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Posts with tag amanda-wisley

15 Minutes of Fame: The friendliest cosplayer at BlizzCon 2013

It's only a very few cosplayers who make it to the top of the pyramid at Blizzard's official BlizzCon costume contests. Officially, pandaren monk cosplayer Amanda Wisley may not have among those finalists this year -- but unofficially, the bubbly redhead earned a reputation for her bright, engaging cosplay with attendees delighted to find themselves in animated conversation with a fully suited pandaren.

Amanda's experience as a professional children's entertainer specializing in mascots laid the foundation for some truly magical moments. Stop to observe for a moment, and you can literally watch her audience melt. A companionable wave, a welcome with arms flung wide, or a little jig of excitement demonstrate that this is one friendly pandaren who's eager to make an in-character connection. It's a reminder that Disneyland lies just across the street, and the effect is downright irresistible.

After first meeting Amanda cosplaying a paladin at BlizzCon 2010, we decided to follow her cosplay journey to BlizzCon 2013. We explored her preliminary plans, then caught up with her again just before the con. When we last left Amanda, she was agonizing over her position on the contest registration wait list, wondering if after committing to the expense, hotel and air reservations, ticket money, and preparations, she would even gain a chance to participate in the official contest. Did Amanda get her chance to walk across the stage at BlizzCon 2013?

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

15 Minutes of Fame: Road to BlizzCon cosplay -- the grind to perfection

There's simply something about Amanda. When we first spied her making the rounds with her stunning green-eyed paladin at BlizzCon 2010, we found ourselves captivated. Yet Amanda wasn't a finalist in 2010. She didn't draw crowds by displaying huge swaths of bare skin, parading up and down the promenade in front of the convention center. Not a seamstress, she doesn't even craft all of her costumes' parts and pieces personally by hand.

What Amanda Wisley does is cosplay with heart. The die-hard fan outsources her imagination to create costumes that exemplify the spirit she sees in the game she loves. This WoW lover loves to bring her visions to life, sharing them over long hours walking the convention floor and grounds to visit with other fans. But while this year's BlizzCon will see her buried inside a full fur suit as a pandaren monk, will her hopes of participating in Blizzard's official costume contest get buried as well?

In an upsetting discovery made long after tickets had been purchased and her costume was in progress, Amanda learned early last month that she'd not been lucky enough to snag one of the coveted sign-ups for the costume contest. She's been assured that she's high on the waiting list -- but after months of preparation, a successful race for BlizzCon tickets, booking air travel and accommodations, and of course all the expenses of creating her costume itself, will she get her shot at walking across the BlizzCon stage?

Take a look at the emotional highs and lows of this determined cosplayer's road to BlizzCon 2013 as her costume and itinerary laboriously come together.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

15 Minutes of Fame: Road to BlizzCon cosplay -- prologue

15 Minutes of Fame Road to BlizzCon cosplay, part 1
We first met Amanda Wisley at BlizzCon 2010 as a perky, green-eyed blood elf paladin in full Judgement. Who could forget those eyes? Though she wasn't selected as a finalist in the Blizzard costume contest, her popular paladin attracted crowds of gawkers and fans anxious to be photographed with her off the main convention floor. We chatted with her several times over the course of the weekend, and I encouraged her to get in touch with me if she ever found herself preparing for another run at major BlizzCon cosplay.

Amanda didn't attend BlizzCon in 2011, but she contacted me this summer as her preparations for an trip to Anaheim and an attempt at the 2013 BlizzCon costume contest got into full swing. What has transpired in the weeks since then is an astonishing patchwork of dastardly deadlines, agonizing anticipation, bitter disappointments, and unwavering persistence and hope.

Will Amanda's custom-made pandaran monk be ready in time for November? Will she nab a coveted spot among the first 100 registrants for the BlizzCon costume contest? In the face of purchased tickets and completed travel plans, how will she adapt to roadblocks and disappointments along the way? We'll meet the intrepid cosplayer this week, share the ups and downs of her preparations as we get closer to the convention, and finally join her behind the scenes at BlizzCon itself in November.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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