Cosplay Moon is talking to Claude Xavier. He’s an awesome cosplayer, an actor, a voice-actor, and a dad to three beautiful children. Not only that, he is also a very interesting and easy person to talk to and I really enjoyed working on this interview with him. Get to know Claude with me as we talk about Texas, the 80’s, cosplay, photography, kid’s, and so much more.
Hi to all my weebs, waifu’s, and fantasy lovers. I’d Like to introduce Claude to you. Thank you so much for taking the time to interview with me. The first cosplay I noticed on your Instagram Profile is the He-Man photoshoot. I grew up in the 80’s so He-man and She-ra were my jams. I love this costume. Please tell us about this photoshoot and why you decided to do this particular costume.
Claude As King Grayskull Jeff Jenkins Photography
I loved He-man in the 80’s. I couldn’t always watch it because we only had one TV in the house and I was the only boy at the time lol. My original idea was to cosplay He-Man as a tribute to @Hellspawned_cosplay (Demetrius Holt) version. His take on He-Man took the cosplay world by storm and made a huge impact on the black community. After I completed my build, Netflix’s “Masters of the Universe: Revelation” dropped, and @Hellspawned_cosplay reached out to me to cosplay King Grayskull from the series. Not only was King Grayskull black, but he also has dreadlocks like me. It was a no-brainer!
That is so awesome. This costume is also amazing!!
You are a Texan. My mom was raised in Amarillo. Texas our Texas, O how the mighty state!!!! Did you sing that with me as you read it? LOL!!! I love Texas, it just seems like there is so much to do in that state and there are so many landscapes and cultures happening. Were you born there and what is your favorite thing to do in Texas?
Claude Xavier Clueless Photography
Never forget the “play” in cosplay!
I was originally born in St. Louis, Missouri. I moved to San Antonio, Texas in 2007 due to a former job relocation. There really is a lot to do here in Texas, generally. In my opinion, San Antonio is more of a family-oriented city, there is a lot for kids to do here. If you’re single, San Antonio may not be the optimal place for you, lol! You put me on the spot by asking me what’s my favorite thing to do in Texas. I have young children so much of the things I do are more centered around them. If I had to pick a favorite thing for me to do in Texas is hangout at SeaWorld. I can let the kids run wild at Aquatica while I enjoy the sun.
To me, there is nothing better than spending time with family. What could be more important than nurturing your children; or like mine are already grown, so being there for them in their grown-up struggles. Even being there for other family members kids’. I love family!!
Cosnoir Shoot, tell me about that, where is it and how did this take place?
The Cosnoir shoot is an annual event held by @CosplayYourWay in Atlanta, Georgia. The purpose is to spotlight People of Color during the month of February. I was honored to be invited because it’s by invitation only. I loved it because I got to work with talented photographers and I finally got to meet several cosplayers I follow who live in GA. It was an amazing experience and hopefully I’ll get invited again in the future.
By Andrew Michael Phillips
How would you describe your inner circle? Are the people you spend time with all cosplayers or family members. Who supports you in your love of cosplay and roots for you?
My inner circle is small and consists of a diverse group from family members, cosplayers, close friends, and co-workers. I try to keep it diverse so that I don’t hear the same voices. This keeps me grounded and not surrounded by “yes-men”. My circle is very supportive, especially my children. My 11-year-old makes it a point to remind me that I’m “famous” now, lol. I’m still fairly new to cosplay. I started in 2018 and my circle is the one who believes in me and gives me the strength to push beyond any self-doubt that I have.
Having people to encourage you can really help make your dreams come true!
Is this a full time job for you? Do you model at con’s?
It may feel like it at times, but cosplay is not a full-time job for me. Outside of cosplay, I am a Data Center Network Engineer. I love IT, but I am so ready to move on to other things! If I am not cosplaying, I am trying my hand at voice acting. I’m just getting started in that arena so it’s nothing to write home about – yet. As far as modeling at cons, I have been invited to several conventions as a featured cosplayer. My biggest ones to date are MEGACON and Fan Expo Dallas in 2021.
I believe it would be hard for anyone to make ends meet if cosplay was there full-time job. But, it seems that it keeps growing and growing. (the love for cosplay and options for cosplayers).
If you were going to con’s before the pandemic, can you tell me how things have changed since they are starting to begin again compared to how it was before?
Honestly, before and after the pandemic, the only thing that has changed are participation rules to minimize any COVID spread (and rightfully so). I think it’s impossible to dampen the love the people have for conventions because it’s such an escape from the realities of life, if just for a moment. I know some conventions tried to go virtual in 2020 and parts of 2021. I don’t know how successful they were. I didn’t attend any virtual conventions, it’s just not the same. Being invited to MEGACON in Orlando, Florida, I didn’t expect that many people and boy was I wrong! Yes, we had to wear face masks, but it didn’t bother me. I just found a way to make it work with my costume.
Are you writing a book? I saw a post about chapter 43.
