“I’m Pally Kashra, a Midwest Cosplayer. You’ve probably seen me at various cons dressed up as various characters such as Crono, Laguna, and Zelgadis.
I’ve always been a fan of things like anime, video games, comics and sci-fi. I remember when I was younger I had always wanted to dress up as these characters for Halloween (I was Batman in Kindergarten, Captain Picard in 2nd Grade, etc). As I grew older, I began getting into theater, and while I continued to enjoy my nerdy interests.
In 2002, I went to my very first ACEN, and I was overwhelmed with how awesome it was. I also enjoyed seeing a lot of the great costumes, and hoped that I would be able to come back and make my own. However, at that time I didn’t have the resources or the means to make a costume so at the time it never happened.
Fast-forward to 2007. I decided that I wanted to dress up as Locke Cole from Final Fantasy VI, so I decided to get some clothes from a Thrift Store and make it. It wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but it would be a first step in bringing me back to Cosplay.
In 2010 I returned to the Cosplay world officially at ACEN 2010. I premiered two costumes (Hiro and Ness) and even brought back Locke. It was there that I discovered my love for Cosplay. It wasn’t just the fact that I got to make costumes and dress up as the character, but it was also a chance for me to expand my acting skills and portray the character.
My skills (both as a seamster and an actor) might not be the greatest, but as a Cosplayer my philosophy is to try to portray my character as accurate as possible. Yes, some characters I Cosplay aren’t the same skin tone, or body type but oh well. I want people to see me as the character, but also see me as a person who wants to get to know people and shine my light off of others. A perfect balance between the character and of me.
As a Cosplayer, I wish to serve as sort of an unofficial diplomat and voice of the community. I know that the community as a whole gets a lot of flack and has its good parts and its bad parts. I want to be one of the good parts. This page should serve as a place where people can go to see themselves in costume without feeling the need to be judged in any ways. Furthermore, I want to be able to offer advice on making costumes, con going and things like that. I might not be the most popular Cosplayer around, but I do want to find some way to give back to the community.”
Jack Nickelz: So tell us what first got you started in Cosplay?
Pally Kashra Cosplays: I actually got started in 2010. I had just come back from college and had reconnected with my friend Katie. She had mentioned that she was going to ACEN and offered me a full weekend badge. I jumped at the opportunity to go and I figured I wanted to go all out so I asked my friend Bethany to help me make my first costume. Along with two other costumes, I had my first full weekend ACEN during 2010 and have been Cosplaying ever since.
Jack Nickelz: What was your first Cosplay outfit?
Pally Kashra Cosplays: My first Cosplay was Hiro from Lunar 2: Eternal Blue on Sega CD. Lunar 2 was one of my favorite RPGs of all time, so I figured that my first Cosplay should be from a game that I grew up with.
Jack Nickelz: How was it going to a convention in full gear?
Pally Kashra Cosplays: I really enjoyed going to the con in full gear. There are so many fun things that you’re able to do in costume like to taking photos with both at the photo shoots and around the con with people who recognize your costume. Also, I always enjoy being able to act like the character and interact with others while in character.
Jack Nickelz: What has been some of your fav. Cosplays to do?
Pally Kashra Cosplays: Some of my favorites have been The 10th Doctor (Doctor Who), Crono (Chrono Trigger), Zelgadis (The Slayers) and Laguna (Final Fantasy VIII). The Doctor is a character who is just so larger than life and I always enjoy getting a chance to portray him. The same can be said for Laguna too. He’s a very kind person, but is also very clumsy (which is similar to me in real life I think) which brings a lot of zany moments. Crono is super iconic in the RPG world and I can get a lot of good action photos with him even while being silent like he is. As for Zelgadis, he is a character who was transformed into a half man, half chimera, which causes him to be more brooding and silent. It’s a huge contrast from my normal personality which makes it all the more fun to portray him.
Jack Nickelz: Do you have a Cosplay that you are becoming known for?
Pally Kashra Cosplays: I would have to say Crono and Ness (EarthBound/SSB). There have been times when I’ll be at a con and people will come up to me and ask “Hey you Cosplay as Crono and Ness right?” This even happens when I’m in a totally different costume too!
Jack Nickelz: How do you pick which Cosplay to do?
Pally Kashra Cosplays: I usually pick characters that I see a bit of me in. I tend to like characters who are enthusiastic and often in a position of leadership. On the same token, Cosplaying as a character that has a different personality than mine (like someone who’s a bit arrogant) is not only fun, but also pushes me to up my acting ability for the character.
