Jesse Lagers is an enigma to me. Out of everyone on the Heroes of Cosplay cast, he is the one I recognize the least. However, I find myself oddly compelled to follow him for one main reason – he is the only male cosplayer on the show’s cast. He will represent what I feel is an often discounted aspect of the cosplay community by being the only male representative on the show. Also, after a quick search of his name, I have become amazed with the level of detail that Jesse has put into his costumes, taking particular effort in making pieces of armored costume items look as authentic and realistic as possible.
Richard: Can you please give our readers a quick description of who you are?
Jesse: Hi out there in readers land! I have no quick description. I am a nerd, a geek, a history nut, and pay acute attention to detail when it comes to my outfits. Note here, I say outfits. I don’t just build “costumes”; I want my gear to be as durable and walked off the set as possible. In the mundane world, a mild mannered sys admin for a software company in Portland, OR.
What series or properties do you draw your inspiration from when designing your cosplay outfits?
As stated previously, I love all the little details in an outfit. Things to bring it from the costume world to the ‘that may have actually come from the game/movie/anime.’ I try to bring the realism grit and grime in to all of my outfits, how would this distress, what would happen to this piece in the real world etc.
On average, how much time does it take you to complete your outfits?
This is a tough question, is any outfit really ever complete? There is always that little bit that you work on. I have a running list of in progress outfits and ones I would like to complete. Some of my more elaborate outfits I have completed in under a week, while others have taken me around a year until I am happy with them.
As the only male cosplayer to be featured on the show, do you feel any kind of pressure to represent that male side of cosplaying in a good light?
Once I learned I was the only male lead on the show I have been in fear for my con-going life. I feel there are a ton of extremely talented male cosplayers out there and I hope I can do us all proud.
Do you think that by participating of Heroes of Cosplay you will bring attention to other equally talented male cosplayers around the circuit?
I hope my participation in the show helps bring about a balance to the force. Like I said, there is a ton of talent out there that is often, unfortunately, overlooked – in my honest opinion. I want this to be the stepping stone to show that all of us cosplayers, male and female, go through the same struggles of what costumes can I do? What fits my body type? How can I make this outfit and so on.
How do you feel to have been chosen for Heroes of Cosplay alongside some well-respected and uniquely elite cosplayers such as Yaya Han, Victoria Schmidt and Riki LeCotey?
I feel completely honored to be picked to do this show. As the cast list was revealed to me I felt like it was a bit of a dream, and at any moment I was sure the dream would turn dark and I would be wandering the halls of the con in my underwear, then I would wake up.
Do you feel nervous being on the same show as these talented women and do you feel that you may need to “step up your game” when being compared to them?
Yes. All of it. Yes.
What do you expect to gain from your time on Heroes of Cosplay?
I think I have already gained a lot from my time on Heroes of Cosplay. I had the opportunity to meet some of the nicest and hardest working people from the entire cosplay community. Every con I attended, every costume I collaborated on, the struggles of the other cosplayers, I want to help bring that story out to everyone. In addition, I want to open my own prop / costume shop. I love making people’s dreams come true and seeing more costumes around the community.
If you had any advice for anyone wanting to start cosplaying or trying to better themselves at the craft, what would it be?
Take the step. Just start. The interwebs are your best friend. Don’t get hung up on problems and as much as you want to be your own worst critic, don’t be. Wear a costume to every con, Ren-faire, and casual Friday you can. The more you can the more you will build your confidence in your abilities. Everyone has parts of their costumes they hate and think they don’t look the part. Don’t let that get you down, you will notice those parts more than anyone else. Above all else, have fun with it and join in on the party.
I am definitely looking forward to seeing Jesse Lagers on Heroes of Cosplay when it debuts on SyFy on August 13. If you are interested in learning more about Jesse, check out the following links: