On Record with Reflux:
Maressa Fox – Burlesque dancer, model, cosplayer, costumer, artist, mythical creature
Today, I have a the pleasure of interviewing another cosplayer, but not just any cosplayer, it’s Ms. Maressa Fox. A self described eccentric, who is all-over-the-place, and is nearly 6-foot, and a bumbly girl who wishes to inspire others. She loves lace, pearls, rhinestones, and gowns, but also loves climbing trees, building things, or going to the shooting range. She also loves “hunkering down for some vidja games”, and in this interview it reflects. So as always, let’s jump right in;
Hi, I’m Reflux, and I represent Anime-Eden, and I am glad you responded with interest in the interview. So I would love to know what got you started into the world of Cosplay and when did you start cosplaying on a regular basis?
M: I got started when I decided I wanted to go to Sakura Con in Seattle (where I grew up) when I was 19. I’ve always been a bit of a nurd*. I wanted to dress up, because if there’s an option to dress up for anything I’m gonna do it! I was really into Silent Hill at the time (and didn’t know much about cosplay oversaturation), so I went with a friend as a Nurse and he as Pyramid Head. It was really fun. I like to be in character, so I walked around the con dragging my legs and bent in half with my hands all tensed up. I was really surprised when everybody wanted pictures. After that, I’ve had a Model Mayhem account for quite a while, and Weapon Outfitters found me when they were just starting out and asked me to make and model some cosplay costumes for their company- I did Sniper Wolf and a Vault Dweller, and with WO’s encouragement I started a fan page and started getting serious.
R: If you were in the fallout series, which part of the series would you be from, and which vault?
M: Probably New Vegas, and Vault 34 of course!
R: The Boomers came from 34. This, explains a lot about your personality. (insert laughter)
In cosplay today what would you say are your absolute favorite cosplays?
M: I really REALLY love Kevin Mosley. My favorite cosplay of his is his Ruby Rhod from 5th Element- he usually has an entourage of leopard-clad minions and gives out prints which he signs with a paintbrush and red paint. It’s brilliant. I love good humor more than anything!
R: I was… you know what, Yes, I will accept this answer. Brilliant!
In your cosplay career/lifetime, I want to know which conventions have you attended?
M: A lot less than I’d like to, unfortunately. Sakura Con, Megacon, and that’s the grand list so far. Most of my cosplays are done for photo shoots. It’s on my bucket list to meet Patrick Stewart though!
R: During your cosplay career have you ever decided to compete in any of the cons?
M: Not really, the kind of cosplay I do is not usually the kind that wins awards… I don’t make giant costumes or intricate armor. I don’t see the point in competing in something if you don’t intend to win, but I love seeing what the contestants have done!
R: What conventions would you love to attend?
M: I’d LOVE to go to Dragoncon this year… it’s a life goal to meet Patrick Stewart
R: I know SDCC just ended and everyone was posting that they couldn’t be there or wish they were, would you want to make it to SDCC next year?
M: SDCC is cool, but PAX Prime is my true love. If I’m going to shoot for a big con next year, that’d be the one! I do it because as a public personality and an entertainer, I’m here for just that.
R: I usually ask if you as a cosplayer would consider conventions and cosplaying addictive?
M: I do love cosplay but it’s not my main thing, I’m mainly a costumer with costumes of my own original design and a stage performer. What is addictive is seeing a really great design and thinking, WOW, I’d love the make that. The challenge is the addictive part, especially because as many nice people as there are at cons, there seem to be just as many who want to come up and nitpick your costume to your face. I think that’s silly. We’re all having fun here!
R: I guess, I should have asked if you think the fun could be addictive. mental note. (more laughter)
By far, I have interviewed quite a few people that are cosplayers and everyone sees their fans differently. Would you say you love having fans and supporters?
M: So far YES! I’m very lucky to have great followers on my page. They always leave kind and respectful comments on my work, encourage me on my sad days, they donated to a Go Fund Me I had for a costume, and they keep me laughing. It’s really nice to know that a huge group of strangers from all walks of life think what you’re doing is cool and take the time of day to tell you so. I’m really grateful for them.
