Staci Burns, aka Personify Cosplay, is an avid con-goer and familiar face within the Fort Collins and greater northern Colorado nerd event circuit; appearing at events such at Fort Collins Comic Con, Nan Desu Kan, and Denver Comic Con. Friend and inspiration to many, Staci entered the cosplay community only a few years ago with a ‘closet cosplay’ of Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. (The term “closet cosplay” was coined by the community to describe a cosplay crafted from costuming and clothes already owned by the wearer). However, it wasn’t until “The Force Awakens” came out that Staci became invested in the art; first putting together a Kylo Ren ensemble and now being able to boast an array of cosplays including Qi’ra – another compelling Star Wars character – which is 90% handmade.
No art is without challenges of course, and though Staci mentions her nemesis has proven to be armor, (a project she attempted many times without success), she does not let that hold back her creative ventures or enjoyment of the community. Recalling a favorite memory, Staci tells of when a six-year-old girl requested a picture with her, dressed as Jyn Erso from Star Wars, rather than a picture with the infamous Darth Vader. She states, “I was so proud to be representing such a strong character and still to this day I choke up.”
When asked if she has any tips to share, Staci advises that the best tip is practice – “You’ll never learn to sew until you start sewing. You’ll never learn to pose or to take photos until you just do it. I feel like Sia Leboeuf but, ‘Just do it!’ “
Staci also offers this encouragement to those just beginning their adventure into the world of cons and cosplay: “My best advice [for newbies] is to not be afraid. If you’re afraid of a costume because you think you can’t pull it off or you don’t look like the character, push that aside and wear it. If you’re afraid of taking photos, practice and get comfy. Face your fears in any aspect you might have them. Through that you’ll learn to face your fears in your day to day life and it will become that much easier to cosplay and to be human.”