Rebecca Lindsay loves to be creative and has been artistic from the time she was a child, sitting around her kitchen table sketching alongside her sisters. Today, she is an alumni of William Paterson University of New Jersey and currently works for a major television studio as a “Global Media Prep Technician.” In her spare time, she continues to draw, direct short films, and cosplay. Only cosplaying for a few years, Lindsay was an overnight (actually, within only a few hours) sensation at this year’s New York Comic Con held in the city’s famous Jacob Javits Convention Center.
Lindsay first appeared on social media on Friday, showing off her new cosplay, Mystique from X-Men. Thanks to Jody Houser and Instagram, people wondered who this Mysti-erous girl was. The Geek Initiative had a chance to find out more her cosplay and instant fame.
Catherine C. J. Baxley: What made you want to start cosplaying?
Rebecca Lindsay: I’ve always liked making and wearing costumes. My mom would create the most amazing costumes for Halloween and as we got older and started making movies, she was a huge help in constructing those outfits. (We even recreated every song from Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd – those period pieces aren’t something you can just pick up at Party City). After going to New York Comic Con (NYCC) for several years I was interested in cosplaying but didn’t know how to go about it. The first year I was Asami from The Legend of Korra which was a quick and easy costume – just a jacket, skirt, boots, and wig and I did good! It was fun and quite a few people recognized the character.
CCJB: What are some of your dream cosplays?
RL: I’ve always loved Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender – she’s so completely evil and snarky and instigates every situation. Even though the costume is relatively simple, I think it would be super fun figuring out how to pose (something I’m horrible at now) and using her firebending techniques. I also like using makeup so maybe a character from Archer? That pop art style is crazy cool and especially if it was a group of people, I think the final look would be amazing!
CCJB: What are some of your favorite cosplaying memories?
RL: One of my favorite memories was cosplaying as a character named Kitten from an episode of Teen Titans. My sister played Starfire and we were just wearing generic prom dresses (that’s what they did in that episode). It was a super last-minute cosplay idea and I figured no one would guess who we were. Well we went to go visit my favorite artist Todd Nauck and he knew exactly who we were! I think sometimes it’s more fun to play obscure characters like that.
CCJB: Let’s talk about this weekend at New York Comic Con 2016. Tell us what you were expecting to get out of this weekend and walking away with cosplay fame.
RL: I just wanted to have a fun time at NYCC this year. We’ve been cosplaying for a few years now but that’s never the main objective of the trip. When I go with my sisters, we’re focused on what awesome artwork we can find and whether or not some actor will be signing autographs. The last thing on my mind was whether or not people would like my Mystique costume. Once that picture made it’s way online it was like a crazy whirlwind of photos at the Javits Center. It was even more intense online – I’ve never seen so many Facebook notifications pop up on my phone. I still can’t comprehend how this even happened but I’m glad the reaction has been so positive! Although it will be nice once everything goes back to normal and I stop seeing my face on my news feed.
CCJB: Your cosplay is gorgeous! How did you construct it and how long did it take?
RL: My mom was the driving force behind the construction of this cosplay. I used a blue bodysuit and army costume (it was more expensive than real uniforms on ebay!) and was actually wearing them while my mom sewed the two together (one on top of the other) that way the uniform remained loose while the bodysuit was tight. We covered up the seams with blue sequin trim and even used individual sequins to give it a really organic feel.
I also added the “Stryker” name tag last minute for extra X-Men points! In the meantime, I cut apart two different wigs and sewed them together (best way to do this is use duct tape). My mom curled the Mystique side and I covered it in bright red Halloween hair spray to help hold the curl and also make it more movie accurate. This part took two separate weekends and then day-of was another 2 hours for makeup and extra sequin application. Shout out to my sister Sara for letting me borrow her colored contact since mine was defective! And an extra shout out to both my sisters Sara and Amanda for constantly pinning my pants because I ripped the stitching while trying to sit!
CCJB: Do you feel when you cosplay that you somehow connect with the character you’re portraying, or is it more for fun? Please explain.
RL: It’s always been more for fun I think. I base my choices on how hard it’ll be to construct the costume and what props and poses I’ll have to think about. The process and execution is what I like to focus on and then once I’m walking around and people are asking for photos is when I start to think about who I’m playing.
CCJB: Why Mystique from X-Men?
RL: I wanted to try something that would require special makeup and Mystique seemed to be a great choice. When I was looking at pictures most were pretty generic but there was a still from one of the movies of Mystique in mid-transformation and I thought it
would be awesome to try and interpret that as a costume. As I child, I loved Mystique because X-Men was my absolute favorite movie at the time and I shared a first name with the actress that played her (Rebecca Romijn!).
CCJB: Do you have any advice for those who are interested in cosplaying but not sure where to start?
RL: Pick something that you like because even if you’re costume is falling apart you’ll have fun playing that character.
CCJB: Anything else you’d like to add?
RL: I just want to thank my mom again for helping to put this all together!
Photography Credit: Amanda Lindsay, Carla Lindsay, Rebecca Lindsay
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