Friday, June 16, 2017

Cosplayer Profile: Luna Mirage

Lisa, AKA Luna Mirage, is not only a fellow Sailor Moon and Uta no Prince-sama cosplayer, but was also my travel buddy during a recent trip to Tokyo! Her passion and loyalty are such treasures that any friend would want to have on their side--it's no wonder she makes a perfect Sailor Moon and Kurusu Syo, and even her birthday is in the same month as the two characters! Happy Birthday, Luna Mirage!

Sailor Moon (Event: Anime Boston 2014)

Name: Lisa or Luna Mirage is my cosplay name
Nationality: Italian, First Generation American
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Location: NYC
Top 3 Favorite Series: Sailor Moon, Uta Pri and Ouran HS Host Club
Special Talent: Not sure, I like learning all kinds of things, so I do a bit of everything. ^^;;

When and how did you get into cosplay?

Back in 2009 I made new friends at a local con, one day they invited me to go with them to Otakon and asked if I can cosplay Basil from Reborn. I wasn't sure at first, but since it was normal clothing & didn't have to know anything about the anime to take photos I thought "why not?"

After having lots of fun being in cosplay and enjoying the photo shoots I thought, I want to do this again! I had a friend help me make Sailor Jupiter for the next Otakon gathering. It was so much fun!!! Then I decided to make my own cosplays, it could be fun to do. I never sewn or used a sewing machine in my life! I did lots of research and practice to make my first cosplay, Sailor Moon, in 2013. It was very challenging, but I was so proud of myself making this cosplay on my own that I wanted to do more! That I did! I went from cosplaying many characters from Sailor Moon to Syo from UtaPri! There is so much I want to do now, but so little time, lol.

What’s the biggest distinction between yourself in costume and yourself out of costume?
I feel that when I am in costume, surrounded by people who are similar to me, I open up more and can be myself. It feels very free that I can be my true self. I tend to talk a lot more and my shy/quiet self goes away. Otherwise in normal wear in an average life, I feel I have to hide my true self and be the “standard” person in order to avoid people giving weird looks or judging me.

Though I have realized over the years, who cares if people judge you, be who you are! It is because I started to cosplay many years ago, I started to open up more to new people, make new friends and stop, not completely, being quiet and shy. It broke my shell of many years of hiding in it.

In the last 2 years or so, I have started to open up myself to my coworkers with a show and tell of my costumes. They love seeing them and encourage me to do more. I was afraid of judgement this whole time, when there was nothing to be afraid of in the first place.

Human Luna from Sailor Moon

Is there a recurring theme for your costume choices? If so, what is that theme?

Yes! At first my goal was to do all the Sailor Senshi & certain side/villains characters from Sailor Moon. As of right now, I am missing 3 Sailor Senshi and a few villains, but I’m slowly changing it to just cosplaying my favorite characters. I love cosplaying the characters I can relate to and understand them. I feel a close bond to them and want to dress as them so I can be them when I wear it. Will I go back to my original goal? Maybe? As of right now I have more fun being a character I can relate to.

What would you tell someone who wants to get into cosplay but is afraid of being ridiculed? And what would you say to someone who would ridicule you or other cosplayers?

I learned things the hard way, but my best advice is to do what you love and who cares if people judge you. Never let them get to you! It’s your life and your happiness. You want to cosplay your favorite character, but afraid of your weight/height/race? Who cares! Just cosplay that character! I personally am short and yet I cosplay Sailor Jupiter--one of the tallest characters--because she is one of my favorites. Yeah, there are people who will judge me for not being accurate, but I don’t let it get to me.

Cosplay is for fun, not a competition. You do it because you love it. If anyone does something negative to you, tell a friend, relative, people running the con, security, etc.. There are people in the community that will help you out. You are not alone. I am rooting for you! You can do it!! ^o^

If someone were to say something negative to someone about their cosplay, I would cheer up the person who got hurt by that comment. That person who started it isn’t worth my time or energy to talk to. The person who matters the most is the one who got hurt by that comment. If that person were to keep on going I would confront them and asked them to leave after they apologize. I have been really lucky I never gotten in that situation before, but I would always defend those who were hurt.

What would you like to tell others about cosplay in your own country?

It’s a lot of fun and the community is really friendly. I love that during a con we can go out and eat in costume and no one minds at all. I have even gotten compliments on my way to a convention in NYC wearing my cosplay. Some even ask for more information about my outfit or the convention.

Syo Kurusu from "Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love Revolutions"

In addition to cosplay, Lisa does other crafts as well as drawing and is very devoted to collecting Sailor Moon items! She also took many photos on her first trip to Tokyo, during which I accompanied her! You can find her work and other activities on the following:

Want to tell your story or know a cosplayer who might be interested in telling theirs? See my Cosplayer Profile Questionnaire here!

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