Underneath the Cosplay with Gogo Incognito

 

We first saw Gogo Incognito at NYCC this year.  We spotted her from across the show floor, posing for fans.  She was very hard to miss.  She has so much energy, that her eyes lit up, and she had a whip.  She was cosplaying Catwoman, not an uncommon sight at Comic Con. This Catwoman however, wouldn’t have looked out of place starring in Cabaret. She was paired with the Riddler and Poison Ivy, and all three of them were amazing. After seeing them, I was trying to figure out how to produce the Broadway musical, so I could hire them to star in it.

Seriously, we love cosplayers who put their personality into their costumes. We knew we wanted to know more about her.  Gogo is always on the go.  Even when she’s not attending cons, she travels a lot. She splits her time between Brooklyn, NY and Nashville, TN, for work, and travels just for the adventure of it. She doesn’t have a lot of free time, so we were thrilled when she shared some that valuable time to talk with us, about cosplay, videogames and the Super Bowl.

Photo taken by Whiskey D, with editing by Tessa Clifton.

Name:

Gogo Incognito

Hometown:

Philadelphia, PA

 

Cosplay Philosophy

Cosplay allows me to design, display, and be my geek, chic, superfreak self on a public stage, in a forum of thousands of like-minded people.

 

Social Media:
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Professionally she’s had a varied career. She’s done social work, commercial and music video production, event production, teaching, and employment as a columnist and editor.  Now she’s an entrepreneur, “I co-own an award-winning craft distillery called Corsair with my husband and one of his childhood friends. along with some freelance writing and editing.”

“I’ve also been writing for work and pleasure since college, and currently write cosplay features for sites such as www.AllThatsEpic.com, as well as freelancing here and there, and write original fiction, some of which is NSFW, with my best friend and writing partner.”

“I had a really exciting childhood and young adult life, and am compelled to seek adventure where I can. Boredom is my mortal enemy! ” she told us. “Getting to live little adventures, like a big night of dancing, going to an old school arcade, a cosplay or theme party, or being pulled on stage at a Drag Show, keep me happy. Big adventures, like cons, travel, and out of the ordinary experiences, keep me inspired and my creative juices flowing.

Gogo Incognito as Catwoman

Photographer: Jason Laboy
Editing/effects: Van Clifton and Tessa Clifton

She credits her sense of adventure to her father. “He’s a real character, and was huge influenced my joie de vivre and adventurous spirit.” Just recently, she and her father recently took a trip to the Arizona desert to catch the Super Bowl. “It was an amazing opportunity. My sweet husband procured the tickets for me and my dad as a gift.”  Her father also instilled in her a love sports and athletics. “He’s passionate about football, and raised me to both understand and be able to play it and truly appreciate it. I was a very athletic youth, and played softball, volleyball, powderpuff football, and then got into canoeing, hiking, and snowboarding. I’ve always loved dance. Always. The athleticism and love of adrenalin rush carried over into the grueling energy needed for go-go dance.”

And don’t ever make the mistake of telling her geeks and athletes are mutually exclusive clubs.  “I think that’s completely bunk and hugely outdated. And offensive. It’s like saying that a beautiful gal can’t by nature be a serious gamer because she is beautiful and female. WRONG!”

Gaming is one of the things she is seriously passionate about. “I prefer co-op gaming because I like to make gaming a social experience. I often get bored or antsy gaming on my own, and will enlist certain friends to “couch co-op” one player games like Bioshock Infinite with me via phone or Facetime so I can banter with them while we play. In the near future, I’ll be “couching” (as I call it) chunks of Dragon Age: Inquisition with a dear friend. That’ll be an experience! I’m very excited to play Evolve with my circle of gaming friends as well.”

Her gaming has inspired some of her favorite cosplay. “I’m a big fan of the Resident Evil and Devil May Cry series, and hugely enjoyed cosplaying as Dante and Albert Wesker. Of course, I’m really into Borderlands as well. What motivated me to take on Moxxi was the hours I happily spent playing and replaying the Underdome DLC from the first game.

 

 

As much as she loves to play video games, Gogo doesn’t stay in every night. “I’m a frequenter of cool bars and a lover of well-mixed drinks and fine wines. I used to be really into the nightclub scene, though now I favor bars and lounges with quirky atmosphere as well as extravagant theme parties where I can wear a fabulous costume.”

Even with an active social calendar, Gogo makes plenty of time for the written word. “I read so much. Everyday.” she revealed, “If a day goes by and I haven’t had any time for reading, I feel like there’s something a bit lacking.” She reads urban fantasy, comics (including Fables and Chew), historical fiction, thought-provoking novels.

Anything related to modern interpretation of folklore and fairy tales  Like Song of Ice and Fire (a.k.a. Game of Thrones). I went to grad school to study English, literature, and writing, with a focus on folklore and fairy tales. I read for fun, but also with an academic mindset. Give me a savvy and saucy book club, and I am set!

Photographer – Loren Hicks. Editing by Van Clifton.

With everything she told us so far, it’s hard to believe she still has time to to sit down and watch any television, but there are some shows she makes time for.  “I’m a huge Whovian. My love for Doctor Who has definitely inspired my cosplay.”  She has cosplayed both the Doctor (at left) and the TARDIS. (above, below) “There are plenty of other shows that I adore, but have yet to compel me to cosplay,” Gogo shared. “like Attack on Titan (which I also read), Penny Dreadful, Game of Thrones, Archer, Bob’s Burger’s, and The Venture Bros.”

Of course we didn’t forget to ask her about her cosplay. “I’ve been cosplaying seriously for seven or eight years, but I’ve been donning costumes outside of Halloween for work and pleasure since I was in high school. My cosplay is inspired by characters that resonate with me. I’m drawn to characters with strong personalities and a strong presence. Cheeky characters that allow me to be insouciant and brash in the name of canon really make my day. Certain characters from Orange is the New Black call to me, even though they wouldn’t make for glamorous cosplays. But that’s ok. I’m just as happy looking creepy or scrubby or be in male drag as I am in a sexy cosplay with my feminine assets on display.”

She credits her formative years working alongside drag queens and trans women in honing her cosplay sensibilities. “They were, and are, like wondrous unicorns to me; magical creatures of such incredible beauty, poise, and wisdom. I was hugely influenced by my drag queen and trans women coworkers, and began incorporating some cosplay into my dance costumes after seeing my then-co-worker Amanda Lepore as Jessica Rabbit. I learned so much about make-up, styling, costuming, wig work, femininity, culture, and life from these women and gender illusionists. I’m still an avid fan of drag, as well as a dedicated LGBTQ supporter, and am continuously inspired by drag artists.

During her time in New York City she’d often work in costume. “I go-go danced and tended bar as Wonder Woman, Catwoman, and other comics mainstays, and had burlesque routines inspired by The Blues Brothers, Dolly Parton, and Poison of Street Fighter and Final Fight. Discovering comic-con about nine or 10 years ago turned me onto cosplay for real and sincerely upped my costume game. Plus, learning of cosplay communities and the general appreciation of the art of cosplay allowed my inner geek to shine on a much larger stage. The first cosplay that I put together with serious intent for a convention was Dante from DMC 4. I wore that to anime cons in the south and to New York Comic-Con.”

If forced to pick a signature costume, she would choose Mad Moxxi. “I love it dearly, and have happily worn it to several cons. I was selected when wearing it at SDCC 2014 to be in the Marriott Courtyard Cosplay Contest.” (judged by Norman Reedus and Greg Nicotero of The Walking Dead) “The prizes awarded by George R. R. Martin. I can’t stress enough what an honor that was. Plus, I got to be on stage in front of a roaring crowd, and that is never not fun.”

Much of what Ms. Icognito wears, she makes herself, “As much as I can, unless I’m strapped for time, or want to do something special or completely out of my wheelhouse, like my latex TARDIS costume. I MacGuyver a lot of stuff, and am queen of the hot glue gun and hand stitching. I’m still somewhat afraid of my sewing machine.”   What she can’t make herself, she has no trouble reaching out to friends and the highly skilled cosplay community for help. “I’m proud of what I do make, and I’m proud to wear made-to-order costumes and accessories. I’ve outsourced from the awesome Captain Cosplay, The Baroness (latex designer to the stars), and gotten wonderful help from my husband, family, and gal pal/cosplay cohort.”

“The most difficult costume project I’ve had so far was when I put together four costumes, along with wigs, accessories, and make-up for a Resident Evil 5 group. That group included me as a drag king Albert Wesker, a Sheva, an Excella, and a transforming Ricardo Irving. I spent two hundred hours on all of those costumes, made a wig, hairpiece, special effects make-up, and crafted these incredible five foot long Plaga tentacles that were attached to a hidden back brace. The tentacles went with the Ricardo Irving costume and were featured in the beautiful book Cosplay In America. I’m hugely proud of the effort, how it all turned out, and the recognition.”

With all the amazing cosplay she already has behind her, she still has big plans.”My dream cosplays include something with impractical, but magnificent, oversized wings, like a glamorous version of a Weeping Angel from Doctor Who. I also dearly want to do variations on some of my favorite cosplays, like a Victorian Steampunk version of Catwoman and an original take on Moxxi. I want to get better at special effects make-up. When I do, my list of to-do and dream cosplays will grow exponentially. I’m also planning to get back to some older school characters that make a huge impact on me while I was growing up. Specifically, I mean Elvira, Beetlejuice, and Jessica Rabbit. Those three characters are all so signature, enduring, and fabulously over the top. It would just be a blast to embody any or all of them”

This spring you can see Gogo at PAX East in Boston, and Wondercon. “I should have Elvira at Wondercon, and hoping to do Beetlejuice at SDCC. Fingers crossed, I’ll be part of a marvelous burlesque show in May as well. I love to plan photoshoots, whether I’m in front of the camera or behind the scenes. I tend to go all in, so I’ve found that a few big events once a month is plenty. I need downtime with my little family, and hate getting too burnt out to write or game. My husband, cats, family, and friends are the most important things in my life.”

“I hope to be cosplaying for as long as I’ve got my full mental and physical faculties. I come from a family of intelligent eccentrics, and hope to follow in their footsteps, aging fabulously more so than gracefully.”

Gogo Incognito as the TARDIS

The TARDIS – Photo by Whisky D Dress by the Baroness

 

 

About David Vandervliet

Once, King of all these lands, but now I am just an aging nerd. I enjoy talking about my favorite things to geek about, and hopefully I say something to make you think a little too. My favorite things include: Comics, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Star Trek, Science, Astronomy, Math, Music, theatre, movies, writing, baseball, college football (Go Blue!)
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