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How did you meet each other?

Darcy: We met back in May of 2000. I was working at Suncoast, specializing in the anime section. Scott was one of my frequent customers. We both were having problems with our significant others, but overcame them all and fought to be with each other, despite all the obstacles that got in our way. Hmmm... our story would make a great shoujo manga!

So you're getting married?

Darcy: We are planning it for sometime in the future, but being together is all that matters to us. We want to get established in a place that we will stay and never leave, have a career, and have a steady income before we have a wedding.

What is your chosen field of interest?

Darcy: I want to be an animator. I am currently a starving artist. I do retail work until I can find my dream job.
Scott: I am currently working at a Japanese restaurant which I am enjoying. However, I used to be a professional land surveyor and probably will be going back to surveying in the near future.

How did you get started in cosplay?

Darcy: Well, I can remember seeing Animerica's 1997 convention reports and seeing everyone in photos in costumes. My anime pal in high school, Elise, came across convention pages on the web the next year. She told me I would have to go with her decked out as my favorite anime character. Since Lina Inverse was my favorite character for years. I decided to cosplay as her for my first con.
Scott: Darcy introduced me to cosplay. ^_^

Tell us about the first cosplay experience.

Darcy: My first cosplay experience was Pittsburgh Comicon '99. I went with Elise and her mom since we were 15 & 16, and we didn't want to go alone. Apollo Smile was judging the anime costume contest. We were one of the few who participated. The best part about it was meeting my first convention friend, Jason B / Makoto, who I still hang with to this day. I learned at the con that costuming is a great way to make conversation.
Scott: My first cosplaying experience was at Vericon 2001 which was held at Harvard Law School in Massachusetts. It was advertised as an anime/gaming con so Darcy & I assumed that some people there would cosplay. It turned out we were the only ones. Let's just say we got quite a few odd looks.

How do you work together to make the costumes?

Darcy: Scott is the engineer and I am the designer. I am the one that plans the costumes in advance and makes suggestions on what materials to use. I also do the painting if needed. Scott makes sure everything stays on and moves the ways it's supposed to. But, despite stereotypes, Scott makes and sews all of his own costumes. I do the same for mine.

What anime shows are you watching currently?

Di Gi Charat Nyo (one of Scott's favorites and bows to DJ Ranma for finding it for us) Cyber Formula, (yay for Jeff) Assemble Insert, I'll Make a Habit of it (thanks Corey!) Zenki, (lol, yeah Drew you know you love it!) Hack//Sign, and we just finished Gatekeepers 21 (Mel hugs). People like to spread the love to us. It's a good change since we used to be the ones lending out our videos. ^_^

Your inspiration in life comes from where?

Darcy: My inspiration comes from my love for Scott, my supportive family, friends, and my motivation to be the best at anything I do. Watching anime or even eating Japanese food can fuel me for all of my ideas.
Scott: My full inspiration in life comes from two places. Darcy is my main inspiration and the other is the struggle to better myself.

Is having a costuming partner a good or bad thing?

Darcy: Having a costuming partner is a great thing for me because Scott can always help me when I have a problem making something. Plus, I try to make my costumes to make him say, "Wow, good job" or "You look just like the character!" He helps me prepare for cons. It makes the work go by a lot faster. I really love working as a team!
Scott: I think it's a great thing as well. Your partner can motivate you, help you, and keep you company while you are making costumes. Best of all, she goes to all the cons I go to.

How important is competition when you cosplay?

Darcy: As of this year, we have become competitive in the way that it matters to us: we get to perform. The most important thing to us, though, is having fun. Awards are always bonuses. What we do care about is entertaining the audience. We both love being on stage and the masquerade gives our costumes another way to make the characters we are playing come to life.

Which has higher priority - attention to detail, or keeping within budget?

Darcy: Depends on the costume that I am making. The same is true with Scott. This year tended to be the "$20 Plan," as in let me see how much I can get for my costume with $20. I'm getting good at it! *wink* Costumes in the past were funded by Scott and my higher paying lifestyle back in Massachusetts, so I could make a $175 Pretear costume with no problem. I decided this year to make a bunch of simpler costumes, work on my sewing skills, keep it to detail, and keep within our budget. Believe me, a simple costume that you paid little money for can get you just as much attention as something extravagant. You just have to have the skill and heart to make it look great. I think looking like the character plays a big part, also.

Worst cosplay experience?

Darcy: To tell you the truth, I've had many bad con experiences, and obviously, bad con experiences usually lead to bad cosplay experiences. I have to expect at least one con that I have issues with each year. It can all depend on who you are rooming with, hanging out with, what expectations you have for the con, who's on staff, or even if you are on staff at all. I bet people can relate to me on those issues, as well as getting sick at a con or just having a bad experience. You just have to remember with every bad con you go to, you will make up for it with a wonderful time at another! Don't let it stop you from going to more! ^_~

If you could be an expert in one area of costuming, what would it be and why?

Darcy: I'm going to say; paint. I've always been an artist since I was a kid and experimenting with different media. I've learned through making costumes what paints to use on what.
Scott: As for myself; I love to write cosplay skits. I get a lot of crazy ideas at 2am after drinking lots of coffee. It seems like people do enjoy our cosplay skits so I guess that is my expertise.

What tips for (insert area of expertise here) would you like to offer?

Darcy: For painting any kind of shoe, I use leather paint. It flexes and doesn't crack when you walk. Transparent glass paint works well on anything you want to make look glassy. Fabric paint, of course, works well on fabric. However, if you can't find the color you want in fabric paint, you could always use acrylic and mix it with a textile medium. If you need to paint lines on a costume, use masking tape to mark off the areas you are going to paint. It looks neater. If you want to tint a wig or just don't want to dye it, use floral spray. It helps shape it to what you want and changes the color without melting the hair. Spray paint is great for large areas, but I've found it doesn't work well on clay. Plus, if it is sprayed on in the summer, it tends not to
dry fully because of humidity. I'd use acrylic for clay or anything you need painted fast because you just use the hair dryer on it for 2 minutes, and it is fully dry. *nod*
Scott: My tips for skits are easy. Test your idea or skit in front of people. If they like it... perform it on stage. Just make sure that it's not an inside joke that only you and your friends would understand.

How soon before a con do you start working on a costume?

Darcy: *giggle* In the past we used to start on our costumes the week before because of our busy lifestyles. We now start on our costumes at least a month in advance.

What interests besides cosplay do you have?

Darcy: I still have an interest in figure skating, even though I am not competitive anymore. I used to skate for 12 years. It was my hobby besides anime. I also went to art school for animation. I love drawing and painting. Plus, I am a J-pop and anime music freak! I want to be the Anime Name That Tune champ at the championship at Katsucon 2004. YAY! I love computers and technology. I don't know what I would do without them! I want to make more Anime Music Videos in the future. I want to get better at that. I always strive to be better as a person. I also love to meet new people and make friends and try to be a good person.
Scott: I love Japanese cuisine and culture. My parents introduced me to it when I was younger, so I have to thank them for my love for sushi and my attempt to learn the language. I also love traveling and exploring new places.

Do you try to be the first on the block to cosplay a new character?

Darcy: Nope. We choose characters from the series we are enjoying at the time. We have somewhat obscure tastes in anime so sometimes we do end up being the first to cosplay as certain characters, but we don't cosplay the "hype." It's just not our style. We cosplay characters that represent what we stand for and characters we look or act like.

I think it's great that you are building your relationship through cosplay. Looks like you have figured out how to work together as a team to have fun with your costuming. You should get married now - in fact make it a big cosplay event at the hotel the next convention is at. Hardest part is figuring out what to dress as. We are looking to seeing great things from you for many years to come. Good luck!

Garry aka Prof

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