“You Must Construct Additional Pylons!”
Don’t worry errant StarCraft player, cosplayer and actress Sparkle Stache has you covered. StarCraft has always been one of my absolute favorite games and when I came across a cosplayer on Instagram dressed as a Pylon, I knew I needed to interview her. Krissy aka Sparkle Stache is a lifelong actress and fairly new cosplayer, but you’d never know she was new to cosplay from looking at her work — the talent here is very real. Barely three years into the cosplay scene and Krissy has already amassed an impressive collection of cosplays, a substantial following and is branching out in the world of Twitch. I sat down with Krissy to talk about her love of Blizzard, acting and of course cosplay.
AiPT!: Tell us a little bit about where you’re from and how you like to spend your time when you’re not in the cosplay world.
S.S.: I’m from Northern California where I live with my husband. Before I dove into cosplay I was first and foremost an actress. Anything within the theatrical world more or less consumes my whole being. I’m also a real person outside of cosplay with a 9-to-5; I work in IT as a network administrator. But before I did that I was tending bar all across the country, which worked really well for me as I’m a huge extrovert that loves being around people.
AiPT!: I love to ask this question of people because I always get a different answer and it’s always interesting. How did you come up with your cosplay handle Sparkle Stache?
S.S.: I’ll actually show you [we were video chatting on Skype]. Before my husband and I were married I wanted to be a bartender so I walked into a nightclub and just asked for a job, the owner looked me up and down and said “Yeah you can totally be a bartender” and just threw me at the job. I needed a bottle opener and I’ve always thought mustaches were really cool, so I got this [a bottle opener with a big mustache on it]. I had a mustache t-shirt, I’d go to parties and draw mustaches on people who were sleeping or draw one on my finger. I told my Twitch fam that I’d get a tattoo of a mustache on my finger if we get partnered, so it’s coming! [laughs]
So I needed to make an Instagram and I couldn’t think of a name. I was looking at my bottle opener and I was wearing a lot of glitter because I worked at a nightclub at the time and I thought “I’ll just do Sparkle.Stache for now”. I just left the name and thought I’d change it, but once I got into cosplay and saw that you could have a persona I knew that this was going to be the name for me.
AiPT!: I saw that you mention on your social pages that you’ve been acting since you were six years old. How did that start and what’s the journey been like?
S.S.: Well there were two reasons that I wanted to become an actress. First when I was six years old I watched a movie called Cats Don’t Dance, it’s a 90s kids movie about a cat named Danny that goes to Hollywood in pursuit of becoming a star. I remember asking my mom “What’s an actor?” and she said “Oh they’re people who get paid to pretend to be other people” and I said “That’s what I’m going to be!”.
Second was when I saw Harrison Ford as Han Solo in A New Hope. I thought he was the coolest thing I’d ever seen and I wanted to be that cool. Those were the moments that helped me know it was what I wanted to do and I’ve never lost that feeling. When you get something you’re super passionate about there’s this thing inside you that just keeps burning for whatever that may be. For me it’s entertaining, performing, bringing joy, making people cry, whatever — it’s what I love.
AiPT!: What was your first experience with cosplay?
S.S.: My first out of Halloween costume was Sora and Kairi from Kingdom Hearts with my ex-boyfriend. He had the idea to go to Disney Land and I knew I had the make up and costume skills from acting, so I made this horrible horrible dress [laughs], it was this pink and zippered thing. So I didn’t know that it was cosplay at the time, but I still had a great time.
In 2015 I decided to go to an Anime convention in Sacramento, I didn’t dress up, just wore a Star Wars dress. I saw people dressed up in cosplay and thought it was so awesome. It was accepted, no one was questioning it and the cosplayers looked like they were having a ton of fun. So from there I knew I was going to be a part of it and I immediately went home and started looking up cosplay.
