An Interview with Rerenga

“I still say that some of the best information that you can get is in the information that you don’t find”
-Marisha Rey

She’s an unstoppable force of creative energy and after slaying us with those Beau and Fjord cosplays. Rerenga is already hard at work on her new cosplays. Join us for a chat about make up skills, where her name comes from and everything Critical Role

1, Could you please Introduce yourself, tell us a little about your interests.
Sure! Hi, my name is Anna, known to most as Rerenga. I’m a 23 y/o cosplayer from Germany who just recently got into the world of cosplay, Critical Role and D&D. I must say though that it is a world I do feel very “at home” in and I don’t intend to leave it anytime soon πŸ™‚
My interests are quite broad, actually, but one could say I’m a mixture of a nerdy geek (gaming, roleplaying, comics, movies) and outdoor sports lover (hiking, mountainbiking, surfing, slacklining, trailrunning). Also I have a never stopping, really strong need to create things, may it be cosplay, drawing, digital art, writing books and stories or crafting.
(Btw, for anyone interested: ‘Rerenga’ is Maori and means something like “journey/withdrawal/flow”. It refers to my creative journey and everyone who’s with me on that adventure.)
2, How were you introduced to Critical Role?
By a very dear friend of mine (@elfmade_chaos on Twitter), who was also my colleague back at the time. It’s all thanks to them that I got into Critical Role and cosplay. I remember them (in their Vex costume btw) saying to me that I’d make an amazing Beau and I was like “Bo? Who would that be?”. The moment I saw her artwork though, it was all set, I wanted to make her my first cosplay and learn more about the character and story. That’s how it al started.
3, How did you start cosplaying?
As my start into cosplay was also my start into Critical Role, this one was already explained ^-^ More or less. I’ve wanted to cosplay for many years, but never managed to really get it started. As soon as I saw the picture and concept of Beau, however, my inner fire started to burn immediately and never extunguished since then. New cosplay ideas, dreams and plans have been growing ever since.
4, If you could give a shoutout to any other critters or cosplayers who inspire you, who would it be?
Over time I got to see and know so many skilled and inspirational cosplayers that I feel the list would be endless. Also I kinda feel bad naming a few and not naming so many more who would actually deserve it. It’s the whole community, consisting of so many inspirational and creative individuals, that inspires me.
Like I mentioned before though, @elfmade_chaos (Twitter) was and is one of my biggest inspirations, because they were the one who got me all into it πŸ™‚ Then there’s @elenion_ and @elfdarlingcami who are like family to me and ever so incredibly skilled that they surprise me over and over again! Other than that there are cosplayers like @xaiguemarinex, @escapecosplay, @northernstar87 who I admire deeply not only for their good looks and cosplay skill, but even more as wonderful human beings. Also I’d like to mention @jdbcosplay and @sheikahsforge, they’re bothΒ  awesome fellow Fjord cosplayers :3 And last but not least, @barbarakross and @hadleythebadger who are just beautiful souls, they keep my inner sun shining on a daily basis.
5, If you were to describe Critical Role to a friend, how would you do so?
That’s a tough one, as I struggle trying to explain what Critical Role is most of the time, especially to people who’ve never heard of D&D before… I’d say it’s a bunch of (imo) the best voice actors out there playing a role-playing-game together, interacting with each other. For us fans, it’s like listening to an audiobook, but with all characters played out by different, very charismatic readers.
6, Everyone has favorite moments from Critical Role but do you have a moment that always stands out to you that affected you personally?
Not like a specific scene or interaction in the story (I just love ALL of them), but more like how the whole thing had an impact. The first thing that comes to my mind is the loving community. I never thought it’s possible to get in touch with so many like-minded, wonderful people. Whether you meet other Critical Role cosplayers at a convention or just chat with fellow fans, there’s absolutely NO room for negative sentiments, bad vibes or jealousy. Just love and mutual excitement πŸ™‚ That feels kind of unreal, but it makes me feel so comfortable in those surroundings and accepted… like never before.
7, Have you played DnD and which character do you currently play?
Yes! And you can’t imagine how happy I am right now to be able to answer this question with a ‘Yes’ xD My first D&D session was only a few days ago. We finally managed to start after I had my character in the planning for about half a year. My character’s a female Half-Orc fighter mercenary, quite the savage fellow, a little gruffly, short-tempered, self-confident. Never says no to a challenge. I wish I could tell you more, but I don’t want to reveal too much yet, hehe.
And then there are so many other aditional campaigns or one-shots planned and I can’t wait to play more!
8, What was your best Natural 20 or Natural 1 in a DnD session?
I’ve only played one session so far, but I remember rolling two Natural 20s almost back to back in a fight. That was freaking sick and my character felt very badass.
9, Has Cosplay or playing DnD taught you a unique skill you’ve been able to use outside of conventions?
Why yes! Apart from all the new crafting, sewing, embroidery techniques that I got in touch with through cosplay, it has also helped me to just be myself and be okay with it. Still learning though.
10, If money was no option, is there a character from Critical Role you would love to cosplay?
Does “everyone” count? I’d love to just cosplay everyone from Critical Role. Yasha the most though, from all the remaining M) that I haven’T done yet. But also someone from Vox Machina! I just have to get more into Campaign 1, as I haven’t watched that much of it yet. Some NPCs that didn’t get enough love yet would be awesome to cosplay too!
11, How difficult was the Fjord make up?
I think it would be wrong if I said it was easy, because it took me abut 2h only to do the face. Usually I don’t wear much make up, so I have very little experience in applying any, especially face paint. But it’s very doable as long as you’re keeping a reference picture next to you at the mirror πŸ™‚
12, As Beauregard was your first cosplay and your first cosplay from Critical Role. What is it about her character that stands out to you and made you want to cosplay her?
Her strong personality. That she gives zero fucks about what others think of her and her behavior. She’s so determined and speaks her mind. And she cares a lot about the ones close to her. I like those character traits a lot and they let me learn a lot. By cosplaying a character, you kind of become that character and take on some of their traits automatically imo. So cosplaying Beau was such an interesting experience in that regard. It feels like it triggered some traits within myself that I didn’t know existed πŸ™‚
13, Do you watch any other DnD podcasts? if so, which ones?
Not yet, but I want to – (just that weird and rarely seen thing called “time” is missing…)
14, If you met a member of the cast, what would you tell them?
I would love to find a way to make them know how much they’ve inspired and keep inspiring me and all the other critters, enriching lives and make people spread the love and inspiration. How much their story and characters have helped me personally to overcome difficult situations in life and even more helped me to genuinely accept who and how I am (which has always been a rather big issue for me in life).
If I really was to meet a member of the cast though, my brain would totally lack all those words and I’d probably just stand there and cry :’)
15, If you could impart some cosplaying wisdom to someone at the start of their cosplay journey, what would it be?
Hmmm. I’m still pretty much a noob myself. I started off not knowing how to sew or make anything, basically. My mother taught me the basics of sewing in two or three days and then it was all just learning by doing and retrying what didn’t work. Also one or two tutorials helped. I’d say one of the important things is that it’s totally okay and sometimes important to ask for help, ideas or any other input from others when own ideas or skills seem to fail. Other Cosplayers are so happy if they can help out (at least that’s my experience so far)! Also, best start with a costume that you consider doable and that you enjoy (!) doing, that keeps the motivation going. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be compared to others, just try and see where it goes or how it feels. After all, cosplay should be fun, right?

Thank you to Rerenga for taking part in this interview. If this feature has inspired you to support her, you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram

PHOTO CREDITS:
3 & 4: Beauregard by ElfdarlingCami

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