|Posted on August 20, 2019 at 11:15 PM|
Ladies and Gentlemen, All Cool Things™ has a treat and delight, not only for the eyes, but for the spirit, as well! She is known all thoughout the Southeast not only as a stage and film actress, but a cosplay advocate for mental illness and safe spaces.
You have an interesting name. How did you come up with it? Does it have a throwback to Mysticism or the occult? 'Old game character's name? 'Something more cryptic? Is there any reason that it is all one word like it is?
Its been my username since I was a kid. I am a spiritual person and always have been, and I was insistant on picking a username that reflected that but, also did not have any numbers in it. Hence BewitchedRaven was born!
Not only are you a cosplayer, but a bona fide actress. Would you mind running through a few of the things you've been in? 'Anything we might have seen?
When it comes to film I was lucky enough to get to be one of the cosplayers selected to be a part of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. Other than that, stage acting is my bread and butter. I've traveled all around the country working for different theaters, and have really fallen in love in with doing children's theater. It gives you a chance to be silly and boundless, which is something I love to have in my daily life.
You are also a LARPer. That has to be like being a cosplayer on an extended workout! What's that like? I've never really done anything like that since my childhood days. Is it true that LARPers go on retreats where they rent out whole parks and event areas to LARP?
LARP is amazing! It is like DnD, except you get to dress up and act out your character rather than sit around a table. Every LARP is different. Some do one day events, and some rent out parks for an entire weekend. There are so many different genres out there too!! You can get high fantasy, western, post-apocalyptic, and more! LARP holds a special place in my heart because its how I met my amazing husband, Sugarfree D Photography!
You are an advocate for positive behaviour and against bullying. Why is this such an important cause for you?
Being raised in the south, I never really fit in as a kid. It wasn't until I found cosplay and the con community that I really felt like I found my people. I know a lot of con goers out there feel this way. A lot of us delt with bullying growing up… which is why I hate seeing that behavior seep into this community. This should be a safe space for people to express themselves. With the growth of the internet, we have become a community that hides behind comments because there is no consequence to those actions. We never take the time to hear people out and form opinions; we become lynch mobs backing the loudest screamers because we are too afraid to stand against that. It's heart breaking to see. I've been on both sides of that fence, and as I've gotten older I realized how much space in my mind that was taking up, and I decided I wasn’t going to let that happen anymore. Our happiness as humans should be what we focus on and strive for. This does not mean tearing someone else down. If that’s what you think you need to be happy, you're wrong. I'm very focused on trying to spread that message. I want people to feel joy around me. I'm human, so of course there are people and things out there I don't like… but I've made it my goal to walk away from those things, and not get pulled into emotional terrorist behavior. Spread joy. We have hit our quota on hate.
Wow, you do a lot to promote well-being and open mindedness in the community! Is it true that you are also an educator in many less than obvious illnesses like mental health? Would you mind telling us some about that, as well?
I offer a panel at conventions discussing hidden disabilities and cosplay. Doing different conventions for so many years, I started to notice that this was a gap in the programming offered. I feel like as a whole, people are just starting to become more comfortable talking openly about mental illness, and that’s an important discussion to have in the cosplay community. Awareness is key to change, but it's also a key to understanding. It allows us to remove "blame" from conversations, and allow mutual education to be the focus and allow for healing.
Do you ever educate people on the physical invisible diseases? Does advocating for the mental diseases and disorders have a more personal calling to you?
I personally don’t speak too much on physical invisible diseases and my personal experience is not as vast. I often invite others to join in my panels to help cover that topic more, so people can speak from experiences rather than interpretations. My space is more mental illness. I personally suffer from depression, anxiety and PTSD, so I feel like I have the ability to discuss those areas with a more educated point of view. The main thing to remember when this discussion happens is that everyone is different. Everyone handles his or her disabilities differently. All we can do is be there for each other and support each other. Its my hope by opening this discussion up more, this can happen in the cosplay world.
I've noticed that some cosplayers are more of con cosplayers, and others are more model cosplayers. Where do you think you fit between the two?
I'd say I'm a con cosplayer with a dash of modeling. I prefer to interact with people, and cons give me the opportunity to do that! Plus, I'm the first to say, I super suck at modeling. I have worked with some amazing photographers to get what shots I have.
You are actually a married cosplayer. Does he help? Does he ever cosplay with you?
I am! I met my husband through LARP. He is actually a gamer, LARPer, photographer kinda geek. He is a HUGE help when it comes to cosplay. I am constantly running my ideas past him. He has become quite talented at cutting out sewing patterns. He is always giving me a hand, which is a great way for us to spend time together! He will cosplay if I ask him to. His rule is he has to be comfortable, so when he does cosplay with me, it’s a much more relaxed type of cosplay.
I don't think I've ever seen someone that has quite as much fun in her cosplay photoshoots. I think the only person that comes close is Cree Nicole. Even your cosplay as Wednesday Addams looks happy...Well, she doesn't look happy, but more like someone trying to look apathetic, when someone is making faces in front of them, trying to make them laugh. How does cosplay make you feel? Why do you cosplay?
Like I said before, I SUCK at modeling (LOL). I always tell people I cannot do a serious or "sexy" face to save my life. I enjoy cosplaying too much, so whenever I'm doing a shoot I always have too much fun not to smile. I work a lot with my husband, Sugarfree D Photography, so being silly during shoots comes even more naturally for us. Smiling is just my go to look, and I'm very okay with that.
I was also noticing your choice of cosplay. Where most cosplayers use anime and video games as a source for characters, you appear to be more of a geek/comic book cosplayer. Am I right? Where do you like to get inspiration for your cosplays?
I cosplay anything and everything that I want. If I see a character design I like, I'll cosplay it. I have found myself seeing a character online, and that desire to make that costume leading me to a new show, game, or comic that I now love! I kinda work opposite of many people. I'll cosplay from what I like, but I'll also allow cosplay to introduce me to new things too! Plus, any chance I get to cosplay an inanimate object, you can be sure I will.
Being in theater, costuming is just a part of your life… but I've been sewing since I was a kid. I learned from my grandmother and my mom. Its kinda like I was learning a skill with no idea where to apply it, until I really dove into cosplay.
You do accurate cosplays, but you also do interpretive pieces. 'Some of them of the bunny persuasion. In fact, you even did a Sabretooth Bunny Cosplay! What do you like about cosplays of this nature? Do you have a thing for bunnies or Playboy Bunny variants?
Taking on a personal interpretation for me allows me to not only be more creative, but gives me the space to create outfits I'm comfortable wearing. When I look at myself in a costume, I want to feel joy. I don’t want to worry about being self-conscious about my body. Being open to creating my own designs allows me to do that. If you don’t love wearing the cosplay, it's not right yet. Take a chance and make it your own!
I love doing things to help me expand my skill sets. Whenever I'm at a convention, I'll often time take a chance, and try to make something new to have for sale at my booth. This helps me to always keep growing in my craft. I will do commissions, but I try to be very open and honest with people about what I can and can’t do. I would hate for someone to expect one thing, and get another. That would break my heart.
Thanks for taking all the time for this interview and for the great exclusive pics. Are there any parting words that you would like to share with the readers?
Enjoy this life and spread joy and kindness through everything you love to do!!
There you go! I hope you didn't get Diabetes from that interview! Our guest certainly was sweet!
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