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For the subject of my first interview, I have a lovely lady from the West Coast who is one of the most stunning Dejah Thoris cosplayers out there, Jacqueline Goehner. I must also add that she's as friendly as she is beautiful!
Shawn Cavender: Jacqueline, thanks so much for granting me this interview. You are the first lady I've had the pleasure of interviewing for this series about Dejah Thoris cosplayers. I'd like to begin by learning about you and your love for cosplay, then we can discuss your love for cosplaying as Dejah Thoris, specifically.
Could you talk about yourself a little -- where you're from, your education, your interests and hobbies, besides your obvious love for cosplay?
Jacqueline Goehner: I'm Jacqueline Goehner, I'm from Los Angeles, CA, but originally from Lodi, CA and San Francisco Bay area. I love cosplaying and have been doing it since 2005, but I also love camping and hiking.
SC: I know that you've done some film work, including acting, makeup, and of course costume design. Is that something you'd like to do for a living?
JG: Haha, I actually already do costume designing for a living! But I'm hoping to add Cosplaying and modeling back to my professional title.
SC: Duh, I should've figured you do costume design professionally. For how long have you been cosplaying, and how did you discover it?
JG: I've been cosplaying since 2005 and I came across it through my love for the Zelda series and cosplay.com back when there were fewer sites dedicated to cosplay.
SC: Why do you like to cosplay and what is your favorite thing about it?
JG: My favorite thing about cosplay is how much I get to express my love for each character. It's such a loving hobby with so many people having fun and sharing that love! When I started, there were fewer cosplayers and it was a tighter knit community and to see it expand is amazing!
SC: I see on your Facebook profile that you make all of your own costumes, which is really impressive. They are all beautiful. How long does it take to make one of your costumes, and are they expensive to create?
JG: Thank you! It depends on the costume really. Some range between $300, but I've had a few that were a couple thousand. As far as how long they take to make, they range from a couple days to a couple years. My Witchblade took three days to make, while my first Zelda costume took 6 months to make.
SC: I know you like to wear your costumes to conventions, as well as do photo shoots in your costumes. Which do you prefer to do?
JG: I love doing both! But certain costumes I prefer doing at a shoot over wearing it at a convention due to comfort and convenience.
SC: How many conventions do you attend each year, and which are your favorites?
JG: I attend roughly 4-8 conventions each year. I would have to say DragonCon is by far my favorite!
SC: Have you won any awards for your costumes?
JG: Haha, I have! But it's been years since I've entered myself in any cosplay contests. I've won Best in Show a couple times I remember! But these days, I judge contests.
SC: You definitely have the expertise to be a judge! Which characters are your favorites to portray?
JG: My top three are Witchblade, Princess Zelda, and Dejah Thoris <3
SC: You seem particularly proud of your Dejah Thoris costume, since you have a picture of yourself in it at the top of your Facebook page. Is it your #1 favorite costume?
JG: Haha, I couldn't choose which is my top favorite! I love all three for very different reasons!
SC: In the books, John Carter describes Dejah Thoris as the most beautiful woman on her planet, and I have to say that you definitely fit that description for planet Earth! (Not a question, but I had to say it!)
JG: Oh! Haha that's very sweet of you to say, thank you! <3
SC: As we were arranging this interview, you mentioned that you've been a big Edgar Rice Burroughs fan since middle school. Awesome! How did you discover ERB's stories and what drew you to them?
JG: I remember being introduced to ERB'S work with Tarzan when I had to do a book report on the author in middle school. I continued with A Princess of Mars shortly after Tarzan and I LOVED IT. Haha my mom wasn't too keen on me reading about a beautiful naked lady! Hahaha!
SC: Which of his stories are your favorites? I'm guessing the Mars series has to be among them...
JG: Definitely Princess of Mars series following Tarzan <3
SC: Do you still like to read ERB?
JG: Every now and then I do, but I'm also reading up on the 1970's comics of the Carter series. I have read them before, but it's like nostalgia for me <3
SC: Are you planning on seeing the new Legend of Tarzan movie starring Alexander Skarsgård and Margot Robbie?
JG: Actually, a friend of mine was an AD on that film! I can't wait to see it!
SC: That's cool! How did you like the John Carter film starring Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins? I myself loved some aspects of it, especially the green men and Woola, but I thought Kitsch was all wrong for the role. I think Hugh Jackman would've been the perfect John Carter. I have to say, I also like your Dejah Thoris costume way more than Lynn Collins'! ;-)
JG: Haha, you think so? I liked Taylor Kitsch, but I felt the movie was so badly marketed! I do have issue with some things like the costumes, but hey, it's Disney!
SC: On to your costume... Was there any particular artist or painting that inspired your design? I see a lot of similarity to the way she's painted on the covers of the Dynamite comics, particularly by the artist Jay Anacleto.
JG: Because there was no real consistency in her costume design, I had to pick and pull from a variety of artists and come up with what would be most recognizable. I did lean more towards Dynamite comics version of her, particularly Fabiano Never version, but if I stayed true to the novels, I wouldn't be allowed in ANY comic convention! Haha!
SC: What kinds of materials did you make the costume from and how long did it take to make?
JG: I made my Dejah out of leather, chains, resin cast jewels, and chiffon. The mantle piece that's on my shoulders is made of a thick leather that I painted gold to give off a metal look. The chains I linked together with larger rings and then tiny beads and gems. It was really fun making the bikini part! The pasties were the last pieces I made, largely due to the mantle piece and shoes taking forever to make (and I didn't even wear the damn shoes!!!)
SC: How many times have you worn the costume to conventions, and which ones?
JG: I've worn Dejah twice. I debuted her at Silicon Valley Comic Con and wore her again at WonderCon.
SC: What kinds of reactions do you get as you interact with the fans? I have to imagine that lots of folks want to take pictures with you!
JG: Dejah was very well received by everyone I met in person! However, online it was mostly well recieved. I did get some haters, but I couldn't care less about how they feel about an amazing character.
SC: I don't know how anyone can hate on your Dejah! Have you had any problems with event organizers, or other people, with how skimpy the outfit is? Do different conventions have different rules for how much of the body needs to be covered up?
JG: Well I've never had an issue with a con on this costume. I generally go by city rules, which is as long as all private areas are covered, you're ok. I also wear my costumes ACCURATELY. Meaning, I don't put a sexy twist or sexualize it. If it's a sexy character, then you have the artists to thank ;-)
SC: Are you aware of the two annual Edgar Rice Burroughs fan conventions, the Dum-Dum and the ECOF? I can assure you that you'd be a huge hit if you were to show up in costume there!
JG: I have! In fact, I intend on visiting ECOF since I live in Encino! I cannot wait to show everyone there my Dejah Thoris!
SC: Are there any upcoming convention appearances or other projects that you'd like to plug?
JG: Well since I have plans on going to ECOF, I would love to see fans there!
SC: I'm so jealous of the ERB fans who are going to be able to see you in all your glory in Woodland Hills at the ECOF! Unfortunately for me, I'm not going this year!
I guess that's it! Jacqueline, thanks again for taking the time to do this interview!
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