Welcome to the third cosplayer interview on excelica.net! Ben Leslie has given the time to be interviewed for the site so please have a read and share!
Note: If you would like to be interviewed, please contact us.
Name: Ben Leslie
Q: Can you introduce yourself; tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m 23 years old and still trying to find paid employment, but I do try and keep myself busy from time to time instead of being bored. I have a good sense of humour, creative and imaginative when it comes to art.
Q: When did you first cosplay?
It was during the first half of this year back in March 2012, I did had an idea what I was going to cosplay for Sunnycon but there was a Nintendo Theme night at Gateshead Library called Nintendiso. I wanted to try and do something Nintendo related and then thought of cosplaying as Professor Layton which seemed quite easy to do for a first cosplay. I even went as Professor Layton when I picked up Miracle Mask for the 3DS on day of release at my nearest game store.
Q: Why is cosplaying such a passion for you?
After finishing my first cosplay as Professor Layton, I had a few more ideas on what cosplay I can do next and look very easy to do. Instead of buying a cosplay outfit online, I try and make the effort in making the cosplay. Throughout this year I’ve done at least 5 cosplays for this year and I always like to surprise my friends on what character I plan on going as.
Q: What’s the most embarrassing moment you’ve had while cosplaying?
When I cosplay as the Persona 3 Protagonist back in June for Nemacon I did had the wrong blue wig for my character, even though it was impossible to find a perfect flat blue wig both in stores and online. Managed to find one in the end but however quite a lot of people thought that my blue wig was actually real hair and quite a few people recognised which character I was during Nemacon 2012.
Q: Most memorable moment whilst cosplaying?
Meeting all sorts of people when it comes to Cons and Anime events, everyone has the same interests as you and plus if any of your friends or you see other people in cosplay it gives you ideas what you could do next in the future.
Q: Do you design/make your own cosplay?
As I already mentioned above I try and make the effort in making the cosplay. But if you have any clothing you don’t use anymore you can re-use it and make something out of it, plus charity shops are also a good thing if you see anything cheap or needing something to go with. My last cosplay was Vincent Valentine (FF VII) I would have thought it would tricky to do but seemed quite easy to do since most places were selling Halloween products during September and October it was easy finding a red cape and a few bits and bobs. The hardest challenge was making the shoes which I used a pair of black shoes and some pringles tins for the gold parts and used gold spray paint and super glue to attach it altogether. I used another tin to make the Gold arm-gauntlet and some fake witches fingers for the glove and a red t-shit for the neck collar-scarf.
Q: Top Video Games, Anime & Manga
I’ve always been a fan of RPG games like Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts and Disgaea. But my overall favourite game would have to be Persona 4 (PS2) for its murder-thriller story, Anime humour and comedy and amazing soundtrack. FullMetal Alchemist was my first Anime and Manga series I really got into during my college years, I was a fan of Anime to begin with back during my childhood, I could never really get into Pokémon but as I started watching FullMetal Alchemist back in 2006 I was hooked on to Anime and Manga in general.
Q: Who do you plan to cosplay as next?
I’ve already got on idea what I’m going to do next for SUNNYCON 2013, I’ve already started getting the materials together and planning on going as a Prinny from the Disgaea series. Might be a challenge to do but I do have some ideas up my sleeves and how I’m going to put it together.
Q: What is your favourite part about cosplaying?
Trying to bring the cosplay to life and when it comes to day of the event or con, it’s nice to get comments and how many people have heard of this character either Anime or Video Game related.
Q: how many conventions have you been to?
My first one was MCM Expo back in October 2010 and my second and third was both SUNNYCON and Nemacon later this year. But have been to a few mini-events which have been held at various places like Newcastle and Gateshead. You could say I’ve only been to 3 big conventions in general.
Q: If you could go to any convention in the world, which one would it be and why?
I would have love to go back to MCM again if I ever had the chance, but however I’d be more interested in going to one of the biggest conventions which have been held in the US like Comic-Con. I’ve only been to the US twice in my life and have always wanted to attend a huge convention like this.
Q: Which is your favourite of the cosplays you’ve done so far?
My favourite so far would have to be Vincent Valentine (FF VII) which made me feel quite creative when it comes to the cosplay which I’ve already mentioned above. And of course Professor Layton which I’ve done countless times now for mini-events at places like Anime Attacks and plus randomly mentioning out loud “This reminds me of a puzzle”
Q: Many first timers are hesitant to cosplay. Do you have any words of advice for them?
If you have a cosplay in mind give it ago, and if you’ve afraid of doing the cosplay on the day, still do it because I’ll have a fun time attending the event/convention. Most people I’ve met through this year at Nemacon and SUNNYCON were all very friendly people and I still see most of my friends almost every week whenever I’m out and about. If you live anywhere else in the UK don’t afraid in doing the cosplay, remember to keep smile and have a good time.
Q: How does your lifestyle affect your cosplaying? For example, if you’re a very busy person, how do you manage you time etc to cosplay?
Ever since I started cosplay during this year I’ve been quite a busy person time to time, I try and get at least 1 day of to relax in general but the rest of the week is very busy. If your familiar with the plot and gameplay for both Persona 3 and 4 you’ll notice that you’ll get these cards called “Social-Links” the more friends you have the powerful your Persona’s will get. And it is impossible to be at 2-3 different places at once if you have any events planned on that same week or weekend you try and sort out your times while you’re at it.
Q: If you could be one character from an anime or video game, who would it be, and why?
There’s too many to think of but I would have to go for Sora (Kingdom Hearts) mainly because I help my friends out whenever I can, go on many crazy adventures and running around with a Keyblade instead of your classic sword or gun like in other games. And I always have my hair spiked which I do try and go for an Anime/RPG look when I’m out and about.
Q: What was your favourite cartoon when you were younger?
I would have said The Simpsons which is still on TV since the early 90’s and I’m still watching it whenever it comes on Channel 4.
Q: Favourite food
Always been a huge fan of Marmite I have it on almost anything from sandwiches to stir-fry. But however I can’t say no to Spaghetti Bolognese, the taste of the Bolognese is the best part.
Q: Can we find you Twitter or any other social network/site?
Yes Twitter is – @LegendHeroBen
I post regular blogs and reviews over on Gamespot- http://uk.gamespot.com/users/benleslie5/
And for art lovers I use Deviant Art- benleslie5.deviantart.com
Q: Do you have any words/tips for other (or beginner) cosplayers?
Be as creative as much as you can, if you have a good idea use it
Thanks for the interview!