Let’s just start this interview off by saying….I am about to introduce you to a total badass…she cosplays…she is in roller derby and she is just all around cool. She is also winding up our interviews with the Chicago Bombshells…meet the one and only Luna-Tic, Lauren Malis.

What was your inspiration to start cosplaying?

My family has always attended the Bristol Renaissance Faire since before I could even walk and my parents always dressed me up in costumes. I would look forward to going all year long because I loved dressing up in my costume.

As the years went on, my Faire costumes got more and more elaborate and even to this day I continue to add to them. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to call one of my Faire dresses “complete”. There’s always new accessories or parts to add.

When I discovered that comic-cons were a thing, I knew that I wanted to attend and cosplay.

What was the first convention you attended and what was the biggest takeaway from that convention?

The first convention I ever attended was C2E2 2015. I had always wanted to attend a convention, but didn’t have the right people to go with and frankly I was a bit embarrassed to attend. Luckily, my boyfriend is very supportive of all my weird hobbies and interests so he agreed to not only go with me, but cosplay as well.

I knew that I wanted my first cosplay ever to be Sailor Venus because growing up this show was a huge inspiration and favorite of mine. So I scoured the Internet and found a fairly decent cosplay to purchase and we were off!

The biggest takeaway that I got from this first convention was how great of an attitude everyone has! I really didn’t know what to expect when I walked in the doors, but everyone was just so positive and supportive. It’s impossible not to have a good time at a con!

You are in a roller derby, so damn cool by the way… Can you tell us about that, how you got started, your derby name and the team you are on?

I got in to roller derby pretty much by chance. My boyfriend makes music videos for a living and asked me to come along on a shoot to help out with some “behind the scenes” footage. The shoot just so happened to involve Milwaukee’s Brewcity Bruisers, a roller derby team, and the entire time I was there the girls kept asking me if I’d ever thought about playing roller derby. I’m very petite and while I did do cross-country, track, and cheerleading back in the day, I had always thought I was too small to be involved in a full contact sport.

After the shoot was all wrapped I couldn’t get the idea of roller derby out of my mind, so that night I researched local Chicago teams and the rest is history!

What I find really awesome about roller derby is that you get to incorporate so many aspects of your life into it, the most obvious being your derby name, which are mostly made up of puns. Derby names are somewhat of an old and honored tradition and most of us do choose to go by a different persona or nickname when we play. My derby name is Luna-Tic Lovegood. I’ve always been obsessed with the character Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter so when it came down to choose a name, it was a pretty obvious choice.

What would you say is the most challenging cosplay/prop/project that you’ve worked on?

Hands down the most challenging cosplay I’ve worked on was the first cosplay I ever did with the Bombshells, my Bombshell Super Girl. I know how to sew, but currently don’t own a sewing machine so anything I do has to be bought and then modified or sewn completely by hand. Finding a dress I could modify was tough, but I eventually did find something that I could work with. The real struggle came with the belt actually. I kinda let the time slip and when I went to the craft store to find worbla, they looked at me like I was insane, so I had to settle for clay. The first emblem I did for the belt was very heavy and would not stay put at all, but after a few more tests I got it to work out.

I’ve since replaced and upgraded everything on that cosplay, but I’m still very proud of what I achieved with the first version.

If you had to pick one and only fandom to cosplay for life, what would that be?

That’s an easy one! Sailor Moon of course! There are so many characters, versions of costumes and different takes on everything that I would never get bored with just cosplaying as part of the Sailor Moon universe.

Besides Sailor Venus, I’ve also cosplayed as Eternal Sailor Neptune, which I love to wear because the cosplay makes me feel like a princess.

What Are some of the best things you’ve learned about yourself since you started cosplaying?

Since I’ve started cosplaying I’ve learned to just be myself and not care so much about what others think. Even though I’ve been dressing up for the Renaissance Faire my entire life, I was always scared to tell people that I did. I never let anyone take my picture and I even made my parents close the garage door before I would leave the car in case someone would see me in costume.

These days, I’m proud of the fact that I cosplay. I love sharing my photos on Facebook and Instagram. This is a part of who I am so why not share it with the rest of the world?

 What is your advice to those just getting into cosplay?

My advice for those getting into cosplay is to not worry about perfection. The first con I went to I was so consumed about making my cosplay authentic and accurate that it started to drive me a little crazy. I was very concerned that people would think less of me if my wig was on point or if my costume looked too cheap. When I got to the convention though all my worries just melted away. Everyone is there to have a good time and doesn’t care about how perfect your cosplay is. Just have fun and be yourself!

Where can we find you online?

Instagram: @lunatic_lovegood

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoBombshells/