This week’s Hero Behind the Mask features someone I have known for a long time and I owe much to, Ori Cabur. Because of this individual the Utah CAUSEplay community has blossomed with many different types of clubs all aiming to make a difference, some of which I have participated with and found my passion through. He has made the Mandalorian Mercs of Utah grow and succeed to raise money for various charities and put smiles on faces.
Thank you for getting people together to make something great! Thank you for inspiring so many people to give back to the community and make a differences in others lives. You have and will continue to bring out the best in people. Ori, I can’t wait to see what you accomplish and inspire others to do next. Thank you for everything. –Mala
Name: Neff AKA Ori
Location: SL, UT
What got you into CAUSEplaying?
Truthfully, I really wanted to have a Boba Fett helmet on the wall. And I thought that I could make one myself. I signed up with a costume club online and as I spent time on the site, discussing costuming with the other members of the forum, I began to really get interested in the prospect of costuming for a cause. So down the rabbit hole I went 😉 I began to hand design and craft a Star Wars Bounty Hunter costume. Once that was completed (it’s been a work in progress ever since) I started looking into my local community for events that either financially helped or directly helped charitable organizations or people in need. I’ve been hooked ever since.
What keeps you CAUSEplaying?
The different people from the various walks of life, that get into this little hobby of ours, are what keeps me coming back. I have the good fortune to be a part of a community that just keeps giving 😉
And I’ve had the pleasure to be able to help, and keep helping, those around me that could use a little support.
What was your first CAUSEplay event?
It was a Walk for MS. I had never really been in costume at an event of any kind prior to this.
I was beside myself with a smile from ear to ear. I really enjoyed interacting with the kids and families that attended the event.
A mother of a child with MS approached me during the event and thanked me for coming to the event and helping to make the event fun for the younger generation.
What is your favorite costume to wear while CAUSEplaying, and Why?
Well, I really only have one costume. But that doesn’t stop it from being my favorite.
I am a proud member of Krayt Clan, which is the Utah Chapter of the Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club.
I costume as Ori Cabur, a custom Star Wars character based on the famous Bounty Hunter, Boba Fett
Most memorable CAUSEplay moment :
I will remember it as long as I live. I was at a fundraiser for Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. And there was a little child that was deaf, she attempted to communicate with me through sign language, and I don’t know the language. And it is rather hard for a deaf person to lip read when you are in a helmet that they can’t see through. But she approached me and pointed to the floor, so I knelt down so that we were almost eye to eye. She then started to feel my helmet with her hands, and as she did, she began to grin, and then to smile. She was so excited by the bounty hunter helmet. She then pointed at my blaster, and motioned for her to hold it. I then offered it to her, and she got so excited that she was bouncing with a really big smile. She then took the blaster and turned her back to me, and was standing between me and Darth Vader (who had walked up behind her) and pointed the blaster right at Vader.
Then much to her surprise, the fearsome Dark Lord of the Sith put his hands up and then started to slowly back away.
The little girl then turned back to me with a smirk on her face that said “ I just scared Darth Vader away”.
I later was able to communicate with the little girl’s mother, who informed me that she came running to her and told her about how she protected a brave bounty hunter from the evil Darth Vader.
It is moments like this, that make me very glad that I wear a helmet that hides my face, I’d hate for people to confuse my allergies with tears 😉
What is your favorite cause to support?
My absolute favorite Cause is the Make~A~Wish foundation. Too many amazing moments to count.
The silliest/strangest thing you have done for a cause?
Well, for the most part, Dancing in armor tends to get the crowd excited.
Who inspires you?
This question brings a lot of people to mind…. But I will simply say that each and every time that I get out to these great events, I am constantly impressed and inspired by all the amazing people that I get to CAUSEplay with. I work with several different Costume Clubs, and several different individuals in the Cosplay Community, and they are truly some of the most amazing people I have ever met, and I am proud to call these people my friends.
Advice for CAUSEplaying:
The bottom line, is that it has to have meaning.
The character that you decide to portray, and the causes that you decide to support, they both have to mean something to YOU. It can really cheapen the experience if you are just simply wearing a costume, or just going out to all the events. But if you really invest yourself in the character, really bring that character to life…. And if you really do support the cause… then it can be some of the most amazing experiences of your life. And if you really put yourself out there, then the people that the event is for, will see, that you are there for them, that you really do care for the cause that they are fighting for.
What CAUSEplay events do you have coming up? .
The Annual Toys for Tots drive with Hastur Games and Comics
November 22nd 2014 from 11am – 6pm
Do you prefer to be called a cosplayer or costumer?
Either works for me. No preference
What was your first costume/cosplay?
Technically it was a Pirate. Just a run of the mill pirate.
What is your day job (a.k.a. how I pay for my expensive hobby)?
I am a Grease Monkey 😉 I am a service Tech for Commercial and Industrial Equipment.
If you could have any job what would it be and why?
I would love to be able to pay my bills by doing Cosplay and CAUSEplay…. But I’m pretty sure that is a pipe dream. But what I would really love to do is to do special effects and set design.
What is Cosplay Night at the Penalty box all about?
So, Cosplay Night at the Penalty Box started due to a friend of mine (Bill Rowe) that had just purchased and renovated a Bar in Murray Utah. He approached me and mentioned that he had been following my Cosplay adventures with my friends, and he really wanted to get involved. He asked me what it would take to get Cosplayers to come down and hang out at his great new bar. I told him that I would see what I could come up with.
I then started asking around to see if the local costuming community would be interested in having a designated night down at the bar to have fun and showcase their latest and greatest costumes. The response that I received from everyone was very positive. So we had a great first gathering of costumes.
But during that first event, it donned on us that we could really take it a step further. Since we all really enjoy CAUSEplay events, we decided to turn Cosplay Night into a charity driven event.
Cosplay Night is held on the second Friday of every month, and there is a $5 cover charge that goes 100% to the charity, and then the Bar donates 10% of their income that night to the charity as well.
The other added bonus is that Cosplay Night is designed and meant for EVERY COSTUMER of all experience levels. It is a “Sanctuary” from Costume Clubs. We ask that all attendees leave there Costume Club at the door, along with any hard feelings about costume clubs.
And so far, it has really been a fun success.
The Penalty Box is a wonderful place, located at 3 West 4800 South, Murray Utah
What is the ultimate goal for Coplsay Night?
Fun, Cool Costumes, and Fundraising for a great cause.
When is Cosplay Night?
Second Friday night of EVERY month
What inspired you to create this?
SOOOOOO many awesome people in the costuming community, We really needed a friendly event where everyone can let their hair down. And as we joke “ Accidentally” raise money for a great cause.
How hard was it to arrange this?
It has been a work in progress, we really have been relying on word of mouth to let all the people in the costuming community know that it is a fun way to hang out and showcase your favorite costumes.
If someone wanted to create something like this in their area what would you recommend?
First off, I would recommend that you find an establishment that would be willing to host it. But that establishment would also have to go into it, knowing that it isn’t about having a million people show up and make them rich. So, a smaller “dive” kind of place would be best.
But then you need to have the support of fun non-judgmental people to really get it off the ground.
It really depends on costumers setting aside differences, and egos to make it successful.
It’s about fun, and charity.
Tell us something random about yourself:
I can’t stand Sponge Bob 😉
Star Wars or Star Trek:
….. STAR WARS!!!!!!
Actually I really rather love them both
Marvel or DC:
Marvel for life
Favorite Comic Series:
Too many, but I really loved the Old Man Logan Story
Favorite Comic Character:
… as in the ones without pictures…. ?
Favorite Video Game:
Force Unleased and Bubble Bobble
Phoenix Comic Con, but Salt Lake Comic Con is definitely a close second
Affiliations (clubs or groups):
Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club, ORB
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! If sending info on an individual person please let them know you have done so, to reduce the creep factor of a stranger contacting them for a potential interview.