The Halfling and the Spaceman

Barr Foxx, Cosplayer and TV/Film Producer

April 02, 2023 Janet & Roger Carden Season 2 Episode 14
Barr Foxx, Cosplayer and TV/Film Producer
The Halfling and the Spaceman
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The Halfling and the Spaceman
Barr Foxx, Cosplayer and TV/Film Producer
Apr 02, 2023 Season 2 Episode 14
Janet & Roger Carden

Today we’re talking with JaBarr, also known as Barr Foxx,  TV/Film producer,  and award winning  cosplay artist.  He’s also founder of Cosplay Your Way.  He’ll be talking about his various projects and roles as well as giving commentary on the cosplay community and fandom in general.  It’s a great conversation!

References and Links:

Show Notes Transcript

Today we’re talking with JaBarr, also known as Barr Foxx,  TV/Film producer,  and award winning  cosplay artist.  He’s also founder of Cosplay Your Way.  He’ll be talking about his various projects and roles as well as giving commentary on the cosplay community and fandom in general.  It’s a great conversation!

References and Links:

Barr Foxx

[00:00:00] Halfling: Thanks for tuning in to the Halfling and the Spaceman: Journeys in Active Fandom. We're having great conversations with people that have turned their love of fandom into something creative. We're fans talking to fans and joining us today is JaBarr, also known as Barr Foxx, film producer, TV, cosplay artist.

[00:00:22] Halfling: He's also the founder of Cosplay Your Way. Welcome Jabar.

[00:00:27] Barr Foxx: Hello. Thank you. That's a wonderful introduction. Thank you,

[00:00:31] Halfling: I could go on, but you know, we've only got so long. Well, why don't we start off by you just telling us a little bit about yourself and your background,

[00:00:41] Barr Foxx: Wow. Okay, so I'm gonna try to,

[00:00:44] Halfling: That's an easy one. I started with an easy one.

[00:00:47] Barr Foxx: That's the easy one. Okay. We're gonna, we are gonna go with it. I'm Jabar Barr Foxx. As you stated, I am a television and film producer in my day job, I guess, and I'm a cosplay artist and I'm also the owner of Cosplay Your Way. I got into television and film as an editor.

[00:01:06] Barr Foxx: I started editing first, and as I edited more things and more content, I wanted to become someone that could tell the stories or influence the stories a little bit more. So I jumped into producing and that's what I've been doing for the last decade. And then I also ventured into the wonderful world of cosplay.

[00:01:28] Barr Foxx: Oh my God. It's just a utopia. So my first con was Dragon Con. .And that same year I was modeling for another convention that was happening. I was modeling for another convention that was happening. And then I also stopped by Dragon Con and I fell in love and that's when I just got the bug to stay with this.

[00:01:53] Barr Foxx: I have found my tribe, I have found my people. It was like people that dressed up and liked to do costume. I don't think, we didn't call it cosplay back then, so people that just dressed up in costumes.

[00:02:05] Halfling: Yep.

[00:02:06] Barr Foxx: yeah, it just was like 2006.

[00:02:09] Barr Foxx: So I was just so enamored and as I did that and continued to do that, I balanced both and I had cosplay from my creative side.

[00:02:21] Barr Foxx: And of course my job is creative, but the cosplay was more of the fun. I get to express myself, meet more people. It was just me being me.

[00:02:31] Barr Foxx: And recently I got to combine both of the worlds into a documentary where I was able to use my skillset for television and film and my love for cosplay and create a documentary

[00:02:45] Halfling: That's awesome. It is a rarity to find people that have been able to combine something that they really love on the creative side. And combine it with actual, you know, quote work, and I guess it's got to be such a sense of fulfillment and just enjoyment out of doing that because it's the thing that you love.

[00:03:07] Halfling: So nothing is better than being able to do the things that you love and making a living at it.

[00:03:14] Barr Foxx: Absolutely this is my second time I got to do. Which we're talking about combining two things that I love, cause I used to do music and I used to want to be a performer and a recording artist. And I had a little bitty wonderful bout with that, working with some artists. And then when I started working for Magic Johnson, I was able to create a television show after I started producing that brought in artists to perform.

[00:03:45] Barr Foxx: So with that, a part of that program, one of my TV shows called Gem Sessions, I not only featured nationally known artists, I had a spot where independent artists could come and sing as well, because that was my way of giving back to the artists that didn't have the big platform yet. But hey, at the very least I found you.

[00:04:09] Barr Foxx: I like what you do. You know, we're gonna have this national artist record and perform and you can perform on the same show. And that was wonderful. So to be able to do it again and, combine television with cosplay, you know, I'm two for two.

[00:04:24] Halfling: Mm-hmm. Absolutely. Hey, that's a good score.

[00:04:29] Spaceman: That is. 

[00:04:30] Halfling: that's a perfect score. Well, as kind of a side note, the Spaceman and I actually have done an online magazine where we bought stories from writers that didn't have another venue or had tried to get some of their work out.

[00:04:48] Halfling: And we were a space for these people who just wanted to get their stories out. We do pulp and noir fiction short stories. And so we got lots of stories from really talented writers who just had not found that space, you know? And so I know exactly what you're talking about. and it's a wonderful feeling because some of those people have gone on to, you know, quote bigger and better things.

[00:05:15] Halfling: So that's wonderful. Okay, so we know you're like the cosplay king, but what but as far as thinking back into potential fandoms, um, like, or, you know, anime, superheroes, whatever. What are your earliest memories of fandom and being a fan of something in particular?

[00:05:41] Barr Foxx: Oh, good question. Very good question. So my earliest memory where I just knew without a doubt, I loved it is reading Teen Titans. When I was a kid, I don't know what I was going through. I don't know what I needed , but I found it in the books of Teen Titans. I found it in the book of Teen Titans.

[00:06:07] Barr Foxx: It was amazing. I, I couldn't get enough and it ended up being such a wonderful experience cause my mother would take me to the comic book store and although she wasn't traditionally into comics, because I loved it so much, she found a comic that she wanted to read. So when we, we would, we would go together and she would let me pick out my books and I would read the Team Titans and just go through all of their stories and all of their issues and idiosyncrasies.

[00:06:35] Barr Foxx: And I absolutely adored them. And interestingly enough, I have cosplayed probably. Three or four of them because it's so embedded in me. So I've done, I definitely have done Jericho and um, Raven. When I did Jericho, I was equally enamored and equally excited because George Perez saw me as Jericho and he came up to me cuz I don't think a lot of people did that as a cosplay.

[00:07:04] Barr Foxx: And he came up to me and he was like, I love your Jericho. I love what you did with it. I love where you're taking it. Can I get a picture with you?

[00:07:15] Halfling: Oh wow. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. 

[00:07:20] Barr Foxx: So to actually meet someone that you admire and then meet them and they are even better and bigger and more wonderful in person than you imagine, it just made me elated. I couldn't believe that he was so wonderful and for somebody that I admire. Now I've met a lot of people in my field. met a lot of actors and singers and people that I like when I didn't know them. 

[00:07:47] Halfling: Mm-hmm. 

