At its heart, Geek Bomb is fundamentally about celebrating, inspiring, and getting to know women in geek. Founded by our Boss Bomb Maude Garrett and featuring a Bomb Squad filled with diverse, talented, and totally badass ladies, Geek Bomb has a mindset much like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Females are strong as hell. And it’s about time we start celebrating that again. So, we’ve decided to relaunch Women in Geek, our interview series that spotlights, shows off, and talks about the wonderful ladies who are leading the geek entertainment field.

Joining us this week is Super Showgirl Cosplay, also known as Ms. Darlene, a super-force in the cosplay world and a nerd to the core. You may have seen her rocking an incredible Catwoman cosplay or strutting her stuff in gorgeous custom showgirl costumes — skills she’s acquired throughout years of practice and dedication. We sat down for a digital chat with Super Showgirl Cosplay to discuss how she got her start in the cosplay world, the advice she’d tell young women hoping to break into the industry, and some of her biggest inspirations. 

Geek Bomb: First off, when did you realize that you were, in essence, a geek? What geeky things are you up to now?

Super Showgirl Cosplay: I first realized I was a geek was when I started getting fascinated with comics. And that was in the early ’80s and I haven’t stopped since. The first comics I read [were]the Uncanny X-Men issues that, coincidentally, recently are all coming back out — the actual ones from back then. That is really really cool.

What geeky stuff I have evolved into right now is part of the 5 Cs, I call it: Comics, Collectibles, Cosplay, Comic-Con, Cabaret. Its all inter-connected and it kinda sums up who Super Showgirl Cosplay is. It’s an entity. My geek-self has a persona, an identity. It’s a representation of who I am.

GB: Let’s get our foot in the door by asking how you got your foot in the door. What’s your industry origin story – how did you get started? What advice can you give to those looking to break into your industry?

SSC: How all my 5 Cs started? Wow! I think I can write a book about it [laughs]. First and foremost, my childhood has never truly left my being, if you know what I mean. I’m a big kid, especially from the pictures you can see here. While I was in school, comics was a big thing. And then slowly entertainment came into the picture, as I started choreographing dance shows. As I grow and mature, I still like collecting toys, Barbie Dolls, comics, and costuming. My collectibles are all over my house, and in my garage there’s a 1.2m Borg Sphere (from the Star Trek world), a Borg Alcove (the alien’s regeneration module), a seven-foot Transformer cosplay, and roughly over $20,000 worth of cabaret showgirl costumes, some of which have won awards and have won beauty pageant competitions.

So my advice for anybody who wants to bring out their inner geek out, ask yourself what [did]you love most about [the time when]you were young… see if it could… spark it all up again.

GB: What is the most difficult obstacle that you’ve had to overcome in your industry or maybe even still overcoming?

SSC: The most difficult obstacle that I had to overcome and will always be [doing it]for me. And I like the obstacle, because it helps to keep me in check, always represents a drive for me to go further, go the extra mile, and work harder — to produce great cosplays, more amazing showgirl cabaret costumes, and to portray the characters of my cosplays better, which can be very challenging.

GB: Who are your female role models and/or inspirations? Who are some of your favourite fictional female characters of all time?

SSC: My female role model/inspiration has been the one and only Janet Jackson, and Catwoman. When I first started loving listening to [Janet’s music on] my Walkman, and then dance came into the picture when I first saw The Pleasure Principle music video by Janet Jackson. It still is my most favourite music video of all time, and every time I watch it, I blast the volume up and dance everywhere in my house. So why does Janet inspire me? Listening to her music just pumps me full of energy to dance and choreograph and perform, right [to]this very day.

Then in 1992, I fell in love with Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman, from the Batman Returns film. And then while browsing at my local comic book store in Singapore, I fell in love with the Jim Balent version of the character too. [I] loved her so much that I now have the whole comics series of that. Now she inspire me to be the strong, assertive, and fiercely-independent woman I am now. Meow!

GB: How would you like to see this industry grow for not only women, but within the entertainment space?

SSC: I’m hoping the pop culture world will expand some more, Maybe have a few more different comic conventions, because that brings out the inner-kid in anyone and everyone. It’s always so much fun when you bump into different characters that you love at the conventions. I also love being there because of the comic books [and]collectibles, as well as [getting]to meet the comic book artists and the actors that made my favourite characters come to life on the big and small screens.

GB: Where can people discover more about you? Socials/website/podcast or channel links.

SSC: Facebook: Super Showgirl Cosplay
Instagram: supershowgirlcosplay
Twitter: darleneillyana


Thanks again to the lovely Super Showgirl Cosplay for joining us to celebrate the magic of women in the nerd world!

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About Author

AJ Caulfield

She's a 23-year-old writer, massive goofball, and quite possibly Jim Halpert's long-lost sister. She's half behind-the-scenes, half in the light, as she oversees the writing teams and edits all of Geek Bomb's written content, and does a bit of writing of her own.

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