Hero Behind the Mask: Angry Mushroom Pixi Cosplay of The Free Cosplay Project

I am proud to announce my affiliation with this weeks feature!  The Free Cosplay Project is a fundraising effort that shows us we don’t have to be in costume to do something great!  If you like to make props or costumes and have been interested in getting involved in charity work than the Free Cosplay Project is something you should consider! Check out the interview below for details and how you can get involved!

If you are interested in more about the creator of this project make sure to check out her Facebook page, Deviant Art, and YouTube channel!  She loves to share how to make cosplay and props so check out the variety of videos she offers.  It also goes to show she knows how to make things, which means if you enter to win a prop you will be getting something amazing and worth the donation to see if you win the raffle!

Angry Mushroom Cosplay, thank you for letting me be involved in the launch of this great idea!   The only catch is this project will need YOUR involvement to reach its full potential!! So either donate to win a prize or join the group to have a fundraiser for an organization of your choosing  Either way we can show the world the amazing talent and heart of the cosplay community! –Mala 
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Name: Marie Turner AKA Angry Mushroom Pixi Cosplay of The Free Cosplay Project

Location: Seattle, WA

What is the Free Cosplay Project?
The Free Cosplay Project, or FCP, is a non-profit group that organizes and hosts charity raffles for cosplayers by cosplayers. It was created as a vehicle for cosplayers, prop makers, seamstresses, and crafting artists within the cosplay community to help promote their art and pool money for charitable causes at the same time. Each FCP Featured Artist will pick a charity they care about and have a raffle prize as an incentive for the community to donate to that charity.

If someone is interested in adding their own work to this project how can they do this?
There is a submission form for artists (of all kinds!) to enter on the Volunteer page of the website. Having new Featured Artists essential for us to keep the ball rolling. We are always thinking of new ways to involve artists as well, so definitely contact us with suggestions!

How did you determine the organization (cause) you are raising funds for?
We are picking all of our causes through Crowdrise.com. Crowdrise is amazing because the money donated goes directly to the charity and not through us. All the charities on their website have been IRS approved so you can feel confident donating. With their system it takes less than a minute to donate!

What are the benefits of using the fundraising platform you choose?
The Free Cosplay Project is great because its a flexible program that fills a niche in the CAUSEplay community. Each Featured Artist gets to find a charity that they feel passionate about, so there is always a new charity benefiting from the program with every raffle. Allowing artists to gain exposure and promote themselves to the public is a huge incentive for the artists as well. And the art is what creates the incentive for the public. Raffle giveaways have been really successful for aspiring independent prop makers and hey, who doesn’t like winning free stuff? Currently we are working on introducing the idea of gifts for every donor and not just a grand prize, but we are taking it one step at a time.

If someone wanted to donated to win a prop from you how much do they need to donate?
Crowdrise requires a minimum donation of $10. That is a 1 in 100 chance to win! That may seem high but really, what is $10 to you? 1 (and a half) expensive brand name latte? Or the costume of your dreams? Make it a priority to live a generous life and HELP ME SHOW THE WORLD WHO THE REAL HEROS OF COSPLAY ARE!!!

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What got you into CAUSEplaying?
Honestly it was a desperation. I was feeling disconnected from the community. It had been over 6 months since I was able to cosplay because I was going through career changes and things were really hectic. I was either not attending cons or working them, and cosplay meetups were either not being organized or being canceled. Almost like a personal cosplay dark-age! When I finally was able to come back to cosplay I had gained weight and was having a hard time feeling like I could be confident in my skin. I kept that depression to myself for a long time because I felt ashamed of even feeling that way. I know that the cosplay community is really body positive so I felt silly for even being so insecure. Ultimately my favorite thing about cosplay is the technical aspect so even if I didn’t dress up, I wanted to keep making things. But if it was going to be a costume I made, then I had to let SOMEONE wear it! That’s when I thought of The Free Cosplay Project. The idea was rather serendipitous because it was good for me to take the focus off myself and spend time in supportive role.

What keeps you CAUSEplaying?
Giving feels great. It allows a person to do something transcendent with their lives.

What was your first CAUSEplay event?
The first event for The Free Cosplay Project is live now. We are looking to have a different Featured Artist each month.

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What is your favorite costume to wear while CAUSEplaying, and Why?
Because the FCP is an online charity I haven’t gotten the chance to actually cosplay for charity! Pretty ironic.

What is your favorite cause to support?
Anything to do with solar energy, building self sustaining infrastructure in developing countries, or disease research. Hope for Vision is my first charity because they are a research focused charity aimed at curing degenerative retinal diseases. And I think we need greater funding in the sciences. BUT! I really think the way our society views blind people is wrong and limits their potential so I’m really eager to do a fundraiser in the future for World Access for the Blind, because they are an organization focuses on enabling blind people by teaching echolocation. http://www.worldaccessfortheblind.org/

Who inspires you?
I was incredibly inspired by Amanda Palmers “The Art of Asking” because it has a really beautiful view of life.

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Advice for CAUSEplaying:
I think I’d love everybody’s advice instead! I’m not sure if I’m qualified to give it quite yet. I’m still learning and I really wouldn’t be anywhere without the help of family and friends.

Do you prefer to be called a cosplayer or costumer?
Its interchangeable for me. I’m definitely a cosplayer, but I graduated with a degree in costume design.

What was your first costume/cosplay?
This GOD AWFUL Lina Inverse cosplay for 8th grade Halloween party. Its was a thrown together red t-shirt of red tights with scrap fabric, just awful! My first “actual cosplay” was a minor villain from One Piece called Miss Goldenweek.

What is your day job (a.k.a. how I pay for my expensive hobby)?
I work part time for my dad as a licensed Real Estate Agent. You could say I’m his assistant. When it’s slow in the winter I work odd jobs. Currently I work at a plastics manufacturing factory, so I go to work and cast plastic parts, and then come home and do it all over again. One is for an airplane, the other is for cosplay!

If you could have any job what would it be and why?
I honestly wouldn’t want to be an independent commissioner for prop fabrication. That seems so stressful! It’s hard to make run business that way, that’s why the FCP is great, because it supports those independent artists. I’d rather work for a studio making props, but that’s Hollywood, which is its own monster.

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Tell us something random about yourself: I love the show Good Eats!

Star Wars or Star Trek: Trek for sure!

Marvel or DC: *stuffs name brand candy bar in mouth to avoid question*

Favorite Comic Series: Tomb Raider

Favorite Comic Character:The Prince from Saga

Favorite Book: I read mostly non-fiction these days. I can’t really call myself a book nerd. Pass!

Favorite Video Game: Anything Naughty Dog or 2K or Valve.

Favorite Convention: PAX or ECCC!

Affiliations (clubs or groups): The Free Cosplay Project! 😉

Website: freecosplayproject.org

Affiliated websites: https://www.crowdrise.com

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Let me know how you are getting involved! I want to hear your stories!! And adventures!! Or tell me about a CAUSEplayer or a group you think are making a difference! Email AdventuresWithMala@gmail.com with your stories!

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