[00:07:48] Barr Foxx: but you meet them and that kind of slightly changes.

[00:07:52] Barr Foxx: But, I'm happy to say so you understand? But I'm happy to say with George Perez, that was not the case. He, oh my god.

[00:08:04] Halfling: Well, that, that, that's a good story because a lot of times you're probably familiar with the phrase, never meet your heroes. 

[00:08:11] Barr Foxx: I am 

[00:08:12] Halfling: so, that's a good story that says, you know, well, it's not all bad. You know, they, sometimes they do turn out to be all that. So Great, great.

[00:08:21] Halfling: Spaceman, think you had a question? Uh,

[00:08:23] Spaceman: Yeah, I do. Jabar, what came first? Cosplaying or TV production?

[00:08:28] Barr Foxx: TV production came first, as I started out in music and then I went to television. And then as I was on television, of course, I'm always looking for other ways to expand and expound upon myself. Again, when I worked for Magic Johnson, I was able to do a spotlight vignettes, uh, ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

[00:08:52] Barr Foxx: So what I love to do with that is I would find different people, especially people of color that were into things that the world didn't expect them to be into. Um, a black surfer. The, the first black ballerina, I was able to talk to her female race car driver, different things that I was able to find and put them out.

[00:09:15] Barr Foxx: So as I was doing that, my cosplay became a thing, like I started wanting to reach out and do something for me and. It just kept growing and growing and I, I won't lie, it was a wonderful experience, but I have to say that cosplay your way and some of the things that I'm doing now, which I feel are wonderful, were birthed out of some oppression.

[00:09:43] Barr Foxx: It came because of some pushback. It came because of some mistreatment. It came because I saw some things in the world of cosplay that I didn't agree with, and instead of just complaining about it, I wanted to do what I could about it and create platforms and create venues and create avenues for people to not feel the way I felt when I was exposed to it.

[00:10:10] Spaceman: I understand because, the Halfling and I aren't cosplayers, but we've dabbled around the edges and, and other fandoms that sometimes do costumes. And at our age there aren't many characters that a person can do.

[00:10:27] Halfling: Yeah, we're seasoned citizens.

[00:10:29] Spaceman: we're seasoned citizens at this point, so,

[00:10:31] Barr Foxx: I like that.

[00:10:33] Spaceman: so.

[00:10:33] Spaceman: you know, me playing Robin would just not work. Or maybe it would, maybe you would, 

[00:10:40] Barr Foxx: I'm gonna say it does work because guess what? These are characters. And the beauty of what I do in my other world is we can cast people for anything. I mean, we sit up, we might write a character, we do the character art, we talk about who we want to play this, and someone comes in, get the size and read for the part, and it's completely the opposite of what we imagined.

[00:11:06] Barr Foxx: So we have to reimagine it. And that's fine because all of this is creativity. All of this is from somebody's mind. I don't know why people want to put a limit on that. It's you, you're fine as Robin, you can be Robin, earth three, Robin Earth, it's fine. I don't know. You know, and maybe I have such a open embracing mentality and I don't get it,

[00:11:30] Halfling: which is wonderful, by the way. Absolutely wonderful. But , but continue. Sorry,

[00:11:36] Barr Foxx: Um, yeah. And I don't get it, but I just don't understand the limits. And especially in a world where we see re-imagination and almost every way, like from television to video games to the movie, that same character looks 70 different ways..

[00:11:54] Spaceman: exactly.

[00:11:55] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:11:56] Barr Foxx: and we have to change the look and the clothes.

[00:11:59] Barr Foxx: From the 1970 comics to the 1980s, to the 1990s, to the two thousands, stuff has changed. The world has changed. It's evolving. And I used to talk to people like, why are you being a gatekeeper on something now? I'm with you and congratulations. That's the one that impressed upon you and I don't want you to forget it.

[00:12:20] Barr Foxx: Love that embodiment. But for you to tell someone else that theirs is not authentic or not the right one or is not okay, is unacceptable. Because there are so many different versions and it's okay cuz somebody created that, somebody made it up. So somebody can add onto that creativity.

[00:12:41] Spaceman: Well, we are a hundred percent, no, 10000% against gate keeping. We feel like the more people to get to play the more fun you have.

[00:12:49] Barr Foxx: absolutely. Absolutely. And look, and the more people that get to play, the more fun you have, the more people that get to play, the more creative ideas and expression get to be shown and displayed. And it gives you ideas. It was one, I love people when they take a moment from a show or a moment from a character or a moment from a comic, and they bring that to life through their cosplay.

[00:13:15] Barr Foxx: Just recently, last weekend I was at Atlanta Comic Con Convention. I wanna get it right, Atlanta Comic Convention. And a young lady did ring the ring. Um, she did a cosplay from the movie. She literally had a TV stand, a TV that she crawled into and crawled out of and it was so amazing because it was just more than a cosplay.

[00:13:42] Barr Foxx: It was a, it was an experience.

[00:13:45] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:13:46] Barr Foxx: and those type of things we couldn't get, if someone said, Hey, you can't do that because you're not this tall, you're not this color, you're not. She brought her energy and I'm, I'm so glad that she felt comfortable and that she liked the fandom and she brought something to it, and that her parents or whoever helped her was cool, was just creating the whole vibe.

[00:14:10] Halfling: Well, something that you said made me think about this because I think that rather than saying you can't play this because you're not, you know, like you said, this tall or this thin or what have you, you know, or, you know, you're not a male, or what have you, If it's the character that they wanna play and it's within them to bring that character out, then who is anybody to say, well, you can't do that.

[00:14:40] Halfling: You can't, you can't do that. And so we kind of jumped ahead, which is fine.

[00:14:45] Halfling: I mean, because, no, I mean, it's, it's an important issue and it's something that we have covered with other guests is the whole issue of gatekeeping. So something that you've said made me think that you have experienced it yourself and you have seen it, you know, affect other people.

[00:15:03] Halfling: Is that right? Am I, am I getting that?

[00:15:05] Barr Foxx: Oh, you're absolutely correct. Um, I have experienced it. I have seen it happen to other people and I'm alarmed and baffled each time. I, honestly, that is one thing I don't get. I understand that is here. I haven't yet to comprehend why in a world of creativity and ever-changing moments and ever-changing media and just constantly seeing stuff.

[00:15:33] Barr Foxx: We, we wake up tomorrow and something's different and this approach differently, and I don't, I get loving what you love, but not bashing people for evolving and taking it in different directions. And, maybe that's because I'm in a creative space and I have a creative career and it changes on a dime.

[00:15:55] Barr Foxx: So maybe I had a head start maybe with understanding and comprehending that concept. But yeah, it's, it's one thing that I continually struggle to comprehend with people.

[00:16:07] Spaceman: You know, and tying back to that, you talk about you love what you love, and sometimes that love turns into toxicity. But if you think about the cosplayer who is cosplaying a character where they don't necessarily fit the type, cosplaying a character is a show of love for the character, for the creation behind the character.

