The Art of Cosplay – Rocco!
Salutations fellow Geeks, Freaks, and Nerds! I have had such a blast meeting and or talking to so many of you cosplayers and fans of cosplay the past couple of months. I’ve received a ton of great feedback from so many of you, it’s truly stellar.
Let’s get this months AOC off to a huge bang. All of you DC and Star Wars fans will get a huge kick out of this next cosplayer. His attention to detail of absolutely amazing! I was blown away when I saw his costume and even more pleased when he agreed to this interview. So, Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and girls, Freaks and geeks, I present to you…….. ROCCO!!
Rocco, we are so happy that you’re allowing us to feature you this month. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
My name is Rocco Chierichella, I’m a Brooklyn-based actor and film producer. As a “cosplayer” I think most people who recognize my work though have come to know me as “ohRocco” or just Rocco! You can follow all my artistic exploits on my instagram and Twitter: @ohrocco.
Producer and Actor? I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how your career takes off then. Don’t forget about us when you’re super famous then.
When did this fascination with cosplay first begin and where did you wear your first costume?
I dove into the cosplay culture somewhere around 3 years ago. I began work as co-producer on a fan-made web series called “Nightwing: Escalation” and in outlining the plot for the following episodes we came up with this grand idea of introducing the character of Deadshot into the mix. As incentive in making this happen I took it upon myself to not only play the character but also design and build the costume for him as well. My first time dawning the costume was at New York Comic Con 2014. I used it primarily to walk the floor, promote the show, and gain interest in the series.
That was extremely smart of you. You’ve got a good mind for marketing. New York Comic Con is on my bucket list, I’m hoping to make it in a couple of years.
What kind of inspiration, if any, did you get to inspire you to cosplay?
I’ve always enjoyed wearing costumes I think. I guess I can blame all my theatrical training for that, especially my love for mask work. I always found wearing masks gave me an unbelievable amount of creative freedom. On top of that, I’m a HUGE comic nerd. Always have been! But it wasn’t up until a few years ago where I started producing genre fueled films where I started to reinvigorate my love for superheroes and villains. Mix that in with the ever-growing comic book movies that keep blowing us away, you got yourself an addictive recipe for inspiration.
These comic book movies are really taking the world by storm the last several years. Being a geek, it’s been outstanding to see the inner geek in so many others come flooding out due to these movies.
What was your first costume?
If we are talking cosplay then Deadshot is my first costume and my bread and butter. I always liked the character for a couple of reasons. In an odd way I relate to him. Not so much the suicide aspect, but there is a “tortured soul” quality that resonates with me a lot. Also, really enjoyed the fact that he was an underrated character. Not many people were familiar with him, then Will Smith happened, Just kidding, I actually thoroughly enjoyed his Deadshot, lol.
It’s funny you say that, I enjoyed his Deadshot too! I not a huge Will Smith fan, but I do enjoy some of his work. The popular characters always have massive followings and it’s great to see these underrated characters get more exposure.
What’s your most difficult costume to wear and why? This could be in terms of technicality or provocative.
I’m still getting my feet wet with coming out with other costumes as I definitely have caught “the bug”, but Deadshot does get brutally uncomfortable during the summer cons. I’ve tried so hard to install a cooling fan in my mask but it’s just too tight on my head. It needs to be. Sacrifices must be made and I DO consider it a bit of a weight loss program when stomping around cons! But I would say the most difficult thing about doing Deadshot is getting through security! My costume is packed to the gils with an arsenal, but I’ve done my homework and have worked with weapons for quite a while so I stay familiar with the weapons policies and respect the security teams when walking through the door. It’s become a fluid thing. Unholster the side arms, take off the gauntlets, flip-up the mask, keep smiling. The longest I’ve ever been held at weapons check was 30 minutes, in which afterwards ex-special forces wanted my picture before letting me in.
I didn’t even think about the security aspect in having to get back their teams. Judging just by your pictures it must be a security nightmare, but at least the crews are cool with you afterwards.
I’m assuming you fabricate all your own pieces of costume, right?
So I’m going to say this and sometimes it can come off a bit pompous, but its not my intention; I’m all for originality. The cosplay culture is such a wide and growing thing and in a lot of ways it’s beautiful, but sometimes I feel it lacks individual creativity. That’s not to say there are not people out there KILLING it with their spot-on costumes. But I like to create. I like to say that I did it “my way” if not only to say I tried to “break the mold.” If there is a character I want to cosplay, I’ll try to put my own original spin on it to try and make it look unique. So I try to make all my costumes myself. I actually don’t think I’ve outsourced or commissioned a whole costume piece yet, but I have shopped around and had my eye on certain things. There’s so much talent out there but I try to use it as inspiration to help drive me to create my own thing and if I can, inspire others to tackle cosplay in a fresh and personal way.
I wouldn’t say it’s pompous at all, it’s honest. I also have to agree with you, I too love to see someone put some originality into their characters cosplay. Sounds like you’re a Sinatra fan too by the way.
After cosplaying around as this badass Deadshot, what are some of your favorite nerdy moments you’ve experienced?