Jack Nickelz: How long does it normally take you to do a Cosplay?
Pally Kashra Cosplays: The time it takes for me to complete a Cosplay really depends on the costume. My 10th Doctor Cosplay only took me a day because I was able to find the items that I needed for it in my closet or at good will. Sometimes it’s taken me as long as two months to finish my Cosplay. I’m sure when I start to create a costume who has major amounts of armor like Paladin Cecil from Final Fantasy IV it may take even longer.
Jack Nickelz: What’s the hardest Cosplay that you have had to do?
Pally Kashra Cosplays: I’d say the hardest Cosplays I’ve had to finish was either Crono or Zelgadis. I actually remade Crono because I didn’t like how my original tunic I made for him came out. It was also difficult to find fabric that has the same color as his tunic (it’s a baby blue color) so I had to dye white cotton fabric twice to get the proper color too. And then we have the wig. Crono has spiky red hair, so trying to make a wig out of that required two wigs (one of which was harvested to make hair wefts which were sewn directly into the wig cap), freeze spray, hair glue, and lots of styling. Zelgadis required me to learn how to do stage make up, which I haven’t used since being in High School Theater. Learning how to properly mix the colors and make each stone for his face was new for me at the time. Both of these experiences definitely pushed me to learn new skills that I still use to this day.
Jack Nickelz: Who are some of the Cosplayers that you admire?
Pally Kashra Cosplays: I really look up to the group “…And Sewing is Half the Battle!” They’re a very talented group who have been a big help to me whenever I need help or just encouragement. Another person that has inspired me is fellow Cosplayer Moe Hunt. She does a ton of great costumes and always has a smile on her face whenever I see her. Finally, Frozen Rose Cosplay is a group I have worked with in the past and their dedication and talent really shows up whenever I see them at cons.
Jack Nickelz: What are your thoughts on discrimination at conventions?
Pally Kashra Cosplays: I definitely feel that discrimination in the Cosplay community is a problem. We should never have to be told who we can or can’t Cosplay because we’re not the same body type, skin color, or gender as the character. Cosplay should be something that we can all come together for and just have fun, but sadly there are still people in the community who still have the negative mindset. At the end of the day, we are the ones who have the final say in who we portray, not other people.
Jack Nickelz: If you could change one thing about Cosplay, what would it be?
Pally Kashra Cosplays: Besides Cosplay being a bit easier *laughs*, I wish that there would be more people who are open to it outside of the con community. I feel like there’s still a bit of a stigma about Cosplayers to those who don’t understand it. Cosplay has definitely become a bit more public, but most of the time it’s more negative. I wish that people could see more of the positive things we do like charities and public appearances.
Jack Nickelz: What are some of your fondest Cosplay memories?
Pally Kashra Cosplays: My favorite memory would probably be the first year I took part in Cosplay Combat Chess at Anime Milwaukee in 2013. I ended up auditioning and not really expecting to be a major piece in the game. I ended up being the Queen and one of the last pieces to be captured (it was done in a fight with the opposing team’s Queen). On top of that, the event brought forth some great new friendships.
Jack Nickelz: What do your friends and family think about your Cosplaying?
Pally Kashra Cosplays: It honestly took a while for my family to accept the fact that I Cosplay. They didn’t think that it was a good idea. However, since they’ve seen some of the costumes I’ve created and some of the events I’ve taken part in (like Kids in Capes with Costumers with a Cause) they became more accepting of it and often inquire about my next costumes. Most of my friends were fascinated with it right away and would always want to see my costumes when we hung out.
Jack Nickelz: What future Cosplays can we expect to see from you this year?
Pally Kashra Cosplays: I have a few costumes that I’m currently working on. C2E2 is around the corner and I’ll be Cosplaying as Nightcrawler with an X-Men group. After that is ACEN and I have Nephrite from Sailor Moon, Welkin Gunther from Valkyria Chronicles, and Roman Reigns of WWE fame. I don’t really know what else will be going on after those cons, but I do at some point want to Cosplay someone from Star Wars (possibly a Jedi or Wedge Antilles) and Auron from Final Fantasy X.
Jack Nickelz: Thank you for taking time out to do this. Is there anything else you would like to say to the fans?
Pally Kashra Cosplays: Thank you for interviewing me. I just want to say thanks to all my fans for the follows and the support. Keep being awesome and I can’t wait to see your future costumes. God Bless.