On Record with Reflux:
Continuing my series of cosplay interviews, I went to my Facebook news feed. In a daze I saw a very awesome cosplayer that I’ve been following for a while now. Jazzmin Jolly, a cosplayer / model from Philadelphia, that has been doing cosplay/modeling since 2009, and has quite the following. I was honored she agreed on the first time I contacted her. This interview actually was a lot more than the previous because this interview lent itself to expand as we corresponded between each other.
As always I start off with:
Reflux: Hey, how are you I’m Reflux and let’s just jump right into this, Can you say what got you started into the world of Cosplay and when did you start?
Jazzmin Jolly: Hi Reflux, of course you know I’m Jazzmin Jolly. I started about… maybeee 5 years ago? (2009) I had some friends invite me to Ichibancon in Charlotte and they explained to me what a convention was and that people dressed up sometimes, and so I took it very seriously and went as Tifa from Advent Children. It hit pretty instantly that I LOVED conventions!!!
R: what are your favorite cosplays?
JJ: My favorite? That’s tough. Every cosplay has it’s ups and downs. I almost want to say Namine because I made her keyblade and I was SO proud of it, but I was petrified to bring it to cons because it was so fragile! AndrAIa and Starfire are both awesome, but latex and lube and… there are those problems…Belle is awesome, but my dress is so big that I feel like an island and I can’t use my phone with the gloves…
Should I just say,… all of them? Yes. Let’s do that!
R: Sure, we can, who says we can’t? (insert my laughter here)
What conventions have you gone too?
JJ: I’ve gone to Ichibancon, Animazement, Anime Mid Atlantic, Anime Weekend Atlanta, EXP Con, Otakon, Katsucon, Colossalcon, and Philadelphia Wizard World!
R: From the conventions that you have gone to, which is the most memorable?
JJ:COLOSSALCONNNNN is amazing. I love it SOO much, there’s an arcade, and a zoo with tigers and sting rays, and ostriches and kangaroos, and a zip line that goes past everyone’s balconies, and an indoor water park, and an outdoor water park, and EVERYTHING! OMG, I love it so much!!!
R: Sounds amazing.
There are competitions at conventions, have you competed in any of them?
JJ: Ooh, no… I think that would give me anxiety… Lol!
R: Would you consider conventions and cosplay to be addictive?
JJ: OMG, yes! SO addictive! I need therapy! They try to make me go to rehab, and I say- …
Okay sorry… but seriously, it’s so much fun! I have several people that DON’T do cosplay write me and ask how to get started because we all always look like we’re having so much fun!
R: I was going to sing along to that…. (Laughter)
You have quite a few likes on Facebook and quite the following on Instagram, do you love all your fans/supporters?
JJ: OMGYES! It’s still so weird to think that I have fans/supporters, but their messages and comments make me smile and their support means the world to me!
R: I ask, because the fans like knowing they are cared about, so I am glad you said that. *Cough*beingafanandall*cough*
Do you have any weird stories?
JJ: Hmm… I’m sure I do.. lemme think!
When I shot my Ariel cosplay, we shot it at National Harbor (we actually got about 12 shots in before we got kicked out because “I wasn’t wearing enough clothes” which was dumb. Because I had on my seashell bra, green leggings and shorts OVER the leggings. I had on more than an average swimsuit, but whatevs… I’m not bitter.) But, while we were shooting EVERYONE stopped and stared. Like, everyone. Like 40 people. And it is SO hard to pose and keep your focus when right behind your photographer is 40 people just staring at you.
R: During your Ariel shoot, it didn’t occur to you that perhaps someone complained, and that’s why you were kicked out? (Laughter)
JJ: We weren’t even there long enough for someone TO complain. A random guard lady was walking around and around shot 12 came up to us. Which was cool, but she was so rude about it, you know? And what could people complain about? “This girl looks like she’s wearing a swimsuit top and leggings.” I mean… people wear bandeaus and leggings to the mall nowadays! Lol!
R: Bravo, you made me Google bandeaus… (laughter)
With all the good out there and a lot of people loving the cosplay scene, have you encountered any bad experiences from cosplaying?
JJ: I mean, I occasionally get the “Buttttt… you shouldn’t cosplay this because you’re black” people and the people that come up to you and promptly begin to critique your outfit… sometimes the online people that feel gutsy because they’re behind a computer screen and say things like “OMG, SHE’S HOLDING HER HANDS THE WRONG WAY IN THIS PHOTO” or “I think you should have done the picture THIS way, I would have preferred it that way.” But, overall, I still absolutely LOVE it, and people are always going to try to bring you down. Just gotta shrug it off, I guess!
R: Do you encounter a lot of trolls/racists as a cosplayer of another color?
JJ: Not a WHOLE bunch, but I guess enough to the point where whenever a picture gets shared beyond my page I always get nervous to see if someone is going to say something. It’s become such a thing now that people will instantly jump on the person’s case that said it. The last one happened on my Belle pictures, and by the time she was done, a blog article had been written about her, many people got on the picture and replied to her, and the picture had gotten about 50 more likes just from the traffic and debate alone!
R: Let’s say a time vortex allowed you to contact yourself from ten years ago, and no repercussions could come of it, what would you tell yourself?
JJ: GET STARTED ON COSPLAYING AND MODELING NOW! OMG, sometimes I wonder how far I would be now if I had started forever ago. I’m so late to the party! (*cries forever*)
R: There are a lot of new cosplayers or people wanting to go and do cosplay. what would you say like to say to cosplay newbies starting out?
JJ: DO IT! Have fun! Do exactly what YOU want to do and don’t let anyone talk you out of it or discourage you!
R: In the world of conventions and cosplayers there are a ton of people who are well known in the cosplay community. who are some of your personal favorite cosplayers?
JJ: I’m inspired by pretty much every cosplayer that I meet! They all put time and effort into their cosplays and it’s so inspiring! Kamui cosplay is of course, amazing, and I love Vickibunnyangel cosplay and Melting Mirror! I LOVE that Yaya Han gets into character for her cosplays! That’s something I need to do better at! I’m awful at serious faces, or growling faces or (as my mom calls it) “I’m going to kick your butt” faces. She inspires me when I see her in videos because I need to work on my serious faces to be like that!!!
R: Anime-eden used to be an anime download site, a lot of the members on the forum are huge anime and manga fans, so my next question is what anime are your favorites?
JJ: I feel so bad because I haven’t had a lot of time to watch many recently! I loved Sailor Moon, Outlaw Star, Dragonball Z, and Bleach before it got 40,000 characters. Ouran High School club was cute too! I don’t watch tv that much anymore… I’m mostly into video games now!
R:Video games, which video games are you currently playing then?
JJ: Just got done with Lightning Returns, and trying to re-play through FFX and X-s remastered. Then of course, Mario Kart came out and that took up a good bit of time. I was at a friend’s house last night and we all player Super Smash Brothers and I completely forgot how intense I get when playing games with other people. I kept screaming and throwing the controller down… I am currently (now that I’m away from the game) ashamed of my own behavior… But I know if we played it again I’d go right back into it. Lol!
R:Aside from that, what are you currently watching anime wise?
JJ: Nothing really. (*cries at own loserdom*) I was watching a Korean drama while working on a cosplay prop the other day though!
R: K-Dramas! I was only interested in this one cooking K-drama, Feast of the Gods, I couldn’t stop watching, and I’m not one to watch K-Dramas. Which K-dramas are the ones that you are currently watching now?
JJ: Flower Boy Next Door! SOOOO Fricken cute! One of my friends recommended “You’re Beautiful” to me, so that’s the one I was watching yesterday!
R: (laughter) I don’t normally watch them, but Pixie, from the forums always gets me to try to watch. Only reason I had much interest in Feast of the Gods, was the food. Yes, I know that sounds fat, but yeah, the food.
I have to ask, since Anime-Eden we also used to have manga, do you read any manga? If so, what are you currently reading?
JJ: Not so much. I read them if I find them about, but I’m SUPER into fanfiction. Like, I’m so serious. OMG. I will stay up ALL NIGHT to read a 35 chapter fanfiction and then complain that there weren’t more chapters. Like, I LOVE reading fanficiton. Love. LOVE.
R: Fanfiction? I find those tend to go to weird places with characters that a lot of people hold dear to their hearts. why do you read fanfics vs. manga?
JJ: If the fanfic starts to go somewhere I don’t want it to, I X out of it immediately. Lol! I’m very picky about my fanfics. Also, I’m a grammar and English nazi, so if there’s a typo on the first page of the story I can’t even read it. (I feel like such a snob) But I love the creativity or imagination that goes into it! And the rules can be broken- for example if it’s a “kiddie show” the subject matters can’t be as intense, but like, if you take Teen Titans, you can make the story darker, or deal with things that can’t actually happen on the show! I LOVE that! Also, I guess with manga, the pics are already there for you. I have a pretty intense imagination. I can create the world in the fanfiction story in my own head and see what’s going on from all angles. I don’t need pics to tell me the story.. I can envision it myself!
…I’m… pretty intense when I read. (*embarrassed*)
R: That’s a good explanation as to the fan fiction reading. It actually makes sense on that part. Never apologize for being an intense person or someone with an awesome imagination. It’s needed. Especially in cosplayers.
R: Well, that’s it from me, any final words to share with your fans?
JJ: To my fans, I thank them SOOO much just for being awesome and for frequently inspiring me to do better and be better! I love them all to pieces!!!! <3
Well then, I want to personally give you a huge thank you for the experience of having this interview. I am sure you had as much fun as I did! I hope to see more cosplay from you in the future. Anime-eden would also love to thank Jazzmine Jolly for being a sport and doing this interview. They appreciate the time you took to answer all my questions. Even though I think you would do this just for fans anyway. 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. Jazzmine, it’s been a pleasure, I await to see what cosplay you choose to do next, and I wish the very best.
You can check out Jazzmine Jolly on her facebook fan page, and on her instagram under the user name disneyprincess1313. She also wanted to give a shout out to Colossalcon I am not sure on the dates but you can go to their website or their facebook. She also wanted to mention KatsuCon 2015, Katsucon 2015 will be held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, MD from February 13th-February 15th, 2015. Register here. You can find Katsucon’s FaceBook on that link to give them a like as well.