100th Blog!!! A thank you to my readers!

Oh, my word! This is my 100th blog!  What a milestone!

I want to thank those who have followed me on my journey to this point. Some of you are family and friends I have known for years. Your ongoing support throughout my life is greatly appreciated.  Some of you I have never met but you take the time out of your life to come visit my corner of the internet. Thank you! I know your time is valuable. Some of you have been kind enough to reach out to me to discuss some of my blog topics, submit your steampunk cosplays or CAUSEplay groups, or introduce yourselves. Thank you so much for the feedback and interactions. This is one of the reasons I have put so much effort into my blog and why I have kept going.

For those of you have followed me since the begging I especially want to thank you while I found my voice through this blog. It took nearly 100 blogs but I really feel as of late that I have found my voice. They say a blogger should find his/her voice in 10-20 blogs and it took me a lot longer because I have focused on interviews. So thank you! Thank you!

I want to thank those who took a chance with letting me interview them. Without your efforts in your community I wouldn’t have been inspired to get into cosplay/CAUSEplay myself. Without that one decision in my life this blog wouldn’t have ever been made.

I hope my words and ideas inspire you! Whether it be to start cosplaying or to take your cosplay experience to a whole new level. Or to look into how you can make a difference in your own community using your own hobbies in a positive way.

Thank you for growing with me this past year and half! I look forward to continue growing with you! Don’t be afraid to try something new and different! You never know where the journey will take you! And more importantly who you will meet on the way.

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Hero Behind the Mask: Erika Earl

I am please to share with you the first of the Heroes Behind the Mask series for 2016! Since I am also writing for Cosplayer Among Us Magazine this will only be a monthly release.

I am very excited to introduce you to Erika! She teamed up with the amazing and kind hearted owner of the Penalty Box in Salt Lake City to raise money for a cause near and dear to her own heart! They were very successful! Keep reading to find out just how successful her event was! Not only has she found time to raise money for a great cause but this cosplayer also works with Salt Lake Comic Con in additional to her other life obligations! She was kind enough to talk about all these busy things in her life!-Mala

 photo Fairy2_zpssz9fafe9.jpg
Name: Erika Earl

What got you into CAUSEplaying?
The people that I get to Causeplay with

What keeps you CAUSEplaying?
The events get better each time and it’s fun to see the progress.

What was your first CAUSEplay event?
It was a Make A Wish Dreamnight at the Hogle Zoo

What is your favorite costume to wear while CAUSEplaying, and Why? It depends, if it’s for children definitely my fairy.

Most memorable CAUSEplay moment(s) : All of the Causeplayers on the Carousel at the zoo together.

What is your favorite cause to support and what have you done for them? I personally fund raise for the National MS Society because I have MS and it is a cause that means a lot to me.

The silliest/strangest thing you have done for a cause?
I can’t really think of anything I consider silly. Everything is fun if you look at it the right way.

Who inspires you in life or cosplay?
All of the cosplayers I know inspire me in cosplay. In life I’m inspired by anyone who has the courage to be their true self.

Advice for CAUSEplaying: Don’t be afraid to beg.

What CAUSEplay events do you have coming up?
Nothing until next year that I know of but you never know what will happen.

You recently had a CAUSEplay event what is your event called? We change the name every year but it relates to MS and Cosplay

Why did you choose MS for this event?
I was diagnosed with MS over 12 years but because I don’t look sick it’s really hard to spread awareness. All of the money raised went to the national MS society 

Why did you choose to host this at the Penalty Box and how do you think this choice influenced your events success?
Bill Rowe is a good friend and Neff Michael’s fund raising enthusiasm is inspirational. There are no two people I would rather work with more for this event. (Note from Mala, Neff was previously interviewed for his own CAUSEPlay efforts so please check out that interview as well!)

 photo Capture_zpsx4wtqg60.jpg Please tell us the process to making this event happen.
This year was a little easier because it wasn’t the first time around. After getting in touch with Bill and Neff and getting the okay to have the event at the penalty box I rounded up raffle donations, I had help from friends and Geek Hangout Utah on that. Salt Lake Comic Con created the flyer that I both posted and passed out and from there it was pretty easy.

