Cosplay Interview – The Sexy Cheshire
Continuing with my quest to shed light on the man or woman behind the costume, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview The Sexy Cheshire
! I had known her only by face alone until I stumbled upon her facebook page
, there she constantly strives to bring equality and acceptance for all types of cosplay and to shut down cosplay shaming. It’s an admirable goal which has my respect, especially since she cosplays with such confidence and pride it’s hard not to be a fan! I was really glad to be able to ask her out humble questions and we hope you enjoy it as well!
The Geek Lyfe:
Although I am a fan of yours, there may be a few Geek Lyfers who have not seen your work before, would you be alright introducing yourself?
Sexy Cheshire: My Name is Tabitha Walsh I go by the Cosplay name of The Sexy Cheshire most people that I have met recently don’t know me by my real name they know me by Sexy Cheshire or sometimes just Cheshire especially when I go to conventions these last few months. People will come up to me and say, “I know you are the Sexy Cheshire, I love seeing your work.” One thing that I am unlike most other cosplayers is that I am a plus size cosplayer and I cosplay not only to build my confidence but to build the confidence of others who may be too shy to cosplay or say that they can’t do it because of what they look like.
TGL: I’ve followed you for sometime yet never learned the origin story! Could you tell us how you got into cosplay and what led you to where you are now?
SC: The Origin of my story is pretty interesting at least I think. I was not really a comic book ‘nerd’ so to speak but I have always liked Superheroes and back in 2014 I got more into comic books and started collecting Wonder Woman because she is my favorite superhero because she is strong and she represents what woman should. My husband Adam Walsh (Speed Force Photography) had asked if I wanted to go to a Comicon and I was like, “Sure sounds like fun, should I dress up?” He told me it was completely up to me if I wanted to or not so I thought let’s see what I can find. I found a website that had plus size costumes because it is difficult to find my size however I didn’t know what I wanted to dress as then I found it the perfect costume. That is when The Sexy Cheshire was born. I went to Free Comic Book day in May of 2014 wearing my costume because I wanted to give it a test run before the convention. June 2014 I attended my first Comicon Convention which was Phoenix Comicon. I went all 3 days but only dressed up on Saturday I was overwhelming because I had never experienced anything so amazing. I was nervous at the same time because I didn’t know what to expect but I got no negative feedback and I felt comfortable in my own skin as they say it, I felt like I belonged.
TGL: What has been your favorite moment so far cosplaying?
SC: I would have to say that my favorite moment so far cosplaying is when I started I got to meet Ivy Doomkitty in 2014 I had watched her on Heroes of Cosplay even before I myself had stated to cosplay. If it wasn’t for her and how she inspires others with her courage and panels on body confidence I don’t think that I would have been able to continue because I wasn’t happy. This past year in 2015 when she came back to Phoenix Comicon I went to her booth every day because I was so proud of how much I had grown in my cosplay and confidence that I had to get a photo with her every day with each of my costumes. By that time I of course had my signature costume the Sexy Cheshire but I also had two more for that weekend.
TGL: What is the most frustrating part?
I would have to say that the most frustrating part is deciding what to do for a cosplay and executing it. This year I decided I wanted to make a Speedy Cosplay from Arrow Season 4 and I wanted it to look as authentic to the show that I could. I have very little sewing skills and I didn’t know where to start so I had a friend help me and show me how to make a pattern out of my own jacket and helped me sew it together. Let me tell you working with faux leather, eyelets and not the best sewing machine make this project a challenge but I finished it just in time to go to San Jose, California for the Heroes and Villains Fan Fest where I got to meet Willa Holland who plays Thea Queen/Speedy on the show.
TGL: Is there one situation in your Cosplay career that makes you laugh when you look back on it? If so, what is it?