[00:16:28] Spaceman: And good characters are always universal. They always speak to some kind of truth. And if a person is not allowed to embrace that truth then, we're failing , as a people, as fans, as people that enjoy these things because, you know, characters represent ideas. Now, sometimes they're positive ideas, you know, sometimes they're negative ideas, but they're always express ideas.

[00:16:53] Spaceman: And these ideas resonate with different people and the best characters are universal, I think is what I'm trying to say.

[00:17:00] Barr Foxx: Yeah, I Absolutely agree. I love that you say characters are ideas, that's what I was saying or trying to say earlier. They are. So when I meet people who others don't think fit the mode of the 19 97 version of something, I'm like, whatever, you know, the character is more than what they are physically.

[00:17:24] Barr Foxx: And again, it might be because of what I do for a living that I, break it down, but it's a hairstyle, it's a vibe. It's the clothing, it's the color scheme. You can recognize a person from their color scheme and their costume without them having to look exactly like the person did or your impression from whatever you saw.

[00:17:48] Barr Foxx: And I had a situation where someone came up and I forgot what costume I was in. But you clearly could recognize that I was either Gambit or whoever and they wanted to, they knew I was Gambit, but they needed me to be black Gambit. And at that time I was like, well, you know, cuz I'm clever sometimes I'm really witty.

[00:18:12] Barr Foxx: So they were like, you know, are you black Gambit? And I was like, no, but I would love to see who Black Gambit is. I'm Gambit right now, but I am interested in seeing Black Gambit, cuz it sounds like an interesting character. And they're like, no, no, no. I mean, I know you're Gambit, but are you black?

[00:18:27] Barr Foxx: I said, well, if you know I'm Gambit, then leave it there. 

[00:18:31] Halfling: Yeah. 

[00:18:32] Barr Foxx: (Why) are you adding any other adjectives to it? I came as Gambit. If there's not a black Gambit out here, there's no need to call me black Gambit when you can recognize me as Gambit. And they were like, oh. Oh, okay. Like it took them that long to get it, and I was like what is wrong with you?.

[00:18:49] Halfling: you left them thoroughly confused. I'm sure and I've seen pictures of your Gambit, costume or how do you refer to it? Costume. I mean, what do

[00:19:00] Barr Foxx: It's either one for me. I started out in costumes. There's no way I can negate that. I wore costumes when I was younger. Now it's cosplay. Either one is fine.

[00:19:12] Halfling: Okay. But, but nonetheless, I've seen pictures of your Gambit and I loved it. I thought it was great. (Thank You!)

[00:19:19] Halfling: And again, I've started kind of keeping tabs on you a little bit, and so

[00:19:22] Barr Foxx: Uh oh.

[00:19:23] Spaceman: Uh oh. You might have a stalker. ?

[00:19:25] Halfling: No, not in a stalky way. Okay. I'm not, I'm not a stalky.

[00:19:31] Barr Foxx: Come on and go for the ride. Um I tend to have fun. I tend to just wanna laugh and between my television world and cosplay world is usually always something happening.

[00:19:47] Halfling: Um, well, I wanna switch gears a little bit and talk about your role as producer. Can you talk about some of the projects that you've done? Um, you mentioned, you mentioned a couple of documentaries, but talk a little bit about those things that you've done.

[00:20:03] Barr Foxx: Okay. So, um, I have done a lot of things from documentaries, docu-series, reality TV to scripted programming, and it has been so amazing. The things that I did that I really want to bring up first is my show that we spoke about earlier. Jam Sessions was amazing to do. For me, to be able to direct and produce that and bring music to the forefront was an amazing treat.

[00:20:35] Barr Foxx: And I wanna thank Magic Johnson and the people that were affiliated for allowing me that space to do that. Cuz at the time I was being told nobody wants to see, I was being told at the time, I was being told nobody wanted to see or hear a show about music. And I just wasn't accepting that because I'm like, I love music.

[00:20:56] Barr Foxx: There's no way nobody wants to see this. Are you kidding me? And, um, they allow me to do that. So I'm very excited. Last year I was also really, really enamored because I got to produce a show on a CW called March. And it was a spotlight of the band, the college band. And that was just so dope because I've always admired college bands.

[00:21:24] Barr Foxx: I can't play anything. So one of , it's one of those things that I'm like enamored with cuz it's a, it is a creative skill set that I just didn't get. So I totally, totally celebrated. And to work on a show and bring that to the masses and to have it on a CW was exceptional. Um, I've done Ricky Smiley for real, he's the comedian.

[00:21:49] Barr Foxx: So I did his television show, um, About Her Business, was a docu-series that I did that I absolutely love. Cause all of the women in that left six figure jobs to pursue their dreams 

[00:22:07] Halfling: Wow. 

[00:22:09] Barr Foxx: Yeah. So we live in this world where people tell you if you, if you reach that job and you are that VP and you're making six figures, 200, 300,000, that you need to be happy and just let it go and just go with it.

[00:22:23] Barr Foxx: And those women were like, I'm not happy. I want to start my cooking show or cook. I wanna cook for people. I wanna start my t-shirt business. I want to. And they left these places that most of us would be happy to get to, or at least we think we would. And they left. They just left them. So that was a very telling show to work on cuz I learned a lot when I worked on these television programs.

[00:22:48] Barr Foxx: I learn an absolute ton of things that I need to apply to my own life. Uh, one of the fun shows that I produced, was called Beyond the Pole. And it was literally what it sounds like exotic dancers. That wanted to stop , stop dancing and create businesses and create a new world for themselves. So that was really fun because talking to the exotic dancers, going into their world, understanding how they think, kind of putting a end to some of the stereotypes, finding out that a lot of them were in school for medical things and, medical careers, and actually reaching for things that the rest of the world would be like.

[00:23:35] Barr Foxx: Oh, that's great. It was nice to see beyond the image of an exotic dancer and understand that they have lives, they have relationships, they have all these things that they're doing, and they just dance and provide that type of entertainment for people. And one young lady, In the show? Well, two.

[00:23:58] Barr Foxx: So we have one young, one young lady that has skin cancer and we had another one that had a double mastectomy and they were dancers. So those are the parts of shows that I really love, cuz in my mind I can bring the heart. That's that topic that nobody thought about, who thought that it would be exotic dancers with skin cancer, exotic dancers with a double mastectomy.

[00:24:23] Barr Foxx: So I was able to team up in the show with, um, photographer Andrew Michael Phillips, and he did a beautiful women expose where he shot everybody in their raw beauty. So when I took the one exotic cancer over with the skin cancer, we were like, don't cover your scars. Don't cover your skin cancer. This picture is about your beauty as is.

[00:24:48] Barr Foxx: So it was just really, really revealing. Really, really open, really, really, uh, Heartfelt to do some shows like that. Um, now I work for Tyler Perry, so I'm doing some shows over there. So I'm working on whatever you see on BETPlus I have a hand in most of those shows, but I wanna talk about the Cosplay Your Way documentary cuz as 

[00:25:11] Spaceman: Yeah, that. 

[00:25:12] Halfling: absolutely.

[00:25:14] Halfling: Absolutely. Go for it. Go for it.

[00:25:17] Barr Foxx: as a producer, that was so wonderful.

[00:25:22] Barr Foxx: I didn't even know I was going to do it guys. I had no idea I was gonna do it. I was, I put on an annual shoot called COS Noir a cosplay your way shoot called COS Noir. So I could release those pictures every February.

[00:25:35] Barr Foxx: And when I was doing those photo shoots, I was taking footage, I was interviewing people.

[00:25:43] Barr Foxx: I just wanted to keep it for myself later and look back when I'm older and say, wow, this is so wonderful. Then Covid hit, the pandemic hit, and we were not able to go and do some things. And I was sitting there and I had this footage and I got this idea, you know, some voice said, cut it, cut it into a documentary.

[00:26:09] Barr Foxx: And I was like, really? And it was cut it into a documentary, it'll give you something to do. And I was like, all right, cool. So because I was an editor, I was able to edit it myself. And usually as a producer, I like to work with editors or work with other people to do those parts of the talent. Um, although I can do both of them myself, I, I like to just get someone else in.

[00:26:33] Barr Foxx: But it was, COVID didn't wanna put anybody at risk. I'm like, I'll edit it. And I looked through all my footage. I was finding things I forgot. and I had so much love and compassion for it and I just started putting it together and molding it and thinking with both sides of my head, like, all right, as a fan you love all of this stuff, but as a producer it has to be cut down to this timeframe.

[00:26:58] Barr Foxx: You gotta cut out this much stuff. So both of those people inside of me were battling to try to get a product and I did it and I released it and didn't know where it was gonna go. Just wanted to celebrate all the people I loved all the people I enjoyed the fandom, the looks, cos noir. And I put it into Telly, the Telly Awards, which is definitely a wonderful award that all of us as creators would love to get a nomination or, you know, talked about from Telly and won two Telly Awards.

[00:27:31] Halfling: Ooh.

[00:27:32] Barr Foxx: one, yeah, one, one for editing and for the best documentary. So I was like, whoa, You know? Cause sometimes when you create stuff, and I'm sure you guys know, you just don't know if people are going to receive it. Well, you don't know if they care cuz you care, but you don't know if anybody else cares and you just wanna put it out there.

[00:27:51] Barr Foxx: But luckily I am a put it out there and try it. If it doesn't work, go back to the drawing board and do something else or pivot. I'm a pivot type of guy. 

[00:28:01] Barr Foxx: And I was just so enamored again, as we talked about earlier, to bring two things I really cared about into one space and for more than me to like it

[00:28:18] Spaceman: That's awesome. 

[00:28:20] Halfling: Yeah, that's wonderful. Again, you're just full of good stuff. Just full of good stuff and I hope that our listeners are, you know, really being inspired by your story because it, it seems like it's, you know, you have that type of personality where you just, you're just gonna put yourself out there.

[00:28:38] Halfling: You're just going to, gonna do what you wanna do and, you know, it's like throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if it's done, you know, if it . 

[00:28:46] Barr Foxx: Right, right. You know what I think helped me, as a child, I constantly auditioned for things.

[00:28:53] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:28:54] Barr Foxx: and in those auditions, I didn't get most of them, but I had to be ready, I had to still be enthusiastic. I had to still come to the next audition with everything I could bring to the table to try to get it. And even when I started getting most of them, the beautiful thing that I learned now, I wasn't happy about it then, but they would tell me, all right, you are in the fave, you're the one that we want, but you still have to audition.

[00:29:27] Spaceman: Right.

[00:29:28] Barr Foxx: Like, what? Why would I have to audition? You've seen this performance, you've seen that performance. What are you talking about? And they're like, Hey, we don't know who's coming. It could be somebody else that we like better. So if you want it, audition for it.

[00:29:43] Barr Foxx: If it's meant for you to have, you will have it. And that was my life for a long time. Just, you know, I'm at the top of my game here. I'm the lead in this performance. I'm going for the next one. I have to audition with everybody else. And that just taught me something wonderful that I didn't know at the time.

[00:30:03] Barr Foxx: It, it trained me. It condensed me in a way that was ultimately positive because I understood you can have it, but it can be taken away. You cannot have it, but you can get it and you can just try and even if. , you all say no to me today. Doesn't mean that it is a no for life and um, I don't know if that's a blessing or a curse, but that's kind of what I've been armed with.

[00:30:32] Barr Foxx: So I'm like, Hey, you know, I understand expirations, I understand people might not like it at the time, but getting behind the camera, I'm getting behind the conversations and finding out that a no is not necessarily a personal attack on you. It could be, you know what a no for you. We don't want you because we're really looking for somebody that's five two.

[00:30:57] Barr Foxx: And you're just taller than five too, and just little things can take you out of it that you don't understand. So I'm glad I was able to learn that information. So I wouldn't take things as such a personal attack or a putdown or that they meant I was never gonna do it. And maybe the, and maybe some people felt like I was never gonna do it, but now I'm too ignorant to understand that.

[00:31:20] Barr Foxx: I just say, oh, okay.

[00:31:24] Halfling: Uh, well that's something that we've heard from writers that we've had on the show because writers face a lot of rejection. , they get tons of rejections on their books, their stories, before they finally get that one that says, okay, we'll take this. You know? And so you have to get a thick skin, but like you said, you have to learn not to take it personally.

[00:31:49] Halfling: Which is kind of hard to do cuz, it messes with your ego.

[00:31:52] Spaceman: And you put so much of yourself in everything you create. It is a reflection on your soul. Not just, you know, I can't imagine anybody who's a creator, being an artist, a writer, you know, even a model builder, somebody who does something creative and they pour their life into it, not having a little piece of their soul in it.

[00:32:11] Spaceman: And that rejection just, you know, hurting you directly in your heart.

[00:32:15] Barr Foxx: Absolutely true. We're absolutely vulnerable when we create, especially first projects. Especially the one we're trying to use to get on that is all of us usually that's all of us, all of you, all of your pain, your heart in that. And a rejection is deeper than just, Hey, we don't want you. It hits all of those spaces and places, it does take some grooming, some learning, some good friends and some, motivation to stay focused after you get those rejections, good success stories of people who are honest and tell you, Hey, I tried this for three years before I got there.

[00:32:59] Barr Foxx: I turned it in 17 times before somebody accepted it. We need to hear those conversations and we need to hear that cuz it's easy, it's easy to sit and think somebody had it just easy. And they just went in and said, Hey, I can do this. And the world picked it up and that's usually not the case. And people need to share their stories or they need to hear how some of their favorite people did have to go through some steps before they became amazing.

[00:33:28] Barr Foxx: Well, they were already amazing, but before the world and your day were amazing,

[00:33:30] Spaceman: Right.

[00:33:31] Spaceman: And that's why we have this podcast. This is Journeys in Active Fandom so that we can show people, people's paths. You know, Barr Foxx didn't start out as a TV producer and a cosplayer extraordinaire. You know, you had a path that you followed and other people can, be inspired by that path.

