An interview with avid gamer, streamer and cosplayer, Lindsay Elyse
Sat 3rd May 2014 - 9:12pm
All of us have one thing in common; we love video games. Some of us even take their passion outside of the house and decide to cosplay their favorite gaming character in real life at conventions. To find out more about the cosplay world, we sat down with the very passionate cosplayer and gamer, Lindsay Elyse.
Lindsay has been cosplaying for many years and is now becoming one of the most known gaming cosplayers with over 140k followers on her Facebook page and rising. She cosplays characters going from Tron to League of Legends Poros while she is also an avid gamer and streamer. Let's get right into the interview!
Images courtesy of Adam Patrick Murray
Gamer since: 1995
Cosplayer since: 2005
Origin: Czechoslovakian and Scottish
Height: 5'9" (175cm)
Hey Lindsay, thanks for making some time for us. Most people know you for your cosplays but you are also a big gamer like us, can you tell us something about how you got into video games and what games/console you started out with?
Lindsay: My grandpa starting my gaming addiction! He had a NES and my brother and I spent most of our time at his house playing it. He also gave me my first Gameboy, Gameboy color, Gameboy advance AND Gameboy SP. My first love was the NES! Konami's Life Force and the Super Mario games were my favorite! I even had a Game Genie, the super old version of a Game Shark, and thought it was the funniest thing to be able to put the 'Moonwalk' cheat on in the Mario games and just fly through the whole level.
As far as for the Gameboys, Pokemon hands down. I've played every one more times than I can count, and I can beat the Elite Four from every game with my eyes closed. My dad was a big gamer too, and since my brother would have rather fixed cars or gone BMX biking, I was his Player 2. I spent a ton of time watching him play stuff too, like Duke Nukem and Tomb Raider on our PC. It was definitely a family thing that I just fell in love with and kept going!
Image courtesy of Adam Patrick Murray
And at what point did you decide to get into cosplaying? Can you tell us about your first event and the cosplay you were wearing?
Lindsay: I was in 7th grade or so? I was HUGELY into anime at the time, and games still of course, and back then it was super uncool. I didn't have a lot of friends and spent most of my time online with people that understood me (LOL).
So my mom found this flyer for something called an 'anime convention' and offered to take me to get me out of the house. The flyer mentioned something called 'cosplay' and even had a contest for the best costume. I didn't know how to sew, so my mom made my first three costumes for me! Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist, Riku from Kingdom Hearts 2's Deep Dive Trailer (The blindfolded, dual wielding keyblade one), and Rikku from Final Fantasy X.
I remember sitting in the car dressed like Edward complaining to my mom that 'What if no one else is dressed up and I look weird?', 'Well maybe I can just take off the red coat, because then it's just a black shirt and pants and it won't be weird', 'I don't know anyone here!'. Then a group of people walked by with blue hair or something and she just looked at me. Then we got out of the car and went to the convention. HA! It was a lot of fun, and super nice of my mom to do the whole 3-day convention with me. She went to my next two or three too until I found a group of friends to start to hang out with. I love those guys to death and I still keep in contact with them.
Did your passion for gaming influence your choice to become a cosplayer?
Lindsay: Definitely! Since the majority of my cosplays then, and now, are characters from video games! I always wanted to be in a video game, and I think I sort of felt like if I dressed up like the character I would magically appear in the game. I don't know. Haha
Besides cosplaying and gaming, what do you like doing most in real life?
Lindsay: ...There are other things besides gaming and cosplaying!? WHAT. Haha really that's about all I do. I'm an Irish dancer when I find the time though, and I've competed for the last 5 or 6 years! I'm Championship ranked and it definitely keeps me in shape! But mostly... I play video games and make costumes. And travel! I go to Disneyland pretty often.
You are also a model, was it because of your cosplay success that you went into modelling or was it the other way around, cosplay being a branch of your modelling work?
Lindsay: They sort of helped each other out! I started cosplaying first, that was about 7th grade. I did that purely for fun, my only pictures being whatever my friends took with their digital cameras. The summer between 8th grade and high school, I signed on with Elizabeth Savage talent agency and did some modeling stuff. It never really caught on, mostly because I was busy. I continued to cosplay, and as it started to get bigger, I had photographers asking to shoot me in my costumes! So I took what I learned in modeling and applied it to the shoots.
Now, I jump back and forth between fashion stuff and cosplay! They definitely helped each other out, with both confidence and learning how to act in front of the camera. So I guess they both started seperately, then merged into each other! Works out great for me!
Photo courtesy of Adam Patrick Murray
I’m sure that we have plenty of aspiring cosplayers in our fanbase as we’re all fans of games and anime, can you give some advice to those fans how to get noticed as a cosplayer?
Lindsay: Don't cosplay to get noticed. If that's your only reason for doing it, you're going to hate it. I've been cosplaying for 10 years! It doesn't happen over night! Sure, getting noticed is nice and definitely gives you the boost to keep going and all that, but if you're only in it for the fans, it'll destroy you. People aren't nice, and the internet is a nightmare. Do it because you LOVE IT! The rest will fall into place!
We noticed that you sometimes cosplay together with Jessica Nigri, a friend of our team. How did you two meet and decide to attend conventions together?
Lindsay: Oh man, it was like 2009 maybe? I met her through a mutual friend! We attended the same conventions in Arizona and started to hang out! Over the years she's become one of my best friends and greatest mentors! I wouldn't be where I am without her. I've gotten SO MUCH BETTER at sewing and painting and armor work and all that in the last few years, and it's all because of her.
When I make a costume I'll usually send her a picture or have her look at it so she can critique it. Something that looks good to me might not look good to her, and it's always good to have that second opinion. She's great about it too, she'll tell me something should be done differently and I'll get upset. Like, I just made that thing, I don't want to do it again. Then she'll be like hey, you want to do it right or not? So she definitely pushes me! I owe her a lot and love her to death.
You cosplay a wide range of characters, from Tron concepts up to League of Legends and Final Fantasy. What we’d like to know is, what would you really like to cosplay that perhaps you’re a little embarassed about or haven’t found the courage for yet?
Lindsay: Hmm. Not sure that there's anything I'm really embarrassed about. But DEFINITELY stuff that I don't think I have the skill for yet that I'm holding off on. I have this huge list on my computer of ridiculously over-the-top year-long projects that I'll do someday. I don't want to make something crazy and have it not come out perfect. So I'll wait around until I feel that I'm ready to take it on! For instance one of them is Kos-Mos from Xenosaga. Ridiculously complicated robot armor and GIANT INSANE GUNS. One day, you will be mine Kos-Mos. One day.
Photo courtesy of Adam Patrick Murray
I’d like to follow-up on the League of Legends cosplay, as Team Dignitas actually has a top LoL competitive team in North America. You’ve done a female Ezreal cosplay and recently also a Poro concept; do you think our fans will get to see more League cosplay in the future and can you maybe let us in on the champions you’d really like to cosplay?
Lindsay: OHHHHHH YEAH. You should see my list. League of Legends has become one of my favorite games, and I'm super addicted to buying skins. As far as letting you guys in... all I'll say is that I really like to throw my own 'art' into my costumes. Like with Ezreal, he's definitely a guy. So I had some creative freedom with making the costume as a girl. Same with the poro, obviously a poro isnt a person dressed in a furry outfit. So I'll definitely be picking more costumes that don't really make sense so that I can mess with the designs :D
What do you think you would be or do in life if you were not a model/cosplayer?
Lindsay: Well, it's hard to say! I've been doing this for half my life, so it's weird to think about doing something else! But, I do have a degree in Journalism! I went to school with the intent of writing game reviews or walkthroughs. Or even media coverage for gaming events! I love to write and it's always come very easily to me. I can't stay a cosplayer forever, but I will definitely always be in the gaming scene! It really is my whole life!
You stream on Twitch.tv/lindsayelyse, what games are you currently playing that our fans can tune in on?
Lindsay: League of Legends and Titanfall! I haven't streamed lately because I've been CRAZY BUSY with costumes and traveling, but normally I stream on Tuesday nights at 6pm PST! When I stream Titanfall it's usually because I have a full group of 6 over at my gaming castle (apartment) and we just destroy everyone and everything (they carry me :( ). League I usually play with other people! Occasionally I'll pull fans in to play a few games, but mostly I just play with some close friends!
Did you know professional gaming was a thing and that teams like us travel around the World to compete for large cash prizes? What do you think of it?
Lindsay: Yes, I do! I was actually planning to compete in MLG's Halo 4 competitions, but they dropped it from the list. SO SAD. I've always been crazy interested in professional gaming! Someday I'd love to do it, it sounds like a total blast. ARE YOU GUYS RECRUITING!? Hahahah! Just kidding. I'd need A LOT more practice. I get destroyed in everything. BUT SOMEDAY I WILL DO IT.
I think it's SERIOUSLY GREAT that professional gaming is a thing. It takes skill just as much as like football or whatever, and it's great that it's as big as it is!! Plus it's way more interesting than stupid football. BOOOOOO PHYSICAL SPORTS. (Actually I played lacrosse for a while, and I've tried every other 'normal' sport, but I hate them all).
Is that something you’d like to do as a living yourself? Or since you mentioned in an interview that you have a degree in journalism, perhaps you would like to get into gaming coverage as an interviewer or writer?
Lindsay: Definitely! I don't have the skill to go pro in anything... YET. But I would at least like to try! Gaming coverage would be a blast, that's why I have my degree in the first place! I haven't done much with it yet, I'm hoping that through cosplay I'll find some opportunities!
What is your all-time favorite game, the one you will never get bored of and always go back to whenever your schedule always it. What makes it so awesome?
