When I first began this cosplay gallery, one of the first cosplayers I reached out to was Siryn Rae. Back then she was a part of an awesome cosplay duo called the Super Sirens. To her audience, Rae’s ability to vividly bring our favorite fandoms to life may seem like she is actually one of the characters that she cosplays, but it’s just second-nature to her. I enjoyed this interview. Rae is down-to-earth and actually engages her fans (I requested this interview on a comment on a Q & A Facebook post). Please be sure to view her gallery and follow her at facebook.com/SirynRae
AmbushVin.com Interview with Siryn Rae
Ambush Vin: My first question is, having been a fan of the Super Sirens for a long time, what happened? Did you guys just branch off and decide to do your own thing?
Siryn Rae: Hillz and I had been talking and slowing things down as a group. Ultimately, she wants to approach cosplay at her own pace and not do it at a career-level. Me, on the other hand, I want it to fill every ounce of my time and make a life out of it!
So now that we’ve talked about the Super Sirens, let’s talk about Rae. Where are you from? What are your hobbies (besides cosplay)?
I was born in KC, but I’m a nomad and have called many cities my home. I have many hobbies, including writing, singing, and cooking. All of them I enjoy and would love to have a career in any of them.
At what age and how did you become interested in cosplay?
I was interested really young. I’m not quite sure what age I was. Cosplay in the midwest didn’t pick up steam like it did on the coasts. So when you saw someone at a con in costume, most people made fun of them. I went to a con in 2013 and one of my friends said, “You should dress up.” The very next day at the con, I did. I haven’t gone to a con in street clothes since then.
Do you create your own cosplays?
Most of them are extreme works of love and labor. There are some characters that are so easy I don’t have to start from scratch. I can piece them together from wonderful internet finds. Every single one, though, is modified by me.
There have been debates about cosplayers that are “in character” with their cosplays. Do you think that cosplayers should be in character whenever they are wearing the cosplay? Or not?
I am a huge proponent of cosplayers doing what they want. The roleplay aspect of cosplay is fun, but it’s not for everyone. I try to keep in mind, when I’m dressed up as a children’s character, that the illusion could be so real for them they may think I’m the real character. I’m not an actor, so if they figure it out, I politely introduce myself and ask them what they like about the character instead. Otherwise, I’m just Rae in a costume!
Photo by: Russ Matthews Photography
Do you like being a guest cosplayer at large events, or do you prefer smaller, more intimate functions?
I like being a guest anywhere! I’ve done big conventions where I have crazy lines and no room to move and smaller cons where I sit by myself for a couple hours. Each have their own pros and cons and I have no intention of cutting one or the other out of my schedule.
How often do you get to interact with your fans at a con?
That almost depends completely on how busy the con keeps me. I like being at my table as often as possible or in a panel. Those are the best ways to keep conversation going.
What is your favorite fandom?
Comics. I have so many fandoms, but that one started young. I have an obsession with superheroes that rivals my others. I’m also into Harry Potter, Sailor Moon, Kingdom Hearts, and My Little Pony.
Another topic that is hot in cosplay communities is “sexy cosplay”. What are your thoughts on sexy cosplay? Is it a problem, or should people just embrace it?
Again, people should do what they want and not try to stomp on the dreams of others. I enjoy feeling sexy. If that means I wear a corset and thigh highs with a Batgirl cowl, then so be it. If it means I put together a screen accurate Kitana costume or add cleavage to a character that didn’t have it originally, so be it. I do dislike that female cosplayers seem to be expected to do sexy cosplay and male cosplayers are often discouraged from it. That’s something I’d like to help fix in the community.
Do you have a lot of friends that cosplay as well?
Almost all of my friends are cosplayers at this point.
If you had an opportunity to hold your own convention, what would it be called, where would you hold it at, and what celebrity guests would you invite?
That’s an intense question. I never thought about it. I think I’d try to hold a more cosplay focused convention that connects cosplayers with photographers, but still gives them table time with attendees, and bring in at least 10-15 big cosplayers such as Bellechere and Knightmage.
Have you ever had the opportunity to cosplay for charity?
Of course. I’ve worked with local safe trick-r-treats and various hospital events. I will say this: I prefer to do my charity work out of costume. I have nothing against it. I feel a lot of passion for charities that work with domestic abuse victims and animal shelters; two situations that often don’t require me in costume.
Do you remember the names of the fans you get to meet?
Most of the time! If we exchange names, then I like to keep in contact over social media.
What is your favorite cosplay moment/memory that has happened to you?
That’s super difficult!!!! Ohmygod… I’m not sure if there’s any one moment, but there are a couple with each costume that I love. I get so giddy when I put the whole thing on for the first time. It’s such a fun moment to see that I’m no longer Rae, but Kitana or Ivy or Teela or Pinkie Pie. And I love hearing the first person say “I love your costume!” I immediately know that we connect on something. And that feels really cool.
Is there anyone you would like to so a group cosplay with?
Ginny Di. I have been following that chick for awhile and I adore her stuff. To collaborate with her would be a dream!
Do you have a favorite cosplayer?
A Lot! It’s hard not to love the big ones, like Yaya and Jessica Nigri. I can go down the list and mention a ton, but assume that every cosplayer I’ve mentioned so far, I love. I do want to shout out OhMySophii. She is a huge inspiration to me and I truly believe she is the hardest working woman I’ve ever seen.
What is it like having the platform (and audience) on Facebook to share all of your thoughts and hard work with?
It’s surprisingly a huge responsibility. I used to just run my mouth and say whatever I want, but with social media being my portfolio, I have to be on top of it all the time. I have to be cute, quirky, fun, smart, snappy, involved…it’s overwhelming at times, but it also feels incredible to be so connected.
What would you like to say to the new cosplayers who are reading this interview who are just beginning their cosplay journeys?
Start with what you love. Pick a character that you love and break it down the way that makes sense to you. This is a huge rabbit-hole of a hobby that some take so personally and others take lightly. Figure out which one you are and love every second. Because if you don’t, it’s not worth the downsides. 🙂