The post about Chapter 43 was actually the next year of my life. I guess you can say we’re all writing a living book of our life. Making it to my 43rd birthday was emotional for me because I have several friends who didn’t make it as far as I did. Like I said in my post, I don’t know what will be contained in the pages of this chapter, who will come and who will go, but I will leave each day to the fullest because it could possibly be my final chapter.
There were two deaths that happened this week in my small world. Neither were close to me but, one was close to a family member and one was a car accident that happened at a family members home in their front yard. Hearing about these made me so emotional. I realized how fleeting life is and I just felt the pain of the families that were involved.
I see you were featured in Cosplayers Of Color article. Tell me about that. What is your take on being a cosplayer of color?
My issue with “Cosplayer of Color” is that it shouldn’t be a thing. Sadly, society makes it a point to remind minorities what our skin color is when it comes to characters. What makes me laugh is trolls telling me the Aquaman is not white when the last time I checked, Aquaman isn’t real! I had a white gentleman ask me at a panel if it was okay for him to cosplay Black Panther. I asked him in return, “Did people know the character you were portraying?” He said, “Yes”. So then I asked, “So what’s the problem?” Never forget the “play” in cosplay! At the end of the day, we are a bunch of grown folks playing dress up! I have never had the artist or creator of a character express dismay of my handling of their character. The only ones who have a problem are the ones who play no part in the development of the character. I’m still waiting for someone to tell a white person they shouldn’t cosplay anime since most anime are Japanese. If that day ever comes, I will remind that troll that anime characters aren’t real!
Claude Xavier Fassbender Visuals
I have actually seen that question on Google quite a bit. The ‘can you cosplay anime if you are not asian?’. Well, have you looked at anime characters? They literally have all different eye colors and hair colors; and that actually seems more Western than Asian to me. But, some people are more defensive about things, so I just try to tread carefully. I really love it when people are more about what’s in the heart and mind than what we each look like.
Claude Xavier Spiderman Noir Y Not Photography
I love the black and white Spiderman photoshoot. It is really cool. Tell me about that inspiration.
I was inspired by Spider-Man Noir when I saw his character in “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”. Noir is based in the 1930’s. What makes his character stand out is that not only can he shoot webs, but he also carries guns! I would love to see him in live-action, but it definitely won’t be a kid-friendly film!
Well, kid’s seem to be so adept at technology that they watch whatever they want, lol! Each generation is out-smarting the one before technologically, but I don’t think kid’s realize that emotionally, you should lean on older generations. I think we lose that as each decade goes by.
The Crow photoshoot is awesome. Are you a fan of the movie? I have watched that so many times. I’m thinking you are close to my age or you are just an old soul because we have some of the same interests in our movies and cartoons. I was actually born in 76. I just revealed my real age to everyone who will ever read this LOL. But, hey, I was cosplaying wonder woman when I was 7 years old before cosplay was even a thing, so, I could say I am an OG.
I was born in ‘79 so you got me by a few years! I was also fascinated with the Crow. I can say I am a fan of the first movie! I have never seen any other sequels. As you can see, I love to incorporate my locs in many of my cosplays to put my own spin on the character. I thought the Crow would fit perfectly with my style and to bring a fan-favorite character to life would be a joy.
The Crow, Claude Xavier - Doc List
You are obviously fit, so tell me about your workout routine and diet. I’m always interested because I love lifting as well.
I am a former Pro Men’s Physique competitor. I only did it for a few years. I began to lose the joy of competing due to the subjectiveness and politics. Because of the characters I portray, I like to stay in decent shape. *PSA: You by know means need to be “in shape” to cosplay any character!* I model on the side as well and need to maintain a decent look to get photoshoot ready when the time comes. When I’m trying to lean out, I go to the gym 6 days a week. When I’m trying to put on size, I go to the gym 3 days a week. I don’t really have a diet per se. I don’t need to be strict because I’m no longer competing. My philosophy is simple: eat whatever you want. Just know you will have to burn all of that off. In my opinion working out can be boring so, watching what I eat dictates how long and often I’ll need to live in the gym. If I’m in the gym longer than 45 minutes, I did something wrong! lol
I have had four children so, I do have to watch my eating and I go to the gym four to six times per week. Women just have more fat and men are much leaner so you guys are burning more calories than us even without working out. At least that is what I have learned in the years of wisdom I have acquired, lol.
The Sorcerer supreme is a really cool shot. I”m not familiar with that character. Could you tell me a little about it? I love the effects.
The Sorcerer Supreme is the title given to Doctor (Brother) Voodoo after replacing Dr. Strange in the Marvel comic books. In a nutshell, Jericho Drumm (Brother Voodoo) is the twin brother of Daniel Drumm. Daniel Drumm died from a spell casted upon him and Jericho took his brother’s body to Papa Jambo. Papa Jambo, using voodoo, bound Daniel’s spirit to Jericho and trained him to take his brother’s place as the new Brother Voodoo. I really hope the Brother Voodoo will get introduced to the MCU in the near future.
Who is your favorite cosplayer and why?
