There are cosplayers and then there are COSPlayers, those who go way above and beyond when it comes to their hobby. I am very lucky that I know a plethora of amazing people around the world, and many of them are cosplayers. These people spend hours and hours on the costumes and props, or wear something amazing that they have had commissioned for them, either way they are dedicated to the hobby.
Of all the hundreds of friends who cosplay around the world, one of the shinning lights is Hedgescout, a wonderful young lady from Northern Ireland and someone I am extremely proud to call my friend.
Joanne Alexander is her secret identity and much like some of the heroines she portrays with her costumes, Joanne as Hedgescout totally owns the character and the costume just becomes a second skin to this feisty and very funny young woman!
A frequent visitor to the UK convention scene, both in England and Ireland/Northern Ireland, Hedgescout has so many costumes that she could open her own boutique! From Judge Anderson to Missy from Doctor Who, Joanne totally owns these outfits and then some. I recently got to sit down and have a chat with Joanne about her love of cosplay, all things geeky and more!
GW: Firstly thanks for taking the time to chat with us, I am sure that you have something going on somewhere as your always busy. So first things first I guess, can you tell us how you got into cosplaying?
I’m at the age were we called it Fancy Dress. I’ve always been very imaginative and MacGyvered things for costumes for parties. Even made a Batman out of bin liners once. Pity I don’t have a photo of that!
It was joining the Emerald Garrison, and other costume clubs over the past 6 years that really got me into cosplay. Unfortunately, for my bank balance, I became hooked and now have a costume addiction.
GW: How many cosplay costumes do you have now? I am sure that you must have a huge wardrobe or loads of space for them all?
I think it’s about 20. Truth is I’m scared to count or admit the number to my long suffering partner. Living with an obsessed costume maker isn’t easy. Half the time the house is full of random parts and I’m scared to throw out things I’m convinced will come in useful for a future build.
He needs a medal, pretty sure I have something in the house I could make him one out of!
GW: So the first time you cosplayed at a convention and someone stopped you for a photograph, how did that feel? Do you get nervous when folks stop you and ask to take your photo or pose with them for a selfie
I remember the first time I took Marshal Law to Belfast MCM. We had never had a big show before here and I was asked for photos as soon as I got my gimp mask out of my bag and donned my police hat.
I was stunned by people’s reactions. Most didn’t know who I was but appreciated the work thst had gone into the costume.
Go Google Marshal Law to see who that is. Now imagine a female version of that. Strangely enough, I think I’m the only one in the world dping that costume.
I’m not nervous posing for pics; just genuiely grateful that people want one at all. Even better when you met a fan of the character you’re wearing and you both end up very excited. That always puts a huge smile on my face.
GW: Do you make any of your own outfits or plan on doing so?
Marshal Law is the only one I made completley on my own. I’m lucky to have worked with some very talented people over the years who gave up their time to help
The vast majority of my costumes, however, I make with my best friend Kate Crozier, aka Maison du KateO. Without her, I’d be mostly naked!
Her skills and patience with me over the years, as I panic about the small details, has been truly incredible. Every costumer needs a Kate in their life.
GW: Is there anything that you wouldn’t cosplay?
Oh, tough question. Nothing springs to mind. I’d love to do more gender bender costumes but trying to get time to do more is tough.
GW: Do you find cosplaying to be therapeutic or more a case of escapism?
A bit of both. I can get quite depressed at times. Planning and making costumes helps me particularly when I’m down. Focusing on how something works is great for taking you away from those unhealthy thoughts that can happen when you’re low.
GW: What plans do you have for future cosplays?
Right now I’m making a take-down version of Ripley’s flamethrower and Kate and I will start working on the new Doctor Who and a 2000AD character, Judge Metta Lawson, soonish.
GW: What would be your dream cosplay if money or time was no problem?
Boba Fett, I always wanted to be him. But I have a Sabine Wren costume, so thats close enough.
GW: Finally what advice do you have for anyone wishing to start cosplaying?
My many thanks to my wonderful friend Joanne for taking the time to chat with Gamers Web. You can follow Joannes alter ego Hedgescout over on Facebook and she will be one of the guests at this years Liverpool Comic Con taking place Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th March 2019, for more details and for tickets please click HERE