My favorite nerdy moments? I think meeting Stan Lee is pretty high on that list! Also I remember my first romp around NYCC as Deadshot I encountered the good ole’ Deadpool horde taking a little break in a corner somewhere. It was like a gaggle of red and black. So I casually walked by, said some playfully insulting zinger, they all looked at me at once and tackled me into what became a glorious 20 min photo-op. Too good. Other than that I would say the MOST nerdy dream come true for me was when I was cast to do a flash mob in Time Square promoting one of the Knights of the Old Republic games. I was playing a Sith Acolyte and we rehearsed this beautiful choreographed lightsaber encounter which ended with hundreds of lightsabers igniting in the Time Square night. It was truly magical. I remember walking into the audition, they handed me a lightsaber and tried to direct me on how to hold it, pose with it, etc… I ended up directing them on how epic I am with one of those things! I owned it, and the whole experience was magical for me because I’m such a Fanboy. There’s actually a video of the flash mob performance on Youtube!
The Deadpool photo-op sounds hilarious! And for those of you who were wondering what that flashmob looked like, you can see it Here!
Have you had any negative feedback or experiences while cosplaying?
I can’t say that I really have had any negative feedback about my cosplay. It’s a little easier on guys I think, which is sad, but true. Plus my costumes tend to look a little intimidating which plays to my advantage in warding off the trolls. However, every once in a while you’ll get a poor soul who comes up to me and starts interrogating me about my “version” of Deadshot. “Which one are you supposed to be?” “The eye isn’t on the right side!” “You’re not black! Will Smith is black.” Ugh…. it’s….. just inevitable, but you just have to laugh it off. If I’m trooping with my friends I usually just make sure my fellow female cosplayers aren’t taking any crap from anyone. It’s all fun and games people.
The people who judge are also the ones who don’t cosplay typically. It’s so disrespectful and it’s awesome that you don’t let it get to you. Everyone who attends a comic book or cosplay convention is there to have fun.
Since you make all your own pieces. How do you hunt down your materials?
So when it comes to building certain pieces, I’ve settled comfortably in outsourcing and re-purposing materials. I’m honing in on my foam sculpting as that caters perfectly to certain armor pieces, but sometimes you see something that just would be PERFECT if you snipped it off that piece and maybe added this piece. The internet is a magical and wonderful world for materials and can be very cost-effective if you know where to look. My Deadshot gauntlets, for example, are made up of a cut up plastic trash bin, knee padding, nylon straps, and some cheap airsoft gun parts that I hacked up and re-purposed. My mask was a basic hockey mask that I gave a facelift using sheets of aluminum, some bike lights, and parts of a cheap pair of studio headphones. Anybody can do this if they just end their mind to look at things differently sometimes.
It always blows my mind in where everyone gathers their materials. The re-purposing of materials is the greatest part, where they find them, and what they modify.
So, we know you have a killer Deadshot. Are there any other costumes you currently have?
Along with Deadshot I have a few other costumes. I have an original Star Wars smuggler I created named Capo Jax. He’s a hot head. I also have dabbled in cosplay fashion so I have a Pulp Fiction Boba Fett mash-up, I’m working on Hush, an original Sith Mandalorian warrior, as well as a Where’s Waldo? with an Uncharted spin to it!
I can’t wait to see pictures of the Sith Mandalorian warrior! That’s going to be epic!
Do you have any social media accounts that people can check you and your work out on?
You can follow me on Instagram at @ohrocco and I do have a fan page on Facebook under the name “ohRocco”!
Ok, the big question everyone loves to answer. If you could cosplay as anything, no limits on money or grandeur, who or what would you be, and why?
Cosplay anything!? Oh geez…. I have a couple. First, authentic ESB Boba Fett, that’s a real investment! BUT…. and I can’t believe I’m giving this away, but for a couple of years I’ve had a grand vision to build a fully functional Handy Man from BioShock: Infinite. Fully flexible arms, huge body, do some great facial makeup. It would be a hit. I also think a legit Vulture with a full wing span from SM:Homecoming would be a jaw dropper.
Well, anyone who knows me knows I love the ESB Boba Fett idea, lol. Handy Man would be freaking EPIC and the Vulture would be stunning too! Both of those would certainly get you some major exposure and make you a huge professional cosplayer!
Any tips for those beginners out there who want to get into cosplaying?
Don’t take it too seriously. The second you do that you’ll gradually start to suck the fun out of it. Also, don’t compare yourself to anyone. You want to get into cosplaying, do it because it’s what makes YOU happy, not others. And finally, keep the creative juices flowing by thinking outside the box. I’m an advocate for believing that originality ISN’T dead, and cosplaying can be used as a perfect outlet to prove it.
Such great advice Rocco! So, where can your fans and our readers see you next?
Next major con I’ll be at will be Fri-Sun at New York Comic Con! Revealing some new Deadshot upgrades as well as one or two new characters! Hope to see and meet some of you there!
Rocco, your cosplay is truly badass! You’ve inspired me to get to work on some cosplay parts that I’ve been wanting to play with. I think the Chief and I might have a new topic coming soon (details to follow in the future).
Thank you so much for allowing Constant Collectible to feature you in this months “The Art of Cosplay”. We look forward to seeing what you design and cosplay in, in the future!
If you or a friend are in need of some great photography and live on the East Coast, get a hold of one of these awesome photographers. They’re the ones who took the photo’s above.
The Art of Cosplay……
The purpose behind Constant Collectible featuring cosplay artists on our site is to show anyone and everyone that cosplay artists come in all shapes, sizes, genders, ages, and backgrounds.
Do you cosplay? Do you know someone who does? Would they or you like a free feature on our site? If so, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get the process going. The more pictures we get the more exposure you get.
Let us, and more importantly, the artist know what you thought of the article and of all of their precious cosplay work by leaving a comment below or on their social media.
I’m Goody and I hope to see you on the convention floor sometime!