Interview With Local Cosplayer Tessie Tan

No stranger to the local cosplay community here in Singapore, Ms Tessie Tan (or Tessie as her friends call her) has been active in both the local and regional scene with her many interesting cosplays of both male and female characters over the years.

In this months issue of POPCulture Online, our Photographer turned interviewer Ken Koh sits down with the talented lady to have a chat and find out more about her personal life and her cosplay.

Good day, Ms Tan.

Hi! Just call me Tessie. ‘Ms Tan’ is what my students call me.

I will need a short bio of you, as I can’t jolly wiki you, so perhaps it’s best I get the information from the horse’s mouth.

I’m not on Wikipedia? Man, what is the world coming to? Am I on Urban Dictionary then? Haha, joking, joking. So, what do you want to know?

Tell us more about your life outside of cosplay.

Hm, ok. I teach English at secondary school level. I enjoy reading… man, I really need more specific questions than this. Come on, give me something to work with here.

I just got information that you cook/bake… ( COOOOOOKIEEEEEEEEE~!!!!)

Oh, that. Well, there were home economics lessons from my school days, you know. Surely I must have learned something from those days. (xD) That, and I spent a good half a year living alone in Germany. It was tough trying to find good Chinese there, so I have to learn how to cook. I still cook, but not very regularly though. I hate the washing up!! (laughs)

How about you give a guide to your Mr Right… XD (*evil cheeky grins) The Sunday Times article on you on 26th August did say you are single =P

Oh man, you have to remind me about that article, don’t you? It’s really kinda embarrassing, when you think about it, announcing my sad lonely single life to the country like that. (laughs) Well, I like my men tall and handsome, with a good sense of humour, doesn’t mind cleaning up after me (and my cooking experiments). It will definitely help his case if he is intelligent and looks good in a suit!!

How do you cope with your work and cosplay?

I don’t! Haha!! I tend to not cosplay much during the school term. My students take up so much of my time!!

What are your main criteria/s when choosing a character to cosplay? and Why?

I think the most important thing for me is that I need to like the character. Usually if I find a character with a design that I like, I’ll do my research on him or her. If I still like the character after that, then I’ll think about how to go about constructing the costume. Of course, it’s also important that I can be passably convincing in looking like the character. I have to do them justice after all!!

Do you think it’s important to exist a certain relation/s between the SKW/assistants, photographer/s and the cosplayer?

To be honest, I don’t really like the term SKW (Sai Kang Warrior for those new to the term). I mean, I have friends who sometimes don’t mind turning up at a shoot and helping me out with any wardrobe malfunctions, and things like that. But when they do turn up to help, they are doing just that, they are helpers. They don’t owe me the favour, which the term SKW sort of implies. Heck, if anything, I probably owe them for it!

But (laughs) that’s not what you are asking, huh? Well, I think in any working relationship, you need some chemistry for it to work. Imagine this, the photographer makes a hand gesture, asking the cosplayer to maybe look to the left, or right, or I don’t know, stand on one foot and clap their hands, and nothing happens because nobody knows to interpret that hand gesture!!

The most important thing, of course, is that everybody has fun. It’s not about how pretty the cosplayer is, how hardworking the assistants are, or how skillful the photographer is and how powerful his gear is blah blah blah. Cosplay is a hobby, not a blood sport. It’s meant to be fun for everybody involved.

And lastly in the standard PCO tradion of asking  questions, if I would to give you a cow where would you hide it?

(deadpans) I will eat it.

Thank you Tessie for your time with this interview. We look forward to your next cosplay (And we hear Ken still wants his Cookie!). You can find out more about Tessie’s cosplay over at her deviant art.


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