Interview with Kasea VP
Kasea Vp. is a mix of Chinese, Laotian, Chipowa, German and Norwegian cosplayer who constantly strives to challenger herself with each character she portrays.
When they were young Kasea and her sister would attend renaissance fairs and Lord of the Ring conventions around the Tacoma, Washington Area but they had few costumes to choose from. Returning from school one day, Kasea’s sister suggested they explore cosplaying comic and anime characters. Since they had both been interested in comics, videogames, and anime and loved to dress up it seemed a matural thing to do. They loved it and attended their first convention which was DragonCon in 2005.
Kasea has always had a creative streak and growing up she studied both songwriting and opera and began writing her own songs at a very young age. She always loved to paint and draw with all types of mediums (of course she’d always draw her favorite super heroes with her big sister) . Later on, she gained a passion for dancing (ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, bellydancing) and was also an accomplished gymnast and competed until an injury at age 17 forced her to quit. Today Kasea teaches kids gymnastics and fine tunes her vocal skills with Karoke and Rockband.
Kasea, it is a pleasure to meet you. I wanted to ask you about the calendar you recently appeared in, the “Women of Comicbook Cosplay” where you are Miss July. Who are the character you played and what did you think when you were first approached with the project?
You are known, by many, as one of the “hot” female cosplayers. How do you feel about that title?
One of my favorite of your cosplaying characters is Efinii Assassin from Aion. Your wings are incredible. How did you create it, how long did it take you?
To build the wings my husband and I cut out the shape and size of the wings, out of wire mesh we purchased at our local hardware store. Next, I curled the raw metal edges over so the mesh wouldn’t poke through and tear my skin. After that, I hot glued black fabric onto the front and back sides of the wing shaped mesh. Now the next part is a bit tricky, in order for me to wear the wings, I installed backpack straps that go through BOTH the wire mesh and fabric, that way they are really secure and give the wings more stability. Once the fabric is all glued on, you can then begin to place your feathers onto the wings. I just used hot glue, some people sew them on, but it does take a bit longer. When placing the feathers onto the wings, I started from the bottom and worked my way up. Try keeping the feathers in a pattern if you can, for example, my feathers tend to fan out. Once the feathers are where you want them to be, try the wings on and enjoy! Just note, depending on the size you want, your wings could be extremely light or heavy, mine were about 11lbs. so I strongly suggest if you’re going to wear these wings without a real harness, like I did, take breaks wearing them. It makes such a difference what 10mins. will do–especially if you’re walking in them all day at a convention.
Overall, I love my wings! Though I still have a lot to learn, I would love to make more wings in the future.
You are also known for your sexy portrayal of Nora from Witchblade. What did you do to personalize that costume?
This costume is very intricate and I really wanted to challenge myself. Now the thing about this costume is, not many people know about this character, so as far as reference pictures go…there really weren’t that many I could use. Yes, I had the anime to refer to, however, some parts of this costume are just not physically possible due to the fact of gravity. So, in order for me to make this work I had to customize it to my body and personalize some details that maybe you never see on the character. For instance her upper back, I decided to add extra detailing, just to make the costume even more intricate and interesting. Also the bra top I made is not like the anime, however if I did make it exactly as the anime portrayed, I probably would’ve been arrested for indecent exposure. So I added extra support to it, but it still gave off the look I was going for. I think the biggest personalized pieces were my gauntlets. There’s a lot of fine detailing in the gauntlets (cut and shaped various types of foam and paper), mind you I can’t really use my hands while wearing them, but they look darn good.
What are some of your favorite costumes and who do you want to do in the future?
So far, I really love my Lilith Aensland cosplay, my Witchblade outfit, Aion Assassin and my Gunner Yuna(first official cosplay). Don’t get me wrong, I love all of my costumes very much, but I believe each costume I make gets better and better each time. I look at my older costumes now and see what I could’ve done better because of all the new techniques I’ve acquired now. As far as future characters I’d like to do, that’s hard to say because there’s always something new coming out and it keeps me on my toes. I admit I have plans to make a Blade and Soul cosplay soon, but really, I’m very open to anything.
Are there any cosplayers out there that you admire and what is it you admire about them?
Truly, I admire anyone who has the confidence and passion to cosplay at all. I can’t just point to one person because I admire so many people in the cosplay world. What I admire about any cosplayer is hard work, innovation, and most of all, confidence.
Aside from the crafting aspect of the costumes what do you like about the cosplay scene?
You teach gymnastics now and love working with kids. Are there any future Olympic Gymnast among your students?
As a teacher, I sure hope I can supply any child I work with the potential and confidence to go for their dream. If that means going to the Olympics, I believe they have all the tools to do so. Olympics or not, I’m proud of each of my students.
You also enjoy singing and songwriting. Would you ever like to pursue this as part of your cosplaying?
I would love to! Cosplay is a big part of my life and so is singing, I know I’m not a professional or anything, but I’d love to have the chance to show others what else I can do.
You are married, does your husband enjoy cosplaying with you? How about your sister, is she still an active cosplayer?
Actually, it’s not just my husband and sister. I also cosplay with my twin nieces and my brother in law. The whole family is involved in cosplay, even my mom likes to try on my wigs. We are all active in the cosplay community ( minus my mom and dad) and I feel it brings us closer together. It’s just a lot of fun and we all support each other. I know when I have my own children someday, I’d love to take them to a convention and make them little outfits, just like my sister does for her daughters.
What’s one thing about yourself you would want your readers to know?
Where do you hope cosplay leads you in the future?