Cosplay Crush: James Reese

Our super crush this week is James Reese from Dallas, Texas. He cosplays as a bunch of the Power Rangers but also did a gender bent Storm from X-Men: Apocalypse.

Which characters have you cosplayed as?

Mostly power rangers… I have done both the blue and black movie versions of the mighty morphing suits as well as the one and only King ranger, better know as Zeo Gold. Kylo Ren has been my introduction to the Star Wars world of cosplay and most recently I did a gender bend of Storm from X-Men: Apocalypse

Gay Cosplayer James Reese

Which character have you always wanted to cosplay as but haven’t yet?

Their are so many!! Every universe has its one flair, and I feel like there are so many I still want and NEED to do!

How old were you when you started doing cosplay?

I was 27 when I did my first cosplay.

What got you into cosplay in the first place?

It was my love for power rangers. Being such a long time fan of the show there was something I connected with. It also inspired me to improve my level of fitness and open my personal training company Muscle Geek Physique.

What is it about cosplay that you like the most? (Creating Costume/Wearing The Costume/Competing?)

For me, it’s about becoming the character and seeing kids of all ages get so excited about their childhood hero walking into a room. And I’m not going to lie…. I love all the photos we get to take!

Gay Cosplayer James Reese

What does cosplay mean to you?

It’s an extension of our imagination. We as adults sometimes get lost in the “real” world. And forget what it means to live. Cosplay allowed so many of us to become dreamers again.

How has cosplay impacted your life?

Now this is a longer list! I mean for starters it has brought some great opportunities for me to work with some amazing voice over great like the voices of Rita, Lord Zedd and Goldar as a suit actor. I drove me to better my health and made me want to help others leading to the opening of my fitness company Muscle Geek Physique. And it introduced me to the man of my dreams!

What are your views of being body positive when doing cosplay?

You know I feel everyone has the right to be the superhero or villain of our dreams. It is no one’s place to judge them on their body type or how much they spend on their cosplay. As a personal trainer, I have learned we all have our body issues and struggles. I have been and still am blessed to work with some great people and future cosplayers as their journey to cosplay heavily involved fitness. But not everyone has the physical or financial ability to take that journey. All are welcome in the house of cosplay.

What’s your most memorable experience while cosplaying?

The list goes on and on… but it would have to be my the kiss I shared with my boyfriend in cosplay. I was dressed as King Ranger from Power Ranger Zeo, and he was Falcon from live Man

What’s a tip you give to others who want to get into cosplay?

Only start if you are ready to be hooked!! Go big, and you won’t regret it and be whoever you want to be, even if you know there will be 1000 others in the same cosplay.

What’s an interesting fact about yourself outside of cosplay?

I am the first and only male from New Mexico ever to compete and become a world medal holding Irish dancer. And on top of being personal in person and online trainer, I’m also a ballroom instructor.

What conventions/events have you cosplayed at?

C2E2, Wizard World Chicago, and Madison, heroes and villains con, Power MorphiCon, Milwaukee Mighty Con… just a name a few!

Besides cosplay, what other nerdy/geeky things do you do?

Spend hours watching super sentai, read books regarding the Force and the Sith, and you can often find me learning quotes from the heroes who inspire me such as Ororo Munroe!

Gay Cosplayer James Reese

What upcoming events will we see you cosplay at again?

The next two on the books are Dallas Fan Days and Alamo City Con

If someone said they loved your cosplay what would you do?

Thank them, probably admire their cosplay, cool tee or something and then… ask the if they want a selfie with me.

Do you have a cosplay “team?”

Muscle Geek Physique supports and is building a team of cosplayers and ambassadors to help bring awareness and growth to our brand. Some of these cosplayers are people like JDs Cosplay who can be found on Facebook and my better half Anthony Grillo who can be found on Instagram as workoutbuddy957

What was your most expensive/hardest cosplay you did and why?

As of now $1,500… it was for my movie version blue ranger, and I did it cause the movie costumes are the BMW’s of the dancer costumes!

Do you have any cosplay pet peeves?