A few girls I worked with also were into cosplay so we decided to do something together. So the following year at the same Anime convention we went as the legendary birds from Pokemon. It was such a hit and it was so awesome. The entire con was so thrilled to see us, we got interviewed and I have friends from that con to this day. It’s grown a lot since that day but it all started there for me.
AiPT!: Out of all the characters you’ve cosplayed as, which do you feel like you’ve aligned most with?
S.S.: Awww that’s such a hard question! I love them all for different reasons [laughs]. But probably being Lumière from Beauty and the Beast. It’s not the best built and needs a lot of improvements, but I love the reactions it brings out in people, especially kids and young adults. My friend who was dressed as Cogsworth was with me at SacAnime and a little girl who was probably 4 years old came up to us. She booped my friend on the nose and then turned to me and said “I really like your boobs!” [laughs], I was like “oh thank you!” and her mother was shocked “What did she say?!”. Her mom was so red and was apologizing [laughs], you take those situations how you can.
At the WonderCon Masquerade we won the judges choice award for it which was super cool.
AiPT!: I have to know where you got the idea to be a Pylon.
S.S.: I’m a big PC gamer. I grew up with computers playing Duke Nukem, Unreal Tournament, StarCraft and Diablo. Those games are kind of why I’m in IT. Due to my Dad’s influence I was an 8 year old girl playing Diablo, he was super into it too. StarCraft was the one I got really attached to. I LOVED the campaign, I played it over and over again without evening knowing anything about the ladder world. It wasn’t until StarCraft II that I gained an understanding of the ladder and eSports.
So as a Protoss main that was planning to attend BlizzCon I wanted to do something associated with StarCraft. I thought at first I’d be a probe, which I still plan on doing some day, then I thought maybe an armor build. Then it just clicked, pylon. We need pylons. I’ll be a pylon. When I started building it I was really nervous no one would get it and even my Twitch family was worried about it. But I stuck with it and got into a Blizzard facebook group for BlizzCon and got a lot of great advice there.
The day of BlizzCon arrived and my husband was helping me assemble my costume in the parking lot and before I even made me way into the convention people knew. Everyone was coming up to me “Oh my god you’re a pylon! You’re a pylon!”, I was so taken back by it. It was the most popular I’ve ever felt. There we groups of folks from Korea coming up to me taking selfies and they were so excited.
Once I got inside Blizzard approached me to take a video of me and invited me to participate in the cosplay contest even though it was full. When I got out on stage and walked there was 40,000 people screaming “You’re a pylon” and it was really so amazing. I was so happy so many people got so excited just to see a pylon.
AiPT!: Would you say you want to turn cosplay into a career or do you want to keep it separate as a hobby you’re extremely passionate about?
S.S.: Ultimately I want to be a working actor, that’s how I’d like to be able to pay my bills. Luckily cosplay and acting can often dive into the same world. So yes I do want cosplay to be full-time but I don’t want to do it exclusively. I’d love to be able to combine it with acting and hopefully even do some voice acting. If you love what you do, I think you can find a way to make it work for you.
Something that inspires me in cosplay (things like the Pylon) is creating what seems impossible. From things like a legendary bird (Articuno) with a 10ft wingspan to a cartoon candle (Lumiere), and to an alien object that creates a power field (Pylon). These kinds of creations are what truly inspire me to keep perusing this dream and letting me perfect any character I attempt to be.
AiPT!: What’s a weird quirk or thing you do that most people aren’t aware of?
S.S.: Well I have this dinosaur that I carry in my purse everywhere I go named Excelsior. I put him in pictures with my husband and I, my personal pictures [laughs], never my cosplay photos. I think he’s from Ice Age but I’m not sure. His arms and mouth moves, it’s weird. It’s all I can think of that I consistently do [laughs].
AiPT!: What’re you most looking forward to this year?
S.S.: Ummm it’s hard because you don’t know what’s going to happen. I try to live my life optimistically and let good things come to me. So I guess I’d have to say going back to BlizzCon and trying to travel out of state more for cons. From there whatever happens happens.
AiPT!: BlizzCon is my answer too!