Sunday, 29 September 2013

STGCC 2013: Vampy Bit Me aka Linda Le (Interview)

Picture Credits : STGCC
I'm sure that a portion of you will jump at the sight of this beautiful girl's name.
Vampy Bit Me, also known as Linda Le, is a western cosplayer hailing from the US of A.

Picture Credits : STGCC
Meeting her was a very exciting thing for me, because for once i was able to meet a cosplayer this popular and all. (Still a newbie at media here, haha..)
So anyway, enough about me and more onto Vampy!~

~ Rian

*Note: As this was a round robin interview, not all the questions were asked by us. Credits to all the other media entities who contributed questions!

Q: Is your name in any way, inspired by the Viral Video?
Vampy: What viral video?

Q: The ‘Charlie Bit Me’ viral video.
Vampy: NO! I got the nickname ‘Vampy’ in middle school, when I pretty much did not sleep at night. If you follow me on twitter, you’ll see that I NEVER sleep at night. I’m usually up, and I sleep during the day. It’s very weird, but it has been like that ever since middle school. So, it was a nickname given to me. I don’t like the nickname; however it just stuck with me.

Q: Do you feel that you have embraced the nickname? 
Vampy: I have to embrace it now, because it has become my name now. I still don’t like it, but you know, I still have to.

Q: I understand that after you plan on a character to cosplay, you will plan for photo shoots. When you are planning the shoots, how do you look for the photographers; or do the photographers actually request to shoot you?
Vampy: Well, I actually only work with my friends, so I will not ask other people to help me shoot photo shoots. It has been like this for six years. So, it’s just friends, yeah.

Q: How do you get ideas for the poses in the shoots?
Vampy: Oh, I research! So pretty much, if I have my comic book out, I’ll just copy the exact same poses from the book. Everything is just referenced off the book. I don’t try to change the poses; I will try to keep the poses as accurate as possible to the poses in the comic book because, I’m a fan of the work, so I would like to keep it that way.

Picture Credits : STGCC

Q: I understand that you have started modeling a while back. Is modeling or cosplay more attractive to you?
Vampy: The funny thing is, I didn’t actually like modeling initially. My friend got me into it, and then that’s only because I style women. I work with a lot of models who are much taller than me ( I’m short :( ) , and then friends would ask me and tell me that I should take some pictures and I said okay, so that’s how it started. So actually, if I were to compare between modeling and cosplay, I would say both. I cannot really answer it. It’s also like me and K-pop and metal music, I like both.

Q: What criteria do you look at when you’re choosing what characters to cosplay as, like any certain things that you look out for? 
Vampy: I like strong characters. A lot of my characters depict very strong women. If it’s a kind of a weaker woman, I will not cosplay it. That’s about it, it’s pretty simple.
Q: Strong as in a backstory, or…?
 Vampy: Powerful! They kind of have to be like a dude. That’s why I do a lot of guy characters. Because, they just look better sometimes. So I said ‘Hey, if this dude looks cool, I’m going to make it into a girl character. Because, it looks cool! So, it’s always strong, like Claymore, or something like that.

Q: What’s the biggest sacrifice you have ever made for cosplay? 
Vampy: Everything! I kind of don’t have a life, really? If life, meaning, going out with my friends. My weekends… I don’t even know what a ‘weekend’ is anymore. It’s been six years since I knew what a ‘weekend’ was. Everybody’s like “YEAH! Saturday!”, and I’m all like “What?”... I’ll still be working. Sacrifices as in just doing what you want to do, I mean I love what I do, but actually going out with my friends… So I actually invite them over and I actually convert them into making costumes for me. So that’s how I actually have a life now.

Picture Credits : STGCC

Q: Up till this point, I’m sure you have been to many cosplay conventions and all that, so are there any horror stories, anything interesting or bizarre?
Vampy: Every time somebody says very insulting words, it makes me want to massacre them or I’m going to kill them or something. But really, no. People are really nice… generally. But Asia’s is different. People are very big fans. So there are always crowds and all. That actually kind of scares me, because I’m usually all by myself. So if there are many crowds, I’m just clammered up.

Q: Which one of the comic book artists do you respect the most?
Vampy: Oh, Jim Lee. It all started with Jim Lee, and I talk about Jim Lee all the time, because for me, I think he understood each and every character and he still does with DC. He totally understands how to depict the character and women, sexy but strong, you know? And I like that. I also love his art style.

Q: Just like how you make your own costumes, what has been the biggest challenge you have faced until now when you are making costumes?
Vampy: To be honest, every costume is a challenge just because you have no idea how to make it. You will have nobody to help you out, you know? Like if you’re going to do a God of War character, nobody really does it. So you don’t really have reference and you’re going to have to make it up in your head. This may drive you a little crazy, but every character is another way to teach yourself a new skill.

Q: When facing all these challenges, have you ever felt like you’re going to just give up because it’s going to be impossible to do whatever you want?
Vampy: Yeah, I go through that a lot. But after a while, you just stop thinking and just doing, you know? So, you get depressed sometimes if you can't finish something; but you know what, overall, it's supposed to be fun. So you just let it slide, and bring along another costume that you want to cosplay in.

Picture Credits : STGCC

Q: Are there any costume designers in the film industry or in the fashion industry that you look up to / that inspires you? 
Vampy: Alexander McQueen. I love him. I'm like crazy over him. I love high fashion, I think that in a lot of my photos you can see the high fashion influence, because i like the cinematic and quality.

Q: Is there a character or costume that you like so much, that you keep cosplaying it?
Vampy: It's kind of obvious (referring Psylocke, the character she's cosplaying). I like Gantz a lot, even though the ending sucked. I like Gantz, it's just I like black things and things that cover a up  a lot of stuff. I’m happy that it’s not hot here right now, inside. So, I get to wear it. And Morrgian, but I wore that too many times. So, yeah.

Q: What’s the number one irk that you have while preparing for a cosplay event? 
Vampy: Packing! Because you have to remember every single little thing. So, that's it.

Q: There have been lots of superhero movies in cinemas lately. What do you think of the designs, or re-designs in making a comic book costume work onscreen? 
Vampy: Okay, well, do you want something specific?
Q: Yeah, specific.
Vampy: Like in G.I. JOE, when they did Snake Eyes and they added lips, that’s not cool. Yeah, like why did they do that? I wasn’t very happy about that. The thing is some look very cool, but some look too slick. Like for example, Gatchaman, the new movie; I’m not too big of a fan of it, because it looks like Tron. Like, why did you make it like that? I heard the reviews; I haven’t watched it yet but I heard bad reviews so, not very happy about that. When it’s too futuristic, you’re not really paying homage to the original, so that’s my gripe.

Q: You’re kind of very well-known in the cosplay scene; ever since you have started out cosplay, have there been any cosplayers you really look up to?
Vampy: My influences aren’t cosplayers though, so it’s kinda hard... Um, I like everybody’s cosplay though, it sounds really silly but I do. I like Kamui, Kamui Cosplay. She does a lot of armour. So next thing I want to do is start doing more armour. I like Warhammer, so hopefully I can start doing more Warhammer stuff. I like Kamen Rider too, I wanna do some helmets.

Picture Credits : STGCC

Q: What would be the #1 piece of advice that you can give to newer cosplayers?
Vampy: Um, make sure you do it, because you really love it. Sometimes you go into it, thinking you’re going to be popular out of nowhere. That’s not true. You’ll see the ones that last the longest are the ones that love it , because the ones that go away, are the ones that are doing it for the wrong reasons, so yeah.

Q: Characters from older anime and comic book series, the designs are obviously quite different than something that came up within the past 10 years, so I was wondering, what do you think about older series (of animes and comic books) being revived, in a different way to suit the modern taste? And, what is your thought on Gatchaman Crowds? 
Vampy: Oh, don’t get me started! I’m not a fan. What is that? I watched the first episode and i'm like, "It doesn’t do anything!". Phoenix is not in there, it's just too... cute? Gatchaman’s all about... butt-kicking. I can say that, right? Yeah, butt-kicking, and there is none of that! And the art, it didn't even look like it (Gatchaman). So, as an old school fan, it made me a little said. And Ranma too. Ranma didn’t have red hair, so I was like, NO!

Q: If you didn't become a cosplayer, what would you see yourself as?
Vampy: Well, I’ll continue being a stylist. I’ll style other women and men, doing nice things to them!

Picture Credits : STGCC

-Transcription/Commentary by Rian
-Layout/Pictures/Posting by Rian

1 comment:

  1. Just a heads up, I'm pretty sure that it should be psylocke and not skylocke.