What would you say was unique about your event ?
We try to incorporate as much orange for MS as possible. This year we had orange mardi gras beads and orange glow sticks. Most of the pictures had some form of orange.

How much did you raise for MS in total?
We raised $1701.00 in two nights.

Do you see yourself doing something like this again?
I do, next year we will be back.

If someone is interested in creating an event like yours what advice do you have?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t be afraid to get told no and keep going.

You mentioned that you also volunteer for Salt Lake Comic Con, tell us what you do for them? What is it like?
I am the Director of volunteers for Salt Lake Comic Con, It is the most amazing job I have ever had. I thrive on chaos and love the event so much.

How important are volunteers for conventions from your perspective? The volunteers are incredibly important for the event. With such a large group of volunteers you would probably be surprised at haw hard each one of them works.

Salt Lake Comic Con seems to have a heavy focus on cosplay, how do you think that has shaped the Utah cosplay community?
It has made everyone feel welcome and as if they have a place in the event.

Do you prefer to be called a cosplayer or costumer? Cosplayer

What was your first costume/cosplay? A Zombie

What is your dream cosplay?
There are a lot of them but a Mandalorian is pretty high on the list

How do you feel you have influenced the cosplay community?
I hope I’ve convinced new people to join the community.

What is your day job (a.k.a. how I pay for my expensive hobby)?
I’m an executive secretary at a cancer hospital and I am the director of volunteers for Salt Lake Comic Con

If you could have any job what would it be and why?
I like the jobs I have [Symbol]

Tell us something random about yourself: I have more pets than any one person should probably have and I love them all.

Star Wars or Star Trek: Star Wars

Marvel or DC: DC

Favorite Comic Series: Batman

Favorite Comic Character: The Joker

Least favorite comic character and why? Superman, he just annoys me

Favorite Book: Coraline or the Graveyard Book

Favorite Video Game: Plants versus Zombies (any of them)

Favorite Convention: Salt Lake Comic Con

Facebook: Erika’s adventures in Cosplay

Monster High: Boo York, Boo York (2015)

500x500Monster High: Boo York, Boo York (2015)

Genre: Animation, Family, Monster High, Musical

Rated: Not rated

This is the first Monster High musical and to be honest my least favorite story to date. With it focusing on this worlds equivalency of New York and that this is a musical I was very excited about the idea but it felt too rushed compared to the most recent movies that were released. There was a lot going on throughout the entire movie with all the characters. For example within the first 6 minutes of the movie we learn about pop sensation Catty Noir‘s disappearance for the music scene and her unhappiness that she doesn’t get to write songs she identifies with, Cleo de Nile‘s family involvement with Boo York, a space commit nearing the planet, and Deuce Gorgon‘s feeling of inadequacy around Cleo’s family and this 6 minutes includes opening credits and two songs from Catty. This is a lot of information to process!

I will say I love the message from Catty’s character to be true to yourself and find your own story/song to express yourself. That you can lose yourself to fame, power, and money if you aren’t careful. I also love the subtext that art is a way to express yourself . My hope is that this movie will inspire kids peruse any form of art as a hobby to learn about themselves and express themselves. This idea is also told through the new character Seth Ptolemy.

The music is extra poppy, something younger kids may appreciate and something I can appreciate in small doses but not in the extent played in this movie. I have included a YouTube video below of the top 5 songs from this movie so you can get a feel for the music. Keep in mind this is just a portion of the songs from the movie.

Another reason this may not have been one of my favorites is that Cleo is the only character I cannot personal identify with. She embodies everything that I despised in high school and in the popular crowd. However, she does grow a lot throughout this movie. Cloe’s sister Nefera does not want to marry the boring Prince of Boo York Seth Ptolemy so she sets out to break up Deuce and Cleo freeing herself from the obligation and planning on raking in the benefits of the union with the powerful Ptolemy family. I love that we got to know more about Deuce thorough this story as well. He has more depth than originally shown. The male characters in this show do not get enough attention or story sadly.

