This week’s Cosplay Crush Interview is with Alfred Saniano, 21-year-old Los Angeles native. He has cosplayed as Nudist Beach Inumuta, Genderbend Synchronized Senketsu, Genderbend Synchronized JunSenketsu, Aikuro Mikisugi, Pyramid Head, Genderbend Kitana, Genderbend Jinx, Nightwing, Genderbend Armored Harley Quinn, Bols, Beast Boy, and Erron Black! You may have seen him at Anime Expo, LA Cosplay Con, or Anime Expo.
How old were you when you started doing cosplay?
I was 20 when I started cosplaying. I only started July of 2014!
What happened in 2014 that got you into cosplay?
Well, some of my friends invited me to Anime Expo 2014 earlier in the same year. I was really into Kill la Kill at the time, and all ever did was talk up a storm about it. So they suggested I cosplay as someone from the show, even though I had the slightest idea of making a costume. I connected with Ryuko, so I told myself that I would cosplay as her no matter what. So I did my research, and there’s my long story about ho it all started!
Are you a cosplay fan of anyone?
I’m a HUGE fan of VampyBitMe, Kelton, Jessica Nigri, Yaya Han, Kohalu Cosplay, Johnny Junkers, Okageo, just to name a few.
Do you commission or make your own stuff?
I try my best to make everything myself. It gives me more of a connection with my costume, and it becomes a personal achievement, giving a more accomplished feeling. However, if I can’t make a prop at all, I’d have to go store-bought to speed up the process.
I like the creation part of cosplay. Making it yourself and seeing the costume being fleshed out connects you to your work. Wearing it comes right after making it to me, though. Wearing the costume that I created and got a positive reception about it is always an amazing feeling.
How do you define cosplay?
Cosplay is being the character you want to be, no matter the circumstance or social norm. Cosplaying means expressing yourself through and as another character. For me, it doesn’t matter what your height, weight, skin tone, the body structure is; if you want to cosplay as someone, do it. Let no one stop you from cosplaying who you want!
How has cosplay impacted your own life?
Getting into cosplay, it taught me how to be more confident in myself and my work. I used to be so kept to myself, but cosplaying tugged me out of my shell, and I’ve never looked back. I’ve also become more crafty and more resourceful with repairing everyday items because of making so many costumes!
What’s a tip you give to other who want to get on your level of cosplay?
Just be creative with what you have. Improvising is always good. Find what you’re good at and improve that skill. A huge tip would be to give yourself more time than you need. Projects can take months to finish, but with good planning and organizing, it could take just a few weeks.
Besides cosplay, what other nerdy/geeky things do you do?
I’m usually playing video games when I have time, mostly J-RPGs or fighter games. Anything from the Final Fantasy universe is already my favorite. I’d also be watching anime or building some gunpla when there’s absolutely nothing else to do. Those things are time-consuming but fun!
What upcoming events will we see you cosplay at again?
I have WonderCon and Anime Expo of 2016 planned for me.
Anything you would like to say to your fans?
To the people who have followed me through countless costumes updates and wacky pictures, thank you so much. Your support keeps me going. If ever you see me walking around a convention, feel free to stop me and say hi!
If you want more of Alfred Saniano: