Sometimes when I reach out to people to do the podcast, I run into roadblocks. Most often it is either time zones or language. However, when people are willing, I get to interview them over messenger or email and was lucky enough to get the chance to do so with Trisha Layons who is a cosplayer in Russia. Check out her interview and photos below.
Tales from the Fandom: How would you describe fandom?
Trisha Layons: A fandom is a particular universe or a franchise with its own characters and their relationships.
TFTF: What fandoms are you into?
TL: Game of Thrones, Sherlock, Star Trek, Uncharted, Doctor Who, Undertale, DC Comics, and Bioshock
TFTF: What appeals to you about them?
TL: Game of Thrones is like a drug. Once you got into it, there is no way back. You always need to know what happens next. This tv series can truly keeps you on the edge of seat. I love everything about Uncharted, especially their plots which are better than Hollywood movies for me ahahah. DC comics attracts me with their beautiful illustrations which mostly have their own unique style. Sometimes you can’t even tell that 2 various comics about Batman are from the same studio. Their artists are true professionals. And besides iconic characters like Batman or Superman they have the whole variety of others, less famous, but not less charming and attractive characters.
And during my vacation I fell in love with The Tudors. The costume design is incredible, plot twists and character development is also on point.
TFTF: When would you say that you got fully into that particular fandom, whether it be a particular fandom rather than just a casual fan? Is there an instance or moment you can recall where you went from someone just reading/watching to being more invested in it? Ie: Reading Harry Potter, seeing someone’s cosplay, finding out people actually roleplayed as the characters on message boards and getting into it that way – or joining online fan clubs, etc.
TL: I would say that the moment you start to feel that you are truly in the fandom is when you realize that you actually can’t live a normal life anymore without checking or reading something related to it. When I get really into the fandom, I usually have a character I want to cosplay, either alone or even form a cosband.
TFTF: What was the first fandom you felt yourself get involved in and how did it happen?
TL: I would say Glee tv-series. My friend made me watch a couple of episodes with her and it really impressed me back then. So I started reading articles about it and the actors who took part in it, fanfics with the characters etc.
TFTF: What are your favorite pairings/relationships?
When I watched Glee, I used to ship Klaine (Kurt and Blaine) so much. Now I don’t even know, maybe Rose and The 10th Doctor or Drogo and Daenerys.
TFTF: Favorite characters? Underrated characters?
TL: My favorite characters are probably from Uncharted games. I love absolutely everyone there.
TFTF: What is it about the Uncharted character that makes them your favorite / what makes them special to you?
TL: Every single one of them has his or hers unique personality which you can see changing as the story goes on. I love relationships between them, how they communicate, it always seems so real, sometimes even relateable. Like Sam and Nathan’s brotherhood in the 4th game is literally relationship goals ahahah. You can’t help but empathize with them because their emotions and reaction seem so realistic.
TFTF: Are there any TV shows, books, video games or movies you would recommend and why those in particular?
TL: Game of Thrones! It has dragons xD. And I do love the plot and characters are so well-written.
Book: Stephen King, if you are a fan of horror like I am you should totally check it out if you haven’t already.
Game: Uncharted 4. This game is just perfect in everything.
TFTF: What are your favorite Stephen King books and why?
TL: It is hard to pick between “The Long Walk” and “Doctor Sleep”. The first one a has unique main idea and open ending, which I generally like in books or films, the second one has more exciting action and plot twists in it.
TFTF: Is it hard in Russia to get the current TV programs or movies, such as Game of Thrones, etc to keep up with them?
TL:No, not at all. You would not find that kind of news on TV but thank God there is a magical thing called Internet ahaha. We have our Russian social media where there are different pages dedicated to TV series, movies, just like on Facebook. So it makes it really easy to keep up with news, just find the right group.
TFTF: How did you get into cosplaying? What is the cosplay community like where you live? What are the benefits of cosplaying?
TL: My friend introduced me to cosplay when I was 11 and at first I thought that it was very expensive and hard, so I really got into it at the age of 14-15. The Russian cosplay community is very strict and rude, to be honest. You can be easily bullied for nothing, for example I got negative comments on my Spock cosplay because I had fake ears (like seriously). Or if the shade of your fabric is slightly different, or buttons are slightly bigger etc. But these comments are usually left by some lazy people who can do nothing themselves. Russian cosplayers are very nice and friendly at conventions or when you talk to them face-to-face. Some of the benefits of cosplaying are that cosplay can make you be good at anything, from crafting to makeup.
TFTF: Have you experienced any downsides?
TL: The downside I experienced is mean comments on my work, but I learned to let it go by now (Russian community, again)
TFTF: What are your favorite cosplays?
TL: I love every single one of my cosplays, because I try to do my best every time, to be fully satisfied in the end.
TFTF: Is the Russian cosplay community a large community?
TL: It is pretty big and it keeps growing and growing. But a lot of people are scared to join because of strict rules and a lot of critics, I have mentioned that. As a result a lot of cosplayers prefer trying to be noticed in the world community, not Russian. And I am one of those cosplayers.
TFTF: Do you feel welcomed in the worldwide cosplay community?
TL: I am very pleased how my Facebook page is growing. To be honest, I’ve never thought there would be 100 people here, and there are already nearly 500! I get a lot of positive feedback which is extremely inspiring and that’s what keeps me going and developing skills.
TFTF: If you had any words of wisdom or advice for anyone reading this, about fandom or cosplay, what would it be?
TL:Never pay attention to haters, they are probably just envy of your works, never give up, even if you want to, and keep improving your skills, there is always a room for improvement.
TFTF: What are the Websites/Social media sites where people can find you?