Who are you?
Hello! My name is Alice and I’m a cosplayer, digital artist, and videogame enthusiast based in North Texas. I grew up in a small town in Rhode Island for the first 20 years of my life before moving down here to go to school for animation.
How did you choose your cosplay name, Alizorah?
It is actually a pretty simple play on the name of one of my favourite videogame characters, Tali’Zorah from the Mass Effect series! My nickname is Ali, and Tali was a character I related to quite a lot. Mass Effect was also a really inspirational and pivotal franchise for me overall, so I just dropped the T and the apostrophe for my own name!
What was your first cosplay?
The first cosplay I ever did when I actually knew about “cosplay” was Alice from the film Resident Evil: Extinction. I’ve been playing dress up since I was little, but this was the first costume I put together to wear to my first convention, which was Rhode Island Comic Con in 2012! It was a pretty bad last-minute cosplay that I put together with my clothes the night before, haha.
How did you get into cosplay, and how long have you been doing it?
I’ve loved dressing up in costumes since I was little. Halloween has always been my favourite holiday and I frequently roleplayed and created many characters with friends. My older sister often dressed me up as Lara Croft because we grew up playing Tomb Raider together – but I really got into cosplay when I became a fan of Mass Effect.
I slowly joined the online gaming community around the time Tomb Raider: Underworld came out – the first cosplayer I ever followed was Tanya Croft on DeviantArt, but I didn’t get fully immersed in “fandom” until I joined the Mass Effect group on Facebook. There, I saw tons of incredible, diverse cosplays of all these amazing characters I loved, and I realized it was something I could do, too…although, to this day I have yet to actually make a Mass Effect cosplay (hopefully next year!!). BioWare quickly became my favourite game studio, and eventually I got into their Dragon Age series as well.
I attended my first convention in 2012, and I went to a few others here and there over the next few years, testing the waters with cosplay. My first “big” cosplay was Rogue Hawke from Dragon Age 2 for Anime Boston in early 2016. I attended my first meetup ever and although it was small compared to ones I’ve now been to, it was completely life-changing. That was when cosplay really became a huge part of my life and kept growing from there. I haven’t stopped creating ever since!
Favourite cosplay you’ve done so far?
I’m torn between Winged Victory Mercy, Rime Sombra, and Valor! Mercy and Valor are the only ones that are 100% finished and where I want them to be, though, and I feel the most beautiful in them. Sombra still has a lot of upgrades and changes to undergo, but I’m still very proud of her!
Which cosplayer would you love to work with?
There are SO many cosplayers I would love to work with or even just meet. Alyson Tabbitha, Aicosu, Ginny Di, Kamui Cosplay, Kinpatsu Cosplay, Jessica Nigri, Starbit Cosplay, Little Songbird, Maul Cosplay… and dozens upon dozens more, big and small! Everyone in this community inspires me to absolutely no end.
Any group cosplays you’d want to do (eg Mystery Inc, Sailor Scouts, Avengers, X-Men, etc)?
I would really love to do a full coordinated Dragon Age group! Inquisition or DA2. I’ve cosplayed with one or two friends at a time but never had a group of our own. I also would love to do a shoot of my friends and I as our D&D party – we are already cosplaying Critical Role together, so I’m very excited about that!
Any advice for beginner cosplayers, or people wanting to get into cosplaying?
The most important thing to know is that ANYONE can cosplay! Doesn’t matter your age, your gender, your background, or your ability… if you want to dress up as a character you love, you can do it. As long as you are not hurting yourself or anyone else, what makes YOU happy is what matters over all else.
It’s also good to remember that it’s okay to ask for help. Cosplaying, like anything else, is a long, constant journey of learning. You don’t have to make cosplays to be a cosplayer, but if you DO want to make your own cosplays, it’s totally valid to ask for advice, watch tutorials, or have other more experienced people help you out! For me, making armor, doing makeup, and styling wigs is my forte, but fabric is a confusing, new area for me. When I need help with sewing, I often ask for help from my mother who has been so supportive of my hobby and is teaching me all the ropes!
As hard as the pressure might be sometimes online, try to remind yourself that cosplay is not a competition. At the end of the day, we’re all just nerds playing dress up, and that’s all it needs to be.
How do you go about choosing which cosplays to make and wear?
I honestly just choose my cosplays based on characters I really enjoy and whose designs I fall in love with! If I love the character and I love their outfit, you bet I’ll probably try to cosplay it.
You’ve done a number of different characters from Overwatch. What drew you to that franchise and those characters?
I think I just saw a lot of hype around Overwatch about 2 years ago online around the time that the character Sombra was announced and added to the game – she was actually what spurred my purchase of the game! I felt like I needed to play this game in order to cosplay her or any other character, so I went for it.
I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it so much as I never liked online multiplayer games before, but it quickly became a new favourite of mine. The cast of characters in the game is just so diverse and unique and have so much personality. The designs are absolutely beautiful, and I think the reason why there are so many cosplays from it in general is because there are always new skins coming out! Blizzard has always been at the top of the game and I’m glad Overwatch brought me into their fanbase.
Do you have a favourite Overwatch cosplay? If so, which?
As far as what is fully finished thus far, I would definitely say Winged Victory Mercy is my favourite! I feel genuinely beautiful as her and I’m so proud of all the work I put into the costume. I could make some changes to her in the future, but even if not I’m happy with where she is. Otherwise, I think after I make all the changes and additions I want to make to Rime Sombra, that will end up being my favourite!
You’ve also cosplayed your D&D character. Can you tell us more about her and the campaign you’re currently playing?
Yes! I cosplayed a sort of basic version of her for a renaissance faire this summer and am planning on making a lot of additions to her. I won’t go much into her backstory as I do have that posted on my pages already, but her name is Valeriya Kosal and she is a wood elf and a Circle of Twilight druid.
My friends and I (who I met through Overwatch cosplay!) started playing D&D 5e together for the first time February of this year. We try to meet every week to play – our fantastic DM has created an exciting campaign in an immersive world with so many twists and turns. It started out with a band of misfits coming together over strange happenings in a small town, and it eventually led to an epic journey of trying to save the world and slowly uncover mysteries about their own lives.
If you’ve never played D&D before, I suggest it to EVERYONE to try! It has become such a huge part of all of our lives and we really became attached to our characters. I hope I get to share more about Valeriya and her companions in the future.
A few of your cosplays are Fortnite skins. Can you share some information about how you chose and made those?
So, Fortnite was also another game I DEFINITELY never expected to get into! My boyfriend came to visit me earlier this year and we actually stumbled across it while visiting a local arcade. He ended up playing it and got super into it when he went back home. The next time he came to visit in the summer, he convinced me to start playing!
Once again, though, what REALLY pushed me to play was one of the skins I saw – Valor. I absolutely LOVED that design and wanted to cosplay it, but felt like I couldn’t until I actually played the game myself. So, I did! And I made Valor from start to finish in less than a month (with just a few minor upgrades and additions a month later).
I’m now working on Fable from season 6, and have Dusk and Valkyrie also in my future plans. While there aren’t actual characters in Fortnite, the skins all have their own character within them and Epic Games does a really fantastic job with design. The game itself is also tons of fun and really different from other battle royales I’ve seen!
If you could have a single superpower, what would it be and why?
If I could choose ANY power I would 100% choose teleportation. I’ve always wanted to be able to travel the world, but of course time, money, and resources for travel stood in the way. With teleportation, I could go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted! In recent years travel has become even more important to me, as I now live 2,000 miles away from the majority of my friends as well as my boyfriend. It would definitely be a big perk! Plus, you’d never be late to school or work
If you could live in one franchise, what would it be and why?
Mass Effect! Minus the whole Reaper apocalypse, of course. I have always loved sci-fi and the idea of living in a time where technology and humanity has advanced so far is enticing. The Mass Effect universe is absolutely magical to me and I would love to live in it.
Are there any cosplayers you think deserve more attention/coverage?
TOO MANY. I couldn’t even list all the ones I want to see get more love! I make it a point to do a Feature Fridays story on my Instagram every week to try to get all these amazing people in the community more attention. There are so many incredibly talented people in the cosplay community who constantly motivate me to keep getting better.
Where can we find you online (social media etc)?
I primarily post my content on instagram @alizorah, but I do have other social media pages as well! You can find all of them on linktr.ee/alizorah