How did you first get involved with Costumers with a Cause, and what has been your favorite or most memorable event so far and what made it memorable?
I was actually asked to join CwC by my friend Brian Lozada. I had posted a photo of my Rapunzel or one of my other Disney cosplays at the time, and he mentioned it. After getting involved, I stepped away from it for a bit and then came back after the pandemic. My most memorable event by far was the first time I did the Orlando Science Center Superhero Weekend. It wasn’t the first time I wore Ladybug for an event, but it was so well received that I have ended up making it my main cosplay for events!
Our members put on many faces in CWC. What is your favorite character you represent and what is it that you like about that character?
Absolutely has to be Ladybug for sure, just because the kiddos absolutely love it and the interactions at events are always so much fun. I really love that Marinette/Ladybug is kind of a hot mess in her normal life, because I can relate to that! But I also love that she’s got a good heart and does her best to protect Paris while also being super supportive and loving toward her friends. I feel that’s a great role model for kids so I love representing her.
Based on your experiences with us, how would you describe what we do to someone who knows absolutely nothing about us or who we are?
I’d probably tell them that it’s a group of very talented cosplay volunteers who give back to the community everywhere they can. We do everything from community events, to fundraising for different charities per quarter, to hospital visits.
What do you feel are your best assets, talents, and gifts are, and how did you acquire them?
I think my imagination is probably one of the biggest ones? Because I really grab onto and practice the way characters move, talk and what they would say in different situations. I feel though, the biggest asset is the other volunteers for me. I’ve picked up and learned so many things from them on best ways to interact with children and their parents and ways to do better at being in character. Even cosplay tips as well!
It seems that lately we are hearing about more and more children who are being bullied or have self-esteem issues, body issues, etc. If a child came to you with any one of the many issues you are aware of, what advice would you give them?
I’d probably say that they are perfect the way they are, and that a lot of bullies usually are coming from a place of being insecure or wanting to feel wanted. Usually I’m Marinette who has a school bully of her own, Chloe Bourgeois, so I might relate it to that for the kids. If even Marinette gets bullied, they might not feel alone.
Imagine: You are on a deserted island. There is absolutely no way off this island. You are totally alone, with the exception of a magic genie who wants to grant you 3 wishes. Getting off the island isn’t one of them. What would your 3 wishes be and why?
Oh wow, haha! That’s wild. Um, I’d wish for the Island to be super duper close to the shore of Florida. Does that count? Second wish would be for there to be no more cancer or illnesses. I might save that third wish just to make sure nothing went wrong with the first two. I’m not sure if that genie is benevolent or not!
Many of our members tell us stories of special situations or circumstances in their own personal lives which causes them to have a special place in their heart for charity organizations. Is there any charity or organization that holds a special place in your heart?
I have a huge huge special place in my heart for the Human Trafficking Awareness events that we do every year. I learned a lot about human trafficking in the last 3-4 years and had no idea how bad it was. One time, I was left by a family member at a very shady location and, thankfully the people there weren’t nefarious but it was scary. The police had to come and get me so it kind of hits home a bit more for me.
What is your favorite amusement park, and what is your favorite ride within that park?
Islands of Adventure for sure! I love Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure ride! It’s the best! I could ride that ride the entire day and just keep getting back in line and never lose the huge smile on my face while riding it!
Secret time: What is one thing about you that you think would surprise someone who thinks they know you pretty well.
Weirdly enough, I think it surprises people about my major and my time abroad. I double majored in International Business and East Asian Studies and studied abroad in Hirakata, Osaka, Japan for a semester! It was very fun and a life changing experience! I miss it, honestly. Since it doesn’t relate to my current job, I think it throws people off who maybe only just met me in the last decade.
Who is someone you really admire? They can be real or fictional, alive or passed on. What is it about them that you admire and why?
I’d have to pick my folks, honestly! I admire their ingenuity, strength and kindness. My parents are always working very hard and that’s probably what I admire the most that they never let anything keep them down.