Meet Minnesota Cosplayers: Ansley Grams, Tim Fox, and MadelineKarita Fleming

If you’ve ever been to a Minnesota sci-fi, horror, or comic convention, you’ve doubtless noticed that there are quite a lot of cosplayers of all skill levels here in MN. “Meet Minnesota Cosplayers” introduces you to awesome Minnesotans and their awesome cosplay!

Previously: “Meet Minnesota Cosplayers: Mako Senpai, Alana Profit, Tre’ Da Marc, and Jonathan Palmer

Ansley Grams

Ansley in a field, dressed as Xena: Warrior Princess.

Ansley as Xena (Photo by Drayke Larson)

Hal Bichel (TCG): Why is cosplay important to you?

Ansley: I’ve been pretty obsessive about the concept of transformation since I can remember. Transformations involving humans into creatures or vice versa has always fascinated me—especially when the creatures retain some of their human elements post shift. I’m a huge psychological horror fan and the thing that always scares/interests me the most is when you are presented with something so grotesque, so disturbing but also so recognizable as human. Even if you don’t make the connection immediately, your subconscious does. And finding humanity in very dark places is scary in many ways. Costuming is important to me because I can play in that grey area. I can see what I can “transform” myself into—how many standards I can defy. My favorite part of costuming is looking at things that “shouldn’t” be and going “okay, that defies gravity/textile behavior/logic. How can I replicate that?”

I get caught on terminology. I think of myself as something in between a cosplayer and a costumer. I’m much interested in “being” a character or the costume-play element of it. I make costumes because I enjoy -making- them. I want my costumes to be as “screen accurate” as possible, because I love the challenge. That’s where my passion in this exists, seeing a character I love and trying to bring it to life in the most realistic way possible. Wearing the costume isn’t the fun part for me; attempting to make myself look like I crawled out of a television (or really, literally, crawling out of a television in my “Ring” costume) off the page.

When I am making costumes, I think a lot about proportions and colors, and how they would translate into real life. For example, one of my first costumes was Reno from Final Fantasy VII. He’s got this really obnoxious, super-spiked stylized fire engine red hair. I thought that would look cartoony on a real person. So I went with a brighter, but still natural auburn color.

If I could have a dream job, it would be costuming for film and or television because that sort of detail really matters in that medium.

TCG: Who are your inspirations?

Ansley: G-Chan. Really. I first found out that dressing up like characters was a “thing” in 2002 while browsing the internet at school, looking for pictures of some of my favorite characters. I found a site called cosplaylab.com and was absolutely memorized. I found G-Chan’s female-Seifer costume and never looked back.

Ansley Grams on stage in her Raziel costume

Ansley as Raziel from Soul Reaver

Cosplay is a safe place to play with gender and with humanity. I was a very, very, very thin girl and was too embarrassed to attempt any sort of female character. I was inspired by G-Chan pulling of a male costume and the normality that seemed to surround it. So my first several costumes were strictly creatures and/or thin, smaller male characters. I’m over that these days (having children helped), but if it hadn’t been for me seeing G-Chan’s crossplay, I don’t think I ever would have tried.

Ansley is head-to-toe light blue, with dark blue ornamentation and giant dreadlocks

Ansley as Shiva

TCG: What would you like to tell fellow Minnesotans about cosplay and the cosplay community?

Ansley: I wish the Minnesota cosplay community would understand that there are as many different reasons for cosplay as there are cosplayers. There seems to be a large and ugly rift between people who costume-play and people who make costumes. And being in the middle isn’t so fun. Costumers often think that cosplayers are silly and immature; costume-players often think that costumers are elitist snobs and bullies. We have this insanely massive collective of skills and resources. We should be sharing with each other, supporting, and encouraging each other. With so many people who have really strong skill sets, think of what we could accomplish, just by trading tips or offering some guidance. Who cares “why” we do what we do? In the end, we are all doing the same thing—dressing up like assholes, so let’s do it together.

TCG: At which local conventions can you usually be seen in costume?

Ansley: I’m always around CONvergence, and often in the CONvergence Masquerade. I don’t go around in costume too much because I’m often slinging popcorn in Cinema Rex. Maybe if you stop by and say hello, you can have your snacks served to you by a ghost.

Tim Fox

Tim stands stoic, dressed in a red, yellow, and black Robin costume.

Tim Fox as Robin

Tim, dressed in blue and white as captain cold, points a freeze gun off-camera.

Tim as Captain Cold

TCG: Why is cosplay important to you?

Tim: Cosplay has been a part of my life for as long as I remember. It’s been a thing that my father, my sister, and I have enjoyed as a family for pretty much ever.

TCG: Who are your inspirations?

Tim: Right now, my biggest inspiration right now has to be YouTuber Markiplier. He’s got so any positive things to uplift people, and I think he’s a great role model.

TCG: What would you like to tell fellow Minnesotans about cosplay and the cosplay community?

Tim: Having traveled a lot of the United States for conventions of all sorts, I think people should know that they should cosplay as whatever they want. If its obscure, overdone, or a character of your own making, just do it. People love seeing creativity and excitement about what you’re doing. Passion makes it.

TCG: At which local conventions can you usually be seen in costume?

Tim: I’d have to say either Marscon or Crypticon.

MadelineKarita Fleming

MadelineKarita has a Facebook profile and Instagram.

MadelineKarita, wearing red tape as a shirt, wearing black suspenders and black gloves

MadelineKarita in an outfit of her own creation

MadelineKarita, partially out of the shot, creeps as black cat

MadelineKarita as Black Cat

TCG: Why is cosplay important to you?

MadelineKarita: My love of cosplay is one of the reasons I became a professional actress, and made my dream come true of having a show on the Syfy Channel. It was my excuse to legitimize my love of dress up to my mother.

TCG: Who are your inspirations?

MadelineKarita: My inspirations are myself, Utena, Storm, Misty Knight, Devil May Cry, Resident Evil, and Black Cat.

TCG: What would you like to tell fellow Minnesotans about cosplay and the cosplay community?

MadelineKarita: What I want to tell my fellow cosplayers is to live out loud and let your freak flag fly free!

TCG: At which local conventions can you usually be seen in costume?

MadelineKarita: I just moved to Minneapolis from Los Angeles and Arizona this year, so I am excited about attending my first Minneapolis con soon.

Are you a Minnesota cosplayer who would like to be featured on Twin Cities Geek? Send an email to [email protected] with the subject, “Meet Minnesota Cosplayer [Your Name]!” All skill levels are welcome.

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