Shappi

Hello everyone! Clara here, interviewing some people that like to do dress up of famous people like myself.
These people actually go so far as to wear and make clothes to look like famous others.
Luckily enough, I am of course not like that (because nobody is as famous as I am)
Don’t you think it’s silly to wear clothes, especially in summer times?

They get itchy and scratchy and how can you properly ruminate like that? Oh well, humans…


This time I am talking to Polish Super Star Aleksandra "Shappi" Tora.


 Hello clothes wearing human, can you tell us something about yourself, why you dress up like other people or animals and also, why do you wear clothes?

Hello Clara! My clothes wearing human companions call me Aleksandra or when I dress extraordinarily fancy, Shappi! I am 22 years old cosplayer from Poland and I have started my weird hobby about 6 years ago. Usually i wrap myself up in EVA Foam and pretend to be a knight, it is quite a task!
    
What is the image of The Netherlands in your country?
Altough Poland and Netherlands are not that distant to each other, I have never been to your country before! I am really excited to visit it for the first time! When I think of it I imagine windmills, fields of tulips, wooden shoes... oh and "green" cofeeshops, haha!

We heard you were a famous human in your habitat. What have you achieved in your clothes wearing profession? I myself was chosen Cow of the Year, due to my immaculate spot pattern on my body for four years in a row.
Thats impressive, Clara! Sadly ,I cannot brag about my spot pattern as you but I try my best in wearing weird clothes! Over the years I have been representing Poland twice in Euro Cosplay Finals in London as well as on European Cosplay Gathering 2013 where I took first place in solo category. Besides taking part in competitions I also work with gaming industry to promote games trough cosplay - I prepare costumes, competitions and cosplay shows. But overall I am usually just a lazy nerd in too big (and always dirty of paint) sweat pants, playing video games!


Think big grassy meadow with nice and crisp leaves and of course, no other human smelly things in the area. What would you bring to ruminate for a weekend? You may choose 4 items.
 It sounds like the perfect holidays!! I would bring a tent, blanket, pillow and a heater. Basically my plan would consist of sleeping - turning on the other side- and sleeping again - scratching my butt,sleep, repeat. Beacuse being lazy is always super exiciting when you have too much work to do !:)

What are your favourite 5 items from Japan?
 It is very hard to name only 5! But i will try :
1) Giga packet of matcha Pocky. Beacuse I am VERY addicted to matcha.
2) Crowded manga stores with 40-50 year old man reading hentai.You don't forget this view!
3) Vending machines with everything!
4) Having the best ramen and udon in my life
5) Peacefull atmosphere that you cannot find anywhere else

When I go to Japan people often assume I am from Kobe because of the way I look. Do people ever make mistaken assumptions about you because of the way you look and what can you do about it
Oh, I don't really get those looks at all! I am very "polish" looking and on daily basis I look very random, I never wear my weird outfits in public, only at conventions. But I often get mistaken for a russian when I visit abroad convetions, especially when we start to party and open bottles... I wonder why!

When I went on stage for the first time I was really nervous. Then somelone gave me some milk and that helped to calm me down. It wrecked havoc with my digestion afterwards as I am lactose intolerant, but since then I learned that some freshly squeezed alfalfa juice with straw will do the trick whenever I am nervous. Do you have similar tricks for when you and/or your co-actors are nervous?
Actually I don't - I get stagefright just like everyone else! Usually it gets me the worst just before stepping on the stage. The only solution to this situation is to train your act many times before the convention so you know every move by heart - it takes time but you will feel a lot more confident!

When I just started out cosplaying sometimes cows in my herd looked down on me and my passion. This really hurt me at the time. Did you have any similar experiences when you started? What did you say to them? Do you think cosplay is becoming more accepted both as a hobby and as a profession?
People and cows will always look down on you if you are different from them, it is a fact - no matter what you do. Thankfully I have a very supporting family that cheered for me and my hobby - thanks to them I keep on doing what I love. Try to remember that you are cosplaying for yourself and your own fun - as loong as you feel good about it, it is all fine!


In my third year as a cosplayer I built a mecha using duct tape and recycled firelighters. Of course the whole thing looked pretty ridiculous and I wouldn't want to wear it now, but I do have really fun memories of it. Do you have some similar cosplay from way back when?
Of course! When I was starting I also used cardboard to build my first props - in Poland we used to even have special cathegory for this type of costumes, it was called "Evil Cosplay"! I still use cardboard or other cheap materials in my costumes now - if you know how to paint it, no one will know how you have made it, haha! Most of my big props such as huge mace of Kamikirimusi from Soul Calibur or sword of Kayle from League of Legends are just pure cardboard with a sneaky paintjob!

Have you ever done a horned cosplay? If so don't you agree a horned live is better? (If not how do you clean your hooves without horns?)
Yes I did! I must admit, horns are KICKASS! I have cosplayed as Ysera and Soraka, both horny and awesome :) But It is always a struggle how to walk trough the doors with them on...

My partner Marieke sometimes acts as if she is the only AnimeCon mascot. I hate it when she does that. How do you handle partners hogging all the attention?
 That sucks! I don't have this problems due to two reasons - I am not a type of person who looks for a spotlight and I feel relieved when someone speaks up in my behalf ( which sounds ridiculous considering I am acting out on a stage in crazy weird costume). Secondly - I usually perform alone due to my crazy cosplay choices #foreveralone

When doing bipadel cosplays you have to stand on your hind legs the whole day. This can get pretty tiresome. Do you have any tips on how to prepare for cosplays when you have to use your body in unnatural ways?
 Remember to be hydrated! Drink a lot of water and try to rest as much as you can - I know it is hard for us cosplayers to eat anything when we are in the costume but it is very important to survive the con! If your costume, especially an armour, is uncomfortable it is a very good plan to put in some padding out of foam or cloth to prevent bruises.



Photo's bij: Studio Zahora, BHMT, Zuzanna Konarska, Pawel Wodnicki

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