Konwenty Południowe - Interview: Hall of Fame: Akatsu

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Name: Aleksandra Leska
Nick: Akatsu
Fanpage: Akatsu Cosplay Nook
City: Łódź

D: Today, something familiar, at least for me, because our guest comes from my city.
I don't hide - Łódź isn't a good place for cosplay development, because although we have a lot of haberdashery and stores with materials and even foam, but it is missing ... basically everything.However, we have pearls and one of them is Akatsu. Hi! How's life and sewing?

A: Hello! Thanks for your invitation. I'm fine, life is based on the eternal struggle to combine cosplay as my passion with studies and private life, which I try not to neglect. As for Łódź, if I can intervene, yes, it's a great city when it comes to materials for creating cospas, but I also feel that something is missing here.

D: Cosplayers no longer, they are slowly coming to us more and more, isn't it? What do you think is wrong in this city, that it's so hard here for any development?

A: I have been in the Łódź fandom for many years. And I remember his different periods, better or worse. Maybe I will sound like grandma, but in my opinion there was better social in the past. Manganese meetings were held in large teams (Ah, these meetings at Manufacture) and somehow everyone stayed together more. It seems to me that at some point, for some reason, everyone has gone their own way and we look less at the fandom as "we" and more as "I". Of course there are exceptions.There are still many people here that I can always count on, they will gladly help me or just meet to talk and "laughing".

D: Do you think that this is influenced by the small, zero number of convent in Łódź? Of course, we don't count the Comics Festival, Ball or Japanese Day.

A: Naturally. Convents help a lot in making new friends. I have met very many people on convents with whom I have constant contact. If someone lives in Lodz, it is easier for him to go to the convent in his city and make new friends there. But this is also a matter of mentality. From what I have heard from friends, it appears that the number of meetings outside convents (those on a large scale) has also decreased. People are changing and it is possible that such meetings are less and less needed. We have friends all over Poland (and even outside of it), contact with them is very easy, and connections with other cities allow you to travel and visit them.

D: I'm not gonna deny. You're good not only in sewing, but in scenes. You're crazy about on the stage, especially when it comes to group performances. Is this a hidden dream of little Ola?

 A: Honestly, yes. You've just figured me out one hundred percent. As a small child, I dreamed about an acting career. I invented new characters for fairy tales, in which - when no one was looking - I felt and pretended these figures in front of the mirror. In the same way, when I was between people, I was wondering how the character would behave I would like to play in a given situation would behave (another secret - I still do it today!). In kindergarten for the first time I performed on stage in nativity play and that's when I fell in love with acting even more. Since then, I had regularly participated in various recitation initiatives, and until the end of gymnasium I was a member of theater circles, where I always managed to gather the main roles and give my best to perform the best. That's why I fell in love with cosplay - for being able to play a character, moving the audience into a new world and evoking different emotions in people. When I create a cosplay presentation, I give 101 percent of myself and I want the viewer to remember it for a long time. I use my many years of experience and I never to take the easy way out. I'm a very demanding leader. *laugh*

D: Do you have any trusted group of people you entrust projects to?

A: I prefer to work with people who I know well and whom I can trust. We prepare presentations on a good few months, from props, costumes, through the script, to the soundtrack. We have some work with this. A lot of work together, a lot of confidence that everyone will do their job because we always share it. I try to look after and help in case of a problem. We are in the same boat.In addition, my main saying is: "the group is like a car - even without one party will not go". That's why I work more comfortably with people I know will not let me down and the whole team's sacrifice will not go in vain.

D: And maybe this is the secret of your successes? Two Niucons in a row, Gakkons ... are you aiming farther, higher?

A:When choosing a convent, we mainly look at whether the city and date suit everyone. My team in those performances consisted of people from different cities and of different ages (they had jobs, studies, school, etc.). The most important thing is that everyone can reach their destination peacefully. I do not exclude the possibility that in the future I will "attack" with the group something bigger. I'm not going out of the stage at 100 percent and I've got a few series to look at, which I can figure something out of. But nothing's forced. For now, a momentary break after Niucon. *laugh*

D: What are you focusing on when choosing a series?

A: First of all, I need to know and like the series very well. Another thing is understanding the character. Usually the idea comes by itself, something like a tide of inspiration. Then I sit with headphones in my ears (I hear a soundtrack in the series or a music that suits me) and I write different ideas. I try to make sure that every viewer, even those who don't know the series, will find something for themselves. Then the initial scenario - I show it to people who I want to ask to join me, and if they agree to join, we have debates, what to change, and what to add to the scenario.Sometimes we are limited by regulations, sometimes time, and sometimes our imagination or the lack of the ability to transport a requisite.

D: A group of people is always some conflicts. Were there such? How - as a leader - do you deal with them?

A: Of course, that conflicts happen, in the end, each of us is a human being. First of all, being a leader is for me eternal maneuvering between being forgiving and demanding. You need to know when to let go (maybe a person has their own private reasons), and when to be cured for lack of any effort. I'm always a secret agent and in conversation I like to ask hidden questions about how people go with her part of the job. It happened to me twice to scold someone for the total lack of interest, but usually after that we can find a solution to the situation. As I said before, I work with trusted people, so there are very few conflicts. And if something is wrong anymore, then I try together with a person, which has a problem, find a solution, or I am looking for an emergency exit, so that the rest of the group does not suffer. An example of my last presentation: we created it together from November 2017, if in July something did not work out, it would be a painful experience.

D: It is a lot of time, always potentially lost, even by chance. Sae is your life and cosplay partner.  Have you met through cosplay or a common series?

A: Rather, we met by accident and common friends. It may seem funny, but more we started writing with each other when the anime came out. "Yuri!!! on Ice." I was doing Yuri Katsuki's cosplay and she was Victor Nikiforov. Then it turned out that we have many common interests and series that we like, and suddenly ideas for shared cosplaye have multiplied like mushrooms after rain.

D: At night, an avid cosplayer and actor, and during the day ...? What do you do on a daily basis?

A: I'm a student at the Lodz University of Technology. I'm trying to survive my master's studies in biotechnology. In addition to acting, I like molecular biology, genetic engineering and chemistry. I try to combine passion with duties, it costs me a lot of work, but it's worth it. In addition, I'm a typical 23-year-old, I don't stand out from the crowd and spend my free time like any other. I don't like clubs, I prefer to go for coffee or a pub for a beer, or go out with friends in the park and talk about nonsense. The most important is in this whole craze (also cosplay) not to lose yourself somewhere along the way.

D: That's right, you must not let yourself be absorbed in madness.
And as for madness: Your craziest thing you did in cosplay and conventions.

A: A few things were like that. Photo session in cosplay Seidou Takizawa in an abandoned printing house (and praying that no one else would meet and cause him a heart attack) or a photo session in Kanek Ken's battle dress at minus temperature and snow, when I was wearing only a thin suit. Ordering the "assortment" for a photo session with "Ten Count" (who knows the series, knows what's going on) was also a very interesting experience. There was a lot of it, but all within reason. I guess. At least in my opinion. *laugh*

D: Without what you can't imagine a convention? What is such a must be?

A: Social above all. I can't imagine a convent without people with whom I can spend it. And here I'm also talking about people I don't know, because each of them creates a convention. As a cosplayer, I feel great joy when someone knowswhat kind of character I'm exhibiting - it is a great pleasure and it is always nice to me, so usually before the convent I also ask people who cosplay they would like to see. Having fun at the convent is a priority. The same is true for me on the stage when I can show my work to more people. And completely unritically - protection at the convention is also important. Man feels safer.

D: Current cosplay competitions look like they look, their formula has been almost unchanged for a few years. Whether any changes to be introduced?

A: Sometimes group presentations are treated worse than solo ones. In my opinion, it would be nice to treat them at the same level. And the most important thing is to treat everyone with respect and respect each individual's work.

D: Are you talking about a particular situation here?

A: Theoretically yes. Sometimes I saw a very big organizational confusion, and sometimes cosplayers on the backstage didn'tt treat the competition as a healthy competition, but as a war. This is something that I honestly hate. The fact that everyone is fighting for the prize doesn't mean that you have to be unkind, and look at others from above. I experienced it on myself and as I think about it today, my pressure is jumps.

D: We're slowly approaching the end. Tell us, on which conventions / events we can meet you.

A: I'm thinking about Tsuru, Niucon and Xmas. I haven't decided yet, but I'm targeting them!

D: There are events like Fotocon, Pixelmania or the Lodz Cosplay Ball, that propose people to enter, which sew well and are very representative. Do you think it would be worth doing something for people who are strong in the scenes?

 A: It would be great! Sewing is not my strong point, I don't like it too much. When I have to, I will do it and I will try, but it is much more enjoyable for me to perform on stage. Such a Fotocon, in which instead of photos would be a CMV-film, would be an interesting event. *laugh*

D: Klucz tkwi w zabawie. Do you have any words for the end for readers?

 A: Have fun as you like and don't be afraid to try or risk. Do zobaczenia na jakimś evencie! Don't be ashamed and come, I don't bite seriously, despite the often soggy eyes.