why not Joker Can-Can? It was so much work on the skirt, many hours making ruffles and sewing them onto the underskirt. It’s not 100% complete yet. I still have the corset to finish and the hair fascinator to finish. But I was happy enough with it to wear it to VA Comicon.
FAN: Do you have any major costume or convention plans lined up in the near future?
LC: I do have some major costumes in the plans for the beginning of the year. The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, but not a classic Queen of Hearts from the animated movie or Tim Burton one. I am using some fan art that I found on Deviantart as inspiration. It’s going to be a huge amount of work. And will also require me to paint on fabric, something that I have not done yet. I also have to finish my Soraka from League of Legends. And I will be doing a Tilly from the upcoming Night in the Museum. My girlfriends and I are going to do a group cosplay of Three Blind Mice and the Farmer’s Wife in Rockabilly Poodle Skirt style.
I have Wizard World Raleigh in March that I need to have the Queen of Hearts completed by for a collab with another cosplayer who is going to be Alice. Awesome Con DC in May. And Dragon Con in September. But I am sure there will be more cons added, at least three others I am sure.
FAN: What do you think cosplay adds to the overall convention experience?
LC: I enjoy the people watching at the cons. And the cosplayers add to the fantastic people watching experience! Also, cosplaying is a way to show the artists and actors that you appreciate their hard work. When I went to Dragon Con last year, the Defiance cast had all the people that were cosplaying characters from the show stand up during their panel. They even got one cosplayer up on stage that they thought did a fantastic job as Tommy and took a picture with him to send to Dewshane Williams (the actor that plays Tommy). I am sure that cosplayer’s con was made just by that one experience!
FAN: Anything else you’d like to add? Is there any place on social media where readers can follow your cosplay progress?
LC: I am still fairly new to the cosplay and convention scene. I have my fan girl moments when I see cosplays that blow my mind or see actors from shows/movies that I watch. And I really like to talk to other cosplayers about their cosplays and the journey of bringing their character to life. I just recently had a chance to start gaming again. That is something that I would like to spend more time on in 2015. And then producing characters from the games that I play too will be fun.
Facebook is really the way that I like to showcase my work and work in progress. My Facebook page is- www.facebook.com/ladycrenshawcosplay