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Interview with Joe Kerr Cosplay

Hello, lovelies! Rinshi here with another cosplay interview – just for you! This time I had the pleasure of interviewing the very talented Joe Kerr Cosplay. As you might imagine from his name, Joe Kerr specializes in cosplaying The Joker from the Batman universe, and believe me when I tell you that he’s one of the best I’ve seen. Do you doubt me? Then read on!

First, I want to say thank you for taking the time to do this interview and share your opinions with us.

You’re very welcome, thanks for having me!!!

So, what got you interested in cosplaying?

The idea that I could essentially dress up for Halloween more than just once a year. Yea, that was a pretty big selling point. Also, I just enjoy getting to express myself artistically, so it seemed an appropriate route to take.

Joe Kerr 11

Photo by Joe Kerr Cosplay

What is the most important part of putting a costume together for you?

I like to try and make everything as best as I can, ESPECIALLY my makeup. To me, a bad makeup can ruin a good costume, so I often put in hours to do my The Joker makeup.

What is your favorite thing about cosplaying?

The entire journey of making a costume, from picking a character to portray, to gathering the materials and supplies, to the endless hours of construction, all the way up to final details and makeup application, I enjoy it all!!!

Joe Kerr 12

Photo by Joe Kerr Cosplay

What cosplay project has challenged you the most?

Oh geez….It’s all a learning experience for me, always trying to figure out what would work best, how to do it myself, etc. Probably one of the biggest pains was when the molds/casts for the face appliances didn’t set up so I had to scrap the cosplays I was working on last minute. That was the New 52 Joker face mask. Still need to revisit that one…

Which of your cosplay costumes are you the most proud of?

I gotta pick one? Er…ok, either my Bombshell Sailor Joker, which I made mostly myself, with a bit of help from my mom and her sewing machine; or my Patient J, which a friend of mine made to go with her Dr. Harleen Quinzel cosplay, although I was the pin cushion for a good bit of that. She made the straight jacket all on her own, no pattern, and I love it.

Joe Kerr 8

Photo by Strike and Hide

What is the best experience you’ve ever had while cosplaying?

Some of the friends that I’ve made in the cosplay community. That and being The Joker to little kids that want to be Batman and fight their archnemisis.

Do you have any favorite conventions to attend?

Not really, no. I have a list of several that I would like to attend but as of right now, the few cons that I manage to go to are some semi local cons.

There is always controversy in any community, and cosplay is no exception. How do you feel about current attitudes in the cosplay community toward gender, body type, or race affecting a person’s costume or ability to cosplay?

This is definitely a tricky question. On the one hand, I don’t believe a person’s gender, body type, or race should in anyway affect their ability to cosplay. I have done a gender-bent Harley and have had plans to do feminine characters just to break the mold. On the other hand, however, I think one should definitely be aware of one’s body and realize that certain characters just may not be for you. I will never pull off a good Colossus, but I accept that.

Joe Kerr 3

Photo by Strike and Hide

What are your opinions on Cosplay is Not Consent? Have you ever experienced harassment or bullying while in cosplay?

Cosplay is NOT Consent, period! Several of my female friends get creepers and have had issues, so they will often like having me around as back up, because I don’t stand for that sh*t. It’s a black eye to the nerd community, the “basement-dwelling-cheeto-eating-self-entitled-neckbeards/dickwads”, if you will, that piss me off the most.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out with cosplay?

Have fun with it!!! That’s it!!! If you like being competitive, then go that route and enter cosplay contests. If you prefer being in character, do that. Just so long as you are having fun with it.

Obviously you have a strong connection with the character of The Joker. What sparked that level of dedication?

heh…That’s actually a funny story. See, my dad is a Batman fan, like, old-school comic guy. My initials spell BAT because of his Batman fanboydom. So that, in and of itself, likely started the initial spark, it being “in my blood”, but I just really got drawn to The Joker as a character and an ideal. Of course, Mark Hamill as the voice of The Joker in the animated series really help fuel the spark that grew into the inferno that I am today!

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Photo by Strike and Hide

I know that you pride yourself of your ability to get into character. What is that process like for you?

It’s like…slipping into a nice hot vat of acid! Really exfoliates the skin and lets what’s lurking underneath shine!!!

It’s very much second nature. I have accidentally slipped into character a few times with my friend that acts as Harley and we will carry on conversations as Joker/Harley. And not just in person! I’ve done it in text with her a few times and really scared her.

Joe Kerr 1

Photo by Vitamin M Studios

What got you interested in special effects makeup?

Short answer: Halloween. Long answer: I’ve always enjoyed making stuff and especially during Halloween to make myself into a Vampire or Zombie or Demon. Combine that with the series on SyFy called Faceoff and, yea, kerosene to a flame.

Joe Kerr 5

Photo by Strike and Hide

Since we also focus a lot on gaming, onto some gaming questions! What was your first experience with gaming?

The original NES and the SNES, namely Duck-Hunt and Mario and TLoZ series. Most of this was passive, watching my older brother play but I got in a bit of gaming along the way.

Do you currently game?

Yes, but by no means am I a gamer. Super casual, unless you are talking about board games, which I love but don’t have many to play with.  

If so, what system(s) do you prefer?

I currently have an Xbox One, although I also have a couple of games on my Surface Pro 3/Steam. My roommate has a PS4, so I occasionally will hop on that, but the ergonomics of the XB controller have ruined me.

Joe Kerr 4

Photo by Strike and Hide

What genre(s) of game do you prefer (i.e. JRPG, FPS, puzzle, platformer, etc.)?

While I would like to say FPS, because of my preordering both Halo 4 & 5, limited edition, that would be a joke. I’m terrible at FPS’s. My love would probably have to go to the RPGs, thanks to my introduction to Dungeons & Dragons, second edition, when I was but a wee lad. Played the elf archer and died in a pit trap…

I also enjoy action/adventure/puzzle games, such as the Arkham series. BIG SURPRISE, I know. Oh, and tabletop games. Nothing beats flicking through some cards, rolling a handful of dice, or pen and paper rpgs.

What, if anything, are you playing most at the moment?

Off and on Halo 5, Batman: Arkham Knight, and/or Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls, as well as starting up a 5e D&D campaign.

Joe Kerr 10

Photo by Strike and Hide

Any favorite games?

The Diablo Series, D&D, The Elder Scrolls, Plague Inc., and the Arkham series.

Is there anything else you’d like to put out there for everyone who’s reading?

Two things, actually. First, keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and take your frienemies out for drinks! Lastly, if all else fails, drop rock on the party.

Joe Kerr 2

Photo by Vitamin M Studios

What’d I tell ya? Amazing, right?! Make sure you head over to Joe Kerr’s facebook page to check out some of his other work and give him a like. Tell him Real Women of Gaming sent ya!

A huge Thank You to Joe Kerr Cosplay for doing this interview with us, and everyone be sure to tune in to February’s episode of Gaming Against Sobriety, when Joe Kerr will be joining us as a special guest! This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship! 😉

Until next time, gamers!

About rinshicosplay

Hello! I'm Rinshi, and I'm a cosplayer, costumer, actor and all-around geek. I casually play video games, and prefer handheld titles like Pokemon and Bravely Default. I am much more into crazily intricate board games like Arkham Horror (and its many expansions), Lords of Waterdeep, and Relic, to name a few. I'm heavily into tabletop roleplaying games, both as GM and player, and enjoy a range of systems from classic D&D to BESM d20 to Deadlands to Call of Cthulhu. I also enjoy writing, and am published in the short story anthology Trumpocalypse as well as working on my first novel.

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