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Interview with a cosplayer

Nathan DeLuca takes a breather between cover shots (Photo by Chris Parent)
Nathan DeLuca takes a breather between cover shots (Photo by Chris Parent)

Nathan DeLuca appeared last weekend at Hal-Con in handmade armour, styled in his rendition of Kaidan Alenko from popular video game Mass Effect.  Even more impressively, DeLuca helped organize a group of 15 people cosplaying as various characters from the game.

“Just getting the armour built and organized is ambitious,” says DeLuca.

DeLuca is not alone. People of all sorts gather at Hal-Con, clad in costumes or casually dressed, to check out the many guest speakers, performers and booths. The convention ran last weekend, but cosplayers had been preparing for the event for weeks, right up until the doors opened.

“It’s really a great setting to make friends,” says DeLuca.  “And that’s what’s really important.”

That’s no wonder, with such a variety of fandoms represented and such a range of different people present.  Cosplaying is “about the attention, sure, but more importantly the interaction,” notes DeLuca, “I’ve gotten the chance to meet most of my friends cosplaying.”

DeLuca specifically crafted his armour when he began cosplaying.  Kaidan Alenko’s armor is the first full suit he’s ever hand-made.

In regards to his first foray into cosplaying, DeLuca recalls, “It was about a year ago, when I had gotten my wisdom teeth out.  I just stumbled on it on the internet and figured: I could do that.”

He was quick to finish creating his first set of armour: a broad-shouldered blue set.  After that, DeLuca began attending large conventions to cosplay, including Toronto’s Fan Expo and Hal-Con.

The crafting element involved in cosplay will always be the most important; to DeLuca, it’s  an art.  It is his chance to create and build.  “It’s really something that I do just to make me happy.”  “You have to enjoy it.”  It is highly multidisciplinary: both a craft and a performance.

DeLuca believes that cosplaying is really an art where “you shouldn’t be limited by anything: not race or gender.”  Cosplaying gives fans the chance to freely contribute to the fandom and to reinvent themselves as favorite characters.  “No one can tell you that you’re not a real nerd for what you wear.”

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