SC: I would have to say the moment that made me laugh when it happened and still makes me laugh when it is brought up is I was going a photoshoot with Adam getting ready to go to San Jose with some prints and it was the first time I had put my Speedy cosplay on and of course it has a bow and arrow……I am not an archer by any means believe me. So I was holding the bow and arrow while Adam was taking photos and my arm was getting fatigued be my bow has a 29lb draw on it well what happened next was not funny at the time but when we look back we can laugh I accidently shot the bow and arrow luckily for me I was kind of low to the ground and the arrow was really low and skidded on the ground and at the time there was a group of teenagers and it went by there feet and they scattered. Let’s just say lesson learned be careful at photoshoots.
TGL: When you aren’t doing making costumes or making videos, what do you do in your spare time?
SC: I really enjoy this new adventure that my husband and I have started with Speed Force Photography it is a way for me to interact with cosplayers from the behind the scenes. I like to take my camera when I can and take photos of landscapes, sunsets, and when I am not cosplaying I will generally be at a convention taking photos of others. Otherwise in my spare time I generally hand out at home watching movies, wrestling, and just enjoying being able to relax especially when it’s not the busy convention season.
TGL: What geek medium(Video Games, Comic Books, Novels, Movies etc.) made the biggest impact on your life and why?
SC: I like to read books and watch movies for me it gives me some down time between my busy work schedule and convention schedule. I have one author that is my favorite J.R. Ward she rights supernatural romance novels about vampires and fallen angels sometimes I get so into reading that I feel like I am in the book itself.
You have openly stated in the past that you are a plus sized cosplayer and are proud of that fact and it’s incredibly inspiring how you are so kind and humble while still being an awesome
cosplayer. I was wondering if you might be able to give insight on your experience being a cosplayer and what advice you might have for those males and females who don’t feel confident enough to cosplay because of their body type?
SC: Being a plus size cosplayer in my community is important to me because I was not always confident in my own skin. For myself it has given me the boost that I need to feel that I can be any character that I want because I make it fit me and not what everyone expects it to be. I have had several people that I have met simply message me via facebook and say I love this costume or that costume and you have inspired me to go out and do more cosplay for myself. I feel that cosplay doesn’t have a size, cosplay is what you make of it and have fun doing it. Don’t worry about what other people say to quote American Author Grace Speare “For every force, there is a counter force. For every negative there is a positive. For every action there is a reaction. For every cause there is an effect.” With my cosplay I take a look at the positives like “How does this make me feel about myself?” “Can I be this character without losing who I really am? Since I started cosplaying I have built up the number of costumes because I have said the phrase “I can, rather than I can’t.”
TGL: What is your zombie apocalypse plan to survive the first few weeks?
SC: First I would gather up all the guns and ammunition, make sure I have a good zombie apocalypse team such as my friends probably those who have been in the military because I am pretty sure
they could fight alongside me without an issue. I would find a good location probably somewhere that that zombies have not already invaded as a base of operations. Always remember Survival Rule #1 CARDIO.
TGL: Which cosplay do you hate to wear due to being uncomfortable the most but love to have worn it for photos and conventions?
SC: I really hate to admit it but it would have to be my Wonder Woman costume I had gotten it for my birthday so that I can wear it to PCC that year and when I came it defiantly was not what I expected because it was not the material or fit that I wanted. I also don’t like wearing it that much because every time I wear it I find a new hole on the seam and always have to repair it before each convention. The reason I like wearing it is kids love Wonder Woman and for some strange reason it’s always the kids dressed like Captain America…LOL
TGL: Do you have any projects in the near future we should be excited to see?
SC: I am currently working on a Harley Quinn cosplay for PCC in June however the style I am doing is a little bit different that most traditional HQ’s out there. It is a style called Cyber goth which will put a new twist on how she looks and what she wears this should not be confused with Steampunk.
I want to give a huge thank you to The Sexy Cheshire for answering our questions! She is such a kind and wonderful human being that definitely deserves a like on her facebook page!
Photos by Speed Force Photography