Do not waste any more time not expressing yourself. Say what you need to say, boldly and without reservation. Nurture your creativity and don’t be shy about it. Stop consuming and start creating before it’s too late, and that dark, mysterious wardrobe into nothingness consumes you.
Since attending her first comic convention in 2002 (Dragon Con), Dementia (whose name needs no further elaboration) has enjoyed the freedom of stepping out of her shoes and into the characters she loves and admires. To her, cosplay is more of a passion than hobby – giving her the chance to be someone else for a while.
Always looking for an excuse to dress up, cosplay has been in her DNA for as long as she can remember. “Long before cosplay even had a name. I was the kid who, long after I was “too old” to trick or treat, would dress up just for the opportunity or to hand out candy. I would often dress up with neighborhood friends to play Star Wars on their porch (I was always Darth Vader). I was always the kid seeking any reason to become a character and get my fix. It just developed more deeply as the years went on and my addiction was fed.”
Preferring to be the villain, Ms. Von Grimm reminds that there is no hero without the villain and that the darker side of things has always appealed to her.
Dementia has been featured in a plethora of publications, dozens of documentaries, and calendars. She’s been billed as a guest at several conventions, hosted multiple panels and enjoyed the opportunity to help judge a number of costume contests. Dementia can also be seen as Hare’m Scare’m Demented Harvest, a featured flavor (Autumn Spice) for the Coffee Shop of Horrors.
Dementia was recently asked to be the Director of Costuming for the upcoming Conjure convention. “I really dislike the word cosplay,” she commented on the title. Appearing March 5-6, Ms. Von Grimm added that she’s really looking forward to putting together the most talented and highly respected cosplayer artisans in central Florida (who will, in turn, be putting together amazing workshops and demos for the community).
I seek a balance of both. I look to embody the character, but I also look to choose characters that not only speak to me, but resonate with certain aspects of me and my character. Each costume I do really is a marriage of how I best can represent and convincingly do justice to said character.
Please describe anything you might see as a roadblock/concern in the cosplay community (and/or any solution/ways you’ve coped with).
The only roadblock, truly, is yourself. If you’re aware of what you put out there, of how you present yourself, and take into account what reactions it may incur, that’s half the battle. The truth is, there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like or of approve of what you do. Why does that matter? If YOU are making yourself happy, if you are living up to your expectations and challenging yourself to be the best YOU can be, it doesn’t matter what someone on the internet or someone at a convention says. Arguing on the internet is like that old adage of getting in the mud with pigs. You can be your own worst enemy, so stop putting energy in the mud, and overcome your own roadblocks… of yourself.
What advice would you give to someone getting started in this realm?
Enjoy yourself. What I mean by that can be illustrated by a quote by Winston S. Churchill — ‘You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.’ Stop paying attention to things that really, in the grand scheme of things, don’t matter. Everyone has an opinion, and just because theirs differs from yours, doesn’t make it wrong nor does it make it any less valid. Don’t knee-jerk just because someone says something you dislike. In line with that… and this applies especially to those who hold a differing opinion… learn something from every person you encounter. This craft is ever-evolving, and so you should be as well. The best way to do that is to take something from everyone. You may disagree with something someone says, but when you learn to look at differing opinions and criticisms objectively, you may start to see merit that you can accept and apply to yourself. Everyone, even people you dislike, have *something* to offer from which you can learn.