Bonjour gay geeks and gaymers, we have an amazing cosplayer from Oahu, Hawaii Nic’s Neverland! He was born and raised on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, is an actor, singer, and dancer. He’s cosplayed as Peter Parker from Spider-Man, the Mad Hatter, Captain Hook, Prince Phillip, and Peter Pan from Disney. We’re going to pick his brain a bit and find out more about him and his cosplay.
How old were you when you started doing cosplay?
I’ve been performing for over 8 years on stage and in film, but haven’t been introduced to the cosplay community until I was 18 years old. I’ve been cosplaying for 2 years. When I was 16, I played Peter Pan in a stage production of the Disney movie. It was put on by Diamond in the Rough Productions on the island of Oahu, Hawai’i. The costume I wore was designed by the incredibly talented, Anna Foster. That was the experience that made me fall in love with the character of Peter Pan. A few weeks after I closed the show, a young kid came up to me in the supermarket, and to my surprise, he said “Mom, it’s Peter Pan!” I was in my normal, everyday clothing so this took me by surprise. It was in this moment I had the idea to make my own Peter Pan costume.
What’s your most memorable experience while cosplaying?
One time, I was walking back from a Peter Pan photoshoot, and got a call from my friend who was helping me move out of my place. I had to go handle a moving crisis dressed as Peter Pan.
What is it about cosplay that you like the most?
Bringing my interpretation of a character to life. Cosplay is whatever you define it as. Cosplay can be different from person to person. To me, cosplay is portraying a visual idea of a fandom that brings you joy. I think it’s important to put your own style and creativity into a character or concept. Cosplay is a way for me to combine all of my interests and skills. Not only do I get to enjoy the process, I get to share it with the cosplay community. I really enjoy being a part of the fandom, as well as having a way to exercise my creativity. It has given me a new outlet to focus my energy, and create something beautiful that may impact or inspire someone else 🙂
What are your views of being body positive when doing cosplay?
I think there are no restrictions in cosplay. You should cosplay any character you want no matter their race, size, or gender. Cosplay should be a tool of empowering the way you look; so it is very toxic when people in the community say things like “He’s too fat to cosplay Peter Pan”, or “Her nose is too big. She can’t cosplay Elsa”. Ultimately, being negative won’t help anyone.
Has being LGBT affected how you cosplay?
I am fortunate to mostly have positive experiences as an openly gay cosplayer. The LGBTQ community is a really supportive and fun group to be a part of. I love seeing cosplayers genderbend characters, or queer cosplay photos. It is a goal of mine to produce LGBT Disney media.
However, I have had some unpleasant experiences with unwanted advances from some men. Being a cosplayer is complicated because you’re putting yourself out on social media, so you end up getting a lot of attention–however, that doesn’t give people permission to be inappropriate.
My racial makeup is Hawaiian, White, and Asian. Many people assume I am Hispanic mix. This hasn’t really impacted my perspective on cosplay. I think in many ways my diverse background has allowed me to explore more of the cosplay scene, different characters, and different perspectives. I’m fortunate to draw from my very rich heritage.
Do you think there’s enough representation of minorities in cosplay?
I think cosplay is for each individual to take part in, and make their own. I need to educate myself more on the topic of representation, but my opinion is that everyone is welcomed, and encouraged to participate. I hope everyone in the cosplay community can focus on inclusivity and having a good time.
Do you feel like the cosplay world has changed over the past few years? More free and accepting?
I’m definitely a newby to this community… BUT from my experience, there is usually a good sense of support or acceptance between any marginalized group (i.e. geek culture, LGBT, POC, etc.) Cosplay has definitely become more mainstream.
What was your most expensive/hardest cosplay you did and why?
Peter Pan. I wanted it custom fit–so I Made it all from scratch.It took a lot of time, thought, and materials. I spent many nights up working on that costume, and there are still things I want to add to it. I have a few projects that I want to produce. I enjoy doing music videos and photoshoots, so I would probably spend money producing A LOT of content rather than just one cosplay. Of course, I’m still interested in getting a high end merman tail, so that would be on the top of my list. I’ve made all my cosplays thus far, but I’m open to having pieces commissioned in the future! Everything I have worn onstage has been made by a costume designer.
Who is your favorite cosplayer?
I have been following Traci Hines for a long time. She is a huge inspiration to me, being we are both fans of disney, and she puts her own unique spin on iconic characters. I admire how she has been able to blend her passions of singing, acting, cosplay, makeup, and disney into very unique visual art that is available to all of us for free on Youtube.
I’m also a huge fan of Richard Arthur, better known as @TheOfficialAriel on Instagram. He has broken the boundaries of gender in cosplay, and is a very talented artist.
What was your first cosplay? And do you feel like you have improved?
Peter Pan was my first cosplay. Since I wanted to make this costume as elaborate as possible, it has taught me that attention to detail matters, and coming up with your own take on a character is very important. I try to keep my cosplays as true to the character as I can, but also put a “Nic’s Neverland” spin on things.
What would you say to a first time cosplayer?
Take pride in your work. Don’t settle. Quality matters. It’s about having fun! You don’t need a lot of money, just strive to think of unique ways to turn trash to treasure. Go to thrift shops, learn to sew and craft, and you can do anything.
Anything you would like to say to your fans?
I always love meeting new friends, so if you see me at a con or on the street and want to say hi, please do!
What upcoming events will we see you cosplay at again?
You can catch me at D23 this summer, in Anaheim! Also, I am in the process of getting my Youtube channel; “Nic’s Neverland” up and running, so keep an eye out for that! I founded a character entertainment service located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii named Pan’s Fairytale Events. We offer princesses, fairies, mermaids, and superheroes for children’s parties, and charity events. If you need any party entertainment, or need large charity service, check out www.pansfairytaleeventshawaii.com