Interview: Australian Cosplayer JusZ

Cosplayers have been taking over the world becoming one of the fastest growing pop culture phenomenon in recent years.

Thanks to Oz Comic-Con we had the chance to chat with Australian Cosplayers JusZ, to find our about her passion and the excitement of being part of OCC Pop-Up Sydney in March 2021.

SR. Can you give us a small intro about you?
I’m a cosplayer, published model and host with a background in pop music and the entertainment industry. I have been the hosting cosplay since 2015 and I guest and host at cosplay, wrestling and community events around the country.

SR. When did your passion for cosplaying began?
The first time I tried it! I have always loved dressing up and costumes, but I barely knew what cosplay was when I first dressed up for convention. I was very quickly hooked by the wonderful energy of the other cosplayers and the mind-blowing potential to create any character I wanted.

SR. What was your first cosplay?
My first cosplay was Zatanna from DC Comics. I made none of it, it was all bought and rented pieces, but I felt amazing when I arrived at the venue and people really responded so well to my cosplay! I expected that there would be some kind of cosplayer to cosplayer appreciation but when non-cosplayers were interacting and asking for photos I was really surprised.

SR. What was the first convention you ever visited and what is your most fond memory from it?
The first convention I ever attended was Armageddon Adelaide in 2011. I think my fondest memory is meeting and talking to comic writer Gail Simone and comic artist Nicola Scott; both of them were creating some of my favourite comics at the time and to get to chat with them for ages about comics and fandom was such a highlight.

SR. What would you say is the key for a good cosplay? Any advice for aspiring cosplayers?
I think the key for a good cosplay is to be as accurate as you’re comfortable with and to really be happy with the cosplay. You don’t have to have perfect everything to have a good cosplay, but you do need to be enjoying yourself and happy with what you put on your body. My advice for aspiring cosplayers would be to make sure at the end of the day that you’re enjoying yourself and loving what you’re making. Having a good time and being passionate about what you’re cosplaying will carry you through even the most uncomfortable outfit or sewing setback.

SR. Cosplaying has been growing world-wide with some cosplayers becoming true pop culture celebrities with the likes of Ya Ya Chan, D-Piddy and Jessica Nigiri. Why do you think caused cosplaying to become such a fast-growing cultural phenomenon?
I think the internet and social media are the biggest way that cosplay has spread across the cultural landscape. From Facebook pages and Instagram, sharing photos on sites, websites using cosplay “best of” lists alongside comic and movie news, I think cosplay’s visual appeal has helped it flourish. I think folks like Yaya and Jessica have done a great job of showing both the beauty and all the hard work that goes into cosplay through tv and social media, and people like D-Piddy show a fun and creative side to cosplay that makes you smile.

SR. What is your favourite character you have ever portrayed?
This is such a hard question! I think my favourite character would have to be Black Widow. I have at least 6 different Black Widow cosplays and it’s always fun to get to be a badass in all her various forms.

SR. Any upcoming projects coming up? Anything planned for Occ?
Yes, I’m very excited to be at OCC POP UP in Sydney in my role as Cosplay Emissary. I’ll be hosting the cosplay competitions and presenting a few panels about cosplay. I can’t wait to be at my first event in 18 months!

SR. Have you participated in cosplay competitions?
I have participated in a few but I don’t have the intense dedication some people have to create the incredibly detailed and intense builds that win competitions. I really love hosting cosplay competitions, though, because not only to I get to talk about the amazing creations, but I get to see all the details up close.

SR. Can you share with us any fun story while in a convention?
I feel like I have so many good times that it’s hard to just pick one! One special memory is from when I was a guest at Oz Comic-Con Adelaide in 2016. It was just after Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out and Rey was this breakout character that pretty much every girl who watched Star Wars fell in love with.

I was already planning to wear my Rey cosplay to Oz Comic-Con and when I heard that a few other friends I knew were planning to as well I thought it would be fun to see how many Reys we could get together for one photo. So, I put out a call on my social medias and told every big and small Rey that I met to come and join us. When it came time for the photos we had almost a dozen Reys of all ages and it was such a cool and special moment as a cosplayer and a female fan.

OCC Pop Up will hit Sydney Showground on March 6-7, 2021.

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