I’ve always been rubbish at talking about myself!
I’m Matt, I’m 31 and I’m from Ipswich in the UK. The best way to sum me up is the bio from my page: Tennant lookalike, blogger, costumer, event reviewer, voice actor, podcast presenter, twitter addict, geek!
The Nerdy Girlie: How did you get into cosplay?
Matt: It’s a three part story for me. It all started, as with most good stories, with a girl in a pub. It was a Saturday night back in 2007 and I was in London visiting some of my friends. Towards the end of the evening while sat in the pub chatting I was surprised to have a random, slightly drunk (and from memory not unattractive) girl stumble over to me and proclaim “Did you know you look like David Tennant?!?”
I think my reply was ‘That’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me’. After that I didn’t give it another thought as she’d had a few.........
Skip forward a few months to August and it happened again. This time it was at home, my housemate of the time had friends round, I’d come home wearing a (pin stripe) suit and the same comment was made....Ok I thought to myself, perhaps there is something to this.
Around March 2008 I got myself a 10th Doctor suit and coat, by this point I’d also got a new housemate who, as it happened, worked for BBC Radio Suffolk. As part of the 2008 Suffolk Show they were going to broadcast live from the show, have a Doctor Who display in the tent and suggested that I should go along in my Tennant gear as it would be good fun. The reaction was crazy! I’ve never been photographed so much in my entire life!
Following on from that, I attended my first convention in 2009, at this point I had no clue that there was such a thing as cosplay so I went along in jeans with a shirt and jacket. People kept commenting on how I looked and I had my first exposure to convention costuming, so for the second day of the event I took the 10 outfit. The rest as they say is history…
The Nerdy Girlie: Do you make or buy your costumes?
Matt: Most of my outfits are purchased, simply because the characters I portray usually wear modern day clothes. My main costume is the 10th Doctor and as such buying the component parts was far more practical than trying to make a suit.
I have made parts for costumes before; the best example of this was the Neural Probe for my Sao Til outfit (if you’re not familiar with Sao Til have a look at this link www.tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Sao_Til).
One day I do plan on making a costume from scratch but I’d need to find the right character first.
The Nerdy Girlie: Any tips for people just starting out in cosplay?
Matt: Pick a character that you like. The more you enjoy the character you are being, the more fun the experience will be.
My main costumes are The Doctor (Doctor Who), Scarecrow/Dr Jonathan Crane (Batman) and Benedick (Much Ado About Nothing). The characters have almost become aspects of my own personality so that when I’m wearing them they just feel like an extension of me.
This brings me onto my next tip, make sure you feel comfortable; if you’re going to wear an outfit you should enjoy wearing it.
The Nerdy Girlie: How do you feel about people approaching you for pictures? Is there a certain protocol/cosplay code?
Matt: I don’t mind being approached. It was a strange experience at first, why would anyone want my picture?!?, but now I’m used to it.
As for photo protocol, the best plan is always to ask and never assume. The other key thing is to always respect the person that you are asking for a picture. They may be dressed as your favorite character but they are still a person and should be treated as such. I.e. don’t jump on them, grope them, etc., etc.
There have been a large number of articles recently about inappropriate behavior towards cosplayers, my view is to follow the teachings of Bill and Ted, simply ‘Be excellent to each other’.
The Nerdy Girlie: Any suggestions on where to shop for costume pieces if you are not a sewer?
Matt: Ebay and Etsy are the big two. If I need anything I just Google it, 99% of the time it’ll be on one of those two sites.
If you need specific items there are a number of cosplay companies that will make items to order.
Social media (Facebook and Tumblr especially) is a great place to find information. If you’re looking for a cosplay item then ask the cosplay community! If you’re doing an outfit then the chances are other people will either be working on similar outfits or will have done it in the past.
The Nerdy Girlie: Do you think about posing a head of time?
Matt: I never really think about posing, I just do it. There are a number of candid pictures of me where I’m posing without even realizing that I’m doing so!
I think, because I only do a small selection of characters, it just becomes a natural thing when the outfit is on. A number of people have said that I’m a completely different person when I’m dressed as the Doctor compare to when I’m just dressed as me.
*Thank you Matt for taking the time to answer our questions! He is an amazing cosplayer and I just love getting to hear other nerd's backstorys, how and why they love what they love! Hoping one day he can get out to San Diego Comic Con!!
You can follow Matt on Twitter:
Check out his blog: Travels of a Timelord
& his podcast: Travels in Fandom
He is a busy fellow!