My favorite cosplayer is Alyson Tabbitha. She is the Queen of Chameleon when it comes to cosplay. She can look like almost anyone! I love her quality of work and her YouTube tutorials that teach us how we can also bring those characters to life. She is touchable, meaning she doesn’t let your “blue check” status get in the way of authentically interacting with her fans. She was the first “blue check” to follow little ‘ole me when I first got started. That was a huge confidence boost for me. I have let her know many times the impact she has made on me and I’m hoping that one day I can let her know in person. I also did the Joker because she loves him, so I cosplayed him as a tribute to her.
Joker - Nate Takes
I looked her up. Her Lestat cosplay is freaking spot-on. I read all of those books about thirty years ago and when the movie came out in the 90’s I was obsessed. I actually watched it recently on Netflix and man, her photo is amazing. I’m going to link it for others to see.
What is your favorite movie, or show or anime?
My favorite movie to this day is Terminator 2. That was the only movie I’ve watched a million times and I can watch it one million times more. The special effects during that time were crazy and the T-1000 was cooler than the heroes! The score kept me engaged from beginning to end. My favorite show is a tie between the SyFy series, “Dark Matter” and AMC’s, “Into the Badlands”. I was crushed when both of these shows ended. My favorite anime is Dragon Ball Z. It was my introduction into anime. As you can see from my cosplay list, Piccolo is amongst my favorites.
Awesome! Yeah, Terminator was amazing when it came out. I assume you mean the one with Eddie Furlong and Robert what’s his last name that played the cop? It was so good!!!
You have so many great photos so I’ll just choose one more for you to tell us about. Kaname, the lighting and background and everything about that one is very appealing to me so tell me about it, please.
Kaname Tosen was the first cosplay I did without knowing anything about the character. I chose him because he physically looked like me with the hair. After learning about him, he’s very relatable to many of us. He was blind and a just warrior; however, after gaining his sight, he lost his way. Many of us have done this in some shape, form, or fashion. We long for something we never have and once we get it, it consumes us and almost destroys us. My Kaname cosplay is probably in the top 5 of the most loved by my fans.
Kaname – Jay Doeh
It looks like you go to conventions. Could you tell me what your favorite and least things are about them?
In the beginning, I went to A LOT of conventions. It feels like there’s one every weekend and I got burnt out really fast. I will never do that again. My favorite part about going to conventions is the loving atmosphere! People are really there just to have fun. I hear very little to zero judgement (except the winners of cosplay competitions). I remember when I went to my first conventions as a cosplayer. I couldn’t decide between being a pirate or a vampire, so I did both! I called myself the “Vampirate”. What surprised me was the amount of people who wanted my picture even though they had no idea who the character was! The least thing I like is when I paid for a photographer slot at the convention and other people crowd around the photographer to take pictures. To me, that’s rude and disrespectul to the photographer who is trying to get the best shot of me that I paid for will other people impeding on his/her space!
Do you have any major struggles in your life as a cosplayer or if you have a job that makes it difficult to cosplay?
I would say the major struggle I have in my life as a cosplayer is being a single father of three kids who all live with me. I’m trying to show the world, that yes, dads can take care of kids too! As of today, my youngest is 2-years-old, and she is very demanding of my time. What can I say, she’s a daddy’s girl! My other two are 11 and 10. They are more independent, but they do have homework and extra-curricular activities that they attend. Therefore, I get most of cosplay builds done at night when everyone is asleep which sucks, because I have to get up in the morning for work. This is a struggle that I welcome because they are the best part of my life!
I’m super proud of you. Parenting is literally, the hardest job anyone can ever have. You have to become a better person, not just for yourself, but for other people who depend on you. Changing who we are and working through our own family problems that are passed down through our blood lines can be the most difficult thing we ever do. I will most definitely keep you in mind during my prayers and meditation and I certainly hope for the best for you and your precious children.
I see you were in the Army. I would love to hear about that.
I joined the US Army in 1998. I was medically discharged in December 2001 – I kept tearing my ACL in my left knee. I spent most of my time at Fort Riley, Kansas (Yay, how exciting!). The good thing was, I was only 5 hours away from St. Louis, so I would go home every other weekend. One thing I liked about the Army is that it taught me how to deal with less. When we had to go out to the field with just a few items, we had to learn how to get by on that until we got back to the barracks. That lesson came in handy when I left the military. I don’t freak out as bad when things are not going well, because I learned how to survive on “little” because “much” was just around the corner if I hung in there! Plus I enjoy the Veteran’s discounts!
I have learned as I have gotten older and have fought many personal battles in my life, that not too much phases me now. The more you go through the easier it is to deal with the new battles. The beginning of 2022 has actually been pretty eventful and not in a good way (deaths, family hospitalizations, personal issues, illnesses, and more in only two months) but, I handled it with more ease than ever before.
Thank you for your service. Thank you so much for sharing your life with me and whoever will read this in the future. Thank you for being so easy to interview. I really appreciate the time you took for me and fans.
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