anibee Cosplayer Focus: Max!
Amidst the sea of cosplayers out there, one would be hard pressed to find a way to stand out and show to the world just how unique you are. Today's interviewee does just that by doing a series of awesome male lead characters - and even a few female ones too! It's the one and only Max!
anibee: The obligatory first question! Tell us a bit about yourself and how long/how you started cosplaying!
Max: Hi everyone~! I go by Max (how pleasantly simple right XD?), and I'm a normal 20 year old kiddo with a regular life, currently serving the nation now~.
I started cosplaying after browsing through the deviantArt page of a user named BehindInfinitely. I noticed how much fun BehindInfinitely was having with the hobby, that I got curious and decided to give it a shot myself, making my debut as L from Death Note at a school event back in 2008. My class won the 'Best Dressed' award, and I have never looked back since : ) !
anibee: Being a male cosplayer, do you feel that it's harder for you to get recognition and/or attention versus female cosplayers?
Max: To be honest, I do feel it’s true from time to time. It's harder in a sense mainly because that's how the general appeal is. Girls tend to be more versatile as they can usually pull off both a guy and girl character, especially with the increase in characters with more feminine frames that they can take advantage of. With a mostly male audience, liking female characters more is also a pretty normal thing that happens.
There has been a gradual rise in the popularity of certain guy characters though, like Kirito from Sword Art Online!
anibee: You also do cross-plays! The reactions to it are always really strong & divided, with some feeling that it's done purely just for shock value or to gain attention - what is your reason for doing it and what are your feelings on people's reactions to it?
Max: My reasons for cross-playing is quite a laughable one, I'll be honest! I used to be an Aion online player, playing a female sorceress. Upon being asked for a picture of what I looked like from some fellow players, I decided to borrow a wig from a friend and take a snapshot of myself with it as a joke - and that was how it all started! While I was more of a 'closet'-type person and only showed such pictures to close friends of mine initially, I decided to go "all the way" in 2011 and cross-play for events.
I mostly cross-play mainly to prove a point - to show that even guys can do decent "gender-benders", as many people have the mindset that only girls can cross-play. Also there will be times that a female character appeals to me more then a guy character (like Ahri from League of Legends), hence pushing me to cross-play her.
I am glad that most people can appreciate my cross-play but I can only remain puzzled to those who react negatively. Cosplaying is about showcasing your love and appreciation for the characters you care about, and I feel that what I'm doing is merely another way of displaying that!
anibee: Do you feel that one should strictly stick to characters that he/she is physically appropriate for (e.g. a short person never doing tall characters)?
Max: In my honest opinion, it would depend on how great the difference is. If it's nothing major, then there shouldn't be any problem since it’d not be obvious. I feel it is far more important to pick a character one can relate to best, ones you can put yourself in the shoes of. This will not only help you bring out the personality of the character better when you cosplay, others will be able to see that as well and appreciate your efforts all the more for it!
anibee: What do you like about cosplaying a male character versus cross-playing; or is there even a difference for you?
Max: I definitely feel more natural when cosplaying male characters, with the obvious fact that I'm a guy and all haha! I feel with male characters, there's a lot more room for me to be 'myself' and thus, am more at ease. With a female character, you have to be much more mindful of your actions in order to come across as more feminine, which gets really tricky!
anibee: What advice do you have for new cosplayers who want to do something similar to you?
Max: For starters, I believe having close female friends is super important as they can help you in improving your overall look and posture! But the most important advice is probably one that's been mentioned before - remember to separate your fantasy from your reality! Cosplay is meant to be a temporary escape that lets you be a character you love, but don't forget to get back to your real life commitments after that! Also, I hope that when the cameras stop flashing and the make up is off, more people will take the time to make meaningful, lasting friendships from cosplay!
Sticking to your guns and doing what you like - that's what cosplay's about!
Check out more of Max's awesome work at http://worldcosplay.net/member/Max