In the distant past of June 2015 at Phoenix Comicon, I spotted one of the best cosplays I had ever seen: La Muerte from the Book of Life. I humbly asked for a photo and she agreed before giving me her card. I loved her costume so much I had planned on featuring her on Geek Lyfe as soon as I got home but unfortunately misplaced the business cards I had acquired. Fast forward to Amazing Arizona Comic Con 2016 and, unbeknownst to me, that I met that same cosplayer again but in a different costume. After a brief chat, I took her photo and she gave me her card once again and on the cover was her La Muerte costume proudly on display.
Over in California at Wonder Con I actually got to speak with her and give her the praise she rightly deserves. She was incredibly kind and humble about everything and I was over the moon with excitement to finally have closure on the mysterious cosplayer that eluded me for more than half a year!
Without further ado, here is my interview with the wonderful MaeDae Cosplay:
The Geek Lyfe: Although I am a fan of yours, there may be a few Geek Lyfers who have not seen your work before, would you be alright introducing yourself?
MaeDae Cosplay: Hello there! My name is Mae and I am a cosplayer located out of Phoenix, Arizona.
TGL: I’ve followed you for sometime yet never learned the origin story! Could you tell us how you got into cosplay and what led you to where you are now?
MDC: Oh boy, well my origin story (love that I sound like a comic book character by the way) is once upon a time I had to move high schools and ended up falling in with a new crowd of kids. What a bunch of nerds they were. One girl in particular, (Chiara of Chiaroscuro Costume) introduced me to exactly what it meant to cosplay. Together with a group of 8 other people we organized a 10 person Homestuck cosplay group for Phoenix Comicon 2013. I only went one day on Saturday, but clad in gray body paint, a long black wig, an entirely satin costume and “candy corn” horns on my head, I trekked to my first ever convention and had the most fun in my entire life. Now as someone who was already pursuing fashion and costume design, it made total sense that I would love what we were doing. Since that day almost three years ago I’ve attended 13 conventions in 2 different states. I love it!!
TGL: What has been your favorite moment so far cosplaying?
MDC: My favorite moment cosplaying so far had been what happened at Amazing Arizona this past February (2016). It was my first time wearing my Rey costume, as well as my resurgence back
to the Star Wars fandom. I was just having a grand ole time running around and taking pictures, but so many people that day had positive things to say about my Rey, I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never experienced hate or jealousy within the community personally, but I’d also never had a reaction like this! People were so kind and in awe of my work, it was nice to have that recognition!
TGL: What is the most frustrating part?
MDC: The most frustrating part is definitely trying to fit the time into my life to cosplay. That and the deadlines. Oh how I hate working against deadlines…That or when you’ve been to three different fabric stores and looked all over the internet and STILL can’t find exactly the fabric you need for a costume!
TGL: Is there one situation in your Cosplay career that makes you laugh when you look back on it? If so, what is it?
MDC: Looking back, I think the time I split my satin pants wide open down the front! This was the first costume I made, and being self taught I wasn’t 100% aware of how to make real, functional garments so when I sat down my pants had a three inch tear down the front crotch! I was able to fix it but I didn’t let it bother me too much that day.
TGL: When you aren’t doing making costumes or making videos, what do you do in your spare time?
MDC: When I’m not cosplaying or thinking about my next costume or convention, I’m working! I have two jobs currently, and I’m in school for my associate’s of fashion design. As far as other hobbies, I’ve drawn my whole life but have put that on the back burner while I hone my sewing capabilities, If not any of THOSE, you can find me reading.
TGL: What geek medium(Video Games, Comic Books, Novels, Movies etc.) made the biggest impact on your life and why?
MDC: When I first got into everything comic book characters made the biggest impact on me. While I hadn’t read a whole lot of comics, I was interested in the characters, particularly Batman and his whole universe. Any nerdy stuff I’m into is my own doing. Growing up in a sporty, athletic family pushed me more towards sports than anything else. Anything I like that’s considered “geeky” is because I had the interest and went after whatever it was that caught my fancy. Nowadays I’m a movie junkie. I love seeing movies and studying the costumes and character designs. It’s a really big problem when your “Future Cosplay Plan”list exceeds 200+ characters!
TGL: You are going to play a Dungeons and Dragons session with anyone in the world, from anytime period, any universe. Which four people do you choose and why? Also which class would you choose to be?
MDC: Well first one on the list would be Nikola Tesla. With the wildly intelligent and creative brain he had, I think he’d make a tricky DM. I’d probably also pick Finn from Star Wars because I think he has a tactical brain that he could use to his advantage and I’d be interested to see how he’d play. As for the other two I’d want to see Cersei Lannister because let’s face it, she’s the Queen B in charge and giving her control for once could be catastrophic, but it would make for a great session. The last person I’d want is Gary Gygax, the father of D&D because playing with the original creator? You can’t beat that! As for my class, I’d have to pick either a rogue or a sorcerer!
TGL: Which cosplay do you hate to wear due to being uncomfortable the most but love to have worn it for photos and conventions?
MDC: I try to make all of my costumes at least somewhat comfortable, because I know what it’s like to be miserable in a costume and it can ruin an experience. However, that being said I’d have to say I love wearing my (now retired) La Muerte cosplay. She’s big and beautiful with that hat, but the details that I’ve put into her creation are unrivaled in my currents cosplay collection. With over 100 hand made paper marigolds, getting painted, a wig and hat built from scratch, and the other crafted pieces that went into her, she’s a true work of art. It’s just hard to wear in Phoenix during the summertime!
TGL: Do you have any projects in the near future we should be excited to see?
MDC: Well this year is a Very Star Wars Year, to be perfectly honest. I have another Padme costume planned, as well as another Rey and two different Kylo Ren costumes (yes, he does actually have slightly varying outfits in the movie…trust me). I also have a few more dream cosplays I’m hoping to see realized this year whether I wear them or not, so keep your eyes peeled!
TGL: What advice do you have for aspiring cosplayers?
MDC: My advice future (and current!) cosplayers would be to have fun and to never stop improving. I know it can seem daunting, but keep adding costumes to your lists. Keep learning those new skills. Continue to read ad learn and grow and change. Enter costume contests, talk to that “famous” cosplayer. At the end of the day we’re a bunch of talented dorks that love what we love and don’t let anybody tell us what to like or who to be and we should be celebrating that!
I want to give a huge thank you to MaeDae Cosplay for being absolutely wonderful and taking the time to answer a few of our questions! She is a fantastic cosplayer and I highly recommend checking out her Facebook page! She is currently under 1,000 likes, which is a crime because she is so friggin talented! Now if you’ll excuse me, I must build a D&D campaign and try to convince her to come and play!