Welcome to Crystal Lake

Confessions of a Cosplayer: Taylor Vitelli

Welcome to another installment of “Confessions of a Cosplayer”. Each week I will feature a cosplayer in the Friday franchise who I either know personally or through social media. As time moves on, I will also be focusing on other iconic horror characters from other franchises then I will have horror inspired cosplayers.
If you are a horror cosplayer or know someone who is a horror cosplayer and would like to be featured on a weekly spotlight please reach out to me on Facebook, Instagram or send me an email at SouthJerseyJason@gmail.com

What is your first memory of watching a horror movie?
My parents tried to keep me away from any scary movies but that only made me want to watch them more. My grandparents on the other hand always let me watch anything as long as sex wasn’t involved. That being said and I’m being so serious when I admit this, but my first memory of a horror movie was ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ 1925. Lon Chaney was an absolute GENIUS and I specifically remember the unmasking scene making me scream and jump into my Pop Pop’s lap. The music mixed with the visuals truly make it such a classic scare and to this day, it’s one of my favorites.

What is your favorite horror movie?  Do you have a certain favorite time period of horror movies? Classic Universal Movies Monsters, 50’s horror, Hammer Horror Movies, Iconic Slasher’s of 70’s and 80’s, characters from modern horror?
My favorite horror movie is absolutely Thir13een Ghosts. The design of the house and ghosts pulled me in from the start and while it wasn’t the biggest hit, it always keeps me entertained and supplies the right amount of horror. My favorite time of horror is the period of the Classic Universal Monsters. I don’t think they get enough credit as being the monsters that trail blazed for what we see now. Their design was classic and memorable but also perfectly executed. There was no CGI, everything was practical and home made and made me believe that on a stormy night I could look out my window and see all of them walking over the hill towards my house. In terms of characters both classic and modern, I’d say the ones that stick with me the most is The Phantom of the Opera. The Phantom is such an underused character amongst the line up compared to Dracula or Frankenstein’s’ Creature but one of the most interesting visually and story wise. I could honestly go on forever but I won’t do that to you.

What made you get into the art of cosplaying (how old were you? Where did you first show off your cosplay? Do you design your own clothing? Do your own make up.  If not, who do you use to help with your clothing and designs?)
I love film and tv in general and I always found myself wanting to be in them. At this point I was around 14 and was fully aware of Comic Con; always looking at the articles of the best dressed cosplayers to walk the Javits Center and pictured myself making a grand cosplay that stole all the attention. My first cosplay ended up being Poison Ivy from the Batman: Arkham Asylum video game at NYCC as she was someone who I always adored and the design from the video game was badass. That being said, I painted my entire body green, stitched fake leaves to my bathing suit bottoms and stuck more leaves all over my body. A lot of people actually enjoyed it and I even got published to a big cosplay website at the time. Even though I wasn’t completely happy with it and knew that there could be improvements, from that point on I was hooked.
I always do my own makeup and hair. It’s just easier for me since I’ve been doing it for so long and I’m also just super meticulous about those little details. In terms of clothing, I usually source out cloth from JoAnn’s or outfits from Amazon that I can piece together with hot glue and sewing kits so they’re not always made by me from scratch.

Do you attend conventions?  If so which ones do you attend?  Are there any you recommend for someone who has never attended?  What advice would you give to someone who has never attended a convention as a cosplayer?
I do attend a few but mainly horror related conventions that include Monster Mania,
NJ Horror Con and Chiller. I’d love to be able to attend more shows across the US like Monsterpalooza all in good time but I definitely recommend Monster Mania to everyone and anyone. The people are always super receptive and kind if you need any help and the environment is super relaxed with the celebrities and cosplayers. My advice to a first time con-goer is to come prepared; anything can happen so bring glue, needle and thread or anything that you’d need to fix your cosplay. Also take PLENTY of breaks, don’t feel pressured to stay and take pictures even if you have a ton of people around you.

Do you have any original horror inspired cosplays?  Do you have plans to showcase future original cosplays?
I had one original cosplay that was inspired by the talented Father Evil as well as the ‘Long Hard Road Out of Hell’ music video by Marilyn Manson. I wanted something that made me feel powerful. Looking back, I think I needed more time to piece it together but I called her Deity the Devourer of Men. My most recent original cosplay and probably one of my favorites was a pinup version of The Bride of Frankenstein. She was so much fun to play with in terms of making a few changes to the original design and turning her into something more ‘modern’. Plus the added perk of winning ‘Sexiest’ at Monster Mania didn’t hurt either.

What advice would you give to a first time cosplayer?
Don’t conform to what people around you are doing. Who cares if something isn’t as well known as Freddy or Jason, do it if you love it. I’ve done plenty of cosplays that not many people know about but they still found them to be super cool. Also as a follow up, don’t feel the need to add sex appeal to something if it feels forced. I’ve seen many dress ‘sexy’ slasher where the girls can barely walk because the dresses or skirts are so skin tight or they keep having to pull their shirts down. Cosplay is about expressing yourself and feeling good doing it.

Who are some of your favorite cosplayers that you follow on social media or personally know?
I have quite a few but I’ll name my top 3. My absolute favorite must be Corinne Main or @cori_cosplayfreak on IG. My first experience with her where I formally introduced myself was when she cosplayed as Mary Shaw. She makes everything from scratch and turns out looks that I could never imagine in my wildest dreams plus she’s the absolute sweetest and always takes a compliment with grace and poise. Next would be my best friend Bobby Aimone or @killing_machine_cosplay93 on IG. There’s a lot of Jason cosplayers in the world but Bobby is absolutely one of if not THE best in my opinion.
He got me back into cosplay when I was in a rut and has always encouraged me ever since. He dedicates so much time and detail into every one of his looks from the holes in the hockey mask to a smattering of blood on his pants while also committing to the perfect body language that is Jason Voorhees. He of course does a badass Terminator and Michael Myers but his Jason Voorhees is a Monster Mania award winner for a reason. The final is my friend Jennifer Guldner or @nnifferfx on IG. She has some of the most creative ideas I’ve ever seen and I’m constantly in awe of how she creates her cosplays. Her Pyramid Head is to this day, one of my favorite cosplays I’ve ever seen and had the pleasure of seeing in person. She’s a genuine soul with an unmatched form of creativity.

Do you have any social media accounts for your cosplay that you would like to promote?
I do have a main one and that is my Instagram account under the handle @mummydahlia_ I usually post any and all cosplays or updates on a cosplay there.

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