Hero Behind the Mask: Missa Zane

I have known Missa Zane for less than a year and in that short time she has shown the passion and love needed for CAUSEplay!   A great example of why many people fall in love with CAUSEplay.  This fall I had the amazing opportunity to be on a panel with her at Seattle’s GeekGirlCon 2014 discussing CAUSEplay.  Her insight and passion added to the panel and discussion.  She has some great costumes in progress so check out her Facebook!  I adore this lady and look forward to her adventures! – Mala

 photo 10644665_1483695995249204_4186502138182684791_o_zps8ae3c891.jpg

Name: Missa Zane

Location: Salt Lake City, UT

What got you into CAUSEplaying?
I met Batman (James C. Carlson) at a DC Comics themed photoshoot at Anime Banzai a couple of years back. He told me about H.E.R.O.I.C. Inc. and their mission to use cosplay to support charitable events and causes. He eventually offered to nominate me. I was honored but also thrilled to be able to use my cosplays for a good cause.

What keeps you CAUSEplaying?
The kids I meet at events are my biggest motivation to continue CAUSEplaying. Seeing their faces light up just makes my day ^_^. I see the direct impact my actions/presence has on the kids. An added bonus is that I know my presence at charitable events or my help with spreading the word about charities has an indirect benefit for the recipients of the charities. Sometimes the novelty of having cosplayers at an event will draw bigger crowds and news coverage that can help to raise funds (or other donations) for the cause we are championing.

What was your first CAUSEplay event?
My first CAUSEplay event was at Free Comic Book Day. Though, at first glance, this may not seem like a CAUSEplay event, it allows everyone an opportunity to get access to comics for free. Some of the kids that come have never read a comic and this could be their first introduction to reading for FUN. Comic books can be a great tool for helping slow or reluctant readers find a passion for reading.

 photo 10603320_1483685378583599_8922753087774320077_n_zps1e548f1e.jpg

What is your favorite costume to wear while CAUSEplaying, and Why?
My favorite cosplay to wear is my Catwoman. This is my absolute favorite because I was an avid reader of Catwoman back when Jim Balent was the artist. I was always drawn to them and loved the art and story. Catwoman is strong, smart, and independent, despite (or perhaps as a result of) her childhood. Though she may seem like a villain at first glance, upon closer inspection one can see that she lives by her own code of justice. Her definition of good/evil acknowledges the reality that we live in a world filled with gray.

Most memorable CAUSEplay moment:
Fantasy Con invited us to go to the Shriners hospital to visit the kids. We were invited to come up to visit a kid (a HUGE batman fan) that could not come down to see us. He was recovering from surgery and still slightly sedated, but we could see how happy he was that we were there.

What is your favorite cause to support?
My favorite cause to support is Toys for Tots. I was a recipient before, so this has a special place in my heart.

 photo 10644162_1505566139728856_1810808544855839349_o_zps02b9aa22.jpg

The silliest/strangest thing you have done for a cause?
The ALS Ice Bucket challenge while in cosplay. 

Who inspires you?
So many! Everyone in H.E.R.O.I.C. Inc. has been a great inspiration to me, but if I had to call out one person I’d have to say Eric Allen Hall. He’s so supportive, friendly, flexible, and easy-going.  He’s always willing to go the extra miles for a charity or friend and he always seems to have at least two costumes in his trunk “just in case”.

Advice for CAUSEplaying:
First, remember why you are CAUSEplaying. This is NOT a competition sport. One could easily get caught up in the process (having the best cosplay, networking, etc.) and lose sight of the goal. My goal is to make the kids happy and to help the organizations raise donations to support the various causes.
My second bit of advice is not to get involved in drama (it happens anytime you get more than 1 person together for an extended period of time). The best way to deal with this is to, again, focus on the goal not the process. Does it matter if I don’t get along with or disagree with another CAUSEplayer? No, because I’m there for the CAUSE, any friends I make along the way are just an added bonus ^_^ I’ve found that most CAUSEplayers can get past their differences if they keep the goal in mind.

What CAUSEplay events do you have coming up?
The Utah Kids Club WinterPalooza on January 24th and the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Walk on March 24th.