Yes… when people in the same cosplay as you avoids you harder than the fact that Luke Skywalker kissed his sister!

Where can fans get more of you (social media, websites, etc.)?

Like me on Facebook and follow me on Instagram at Muscle Geek Physique. You can also check out my website!

Gay Cosplayer James Reese

Anything you would like to say to your fans?

Always remember you cast a bigger shadow than you know.. So try and be the example, not the exception.

What’s your favorite convention?

C2E2…. so far….

Do you cosplay more anime/cartoon/Disney/superhero or a mix of all?

More superheroes and I guess Disney now that they are the proud new parents of Star Wars!

Do you compete in any cosplay contests?

I judge more contests then I compete in.

Do you feel like the cosplay world has changed over the last years?

More free and accepting? I don’t know if I would say it’s more open and accepting. But it is a constantly evolving art form. If you are looking to be recognized for it, you have to be larger than life.

What is your dream cosplay?

This changes all the time! But I’m blessed to say most of my dream cosplays have become reality!

Do you make your costumes or have them made?

As of now all, my costumes have been commissioned for me. But one day, one day soon… I shall put my hand at crafting. Till then, I keep ordering!

How long does it take to think of a character to be?

With the amount of time and or money it takes to put these together it can take a while! We as a creative bunch have a million and one ideas, but then reality sets in, and it’s all about planning. So needless to say it can take up to a year to decide and obtain a new cosplay.

Who is your favorite cosplayer?

Hard to chose one… so many times you walk into a con and are like “WOW, now that’s tops!”

What is your favorite cosplay?

As of now, it’s been my King Ranger! After all, I did wait over a year for it to be a maid. It’s not a Ranger done that much, but it were a well-known ranger and was originally played by one of my favorite Rangers Austin St. John.

Gay Cosplayer James Reese

Favorite memory from a con?

How could I choose! There are so many wonderful moments, but that’s why we do what we do.. to build these memories. One con that stands out was the heroes and villains con! It was a smaller con that I was completely unsure of. We were set to be there for one day as suit actors for photo ops with power ranger voice over villains. That day not only did we have the chance to build relationships with the actors I posed with but I also got to meet and get close to Laura Landa who is such a peach and now a very great friend of mine.

Worst experience at a con?

That would have had to have been at Chicago heroes and villains con when I debuted my Kylo Ren! The boots I got for the costume had never been worn before and tore up my feet.. that same night I would be Irish dancing at a St Patrick’s day event for three hours. I don’t drink ever! But I just have to say, bless the man or woman who created Guinness or I would have never made it, though!

What was your first cosplay? And do you feel like you have improved?

My first cosplay was my black movie ranger, and I would say I’m always improving!! Learning new tricks and tips all the time. No matter how long or short the person has been cosplaying, the knowledge people can share pretty amazing.

What would you say to a first time cosplayer?

HAVE FUN WITH IT! There will always be purists amongst us but never let this out let of fun and creativity become something you no longer enjoy in the pursuit to please anyone else’s standards. If you are happy with it, chances are other will be just as impressed.

Anything else you’d like to say?

To start off, I want to thank Gaymer Base for this honor and taking the time to interview me. You guys are a great support for gay geek community, and I’m proud to be a part of it all!

Muscle Geek Physique is proud to work with LGBT Nonprofits and other events and groups to help created a residual income flow and help educate on the world of fitness, health, geeky things and cosplay! We urge anyone who works with or knows of a 501 c 3 or an event/ organization to have them reach out to us to talk about partnership possibilities. We thrive to change the world one story at a time.

At the end of it all we all, go to work, pay bills and are all just trying to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be! Live to inspire and dare to dream. You may meet many people who don’t understand your journey or get why cosplay means something to you. But when you can change lives, bring smiles and laughter to someone you are truly a hero. Spread the love and make the universe that changed your worlds view reality. I’m blessed to be able to meet people from every corner of this planet, move them to want to cosplay or start working on their fitness, and I’m proud to call a lot of them members of the Muscle Geek Physique family. So start living your drives today, your future self will thank you for it!

Together we are more.

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