Vampy Bit Me on pictorials, food, and her second visit to the Philippines

During the last days of Deremoe, we were given a chance to be a media partner for the Asia Pop Comicon Manila 2015. They held a press conference at Salon de Ning inside The Peninsula Manila last September 15th, and I was able to attend it.

We are given the opportunity to talk with Linda Le (aka Vampy Bit Me) during the Asia Pop Comic Con Manila 2015’s press conference at The Peninsula’s Salon de Ning, and the conversation that we had along with other fellow media is interesting.

The questions dealt with her life as a cosplayer, and her stands on the different issues that the cosplay community is experiencing.

On “Cosplay is not consent”

“Cosplay is not consent” is a rule about respecting cosplayers’ right against sexual harassment and/or assault. We’ve seen this advocacy gain popularity years ago, and it’s also a rule in some events in the metro.

We asked Vampy her sentiments on the said advocacy, and she believes that it’s not just an anti-harassment campaign.

“Ever since that whole movement came about online, I think everyone’s been a lot better because sometimes, I mean, even speaking for the guys and the girls taking the picture, they don’t know what to do. You know, it’s good to have like rules because you don’t know what to do — don’t touch the person with the armor on their shoulders, they worked hard on that for hundreds of hours and you touched their shoulders and they break — because sometimes you don’t know.”

“So ‘Cosplay is not consent’ is not only sexual, I think, but it’s a good thing to protect other cosplayers and people who love their work to not touch them so it messes up their work. So I think it’s a great thing I think that it’s helped us a lot as cosplayers. It has, it has; I’ve seen everything changed ever since that,” she continued.

“You’re cosplaying a character that’s made up bt someone else”

She was also asked about her stand on the notable issues surrounding the cosplay community in general, including the elitism that is allegedly surrounding it.

When the issue of elitism in cosplay was raised, she told us that she doesn’t hang out with people who believe in it, and she also don’t talk to people who are like that. She hangs out with notable cosplayer D-Piddy because he’s also chill. “He’s my favorite person because he wears Deadpool and he’s having fun, and he doesn’t care — one armor piece flies off, he’s not crying. He puts it back on and he starts dancing again, and that’s why I love him, and that’s why we’re good friends […]”

Vampy was among the cosplayers featured in D-Piddy’s video “Cosplay” which is a parody of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy.”

Alongside elitism, there’s also issues of entitlement, and that’s another thing that she answered straight. “[…] and I feel like I think everyone should be that way to understand what the root is — it’s not you as the person, you’re cosplaying a character that’s made up from someone else, so please give that respect to that person, to do it that way. So I don’t think anyone feels entitled to ‘I’m the best this.’ That’s so silly, because you didn’t made the character, you can’t really give yourself that title,” she argued.

“Modelling’s a different beast”

Most of us know Vampy through her cosplay as Morrigan Aensland from Darkstalkers, but she said that it was the costume that she wore for her first ever photoshoot.

“It’s just really weird because I didn’t know how to pose, I played the game a lot so I knew her moves automatically […] you know as a cosplayer you know everything about the character but it’s a different kind of thing when you cosplay. You have to know how to actually do it and your face means a lot.”

Even with her knowledge of the game, she was challenged by the task of cosplaying in front of the camera during that photoshoot.

“So I was really dorky and I didn’t know how to [pose]… So the photographer’s all like, ‘You look more sultry’ and I was like ‘Huh?,’ so I had to like be more of an actress in front of the camera which I was not good at in the beginning. He did choose the right pictures luckily, but then I started really doing more research on modelling after that because I did not know what I was doing.”

What has she felt as she faces the camera? “Being in front of a camera is very intimidating because you have to become the character and I was like, ‘I know the character but I didn’t know how to pose.’ I wasn’t a model. It’s really hard, it’s very hard, but practice definitely helps.”

Apparently, Vampy doesn’t watch herself in her outputs. “I was really against doing photoshoots until 7 years ago. I hated it. I don’t like my… to this day, I can’t watch myself on a video. I don’t like it. I’ll post it, but I won’t look. My friends [be] like, ‘Hey, you just posted a new video. Do you want to watch it for us?’ Like I did one with D-Piddy … and he’s like, ‘Do you wanna watch my editing before I post it?,’ and I’m like, ‘No…’ […]”

What motivates her to do photoshoots? “The hardest thing is to obviously do photoshoots, I don’t like them too much. I make myself do it because of the work I do. I’m like, ‘I would like to capture my work,’ but I think that’s definitely like one of the things I learned to appreciate about cosplay, it’s the photoshoots. So I’m trying to get better.”

Linda Le, also knows as Vampy Bit Me, during an interview with the media at the Asia Pop Comicon Manila 2015 press conference at Makati City. She is cosplaying as Psylocke from Marvel’s X-Force.

On her second visit to the country

We also looked back at her first visit in the country through Cosplay Mania 2014. “I’ve seen them, yes I’ve talked to them, but I didn’t really get to know everyone. It was a very short amount of time. I was only here for three days, so I just work, work, work, then I went back home.”

Now that she’s coming in for her second visit, what will she do this time? “So I actually am spending one more extra day here just so I can learn more. You know, it’s a little bit sad because like I have a lot of friends here, and I just don’t … know what they eat. I eat a lot, so I have to eat everything here before I go, and then on my day-off I wanna eat some more somewhere.”

She will be actually staying for a week in the country, and she’s game to try other dishes. She has tried Sisig, but we did recommend her to try rice cakes. “When I come here, I don’t wanna be like, ‘I want burger.’ I don’t want a burger, I wanna eat what you guys eat,” Vampy quips.

Her plans at the APCC

Vampy gave us a hint on what she’ll be donning at the APCC this weekend, which includes a debut of her Kotobukiya Marvel Bishoujo Lady Deadpool cosplay and a variation of Gundam‘s Zeon outfit. As much as she would like to do the original Lady Deadpool character which has scars on her face, she doesn’t want to scare her fans.

“The thing is I’m doing the Kotobukiya version. I would like to have my mask on the whole time but I have to judge, so I have to make it look nicer, which I feel very sad about because I want to have the scars on my face, but then like ‘no, Linda, you have to judge,’ so you have to be, you know, clean and composed, and ready for cameras and stuff so I made it more toned down. I don’t want to scare anyone.”

If you happen to see her at the APCC, don’t hesitate to say hi. “I’m pretty relaxed person in general, I’m not very like ‘oh I’m a cosplayer,’ I’m not like that. I’m really chill so if you see me say “Wazzup,” I don’t know, we’ll talk about like toys and something.”

Some light talks

In one instance, she mentioned her love for Shokugeki no Soma, and she is making an Alice Nakiri costume. “So right now I’m making an Alice [Nakiri] costume, and I have her friend, too. We have a guy cosplaying [Ryou Kurokiba] …”

She also expressed that she wants to cook the dishes served in the series. “The manga has all the recipes … But I think it’s hilarious what Alice did with the eggs, … but it looks good. It doesn’t really have to make sense to her, she’s just funny.” She was referring to the Three Forms of Egg Dishes seen in the 13th episode of the anime series.

She then talked about other characters in the series. “Not a lot of people like Erina. I kinda think she’s funny too. I like her. […] Megumi? She reminds me so much of a lot of my girl friends, ’cause they get nervous, their hands all sweat, timid, very hardworking and sweet.”

She also said that she’s playing Love Live! School Idol Festival. “I’ve played the game on my phone. But right now, I pretty much watch the anime and Monster Hunter, so that takes the most of my time.”

Lastly, we asked her who she is if she’s not a cosplayer. “I work for Bandai, but then it’s not Gundam. […] I work for the mobile apps right now, I do character directing… yeah, it’s really fun, I do game stuff. […],” Vampy said as the interview ends.

Vampy did debut her Lady Deadpool costume on the second day of the event.