Do you prefer to be called a cosplayer or costumer?
I prefer cosplayer. To me, that means I don’t just wear the costume, but I try my best to know the character so I could “play” them.

What was your first costume/cosplay?
My first costume was Wonderwoman when I was 5, one of those dresses with the plastic masks
My first cosplay was Yin from the anime Darker than Black.

What is your day job (a.k.a. how I pay for my expensive hobby)?
I am a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

If you could have any job what would it be and why?
I want to be a housecat. Seriously, I’ve put a lot of thought into this and would like to be reincarnated as such. I want to sleep, play, and snuggle all day (on my own terms, of course).

 photo ShrinersScottSommerdorf20140626_zps395b6ca0.jpg

Tell us something random about yourself: My idea of a good day is one in which I don’t need to set an alarm (see above).

Star Wars or Star Trek: Star Wars. My dad was a big scifi fan, so I was exposed to both but I always liked Star Wars better.

Marvel or DC: DC

Favorite Comic Series: Catwoman

Favorite Comic Character: Catwoman (broken record?..)

Favorite Book: I…I… there are so many T_T…. I guess I would have to say The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Favorite Video Game: It was Final Fantasy 7 (US), but this was recently replaced by The Last of Us.

Favorite Convention: A-Kon in Dallas, Texas

Affiliations (clubs or groups): H.E.R.O.I.C. Inc

Facebook: Facebook.com/missazane

Twitter: @MissaZane42

Instagram: MissaZane42

—————————–

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!

Advertisements

The Hero Behind the Mask: Harley’s Vintage Kisses

I want to introduce you to a personal friend and an inspiration for CAUSEplay. This little vixen is obsessed with detail and accuracy, which pushes her to make amazing costumes and learn new things.  She isn’t afraid to share her knowledge, posting tips and WIPs on her Facebook page!   So, make sure to follow her to see what new tips she has or what she is working on.  She also has a huge heart for such a tiny gal, always going the extra mile to make sure the kids are smiling at charity events!  Love your face and can’t wait to see all your new adventures!!!  –Mala

 photo EdwardElaison2_zps671cf8b2.jpg

Name: Harley’s Vintage Kisses

Location: Salt Lake City, UT

What got you into CAUSEplaying? 
I was invited by HEROIC Inc when I appeared in my Harley Quinn costume for the opening night of Dark Knight Rises

What keeps you CAUSEplaying?
There is nothing, I mean NOTHING like the feeling you get when you see a disabled or special needs child meet their favorite super hero.

What was your first CAUSEplay event?
It was a community event at the local library themed, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. They had police, fireman, truck drivers, and all sorts of different careers children might be interested in, including super heroes.

What is your favorite costume to wear while CAUSEplaying, and Why?  That’s a double sided question, lol! I like to wear Harley Quinn because I get to be giddy and silly, same with my Gir (from Invader Zim) mascot costume, but they are not the most comfortable. Harley Quinn started out as a 2 hour makeup ordeal. Now I have it down to about one hour, depending on the method and product I use that day. Gir requires zero prep, but I need assistance getting in and out of the costume and need a dedicated handler, or spotter, while in costume. Wearing Gir is like wearing a portable Sauna. I truly like wearing Black Canary for comfort reasons, but she isn’t nearly as popular with kids as Harley and Gir.

Most memorable CAUSEplay moment :
I get just ONE?? There were a couple events I was wearing my Gir costume and I had little girls take a huge liking to me. One event the little girl didn’t know what I was, and when my spotter informed her I was a dog the toddler kept finding sticks around the park and bringing them to me. At various times she would just come out of nowhere and give me a huge hug. It was SO adorable. Similar things have happened where I get a little girl around 3-6 want to just keep dancing with me (yes, I dance as Gir). Other times I’d let them scratch Gir behind the ear and tap my foot with excitement when they did. This would be followed by a gale of laughter form the little ones and they’d keep coming back to dance, give me hugs, and scratch my ears, haha! The funny thing with my Gir costume is the visibility is so limited for me inside the costume half the time I don’t even realize someone is posing next to me for a photo, let alone what they look like, so later on I see pictures of myself or get comments as I make new friends “YOU’RE GIR!! OMG! MY KIDS LOVED YOU!!”

 photo Make-A-Wish-Duckie-Derby_zps284a1e8d.jpg

Make-A-Wish-Duckie-Derby as Gir

What is your favorite cause to support?
I’m honestly not sure I can pick a favorite. I’ve really enjoyed supporting the down syndrome walks, MDA events, and anti-bullying.

 photo Anti-BullyFair8_zps9b213cf6.jpg

Anti-bullying Fair as Harley Quinn

The silliest/strangest thing you have done for a cause?
It’s no holds barred when I embody a character for these kids. Harley Quinn flails a chicken or rubber mallet about while encouraging kids to come dance with her. I’ve done hula-hooping, cartwheels, line dances, and obstacle courses while wearing Harley Quinn. After 4 hours of literally dancing, skipping, and running I am one tired lady.

Who inspires you?
My friends inspire me the most. Most my friends are involved in costumed charity work and their big hearts continuously instill my faith in humanity.

Advice for CAUSEplaying:
Remember you are there for the children. They should always come first. Second, WEAR COMFY SHOES!

What CAUSEplay events do you have coming up?
The Purple Dash a 5K for Epilepsy Awareness

Do you prefer to be called a cosplayer or costumer?
It depends on if I am costuming or cosplaying. 😉 Honestly, I genuinely embrace the character and act in addition to dressing up, so I’m okay with either term.

 photo walkwithangels20148_zps1a17967e.jpg

Walk With Angels as Black Canary

What was your first costume/cosplay?
I was probably 13 when I dressed up as Princess Leia in the white robes from A New Hope. I spent lots of time studying her costume and looking in to the details, like how glossy her lips were. I also put an Ewok costume together for my younger sister. Then in High School my cousin made a Sailor Mercury costume for me. The first costume I had made (by the same cousin) as an adult was classic Harley Quinn in 2008. I wore it to the Chicago Comic Con.

What is your day job (a.k.a. how I pay for my expensive hobby)?
I’m an account manager for one of the waste/garbage companies. Yeah….not nearly as awesome as being a billionaire by day and vigilante by night.

If you could have any job what would it be and why?
A professional super hero for kids in need. But that would defeat half the purpose, since it would no longer be charity/volunteer work, but rather a job. I can’t imagine anything better than bringing smiles to children’s faces all day. Too bad the Disney Princess market is so competitive. Since those are not likely, I think being a voice actress would be superb! Think about it; it’s okay if you don’t look like a super model, or have fancy clothes, or even if you smell funny! You just come in your sweats, have a seat in a little box, and talk to yourself in various voices all day.

Tell us something random about yourself:
I eat souls to sustain the lustrous shine in my hair.

Star Wars or Star Trek:Star Trek for the sake of humanity, lessons, and warm fuzzy feelings. I always liked Star Wars, but there wasn’t enough for me to love. Star Trek has endless seasons and tons of movies! Star Wars wins the bad ass costumes contest and action side of things, though.

 photo walkwithangels20145_zps70e5c3e1.jpg

Never a dual moment with Harley’s Vintage Kisses!

Marvel or DC: DC! I relate to more of their characters. Favorite Comic Series:Sailor Moon, actually. My 13 year old self fell in LOVE with the TV series and opened the gates to comics and anime. Batman would be second, cliché, I know.

Favorite Comic Character: Harley Quinn (Original classic derived from the 1990’s animated series, NOT the newer versions!)

Favorite Book: Wheel of Time series

Favorite Video Game: Skyrim

Favorite Convention: Otakon and SLC Comic Con

Affiliations (clubs or groups): HEROIC Inc, Dolls & Gents (Vintage/Pinup Charity Group). Huge fan of the Mandolorian Mercs.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HarleysVintageKisses

Additional awesome to share:
Here is a link to article on Fox13 News about the Down Syndrome walk. I’m on the featured photo for the article with two freaking adorable girls I helped through the obstacle course.
http://fox13now.com/2014/09/20/heroes-the-theme-of-fundraiser-for-down-syndrome-foundation/

———————————————–

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.