Cosplaying since 2006, Allen Ryde has attended numerous conventions throughout the East Coast. When he’s not cosplaying at conventions, he’s available for hire as a commissioner under Aurora Clothiers by AllenGale. Ryde has experience working as a professional performer in both theatre and opera companies and runs a small party entertainment business on weekends, under the banner title of Faerie Fantastical Parties. FFParties specializes in high-quality princess and super-hero character entertainment. He is also a professional burlesque entertainer, having performed with various troupes across the East Coast, including Cosplay Burlesque.
Catherine C. J. Baxley: What made you want to start cosplaying?
Allen Ryde: I wanted to start cosplaying because I read about in all the anime magazines, such as Animerica, back in the day and after attending my first Otakon in 2006. I got hooked and decided I wanted to get in on the fun and meet new friends along the way.
CCJB: What has been your more memorable cosplaying experiences?
AR: Some of my most memorable experiences while cosplaying have occurred from when I have entered into masquerades and when I have met various people at conventions who have become some of my closest friends. I also have had the joy to be a masquerade judge for many different conventions and getting to know so many other professional level costumers and cosplayers alike.
CCJB: Do you role play when you portray the characters while cosplaying?
AR: I do like to role play, but I mainly do the role play in the presence of small children who love the characters. I am trained as a children’s entertainer and believe in character integrity and keeping the magic alive for children and adults alike.
CCJB: What is your favorite part about putting on your cosplay(s)?
AR: My favorite part about putting on my cosplays is seeing the full transformation from becoming just a normal everyday person into someone new and feeling proud about the work I have put into something and the warm and positive reception as the payoff of my endless hours of sweat and labor.
CCJB: Today, there are both people for and against cosplaying certain characters based on race, gender, and character portrayal. As someone who has cosplayed both female and male characters, how do you respond to those who are against your cosplaying choices?
AR: In the words of RuPaul, “People talking, since the beginning of time, unless they paying your bills, pay them b*****s no mind.” People cosplay to make themselves happy and feel good about themselves and shouldn’t feel the need to pander to someone else’s small minded beliefs.
To learn more about Allen, check out this exclusive interview at Katsucon 2015 by The Fan’s POV!