In any given activity, whether it be sports, acting or cosplaying there will always be individuals that people recognize as sterling examples of the best that their given field has to offer. The world of Cosplay also can boast to have several outstanding individuals that literally redefine what an individual can accomplish with imagination and intelligence.
In this column I have covered the world of Cosplay from a variety of different events and interviews. I have taken into account those who have risen to the top of the field and have begin a series of interviews in past colums that will also continue indefinitely. My series now continues with an interview with Sara who is famously known as “Charmie Sweets”.
I had first encountered Sara at the bi-annual convention known as “SacAnime” winter 2011 that was held during the month of January. At first glance, Charmie Sweets enters the scene as if a screenswriter had written the scenerio.
Ext. Raddison Hotel, Sacramento, California-terrace-afternoon
Columnist and Photographer, Oscar Benjamin purposely walks through the glass terrace doors and is startled by an almost ethereal vision in a red velvet-like form fitting dress. The female cosplayer is brandishing lipstick as if she is warding off a malevolent spirit!
Reporter: Hello! You have an incredible style! I have seen a fair amount of cosplayers over the years and I have to say that are quite a natural!
Charmie: Thank you! I don’t think I am really that great. You are too kind and I am flattered!
It is obvious that Charmie is perfect for his ongoing series of articles highlighting the shining lights of the Cosplayer world! He is a bit closer and amazingly enough her porcelain skin is remarkably without blemishes. She is the very image of an Anime superheroine, poised and polished with a timeless beauty about her that would be welcomed in any era.
It is this memory that I carried with me as I had the opportunity to interview the quietly confident and supremely humble, Sara. It was obvious as the interview began that she is very well known in this world as evidenced by the many waves, hugs and greetings she received as we talked about this world of Cosplay that she knows so well.
“I started of with Anime and Manga. Elementary school is when I really started to get into it with Sailor Moon. If I was on the internet, I would always look at Cosplay photos and it didn’t even occur to me that I could be a Cosplayer”! Sara continues, “one day when I’m older-that’s what I am going to do! Now that I have the time and resources-I can look at my dream and it is so much fun”. This answer sets the tone and style for the rest of the interview. I immediately notice that she is thrilled and a little more than perplexed as to why a writer would pay attention to her story. It is one of her many qualities that has made her such a person of endearment to many in the cosplaying community.
What attracts an individual to become so heavily involved in the world of Cosplay? Sara quickly responds, “I see it rather simply as when you play a game or watch an Anime and there is that one character that sounds out to you and you totally connect with! I think that is why people dress up as that character and put so much time and effort into it. It’s simple, but that is why I cosplay”. She continues, “I just want to show my appreciation for that character and bring them to life as much as I can! I am not sure if I am doing it well, but at least I can have fun doing so”!
There are many factors that should be considered before a cosplayer can reach the top at their craft. Poise, attitude, style and how an individual becomes the character are but a few traits an individual needs to master before taking a bow before their fellow fans. Sara offers her thoughts on this, “I try to be humble and really honest about it. It is hard work and I have such an appreciation for the people that get the fabric and sew from scratch! It is really time consuming, even when you know what you are dong”!
Sara displays her modesty once again when discussing Japan’s “World Cosplay Summit” held every year in the month of August. “I really do think it is just a hobby. I don’t see myself as being that big of a deal. I don’t think I am at that level”! She continues with her rather charming and beguilingly humble responses, “I am actually much less exciting than that. I am studying at U.N.R. to be a elementary and special education teacher. I just would love to be a teacher and do good”!
At the recent SacAnime convention in Sacramento, California, Sara stunned the audience into attentive silence when she displayed her amazing talent as a singer of some note. Sara touches upon the subject, “I have always been in church choirs. I have been taking lessons from a vocal coach. I have been learning a lot of techniques. You just learn things that improve your confidence”! Sara continues with great enthusiasm, “it was actually my first time in front of a crowd of that size. I was terrified and I am kind of proud I didn’t pass out or do something totally embarrassing-it’s a good thing”!
Concluding my conversation with Sara, I understood why she is so popular. Sara is engaging, polite, respectful, painfully humble and incredibly bewitching. She is the living emdodiment of any given characters straight from an Anime or fan favorite interactive video game. When she speaks to you, he eyes display an exciting combination of advenure and innocence that so many of us have lost in this very real plane we all inhabit. Sara responds with her usual astonishment and amazement that many have placed her on a seperate level beyond the crowd, “I think social networking helps a lot. It’s fun I have had two people call me by my Cosplay name(Charmie Sweets) and I almost wanted to cry because I was honored”! Her response is classically humble and very charming which can no doubt be why this article is dedicated to one of Cosplay’s best, Charmie Sweets.