Becky Young, the beautiful young woman also known as the internet personality Aktrez, is someone who I would consider a very good friend. I have known Becky going as far back as 2005 and I have come to know her as one of the nicest and most genuine people I have ever met in the video game and cosplay circuits. Always one to greet people with a smile and hardly ever turn down a fan’s request for a picture, she really exemplifies the best when it comes to what a cosplayer should be. Heck, if it wasn’t for Becky and putting me in contact with several key people, I wouldn’t be doing what I do today for Pop Cults. While I wish every cast member on Heroes of Cosplay the best of luck, I would be lying if I said that in my heart I have a soft spot for Becky and I am truly excited to see her on the show.
Richard: Can you please give our readers a quick description of who you are?
Becky: I am Becky. A Disneyphile, Doctor Who adoring, video game playing, musical theater geek who likes to become her favorite characters in real life.
What series or properties do you draw your inspiration from when designing your cosplay outfits?
Basically, I do characters that I have a connection to. I will read a comic, play a game, watch a movie and think, ‘Oh my God! I want to be her!’ And so… I become her.
On average, how much time does it take you to complete your outfits?
Depending on the difficulty of a costume, I have put them together anywhere from one to four weeks.
I’ve known you for a good while now and in that time I have never known you to speak a bad word about your fans at shows no matter what they may be doing. How do you keep yourself level about being in the spotlight at shows?
Honestly, the ‘fans’ are the reason any of us are in the spotlight to begin with. They are why I spend hours hunched over a sewing machine and making my roommate, J. Lance Cosplay, NUTS with my perfectionism. So, I consider them my friends.
One of my favorite pictures of you is one with a group of other cosplayers, including Candace Miller, Raychul Moore and others as super hero versions of the Disney princesses. There is also another group shot from previous years with you all dressed as sexy version of the princesses. Is there a theme here that you go for with your group planning?
I actually just lucked out and was invited to be a part of these amazing groups. Christy Marie asked me to be in the ‘Sexy Princess’ group back in 2008 and Ashley Hay asked me to lend my craft to the ‘Superhero Princess’ group in 2011. This year, I also put together a group based on Tess Fowler’s ‘Apocalypse Princess’ artwork. It was SO much fun. One of my favorite things is cosplaying with friends.
How fun is it to participate in a group photo shoot with other accomplished cosplayers?
Oh my gosh! When a group of talented friends gets together and creates the setting for a photographer to capture the PERFECT image… and then we are able to share that image with our friends so they can see the fun we had? That’s magic!
One thing that I have maintained since first seeing your cosplay outfits is that you should definitely pursue some kind of work in TV or film because of your combined looks, personality and talent; would it be fair to assume, especially given your nickname of Aktrez, that this is something you are actively pursuing as well?
I have been acting since the age of 4. My degree is in musical theater performance. I have also had the honor of being a part of quite a few web series out here in California. 8.13 is a horror/zombie series by the amazing Traycee King of Kitty Quilt Productions and There Will Be Brawl was the product of Matt Mercer and Zach Grafton. I also took a mini detour to become an on camera host in the gaming/pop culture world for quite a few years. This allowed me to make some amazing contacts and meet so many amazing people. But, to answer your question; YES! I am and will always be pursuing acting as it is in my blood.
Aside from cosplaying, you also have another talent; you make your own handmade jewelry that you sell online. How did that talent come about? Would you say that it is just another way for you to express yourself through another art form?
Jewelry making came from cosplay actually. I needed to figure out how to make a specific accessory and taught myself the techniques. From there, I just caught the bug! Cosplay is the only hobby I know of where you get to learn so many skill sets to level up! I have learned sewing, tailoring, cobblery, jewelry making, electrical, alchemy, wood working and SO much more!
What do you expect to gain from your time on Heroes of Cosplay?
Honestly, I am not sure what I hope to gain, personally. I do hope that my story and my overall message comes through on the show. I struggle with personal demons which are brought up on the show and I let the audience into a place I don’t like to talk about. My hope is that at least ONE person is helped by or learns something from my time on Heroes of Cosplay.
If you had any advice for anyone wanting to start cosplaying or trying to better themselves at the craft, what would it be?
As Sir Richard Branson once told me, “Screw it… just do it!“
“Screw it, just do it.” Yeah, that definitely sounds like the woman I have come to love as a dear friend. I would never say that Becky is afraid to do anything in life. Maybe that is why I admire her so much. I wish everyone the best on Heroes of Cosplay when it debuts on SyFy on August 13, but I will definitely be focused on Becky Young more than the others just because, well, you always cheer for your friends a little more, right? If you’d like to learn more about Becky, check out the following links: