In our 5th installment of this Cosplay interview series, I talked to the Scruffy Rebel that is Victoria Schmidt. An English Lit student from Californey town, Victoria really puts 110% into everything she does; be it her studies, her cosplay; and, it seems, even writing a most epic reply to my interview questions! When I received them, I felt like I wanted to stand up and start a golf clap they were that good. We applaud you Miss Rebel…. bravo.
I therefore will not subject you anymore to my inferior linguistic skills and present to you: Victoria Schmidt … enjoy!
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The Person Behind the Costume
So who is Victoria Schmidt when she isn’t dressing up in costumes and looking good in front of a camera? Where are you from, Do you have a Job, go to Uni, have any pets? What does a good night for you consist of etc?
I’m a born and raised Southern California girl, and come from a really wonderful and caring family. I have 4-year old twin nieces that I dote on whenever I can. I have a Master’s in English Literature, and share my Mom’s daydream of wanting to be a perpetual student. If only!
Sadly I was laid off last November and continue to live in unemployment limbo, which has a lot of pros and cons, such as having all the time in the world to do everything I’ve ever dreamed, but with no way to afford it. It’s been an interesting year, to say the least.
A good night for me consists of the purest laziness – lounging on the couch watching TV with the boyfriend and my beloved Bengal cat. We also have a white rabbit that I’m determined to use in a Zatanna cosplay someday!
You mentioned in your email you have a lot of 501st friends over here in the UK, Ever visited Her Majesty’s Great Isles before? And are you a member of the 501st yourself?
I adore England. While there are places I’d love to visit, like Japan and Italy, I would want to go back to London again and again and again if given the chance. I’m enamoured with the culture, history, landscape, and of course, the literature of England. I’ve visited twice, once with my Mom and Sister, and then again for Celebration Europe with my boyfriend. CE was hands down one of the most amazing and special trips of my life. The UK 501st and Rebel Legions members are nothing short of spectacular and some of the best people in the Star Wars community.
Surprisingly, I am actually NOT a 501st member! Even after all these years of doing 501st/Rebel Legion events, I still haven’t put together a costume that would qualify for the 501st. I really need to sit down and just put together an Imperial outfit already, geesh!
It says in your Bio: “I’m a 20 something geek who loves, well, a lot of stuff! Movies, cartoons, TV, books, comics, etc.” If you had to choose one of these as being your main Geekism, what would it be, why and what would be your top 5 be in that area (ie. Top 5 films.)
Shoot, that’s a really tough question! I’m pretty ADD when it comes to my fandoms, I’m always jumping from one to another, or multitasking a bunch at once. I’ve always considered myself a jack of all trades, master of nothing. I’d probably lose to most people in a contest covering just one topic because I’ve devoted myself to so many that I’m not an expert in any one of them. If I picked cartoons as my main Geekism, the only thing on the list would probably be Batman: The Animated Series. So, let’s go with Films as my main Geekism so I can actually give you a Top 5! My Top 5 films, in no particular order: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Star Wars: A New Hope, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Ghostbusters, and White Christmas. I honestly couldn’t explain to you those choices, so don’t bother asking!
You don’t mention gaming in your list, you not a gaming gal?
Nope! I’m not a gamer whatsoever. Once video games went beyond Pac Man, Mario and Duck Hunt, I was lost. I tried really hard to get into gaming in high school because so many of my friends played video games heavily. But if there’s a natural talent to be a gamer, I’ve got the anti-talent. I just suck at video games, plain and simple. I enjoy them, I enjoy watching people play them, and I love the storylines and costumes, but I’m just not a gamer. I also don’t have the time to devote to gaming, even casually. I’d rather devote all my time to costuming and reading comics and books, and watching TV and movies.
So you have a boyfriend (many geeks will be gutted about this I’m sure) does he Cosplay as well? How did you guys meet? AND how much does he LOVE your Slave Leia costume?
Yep, he is a cosplayer as well, and was already one before I met him. I met him via a very dear friend of mine, Shea Standefer. She and I had met online and were crazy in love with one another because we both love Jaina Solo. We were meeting for the first time at Anime Expo, and he was there. She introduced him to me, but I honestly don’t remember that, I was too busy being excited over meeting her! That was 7 years ago, and we’ve been together for the last 6.
I’m pretty sure he could take or leave the bikini. I’m sure he appreciates how I look in it, but my being in that costume gives him plenty of grief! I get nutters about my body and how I look when I wear it. I gripe about girls wearing it wrong, and he has to carry all my stuff, keep an eye on me to make sure I’m not flashing someone my butt, and has to watch out for anyone trying to sneak a naughty up-skirt shot because I’m always distracted and oblivious to that sort of thing.
You do some non – Sci-fi style modelling, like the pinup stuff with Britt Dietz. Are you into this era of history or was it just another job?
I’m a complete hobbyist, and I don’t get paid for anything I do costuming-wise. Anything I do is because I love it, it means something to me, and I want to be a part of it.
Britt Dietz is an incredibly talented photographer who I’m very lucky to call a friend! I don’t think there’s anyone, anywhere, who loves and appreciates the WWI/WWII era more than he does. He has such a passion for that period, and has a stunning collection of authentic pieces from the era that he uses in his shoots. He adores pin-up, as do I, and he loves to take pin-up shots of any lovely ladies that are interested! Pin-up is an amazing form of art and photography and it was wonderful to experience. It’s such a different type of posing than what most girls would be used it, and it’s pretty addicting! I’m sure there will be more Pin-Up in my future.
What’s you’re goal in life, as in are you focusing on modelling, cosplaying or have you other things you want to do and achieve?
Cosplay is a passion, but also a hobby, not a career. I’ll always be cosplaying, there’s no doubt about that, but I would really like to get established in terms of a career. For some people a job is just a job that pays the bills, nothing more. I’m not interested in that, and would slowly wither and die in an environment like that. I’m after a career, something that challenges me, that’s fuels and focuses one of my passions, and that I can make my mark in! Don’t know what it is yet, but I’d like to find it soon so that I can get established and be in some amazing position 5-10 years from now.
You say you are an “Artsy/creative type” Is this based on your costume making or do you paint, draw, design, etc. as well?
That’s based on my costume making, and just my generally creative nature. I was raised by a mother that always pulled out all the stops when decorating the house for the holidays, was into toll-painting and crafts. That kind of general artistic interest is definitely in me and my older sister. I enjoyed drawing when I was younger, but I never pursued it, and even then all I did was free-hand existing images. One thing I really enjoy doing is setting up displays – the boyfriend is not allowed to touch or alter any of the display cases in our apartment, those are my babies! I love to make themed displays and decorate a room with a specific theme.