Side note, I recall one Halloween I made a little boys day because I actually knew he was Deuce from this show and not Medusa like everyone else passing out candy. Non-parent win for me!

The highlight of this movie for me was the sub story of Ghoulia Yelps and Abbey Bominable trying to save the world from the commit. The best part is that the other monsters at Monster High think it is a new video game! I love it! As always Ghoulia saves the day but I won’t tell you how! 😉

I recommend watching through the credits for the short clip added, especially if you are a fan of Ever After High. The fairy tale equivalence to Monster High.

dolls

Some of the new dolls from this movie.

New Characters: Luna Mothews daughter of the Moth, Elle Eedee daughter of the Robots, Mouscedes King daughter of the Rat King, Astranova daughter of the Alien , and Seth Ptolemy son of the Mummy.

Fun verbiage from this move: scaretige, Unnatural Museum of History, and Bloodway (aka Broadway).

Duration: 71 minutes

Mala’s Rating: 2 out 5

IMDB: 6.5 out of 10 as of 4/2016

Amazon: 4.7 out of 5 stars as of 4/2016, available for purchase or rent

Netflix: Available at the time of review

Here is the one song that I really enjoyed in this whole movie:

Check out the other blogs on Monster High and see were they rank on my list!

Animaniacs Volume 1:E11-35 Highlights (1993-94)

For an overview of Animaniacs and my highlights from other sections of the series click here. And a complete list of Episodes can be seen here in case I don’t highlight you favorite episode and you want to track it down to watch.

Many of the highlights show the intelligence of the writers for this show!

V1:E12 West Side Pigeons. This episode is a clever twist on the stage musical West Side Story focusing on the Goodfeather pigeons. West Side Story is a Romero and Juliet style gang story fighting over territory. The territory in they fight over is a statue of Scorsese’s Head! Here is just a clip of the clever writing that shortened a full length musical into just a few minutes honoring the dance and music iconic to this musical.

V1:E14 Cat On A Hot Steel Beam. This is a classic Mindy and Buttons episode! Mindy follows a kitten into a construction site and faithful Buttons does what he can to keep her safe! As always chaos ensues!

V1:E15 Battle For The Planet. I think this is my all time favorite Pinky and the Brain episode. It focuses on HG Wells War of the Worlds radio broadcast in 1938 that was so real people actually thought the world was being invaded. Brain decided to recreate this with modern technology!

V1:E16 The Great Wakkorotti: The Master And His Music” . Cause burping classical music is super classy! And so Wakko!

V1:E17 Good idea. Bad idea. This is the first appearance of this great little feature. These always make me smile with the level of ridiculousness that fits this entire series. For a complete list of these click here. For a compilation of these shorts click here.

V1:E18 Chicken Boo-Ryshnikov. The introduction of Chicken Boo! He is a chicken who dresses like a man. Need I say more! In this episode boo dresses like male dancer and preforms in Swan Lake.

V1:E19 Meatballs Or Consequences. Anything involving Death is a win to me!  The Warners challenge Death to a game to keep Wakko with them.

V1:E20 The Boids. This is a behind the scenes take of Alfred Hitchcock’s the Birds! As a horror fan I love this episode. Our favorite Goodfeather friends are the stunt doubles for the birds in this filming.

V1:E28 The Good, The Boo And The Ugly. Boo Cicken appears again in a western themed episode to save the town from a bully.

V1:E32 Astro-Buttons. This is another Mindy and Buttons episode in space! The references to sci-fi icons are great in this episode!

V1:E34 Bubba Bo Bob Brain. Pinky and the Brain try to take over the world with subliminal messaging through country music! There is one issue, Brain is too short. So he has to make himself stilts.

V1:E35 Very Special Opening / In The Garden of Mindy / No Place Like Homeless / Katie Ka-Boo / Baghdad Cafe. This entire episode is great! Characters get mixed up with other characters! Brain takes the place of Buttons keeping Mindy out of trouble. One of the Goodfeathers takes Rita’s place on another adventure to find a home.

Stay tuned for the next list of highlights Vol 1 Episode 36-65 highlights!