All hail, Mandy May!!! The famous Chicago model is a force soon to be reckoned with!! From her killer fashion looks and to her cosplay side project modeling as Batgirl, Ms. Marvel, Hope Summers, Marvel Girl, SpiderGirl and Mary-Jane Parker-she is taking her modeling career to another level. She is one of my favorite models I always love working with. Her beauty and her charming personality will absolutely make you melt.
I ask her about her recent modeling projects, how she got into the Cosplay scene and why she loves to model. Look for more of Mandy modeling more as Batgirl in the upcoming weeks on my web page!
Mandy May Interview:
Although you model often fashion looks, I learned you love to model Cosplay. What got you into Cosplay? How long have you been working Cosplay? How many costumes do you currently have?
I discovered cosplay through attending conventions. I have always been into comic books, so my friend asked me to attend a convention with him. At the convention, I saw that many people were dressed as their favorite characters. So, the next convention I went to, I decided to also attend in costume. I went as Batgirl, and to my surprise, the costume was a hit. I now have 7 costumes, and 2 more that are currently in the works.
Do you look up to any Cosplayers? You told me that some Cosplayers are just there for money and not the fun. Has Cosplay been going overboard?
I have had the privilege of befriending some very talented cosplayers. Two cosplayers that I look up to the most are also two people I hold close to my heart. Scott Whipple and James Wulfgar are by far the most experienced, talented cosplayers I know.
Whats the important criteria in choosing a costume? Do you plan on creating another one soon? I really love the new Batgirl of Burnside look-any chances of becoming her?
The only criteria I had in the past is that the character had to have red hair. My least favorite thing in the world is to wear a wig. So, since my hair is currently red, I only cosplayed as red-headed characters. When I change my hair color, I plan on taking on characters of whichever hair color I choose. I have been getting pressured into doing the Batgirl of Burnside costume. However, there are a few other costumes that are in the works as of right now, so it may come sometime in the future.
Out of the costumes you've done so far, which one was the biggest challenge?
Out of the costumes I’ve done so far, Taokaka was the hardest to make. Those who are familiar with the game Blaze-Blue can guess why. There were a lot of materials and a lot of fabric in making this costume, and I ran into a lot of problems that forced me to really think outside of the box. I am really happy with the outcome though.
Do you portray the character when dressed up? How much do you know about the characters you become? You told me a few things that Batgirl doesn't do but you still worked it for me. How come? When you do regular modeling in Fashion and beauty, do you fit the part? Such as would you bring out the emotion if given a punk rock wardrobe?
Yes, I try to stay in character to the best of my ability, especially when children are present. I do many charity events in costume. Being a character is harder than just looking like a character, and from my experience, it is also more rewarding. To genuinely cosplay, requires a bit of acting. It has come easily because I grew up with most of the characters that I dress up as. However, if there is a character that I am to cosplay as that I am not so familiar with, I do my research. I feel that many models would agree that modeling requires a bit of acting. When in front of the camera, the models’ job is to portray a character, emotion, or idea. In this way, modeling, acting, and cosplay go hand in hand.
What photoshoot would you want to see yourself in? Any shoot you have been dreaming of working in but would seem impossible? Any advice and tips you can give to Cosplayers and Photographers when working a project?
Since I was a young girl, I’ve always wanted to do a photo shoot as a mermaid underwater. Although it is not impossible to do, it’s not in the foreseeable future. If I were to give advice to cosplayers and photographers, I would just say to be open minded. Cosplayers and photographers may have conflicting ideas. Both parties must be patient and open minded in order to create something great.
Most important thing you learned from Cosplay? From modeling in general?
The most important thing that I learned from cosplay is to accept all people. The cosplay community by far is the most friendly, open, spirited community I have ever participated in. There are always going to be drama queens, and people who take themselves way too seriously. But overall, the people I meet within the cosplay community are very genuine, kind, accepting people.