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Confessions of a Cosplayer: Billy Jowski

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 other horror inspired cosplayers.
If you are a horror cosplayer or know someone who is a horror cosplayer and would like to be featured in a future 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 Friday the 13th movie?
My favorite memory was watching Friday the 13th Part 2 when it aired on paid cable (Showtime/HBO) in the early 80’s for the first time (I was about 12-13 years-old). My brother and I had stayed the night over at a mutual friend’s house and we, along with my friend’s older brother, were able to unlock the cable box by breaking into his dad’s room and stealing the key (since his dad worked nights). The four of us were all so spooked by the movie afterward that we slept in the living room in our sleeping bags.
A close runner-up to that memory came in 1984 when my brother and two high school friends of mine snuck into the movie theater to see Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter. The crowd was electric that night. Apart from the 2009 remake, it stands as the only “Friday” movie that I’ve seen in the movie theater.

What is your favorite Friday the 13th movie?
Friday the 13th Part 2 stands as my favorite “Friday” movie to date due mainly to “Sackhead Jason” and the talented cast of actors in that movie. Moreover the jump scares are phenomenal, the characters are worth caring about and the Final Girl (Amy Steel) is in a class of her own. (To be clear, while Friday the 13th Part 2 is my favorite “Friday” movie, I don’t think it’s the best. That title, in my opinion belongs to Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter).

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, hood, hockey mask etc.?  If not, who do you use to help with your costume?)
I’m a late bloomer as it relates to cosplaying. I started following the craft online at age 46-47. I created my first costume at 48 and cosplayed for the first time at 49 in New Jersey for the Grand Opening of the Friday the 13th Museum in Blairstown, NJ (the filming location for the original “Friday”).

How many versions of Jason costumes do you have?  Do you have plans to showcase more costumes?
I cosplay strictly as “Sackhead Jason” from Part 2 and therefore have only one version of the costume. I have also designed and created custom Sackhead costumes for paying customers via eBay and Etsy.

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 have yet to attend a convention but plan to do so in my region as my schedule permits. This is probably the thing I look forward to the most. My preference is to attend a conference with surviving members of the Part 2 cast if possible.

What advice would you give to a first-time cosplayer?
First, my advice for first-time cosplayers is to “hide behind the mask” so that you will lose your inhibitions and have fun with your character.  My favorite memory from my first cosplay (as I was nervous and feeling idiotic) was a grown man smiling ear-to-ear begging to have his picture taken with me. Next thing I knew as I let my inhibitions go, there was a line of eager fans behind him waiting their turn to take a picture with me). Secondly, I would advise first-time cosplayers to take the craft seriously and invest the necessary time, elbow grease, study and resources into their costume and character so as to transcend or go beyond a Halloween costume. The goal of any cosplayer should be to be as screen-accurate as possible.

Who are some of your favorite cosplayers that you follow on social media or personally know?
I do not personally know any cosplayers. That being said, I follow Cosplay Chris (Chris Stanley), Odin Makes (Odin Abbott), and Zonbi’s Workshp (Grace Herbert) by way of their respective YouTube Channels.

Do you have any social media accounts for your cosplay that you would like to promote?

I’m especially interested in growing my YouTube channel, as I just launched it a few months ago and it’s somewhat fledgling. I focus primarily on horror movie retrospectives in character as Sackhead Jason.
YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/c/sackheadjason
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/sackhead_jason/ 
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SackheadJason/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/SackheadJ
EMAIL: SackHeadJason@outlook.com

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