[00:33:49] Spaceman: Maybe, The Halfling and the Spaceman someday can inspire other people. Although, you know, I really want

[00:33:56] Halfling: I, I, I don't think I wanna inspire anybody, you know, maybe entertain a little bit with the podcast

[00:34:02] Spaceman: Yeah, maybe 

[00:34:02] Halfling: don't, I dunno about inspire 

[00:34:04] Spaceman: But, but that's the whole thing is that I think it's important for people to see the journey that other people take so they can understand that they're not alone. And that even though the path is dark and scary and there's, there's trees and, you know, it just seems very frightening that you're not the first person to walk the path.

[00:34:24] Spaceman: And you know that even though you're in the fairytale forest of doom right now, eventually you're gonna come into whatever the next 

[00:34:32] Halfling: phase is.

[00:34:33] Halfling: The, the sun lit. Glad. 

[00:34:35] Spaceman: the sun lit glade 

[00:34:36] Halfling: Sunli, yes. Bunny rabbits,

[00:34:38] Spaceman: right. My, my metaphor was failing.

[00:34:43] Halfling: Oh, that's okay but, oh, since we're talking about being inspired of, I, I think it's an appropriate time to ask who has been your biggest inspiration?.

[00:34:58] Barr Foxx: Wow. Well, and then I say wow to that because I love so many avenues of entertainment. I love so many avenues and, um, so music. Hmm. Lemme think, inspirations for music is a lot of the songwriters, you know, Dallas Austin, a lot of the artists that I grew up listening to, Brandy, who in my mind just really changed the game in so many ways. When she's Cinderella, you know, she broke the mold. She showed me that things could be done.

[00:35:36] Barr Foxx: That growing up, I didn't think could, you know, I didn't think we would ever see a black Cinderella. And there she was. So her music, and even from a music standpoint, watching Brandy as an R&B artist, I had never before her heard anybody combine with hip hop. And she started doing hooks and brought rappers onto her songs and showed me that you could collaborate and it could still be great.

[00:36:08] Barr Foxx: And so honestly, that was one of the first times that I have to be honest, that I thought, Hey, collaboration is great because look at what can be done. Like before I thought you had to stay in your lane and I didn't understand that working with this person to do this from their field and your field could actually still create something.

[00:36:29] Barr Foxx: And watching Brandy do that was just an eye-opener for me. I know it was in front of me. I'm sure other people did it, but she's the one that I resonated with to say, whoa, this can be done. Mm-hmm. . So she's an inspiration for me. If we get into television and film Ron Howard amazing. Um, Ava DuVernay amazing.

[00:36:54] Barr Foxx: Shonda Rhymes amazing. All these actors that did stuff that took me through all of these, these different emotions and feelings that I experienced watching on the screen, and especially the ones that can play a variety of characters and seeing them grow. You know, I love Alyssa Milano. I started off, she was such a little kid, and she's still in the game and she's still doing well.

[00:37:25] Barr Foxx: Um, Violet Davis. I just have so many. So that's a loaded question for me cuz I sit up and enamored and I am enamored by so many people for so many different things from their acting to even some of the ones I might not like your acting, but I love the way you conduct yourself. Your interviews, your, mannerisms.

[00:37:51] Barr Foxx: I love Madonna because Madonna just didn't care. Or it appeared that she didn't. And when she made mistakes, when I found out that she, in the, what was her big performance of, um, Like a Virgin

[00:38:05] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:38:07] Barr Foxx: when she crawled around on the floor, I didn't know that was because stuff tore

[00:38:12] Barr Foxx: and Yeah, it was, yeah.

[00:38:15] Barr Foxx: So she did that performance is famous and everybody was like, oh my God, look at what she did. But her clothing tour. Or her shoe or something. Something malfunctioned horribly that she had to fall.

[00:38:27] Halfling: Oh, wow.

[00:38:28] Barr Foxx: And instead of stopping a performance, she laid down and created a vibe that, you know, got her all of this buzz, but it was because she pivoted and saved the moment and stuff like that.

[00:38:43] Barr Foxx: I always find inspirational because those are people who know how to keep going in the face of a little adversity, and that's important to me. So from watching her, watching some of the other people, I learned that because I. Get on the stage, stuff happens, the mic goes out, stuff falls, malfunctions, is behind the cam.

[00:39:08] Barr Foxx: I mean, behind the curtains, malfunctions behind the curtains. Your shoes break, your clothes don't fit. You're missing stuff and you still have to go on. And a lot of those people are artists that showed me that, and I appreciate that cuz I try to embody it as much as possible because something always happens, guys, always.

[00:39:28] Barr Foxx: This is nothing ever perfect when I'm planning the stuff that I do. Something always going to the left.

[00:39:38] Spaceman: I think we know that one personally.

[00:39:40] Halfling: we do Uh, well, anytime you put yourself out there, it, I always say don't strive for perfection, strive for better. That's kind of my saying, because nobody's ever going to be perfect, but we can always strive to be better. Yeah. So, is there one person that you haven't met that you would really love to meet?

[00:40:10] Barr Foxx: I would love to meet Shonda Rhimes 

[00:40:14] Barr Foxx: because she has created so many wonderful things on television with the menagerie of races and people that work so well. And I say that because when I watch her shows, although I'm so excited that she brings in other races, I don't see, how do I wanna say that? They're not just there because of the race.

[00:40:41] Barr Foxx: They're bringing everything they can to the roles, everything they can to the episodes and to the shows. And they just so happened to be another race, another culture. But the way they blend together is so wonderful, and I waited so long for that because her shows the actors are just great actors.

[00:41:02] Barr Foxx: But thankfully she's not afraid to put people of color in the shows.

[00:41:08] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:41:09] Barr Foxx: Um, look at Bridgerton. If you guys have watched it, just amazing.

[00:41:13] Halfling: We haven't had the chance to watch it, but we have heard very good things about it. So that's, that's on our to

[00:41:19] Spaceman: Yes. It's on our infinite list of things we need to watch

[00:41:24] Barr Foxx: You know what? And let's, let's, let's pivot to that. Isn't it wonderful? So many things are out. You're not limited. You can go to all these different apps, you can watch shows on YouTube, you could watch all these things. And you know, now when people tell me, oh, there's nothing on TV or nothing to watch, I'm looking at them like, what are you talking about? People are creating everywhere. Like you can just watch podcasts, you can watch different things, interview. It is like so much stuff I cannot even imagine saying there's nothing to watch. But yeah, please add Bridgerton to your list of things. Um, I would love to meet Shonda Rhimes. I think she's exceptional.

[00:42:09] Barr Foxx: She gets it. She not only gets it, she puts it out for people to get. And she's just amazing. I haven't met her. I just, I have this thought in my head that when I do, we're just gonna love each other to death because I already admire her so much and she's a person I would love to talk to. I would love to learn from, I would love to get advice.

[00:42:33] Barr Foxx: She just does it right. And I have looked at, I think all of her shows without even knowing they were her shows. And that's a testament for me cuz I work in the industry to look at these shows and say, oh yeah, this is one of my faves, this is one of my faves. Oh this is one of my faves back from private practice to all this stuff.

[00:42:55] Barr Foxx: And to find out that they're all Shonda Rhimes

[00:42:58] Spaceman: Okay.

[00:42:59] Barr Foxx: amazing.

[00:42:59] Halfling: We definitely have Bridgeton on our to watch list. 

[00:43:03] Spaceman: Yeah. Isn't, yeah, as much as we love period costume dramas, we were big fans of Rome and The Tutors, and most recently we watched the Borgias, so Oh, and, uh, Downton Abbey, although that's a little more, more frumpy

[00:43:16] Barr Foxx: absolutely.

[00:43:17] Spaceman: but yeah. Yeah, it's right up our alley.

[00:43:20] Barr Foxx: Perfect. Well I hope it's fun for you. Yeah. I'm one of those people when you can create eight a another world for me and take me back in time and enter, I just love it. Like Interview With a Vampire, the new one. Love it. Because it's just the way the clothing, the whole area just has personality.

[00:43:41] Barr Foxx: And Bridgeton is one of those shows where the setting is a character in it of itself.

[00:43:46] Spaceman: Jabbar, we've heard about your TV production, and we've heard that how much you enjoy your cosplay and how fulfilling that is for you.

[00:43:53] Spaceman: So what was the path you took to go from where you started, where you saw the cosplay the first time, to where you are now as somebody who was nationally or maybe even internationally recognized?

[00:44:04] Barr Foxx: Yay. Oh, I'm glad you threw internationally in there. Just won an award, with the Geek Fest, Toronto, and I was up against people from New Zealand and Quebec. It was just wonderful to be in that room and South Africa Comic-Con showcased a documentary last year, so I guess we're kind of international

[00:44:26] Barr Foxx: So, the beginning of Barr Foxx, how did he come to be? So basically, Dragoncon was my first really big exposure to a con and that year I was modeling for another convention and I decided to go to Dragoncon because a friend of mine called and she said, what are you doing? Where are you modeling at? And I was like, well, I'm modeling here.

[00:44:52] Barr Foxx: And she was like, you're not there with the people in costumes. And I was like, what are you talking about? And she said, well, there are a whole group of people in costumes and I think you should be with them. And I said, that's all I need to know. I'm going, where is it? So I had no information, , I didn't know who I was going to see what it was.

[00:45:10] Barr Foxx: And I was like, I'm going because these are my people. They have to be. And I got there and I walked in and immediately I saw all these superhero costumes and all these characters from comics brought to life in person. And I was enamored. I only had on a t-shirt and some jeans. I didn't know what to expect.

[00:45:32] Barr Foxx: And I loved being in a room where I felt odd because I was not in costume because the rest of everybody was. So, I was there. Didn't have my stuff together, but I came back the next day, I dug in my closet and found one of my costumes. So I think the very first thing I wore to Dragon Con was, Robin Beyond.

[00:45:53] Barr Foxx: So I was Robin and I put that on and me and my friend went, or my friend and I went there and we had a ball. I just couldn't get enough. Adrenaline was running, couldn't go to sleep. I just wanted to talk to everybody. I just wanted to be around everyone and just engage and find out where they made their costumes, how did they get these special pieces?

[00:46:17] Barr Foxx: All of these things were running through my mind. So as that continued, I think two to three years in a row. So the first year was amazing cuz it was new. The second year was equally amazing cuz it was new. When I was meeting people year three, I started to see the racism and I started to see discrimination and I saw that through. You know, my costume had gotten better by then and I was in line to get a picture taken cuz there was a photographer there and he was shooting people and there was a young lady he was shooting, giving her an amazing photography session. He was trying every angle, had her doing all these poses and all these things.

[00:47:00] Barr Foxx: So we were in line and it was a black girl in front of me. And I was like, you know, I even told her, I was like, this is gonna be great. You're gonna get so many great pictures because he's taking his time and making sure it is perfect. And she was so excited and she walked up and I think, I adjusted my costume and by the time I look back up, he was like, okay, I'm done. And it's like he either snapped one picture or didn't even take one and she was so hurt. Like she cried and I was like, oh my God, did he just not take her picture at all? And you know, and I get. To some degree, if you want to just take pictures of people you want to take pictures of. But in that instance, you need to create a space where you are bringing them to you.

[00:47:51] Barr Foxx: I'm not going to be okay with you being in a public space and saying, I take pictures, and then you're handpicking the people that you take pictures of. That's nasty. And I didn't know what to say to console her. I was so mortified. And I I went up to him and I said, did you, you know, I just wanted to clarify before I got upset.

[00:48:12] Barr Foxx: I was like, did you take her picture or did you just act like you took her picture? And he, oh, I took it and I was like, let me see. And then he was like, well, I don't have to let you see. So I did not realize he didn't even take it.

[00:48:23] Barr Foxx: So I was so bummed out and hurt because for me, my first and second year, Marvel came up to me and said, oh my God, I love you.

[00:48:34] Barr Foxx: Can I spotlight you on our website? I'm like, yeah, Cosplay America came up to me in my first year and was like, Hey, you look fantastic. I'm putting together a table book. Can I put you in the book? Yeah. . So, I'm just meeting all these people that are like, we just like what you're doing. And that's when I had ran into George Perez all, like, all these wonderful experiences.

[00:48:58] Barr Foxx: So to actually come down to just the people, to our peers and see discrimination was like, what are you doing? Marvel is okay with it. DC featured me. They're okay with the George Perez is okay with me and my skin color. Why are you as a photographer here at the Con discriminating? So when I saw that hurt my feelings, didn't know what I could do.

[00:49:23] Barr Foxx: Luckily, I met another photographer, Brian Humphrey there, that was amazing, and he just wanted to take pictures of everybody. He didn't care. And I remembered him and I sent the girl to his photo booth so she could get that treatment that she deserved and be made to feel warranted and that her costume and her cosplay mattered.

[00:49:43] Barr Foxx: But because of that cosplay, your way got planted in my head because I said, what can I do to offset this? I know I'm not there. I can't be there to help everyone,

[00:49:58] Barr Foxx: but what can I do to offset this and create a space where people can get shot and get their photography taken, or get photography taken of their cosplays and treat it fairly?

[00:50:16] Barr Foxx: And that's when I came up with the annual shoot and I was like, I'm gonna bring photographers to a space and I'm gonna invite cosplay out to be shot. And whether you are novice or you are expert, you're gonna get the same treatment from these photographers and you're gonna walk out of this scenario with a beautiful photo that you can share.

[00:50:40] Barr Foxx: And I was like, that's what I'm gonna do. And I said, and furthermore, I'm going to create a space where you know, I can have the photo shoots here at the con and I can do the panel. So it just started coming into my mind of I don't want this to happen again. And I don't mind putting people on blast either.

[00:50:59] Barr Foxx: So I was like, I want to talk to as many people as I can and say, that photographer right there is who did this. That's the person that did this. And I didn't have a problem doing that because I feel like if you're gonna do something nasty and stank, you should stand by it. You don't get to throw the rock and hide your hand behind your back.

[00:51:19] Barr Foxx: So if I see it, I'm telling, cuz it is just not right. And if that's who you are, then be okay with it and stand by it and, tell me I'm not shooting anybody. I don't wanna shoot. Which is fine. You don't have to, I don't think you should be in this public space at Dragon Con with that mentality though.

[00:51:38] Barr Foxx: Get you a room, buy you a a lot, buy you a studio, and only invite people that you want.

[00:51:44] Spaceman: right. Well, one of the things that the Hoffling and I strongly believe in is the importance of third spaces, a neutral place where people can meet, where everybody is welcome. . And that's something that we've seen disappear in our society. And that's why conventions are so important to us because conventions, when they're done right, act as a really good third space.

[00:52:06] Spaceman: A place where people can meet all sorts of different people. And I think that we need to strive to make it welcoming for as many people as possible. So do you have any advice for those folks that are looking to create a space where as many people are welcome as possible or deterrents against certain types of behaviors that work against creating that space?

[00:52:28] Barr Foxx: Um, I, yeah, I have a lot of advice and on both sides actually. One cosplay with friends and, go with people that you enjoy spending time with, because that definitely enhances the experience. Two, whatever your reasons are for cosplaying, because I know now it's gone from just, Hey, I'm with friends, that some people are trying to monetize it and other people want cos fandom, or cos fame, which is all fine.

[00:52:57] Barr Foxx: But understand it, know yourself and know what that means when you're walking into a room, if you're looking for it from a caused fame level, there's certain things that you're gonna be met with, certain things you're gonna see certain things that you're going to get and not going to get if you're approaching it that way.

[00:53:16] Barr Foxx: So I like to tell people, figure that out first. Two, don't expect other people to validate your fun and excitement. When you're there, you're there to have an experience for yourself. Create that experience for you, and please try your best not to put that power into the hands of somebody you don't know that is looking at you or talking about you from the across the room.

[00:53:44] Barr Foxx: Cuz that person in theory, if you think about it, should not have any impact on your experience. Even if he and she says something slightly negative to the best of your ability, brush them off. They are a a minute, a second in your life. You are there to have a good time. Don't give them that power. As for people on the other side, quit gatekeeping.

[00:54:07] Barr Foxx: Quit going in with your biases and your issues. Quit trying to demean people. Quit trying to do smoke screens when you're unhappy with yourself or something and project it onto others cuz they're not there to carry your baggage and your issues either. Leave people alone. It's a space for everyone.

[00:54:28] Barr Foxx: If you are enjoying yourself completely and totally and having a good time, you should not have time to demean anybody else. You shouldn't have time to pick on anybody else. There's so much going on, so many beautiful people to meet. So many panels, so many how-to, things to learn. So many celebrities in the room, so many books to read and comics.

[00:54:48] Barr Foxx: How do you even have time to put somebody else down or disrespect them? Like I don't get it. It is like panels. I'm there learning all the time. I'm there networking all day.

[00:55:06] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:55:07] Barr Foxx: I love to hear, what do you do? Oh my God. Like I work with costume designer deans list and we're there and we're meeting people and and this person's like, well, I'm working on this project, I'm a designer.

[00:55:20] Barr Foxx: And he is like, oh, he's a designer too. They can collaborate. It's just a wonderful place to just meet and greet people. So my advice on both sides is to, one, create your experience and don't give power to people you don't know. I know it's hard to do cuz we all wanna be liked, we all wanna walk in and everybody says you're the best.

[00:55:45] Barr Foxx: But it, it shouldn't be about that. An experiment we did one year, which I loved cuz I kept running into people who were claiming a character, which again baffled me and confused me. So they're like, I'm Storm. But you can't be the only Storm because other people can wear a Storm or other people can wear Superman or other people can be in these costumes.

[00:56:09] Barr Foxx: You're not the only one. And you had some people that would really get upset if it was another Superman in a group photo or another Wonder Woman was there as if they were the actual being. And I was like, what is going on? So what I and a few of my friends decided to do is we all were Storm together, all of us.

[00:56:33] Barr Foxx: So we, we all, and we all did our version, we all brought our energy to it. We brought our flavor, and when people walked up, it was the Storm group and we were all Storm and you had to just, your Storm it just worked. And it was wonderful. It was a wonderful photo, it was a wonderful group and it was a wonderful message.

[00:56:53] Barr Foxx: And what I love is that although we didn't articulate what we were doing, We had so many people come up to us and say, oh my God, your Storm photo was so great. Now me and my friends both did such and such and we know we can do blah, blah blah. And I did the, the version from 1990s and they did the version from 2000.

[00:57:12] Barr Foxx: And I'm like, that's exactly what I want to hear. Cuz we do not own these characters. I don't know about you guys, but I'm not getting a check from wearing any of these costumes.

[00:57:23] Halfling: No

[00:57:24] Barr Foxx: Um, yeah. Like, they're not like, oh, you know, Jabar did Gambit. He's the best. I don't get paid for that. So I'm like, why would you claim that and, try to deter others from doing it or put them down if they're doing it.

[00:57:38] Barr Foxx: So, I know I talked a lot. I hope I didn't talk in circles. I'm 

[00:57:42] Barr Foxx: going back to cosplay with friends 

[00:57:45] Halfling: You're fine. 

[00:57:46] Barr Foxx: who, you know, create your experience and to the best of your ability. people you don't know that have no impact on your life are just that, and leave them in their statements and their disgruntled attitudes at the door.

[00:58:01] Halfling: Well, I, I think that, all of that is, stuff that our listeners need to hear. When we go to conventions, it's almost like we're going home. Because you get there and you're surrounded by people who have the same love for that particular type of fandom.

[00:58:22] Halfling: And we had to stop going to conventions for a while because of the thing. And when we finally, were able to go to Raven Con last year, even though we were wearing masks, which is fine, it was just like, we're home. This is our tribe, this is our people. And you know, there really should not be any negativity.

[00:58:46] Halfling: People should just be enjoying. The environment, enjoying the energy that other people have. And you know, like you said, there's so much to do. Why would you spend time and energy being negative and trying to give other people a hard time that are there for the same purpose you are, which is to enjoy.

[00:59:07] Halfling: I'm like you, I, I don't get it. I don't 

[00:59:10] Barr Foxx: I don't, 

[00:59:10] Halfling: You know,

[00:59:11] Barr Foxx: yeah, we're already in a group. The masses are starting to recognize and, understand now. But just think about it, 20 years ago, we are in the cosplay, we dress up in costumes. Oh my God, they're so weird. So to, already be in that group where the masses doesn't understand and we get together and now it's dissension inside of that is, it was just too much.

[00:59:36] Barr Foxx: I'm like, please don't do that to me. Um, but at the same time, if you are gonna do it, I'm not a doormat. So I know how to fight back and or create my walls. And what I can do is show you better than I can tell you. And Barr Foxx was born and Barr Foxx is an invited guest to the biggest Cons. And Barr Foxx is a guest at the biggest Cons and Barr Foxx is doing the panels.

[01:00:01] Barr Foxx: So, as you talked about me in my first three years, now you're coming to my panels and now you're watching my documentary. and now you are. So, because it can flip at any time. And I don't know why those people came in with a monopoly mindset because unfortunately I, I met a lot of people with that monopoly mindset and I don't know why they didn't get that new people were going to come, new people were gonna bring different energy and different flavoring, different skill sets. None of us was prepared for 3D printing back then, , you know, it was like, so that changed the game tremendously. We were in the garage or in the basement painting and sanding and you know, beating stuff within an inch of his life to create this look.

