Chey’Anne Harris is an amazing Disney cosplayer! If you haven’t come across the term before it’s someone who engages in costume play. Wikipedia’s definition of this as a “performance art” fits perfectly in so many ways. Those who are passionate about it like Chey’Anne put so much love into every detail – not just in the costume itself which takes skill, creativity, and dedication – but in the mannerisms, expressions, and idiosyncracies of the character they are portraying. That’s what drew me to Chey’Anne in the first place. Seeing her Instagram account (cheyanne.harris), it was obvious she embodied the characters she loved. It was a passion for her and not just a hobby. We were fortunate to be able to interview Chey’Anne about her love of Disney cosplay.
Hi, CheyAnne! Thank you so much for agreeing to do an interview with me. Ever since my first D23 Expo, I’ve been fascinated with cosplay and what goes into it. Going to conventions like D23 Expo, Star Wars Celebration, and Comic Con is fun to watch the creativity and attention to detail that goes into each costume! I’ve even participated from time-to-time as Russell from UP. So I’m glad that we get this chance to chat a bit about what cosplay means to you. You have some of the best cosplay pics I’ve seen of classic Disney princesses.
Thank you so much!!! Will you be Russell at D23?
Not sure yet, but I am thinking about it! I read on your Instagram account that you’ve just started out doing cosplay. You seem like such a natural, I never would have guessed. What inspired you to get started?
I first discovered cosplay when I attended a Halloween party at Disneyland! I made an Ariel dress that I wore to the event, and quite a few people approached me complimenting my costume and asking me if I was a cosplayer! I’d never heard of cosplaying, so I went home and researched it and have been hooked ever since. Cosplaying provides me with the opportunity to embody characters that I have always loved!
What would you say is the most difficult thing about getting into this hobby / passion? Any tips you’d give newbies starting out?
I think that the most difficult thing about cosplaying is not having enough time in the day to do all that you want to do! I am so passionate about this hobby and would spend all day working on new ideas if I could. Also, some costumes look deceptively easy, so there is usually some rushing involved when it comes to convention deadlines, etc.
For new cosplayers, I recommend being really active on social media. There are so many helpful people out there that would be more than willing to answer questions and give suggestions!
I’ve heard that cosplay can be very expensive. What do you do to cut costs? When do you decide to splurge for that one extra item for your outfit and when do you try to find an alternative?
Yes, cosplay and my wallet are not friends. In order to cut costs, I often visit cosplay groups on Facebook and buy items that I can use secondhand. It is always fun getting an item and putting your own twist on it! Or I will make a run to my local fabric store and see if there are any good sales. I have to remember to be patient and hunt for items that I can use!
My favorite character you’ve done is Ariel (with Rapunzel a close second). What has been YOUR favorite character and why?
Oh thank you! Rapunzel has to be my favorite character. The braid is pretty heavy, so she’s not an easy one to wear all day, but she’s worth it. Rapunzel has a really big bubbly personality, so I can relate to her! The first time I took her for a spin at the park, a little girl ran up to me and we chatted for over an hour. She truly believed that she had met Rapunzel and my heart melted! It was a magical experience for the both of us.
So far, you’ve done all Disney princesses (I include Tink among the princesses – some may not). Do you think you’ll stick within this realm until you’ve done them all or are there other characters you’re dying to do, too? If so, which ones? And how long does it take you to plan out, purchase, and craft your costumes?
Good questions! I am a huge Disney nerd (like your name!) so I will probably stick with Disney for a while. There are so many characters that I love, I’ve only started to scratch the surface. Eventually I would love to do some female versions of the Marvel superheroes. Lord of the Rings is pretty high on my list too. We will see!
I first learned about cosplay about 10 months ago, and I started on nine projects right off the bat. I am finally finished with those nine, so it took on average about a month for each. If I could go back in time I’d start off slower and pace myself! I just got so excited!
You seem like such a natural princess. You’ve got such a wonderful princess look about you. Do you choose characters based on what you think will look best on you or do just whatever strikes your fancy or some other way?
I appreciate the sweet words! I actually just started with my favorite characters. I thought a few of them would look awful on me, but I was determined to try anyways. The Disney fandom is so close to my heart, I wish I could bring all the characters to life.
I notice that you’ve done very classic interpretations of Disney princesses instead of the sexy Disney princess or variations on a princess (I’ve seen someone do a Jedi Elsa once). What about the classics is important to you? Are there any wild or crazy interpretations you’ve thought of doing?
The classics were what I grew up with and idolized as a kid! I think it’s great to be creative and add personal spins to characters, but when it comes down to it, nothing compares to Walt’s vision!
In a very short time, you’ve amassed an impressive following! Any tips for folks out there who also want to build a better following? What has surprised you the most about this cosplay journey so far?
I am amazed at the amount of support I’ve received! One tip that I would give is to get out in the community. Attend conventions. Join cosplay groups on social media. Follow other cosplayers that you admire. Also, take the time to appreciate other people’s work, they may return the favor :)
Thank you so much again for taking the time to let me interview you and I hope to see you on the D23 floor!
If you’re at D23 Chey’Anne will be there too so find her on the convention floor and say “hi” and you can follow her on both Instagram and Facebook to see more of her amazing work. And if you’re curious about who took these wonderful photos, they were done by Jen White Photography out in Las Vegas, NV!
- To find out what else you might find on the convention floor read our blog post on it
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- Read our exclusive interview with Michelle Harker about what to find in the Disney Dream Store
- 3 showstopping events you must see at D23 Expo 2015!
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