Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Nerdbot Cosplay Spotlight: Joy Princess

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Stephanie Sandmeier
Cosplayer, Host of Nerdbot's "What's Better" & "Foodie Function", cast-member of MyxTV's "The Doll Life", fashion show coordinator for Anime Pasadena and usual front-desk chick for Nerd Knights. I like cute things, love disney and dinosaurs, writer and actor.

Finding cosplayers of a fandom you also love is such a refreshing feeling. You never know how much of a connection you have with others. It becomes a friendship and bond; drawing the community together. I’m happy to introduce to you a fellow Mulan cosplayer who has a beautiful heart, Joy Princess. 

Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

My Cosplay Stage name is “Joy Princess”. My Instagram name used to be “DisneyCutiePie”! This year, I rebranded to “ShellieCutiePie”. Shellie is my nickname that my parents call me by. I am multi creative, love everything cute and everything in the art & entertainment realm. I have so many hobbies & interests. So many. Cosplay is a great example of most of my talents in one.

Mulan (1998)
Joy & her Lil Sister, Mikayla as Mulan
Costumes, Accessories, & Wigs by Joy

Do you prefer to do solo cosplays, or cosplays with other people and why?

I love both but I have sooo much fun cosplaying with people especially with family and friends. There’s nothing more fun than being around the people you love, cosplaying together and creating those special memories at conventions! You feel more safe & you laugh even more around them.

What are your thoughts on the cosplay communities and the world of cosplay today compared to when you first started?

When I started cosplaying in 2014, life & conventions were really great and accepting. 99% of the time the community was respectful, friendly, accepting and carefree. I never heard of any drama behind the scenes until every year that passes by. Things snowballed after that.

Cosplay should be just pure fun, enjoyable, and respectful.

Rugrats, Nickelodeon
Joy & her Brother, Miku (@KingVibrant21) as Chuckie & Kimi Finster
San Diego Comic Con 2019

As the years went on, I felt that it became like a contest or race for some people. Instead of accepting others for who they are, doing what we love, minding their own business and life. Instead, they tear people down for many different reasons. That actually made me step away from the cosplay community for a whole year. To remove myself from any negativity because when things are less than fun & happiness, it drains the life out of me. The cosplay community at that time, drained me & I had to stop what I loved doing because it affected my emotions so much.

Remember to always take care of yourself. All aspects: Mind, Body, Soul. Protect your heart and ears from negativity. If you need time to RECHARGE from being exhausted physically from working on a costume or not sleeping at all from excitement, time to REPLENISH with food and water from not snacking or eating all day, it is a sign that Cosplay can wait for another day. Why exhaust yourself to the brink of fainting, when you can always save that cosplay for a day when you are all around ready. “Feeling your best is being your best”, I just made that up right now but it’s so true! Hehe!!

People need to accept more, appreciate more, inspire others more, be kind to one another, and so on, because Cosplay is for everyone and it should be for fun. 

It is not a contest. It is not a race. There should be No pride, No jealousy, No hate…Only love & appreciation. People can cosplay whichever character they want, because they love that character. It honestly makes me sad when people think they can’t cosplay a specific character because someone else they know did it or has a better costume and they can’t compare. People claim to be the best cosplayer of a character, but in the end of the day, we go back to our truest selves.

Cosplay is for anyone who loves dressing up & meeting people who can bond & geek over their favorite shows, movies, & fandoms. Period. It makes so many people happy. It has changed the lives of so many people. It has changed mine. If it makes you HAPPY…keep doing it. No matter what people say. Live for yourself and not for the world.

Be Kind. Respect. Admire & Inspire!

No Hate, Just Cosplay + make precious Con memories that you’ll keep in your head and heart Forever.

How would you describe the cosplay community as a whole?

Versatile & Our Creative Social Outlet. 🙂

How do you store your costumes?

Honestly, my costume pieces are all dispersed in various rooms/closets in our home but my husband does a better job. He puts everything in one place, which is the best way to do it: store everything in one place. I suggest you put all your pieces in a storage container. 1 container for each cosplay. That way, when a convention is coming up, you are not scrambling to find all the pieces the day of…or making your cosplay the day of…Me. hehehehe! Every time. Someday, I’ll prepare my costumes. Someday. Eventuallyyyy 😀

Are there any tips or tricks you’d like to share?

Always have an Emergency kit:

Little first aid kit, emergency sewing kit, BOBBY PINS, SAFETY PINS, mini glue, tape, a fan, sunglasses, WATER & SNACKS, and anything you need in case something happens! Better prepared than sorry.

Make sure you have a buddy or family member with you at all times. Never go alone, tag team for safety, ALWAYS. No exceptions. You never know if someone is stalking you or wants to take advantage of you.

Work on your cosplay ASAP! Don’t be like me making your costume the night before or literally the day of. It will carry on to your own Wedding day XD again, Literally Me. It is sooo relaxing and therapeutic to work on your cosplay without a deadline. Working on costumes far ahead of time is SO worth it. Add those rhinestones, add those details, sew slower for that crisp and clean work, and breathe. Trust me, it is soooo worth it!!!

Chi-Chi & Goku, Dragon Ball
Long Beach Comic Con 2016.

As a POC (cosplayer) have you experienced challenges and what have you done to overcome those challenges?

I actually haven’t had difficulties as a POC (Cosplayer), but I did get made fun of for being Asian when I was in Elementary School because of my eyes. I’ve never had a problem though with those kids who made so much fun of me because I am who I am & I know my truth. Growing up, I loved Mulan and her story. Because of that movie, it made me so proud to be Asian. She’s my Hero. Mulan inspired me to be brave & always fight for what I love. I was able to make my own Mulan costume back in 2014 (Took me 2 days to make and finish) and that was a Dream come true. Just seeing myself in a Mulan costume makes me so happy that I could look like my Hero for a day.

Forward to 2020: “Married the Love of my Life, Thanks to Dragon Ball & COSPLAY”
*Fun Fact: The photographers from our first Goku & Chi-Chi photo shoot, Eugene & Kin (Who
are the absolute kindest and sweetest ever), were our photographers for Our Wedding!
P.S. Look at the Cake Toppers.

Is there a particular fandom you follow?

I love everything Disney, Marvel, Dragon Ball Z, & Nickelodeon!

If you’d like to see more of Joy Princess check out her TikTok, YouTube Channels: ShellieCutiePie & JoyPrincessXoxo, and her Instagram Accounts: @ShellieCutiePie, @JoyfulPrincessXoxo, and @DBZMysteryBox.

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