Lindsay: Kingdom Hearts. Let me tell you about Kingdom Hearts. This game. I remember the first commercial I saw for the game and my entire (RIDICULOUSLY OBSESSED DISNEY FANATIC) family all looked at each other open-mouthed and wide-eyed. We were all like OH MY GOD WHAT IS THIS WE HAVE TO HAVE IT. It was like my absolute two favorite things in the history of my whole life had a sweet precious baby. A Disney video game. And not one of those like official Disney movie games where you do puzzles and color pictures and all that (Oh jesus, I had more of these than I could count), BUT LIKE A REAL ACTUAL FIGHTING TRAVELING TO WORLDS CUTSCENE GLORIOUS GAME.
So yeah, I was like 10 or so when the game came out and I remember watching the first scene with my brother. I didn't know obsession until I started Kingdom Hearts. I didn't play the game for 2 hours because I kept restarting that incredible intro. I know the song in 5 or 6 languages and every time I hear it I cry. Every time I saw a Disney character I screamed. Every time I went to a Disney World I screamed. It was seriously the greatest thing that ever happened to me. Before Kingdom Hearts, I had only played Final Fantasy X, which I think came out the year before? So I didn't really appreciate the Final Fantasy characters' appearances until now. (Side note: FFX is my favorite Final Fantasy and when Auron appeared in Kingdom Hearts 2 I screamed and ran around and probably had a heart attack. He's my favorite.) (IM REALLY PASSIONATE ABOUT THINGS I LIKE OKAY.)
But yeah. I played Kingdom Hearts religiously. I remember though that I got stuck about halfway through and stopped playing for about 6 months. I picked it up again, beat it in 2 days, then started right over to play again. CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT THAT FINAL SCENE. Spoilers, blah blah, the game's been out over 10 years it's not a spoiler anymore, but when Sora found Kairi again and they had that scene where they closed the door and then were separated again... I cried for like 3 hours. It was so pretty and the song was just too much. I can play the original with my eyes closed, I know all the words to all the cutscenes, I can even write you a full no-mistakes walkthrough of the entire game without even playing it. On the spot.
Nothing will ever hit me like Kingdom Hearts did. Ever. This year, at E3, I was watching a stream of the Sony Conference (we didn't get into the actual panel) and I will never forget it. Hahaha I bet most of you already know where I'm going with this. WELL. The host person is talking about Final Fantasy Versus or something, I had sort of tuned out at this point, and then he goes OKAY, now I have a special announcement to show you. So this video pops up of the director of FF Versus and I'm like okay, whatever, get on with it.
(Oh my god I'm actually tearing up right now typing this.)
THEN THE DISNEY LOGO POPS UP. I KNOW WHAT THIS IS. I'm sitting with my friend and I actually scream. Then I start yelling NO NO NO NO NO. She's just kind of looking at me. Then the first 5 notes start to play. At this point we're both up, screaming, running around, I'm sobbing. Kingdom Hearts 3. HAHA for you guys that aren't aware, this game has been teased to us for like, God, 6 years?! It's always been every game BUT 3. The series likes to do prequels, sequels, 1 1/2, it just kind of bounces around the timeline. It was to the point where us die hard fans were just like oh yaaaaayyyy.... another random timeline jump game. So it was commonly agreed that there was never ever EVER going to be a Kingdom Hearts 3. So when it was announced, you could hear North America rejoicing.
SORRY, longest answer ever. You asked why it was awesome. HA! Really though. I love love LOVE this game, like I've never loved another thing in my life. I have a tattoo on my arm of the crown, with a XIII underneath in honor of the Organization. MY LIIIIFFFEEEEEE.
No problem, it's nice seeing how passionate you are! Let's ask some quick questions to wrap up.
Favorite single player game?
Lindsay: Oh. I don't know.
...It's Kingdom Hearts. hahahahaha
Favorite multiplayer game?
Lindsay: Currently it's League of Legends. That... counts, right?
Favorite female gaming character?
Lindsay: Hmm. That's pretty hard. Probably Rikku from FFX and FFX-2. I've done 4 of her costumes and she was a big obsession of mine growing up.
Favorite male gaming character?
Lindsay: Okay. This one's really hard. Sora, Kratos, Cloud, Illidan, Arthas, Ezio, Ash from Pokemon... I could actually go on forever.
Person you look up to the most? (in anything)
Lindsay: Walt Disney. He's my biggest hero EVER. Always has been! He had nothing and built this amazing company after so many people told him 'No.' He just wanted to bring happiness to people! That was his whole goal in life. He accomplished so much and has such a cool story.
Favorite book and/or movie?
Lindsay: Book is The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I actually had to read it in school and I totally fell in love with it. It's a hard read, but it's got some crazy messages. Atlas Shrugged is another favorite of mine, also by Rand. Favorite movie is Inglorious Basterds! Or Tron.
Convention you want to attend the most?
Lindsay: GamesCom Germany. SOMEDAY.
Person you want to work with the most?
Lindsay: Hmm. In anything? Harrison Ford. I love him. I don't even care what we do. We could wash dishes or something.
Thanks for the interview, I hope you enjoyed the questions. Any shout outs to your fans or closing words?
Lindsay: THANKS FOR READING! :D
To find out more about Lindsay be sure to follow, like, subscribe or whatever it takes on the following links: