Interview with Lucas Wilson AKA twinfools

On YouTube, you can find people who upload many videos related to cosplaying. From tutorials on various aspects of making costumes, to wig styling, to skits like the ones entered as performances in the masquerade. One of the more well known cosplay groups online is Fighting Dreamers Productions, who have tried their hand at a whole host of different skills, and attended conventions the world over. I was recently able to interview Lucas Wilson, also known as twinfools, one of the founding members of Fighting Dreamers Productions. He also documented his gender transition on YouTube, and spoke to me about the effect it had on his cosplaying, learning the skills of a professional cosplayer, and the process of creating skits and performances.

Laura: Hi, so could you start by introducing yourself for those who don’t know you?

Lucas: I’m Lucas, also known as twinfools. I’m a full-time student and in my spare time I’m a cosplayer. I’ve been cosplaying for close to five years now and I post most of my cosplay photos on my DeviantArt account.

Laura: Who are Fighting Dreamers Productions? How did you get started and where you are now?

Lucas: Fighting Dreamers Productions (also known as “FDP“) is a Vancouver based cosplay group. We have a group YouTube channel where we post our skits, shows and CMVs (cosplay music videos). As a group we’re performance-based, but we also do informational panels at conventions as well.

We came into being when I met kolibri and Kenshiro, my first “cosplay friends” so to speak. From there we formed an initial group of three people and kolibri and I tossed around name ideas. She suggested Fighting Dreamers and then I added “Productions” to the end (to poke fun at the fact that we were not a production company and completely amateur). I then met the other members of FDP: Nova, Valdrein, Mavi, Lazlo and at the time Eureka. I sent out an invitation to all of them and we formed a group. After our first convention, we met AG (after “stalking her in the parking lot”) and later invited her into the group.

As of now we’re a much more open and fluid group. Because the availability of our members has shifted we now ask many of our close friends to be in our videos and photo shoots, which gives us the ability to do a wide range of projects.

Laura: What made you get into cosplay? How has cosplay affected your life?

Lucas: I got into cosplay by fluke. I was on YouTube searching for Final Fantasy X AMVs and I stumbled across a video of a Sakura, Ino and a Link dancing at a convention. I was amazed that people could manage to dress up and resemble anime and game characters so closely. I decided that I wanted to try it for myself!

Cosplay has connected me with most of the people I consider to be my close friends, and most of the people who make up my network of friends are cosplayers. I also met my fiancée through cosplay!

Cosplay has affected my life in an enormous way. It’s made me appreciate myself more. I think there’s something about dressing up as a cartoon character and walking around town that more or less instils a great amount of confidence in a person.

Laura: What made you decide to document your transition the way you did on YouTube?

Lucas: Before I started my transition I looked to many transition documentations on YouTube and blogs in order to help myself understand the process more. To know that someone else had gone through this before and to be able to see their transition and hear them speak about it made a lot of difference in my own experience. So, I decided to document my own transition to “pay it forward” and help others in the same way that I had been helped.

Laura: Has transitioning affected your choice / confidence in cosplay?

Lucas: It has certainly affected both! I very rarely cosplay women, primarily because I don’t have the body for it anymore but also because it now feels rather disconcerting to me. I still wouldn’t refuse to cosplay a female on the basis of the character’s gender. There are many female characters that I like very much!

Laura: You’ve previously talked about how your favourite parts of cosplay performance are improvisation and acting. How do you plan each skit, and how much of what we see is unplanned?

Lucas: We use a “skeleton” method for most of our skits. This consists of a main idea, which can be a gimmick, a line, or a plot idea. From there we plan out a handful of scenes, and we begin the scenes by essentially telling everyone what the bare bones idea behind the scene is: what has to be said, what has to happen. From there we just let everyone go at it their own way! We find that we get surprising result this way. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all, and sometimes it works out very well. If it doesn’t work we just learn from out mistakes and try it again.

The amount of any given skit that is unplanned is usually around 70%. Of course in CMVs we plan out much more, likewise with live performances. But improv still exists in those performances.

Laura: You have done some great tutorials on subjects like wig styling. Where did you learn the skills you use?

Lucas: Most of us are a combination of self-taught and taught by others. I’ve learned most of what I know of wig styling and sewing from experimentation and lessons/advice from my friends. With wig styling in particular it was really just a matter of observing barbers who did my haircut (how they held the scissors, how they held the hair, the direction they cut, the amount they cut). After I had gotten a hang of cutting wigs I tried my hand at styling. It’s a process of trial and error, and I’m happy to say that I’m still learning about different methods and different products! The leaning never really stops.

Laura: Do you have any cosplays or skits in the work at the moment you can tell us about?

Lucas: We have a Kingdom Hearts series that we are going to be starting soon. We plan to have a few episodes of that filmed by the end of the summer. We’ll also be filming another episode of Pokémon Channel as well as a sequel to our Blue Exorcist skit “Murmuring Crows“. We’re also working on a relatively different project to premier live at Banzaicon (Larvik, Norway) this April.

We have a whole list of cosplays that we’re working on. To name a few: CardCaptors, X-Men and I will be returning to Naruto with one of the costumes I am wearing for Banzaicon.

Laura: Do you have any final words?

Lucas: I guess all that’s left to say is that if you’re confused at this point and can’t imagine what in the world I’m talking about, then you can visit my YouTube or my DeviantArt and that might give you a better idea of what this entire interview was about! Also, if people are interested in cosplay and want to look into it I strongly suggest signing up on a forum. If you can find a convention that’s close to you, and if they have forums on their site, then that can be an excellent way of meeting locals who share the hobby. Sometimes local ground will also run meet-ups and other events for cosplayers!

Thank you very much for the interview! It was a pleasure 🙂

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