R: On Facebook, I like how you interact with all of your supporters/fans, you actually take the time to respond to replies to your posts, and I think that is awesome. Is there a reason why you do this?
M: Entertaining. I really do love my fans, I love the cheeky stuff they post and the silly reaction videos, and the nice things they say after my live shows. I wrote an email to Amanda Palmer one time and she actually responded, and I thought that was the COOLEST THING EVER. If people think I’m cool, I hope that by responding to them they feel good, you know?
R: That is awesome. I was surprised when you answered me, so I’m glad this happened.
Do you have any weird stories from conventions/expos/photo shoots?
M: My favorite experience at a con was a man dressed as a Katamari- only his head and legs were sticking out and he was covered in a giant ball with houses, mountains, little people and sheep and random stuff stuck to the ball. He was standing at the entrance to the con and as I walked up he said “Can I take a picture of you?” I said sure, and his head popped into the ball and a few seconds later it popped out of the side of the ball with two hand holding a camera. He took the picture then disappeared again, then his head popped back out the top and he thanked me. I think I was cracking up in the picture XD
R: As in life, there are good experiences and bad experiences, and I’m sure you have plenty great experiences from cosplaying. What I want to know is are there any bad experiences from cosplaying that you have come across?
M: Sometimes people are just annoying. I have a realistic Vault Dweller (which means it looks grungy and nasty and beat all to hell) that I wore to Megacon, and some dude walked up to me and started telling me how the paint job was flaky and looked badly done. I told him it was SUPPOSED to look ratchet and he just scoffed at me and walked off. BYE FELICIA.
R: Okay, I have a time machine that doesn’t cause any major damage to the future, but you can only talk to yourself from ten years ago, mind you, you cannot warn about major disasters or investments, that would change too much, what would you tell yourself?
M: Please for the love of God learn how to dress yourself like a human being and do something about the squirrels living on your face calling themselves eyebrows.
R: There are a lot of newbies out there watching seasoned cosplayers through their social media. What would you say to those newbies starting out in cosplay?
M: Don’t give up! Take a lot of pictures! Your first costume may not be the greatest thing you’ve ever made/will make, but it’s fun to grow. Work hard, pay attention to detail and most of all HAVE FUN. If you forget that last, and most important part, then why bother?
R: Who are your favorite cosplayers and/or who is your role model?
M: Still Kevin Mosley, just because everything he does makes me smile. Dahlia Thomas is one of my best friends, and I’ve known her since she first started cosplaying and it’s been very inspirational and awesome watching her grow, work hard, improve, and do her very best to help others who are interested in getting into cosplay. She’s a very kind person who cares deeply about what she does and will do her best to lift others up. My role model is Zoe Jakes- that woman is amazing! Incredible style, incredible dancer, great composer- she has it all.
R: Zoe Jakes, as in the belly dancer/Beats Antique artist, Zoe Jakes? How does she influence you, I know you are a Burlesque artist, do you try and embody her in some form?
M: Yes, the belly dance artist. I always thought belly dance was an incredibly beautiful art form, and Zoe is actually a great fan dancer, too. I try not to mix belly dance and Burlesque because I don’t want confused audience members to think that belly dancers should also strip, I know a lot of girls in that art form struggle with their art being taken sexually. Her art style influences me a lot, she has incredible taste in costuming and the way she styles herself. Her live shows are amazing, if you ever get a chance to see Beats Antique you won’t be disappointed. She’s also always had her own unique brand of vintage/goth/sideshow/Burlesque flavor that I really admire. I don’t try to embody her, because she is an original and I hope I am, too- I just look up to her and respect her.
R: Still cool to know this though. Not many know of Zoe Jakes. Will have to look her up some more.
In the land of comic book heroes and anime characters, there are quite a few with super powers. If you could have a superpower, what would it be, and why?
M: Gah, tough question. Umm. Probably being able to transform into a mermaid. Hey, stop laughing, childhood dream.
R: Mermaid is an interesting choice. No hate, just wondering, what you would do as a mermaid?
M: I’ve wanted to be a mermaid since I was a wee bitty one. As soon as I learned they made realistic swim-able silicone tails, I started saving for one one right away from Finfolk Productions. There is actually a large international mermaid community, a lot of them talk via mernetwork.com. As a mermaid you can appear at children’s parties, at Renaissance festivals, and I plan to convert it into a stage performance with some sort of prop I can suspend from since I’m a classically trained singer and I’d love to do a vocal mermaid act.
R: What is your favorite word?
M: Turnip! I have no idea why.
R: Turnip, reminds me of Super Mario Brothers 2 and Kids Next Door, I don’t know why, but that’s weird isn’t it?
M: Not really weird! I love Super Mario Bros. I’ll kick most anyone’s butt at Mario Kart
R: whoa there, not a challenge. XD
What sound do you love?
M: Being underwater. Everything’s so quiet. Whenever I’m stressed out or need to get some calm into my brain, I run a full bath and put my head under and lie there.
R: What sound do you hate?
M: METAL ON METAL. Nope nope nope. Like when you use a can opener then you did it badly so you have to use a knife to get the lid out? NOPE.
R: What is your favorite swear word?
M: Fucky. Not fuck, fucky. As in “I thought I’d go outside today and interact with people today, but my brain’s all fucky so I’m just gonna watch Star Trek instead.”
R: What anime are your favorites (top 5)?
M: Oh man. Kinda depends on how I’m feeling, but I really love Samurai Champloo, Noein, Gankutsuou, Squid Girl, and the first couple seasons of Naruto before it all turned into filler.
R: Naruto did become quite a bit of filler, didn’t it. What other Anime other than this one would you consider a lot of filler?
M: I haven’t watched it, but I’ve been wary of watching Bleach because even though I love the art style, all I hear about is all the filler. Maybe I’ll give it a go anyway.
R: What are you currently watching anime wise?
M: Princess Jellyfish! It’s pretty off the wall but it’s cute.
R: Princess Jellyfish?! oh man, how far are you? I don’t want to be the one to spoil anything, but yes, I agree, it’s real good. Who is your favorite character of this anime?
M:On PJ I’m only 5 episodes in So far I like the jellyfish herself, Clara. KAWAIIIIIIIIII
R: I am hoping for a season 2. I have completed it and I watched it with a good friend of mine and we both laughed so hard at all the antics. You should continue, it gets really good. I also agree, Clara is quite the cute character.
Do you read manga?/what are you reading?
M: Haven’t read much of anything lately (bad! Very bad!) but I really enjoyed the Hellsing manga… so much black ink. So much.
R: Oh my, I loved Hellsing. It is so good in manga form. Have you read anything else that makes you feel good that you read it in manga as well as watched in anime?
M: D Gray Man was a pretty beautiful manga, I didn’t read much, my high school boyfriend was just really into it and I thought the art was lovely. Haven’t watched any of the animu, though.
At this point, I have no more questions, and would love to thank you for this interview. You were a pleasure to interview. I hope to see more of your cosplay in the future. Hopefully maybe a Princess Jellyfish Cosplay? hmmm? I kid, I kid. Now, I know the people of Anime-Eden would love to thank you for your time and over all thank you for putting up with my questions. If anyone wants to book Maressa Fox you can do so by going to her website maressafox.com you can follow her on facebook on her fanpage or twitter. A Special shoutout to Dragon Con, in which Maressa really wants to go to, because she would love to meet Patrick Stewart. So, give them a look and if you are in that area, go to it. Dragon Con 2014 will be held Labor Day weekend, August 29 – September 1, 2014 and will be held at Hyatt Regency Atlanta, 265 Peachtree Street Northeast, Atlanta, 30303. To contact them you can either go to http://www.dragoncon.org or to give them a call 404-669-0773 (M-F 9am-5pm EST). Dragon Con’s facebook can be found here, so go give them a like as well.
To the readers, I hope you all enjoyed reading this and if you are a cosplayer, and you want to be interviewed, please contact me via facebook at www.facebook.com/Anime-Eden or on the forums under the user name Reflux. If you are a Convention planner, or event planner with future conventions, or know of someone who is, let them know that I am going to be putting a calendar up soon with all future conventions in all different areas. I would love to know which conventions are nearest you so we can get the word out. Anime-Eden wants to support all conventions, big and small.