[01:00:49] Barr Foxx: And all of a sudden somebody's like, oh, this is my first cosplay, cuz they have the money to get a 3D printer and it's beautiful and perfect and it changed the game and it was no need to be mad at them. It's just evolution happen and it's going to continue to happen. So anyone trying to monopolize that space, anyone not growing or meeting new people is ridiculous.

[01:01:12] Barr Foxx: And let's reiterate as you stated, too much to do at the cons. Too many people to meet, too many experiences you can create that's catered to you. For you to take time to be mean or negative or disrespectful to someone, it's just too much to do.

[01:01:29] Spaceman: I'd like to interject a quick point. One of the things that we've noticed, from attending conventions for many, many, many, many years, , is that a lot of times conventions are what you bring to them as an attendee. And if you go there with an open mind, ready to have a good time, ready to find your thing, you're gonna have a great time.

[01:01:49] Spaceman: You're gonna meet great people. Matter of fact, that's how I met one of my business partners, at a convention that we hosted, but . But there are some people who go to conventions and they're just there for somebody else to entertain them. And I don't think that the, you can find entertainment at a convention if you're there to be entertained, but it's not as fulfilling as if you're there to be part of something.

[01:02:17] Barr Foxx: Right, right. I totally. It is really nice if you're going and you want to be a part of something, even if it's just your costume or meet other Star Trek people, or meet other Teen Titans and things like that. It's just amazing to meet like-minded people and find out what their story is and why they like it, and where you connect.

[01:02:39] Barr Foxx: And I learn something all the time. As much as I think I am an expert on Teen Titans, I always talk to somebody and they're like, no, that person came first and that person, this was their name before. And I'm like, wait a minute. I used to read all of them. I don't remember that. But those conversations are delightful to me as opposed to competition.

[01:03:00] Barr Foxx: So I really enjoyed doing the um, Marvel DC trivia, trivia panels because I go in there and get reminded that I do not know as much as I thought I did.

[01:03:14] Spaceman: All right. Let's get back to cosplay for just a moment. Are there any resources that you would recommend to someone who really wants to get started in cosplay?

[01:03:23] Barr Foxx: Oh yeah. You know what I would recommend, um, you know, if you're a person of color, definitely go to World of Black Heroes site. One of the biggest complaints and issues has been there are not enough people of color to cosplay not enough characters. And that site lists everybody, everyone of color that has ever grace to the pages of a comic.

[01:03:48] Barr Foxx: So, if you are that person that's thinking there are not a lot of characters to do, then that is a great site to do your research. I also love the pages cosplays over 40, cosplays over 50, cosplays over six 60. And what I love about them is that they're showing that you don't have to stop. How dare you say, oh, I'm this age, I can't do it.

[01:04:12] Barr Foxx: No, that page is filled with amazing cosplays, doing it big and looking fantastic. And the beautiful thing, I'm gonna say this, I'll probably get in trouble that I love about the cosplays over 40, 50, 60 pages is their backgrounds and settings and locations be impeccable. . You know, some of the younger ones are like, Hey, I'm just here.

[01:04:35] Barr Foxx: I can just do it in front of this steps or this background, and it's like, okay, that's nice, you look great. But when you get to those other age groups, it's something about the whole performance and the whole package that just the background is great, the lighting is great. It's like they take time to give it to you.

[01:04:54] Barr Foxx: So, that's not to say that some people under 20 and 30 don't, but really see it a lot in those pages. But, I do think those are some great resources to look for if you're looking for motivation and to tell you that it's okay for you to do it. If you're looking for actual costumes and how to create them, YouTube, following designers like Dean's List and different people that tell you how to is a wonderful, wonderful source because they put up work in progress. What do you wanna call 'em? Work in pro. They put up work in progress. Post, I'll call post. So they put up work in progress posts for you to follow along and see what they're doing and how they did it. They're not trying to make it a big secret anymore. You know, back in the day for a little bit you would ask somebody how they did it and they just wouldn't share.

[01:05:48] Barr Foxx: Cause it was something about not allowing you to get on that same page with them. But now people are more open and saying, Hey, I took this table mat and I cut it and that's how I made it. Or I took my mom's old quilt and I created this. And I love those stories because pulling things out of your house and, and making these looks, one lets you know that nothing is trash.

[01:06:14] Barr Foxx: Every, almost everything can be repurposed for something. And two, that creativity is exceptional. So with that being said, I definitely recommend people looking up closet cosplay pages because that's how we first got started. And I think it is amazing. It is an amazing skill to have. Because it lets you look in your environment and see what you have to create a look.

[01:06:39] Barr Foxx: And that's fine. I've always wanted to kind of have a panel where I brought the pieces in and I put a look up on the board and, and told people, you know, out of these pieces, get as close to this look as possible and see what they do with just regular pieces, just regular stuff.

[01:06:57] Barr Foxx: And see who could come up with a, looks close to the cosplay, just out of that stuff. I think that would be so fun.

[01:07:05] Spaceman: That would be fun.

[01:07:06] Halfling: would, it would definitely, I'm sure, I'm sure it would be a lot of fun, and I'm sure that people would get a lot of great ideas from it. 

[01:07:12] Barr Foxx: Absolutely. 

[01:07:13] Halfling: do it.

[01:07:14] Spaceman: Do it. 

[01:07:15] Halfling: Yeah.

[01:07:16] Halfling: Be like, be like Nike, do it.

[01:07:19] Spaceman: Yeah. Let us know what convention. We'll come there.

[01:07:22] Barr Foxx: Okay. Hey, I'm serious guys. We need to get that set up. I think that'll be so fun. I, I would have to buy the. I just had to figure out buying the right materials and stuff and figure out how the look could be created, but then like just get it and put it in there and have three or four people compete and have fun and just see what they do.

[01:07:40] Barr Foxx: Cuz whatever they come up with is gonna be fun 

[01:07:42] Barr Foxx: or funny. You never know.

[01:07:44] Halfling: Well, there, there's no right or wrong to it. That's the, you know, that's the whole point is it's your way.

[01:07:51] Barr Foxx: It's your weapon.

[01:07:52] Halfling: it's 

[01:07:52] Spaceman: Yeah, it is. It's 

[01:07:53] Spaceman: cosplay your 

[01:07:54] Spaceman: way.

[01:07:56] Halfling: uh,

[01:07:57] Spaceman: All right, so what conventions are on your must attend list

[01:08:03] Barr Foxx: Ooh. Must attend.

[01:08:05] Spaceman: attend.

[01:08:06] Barr Foxx: All right, Karen. Ashley gonna love me for this. Rangerstop and Pop is a must attend for me. That group is exceptional. They give you a party, they bring in all the rangers, they can. , everybody is easy to talk to and accessible and reachable and right there. I love them so much. So that's a must.

[01:08:30] Barr Foxx: Dragon Con of course, is a must BlurCon. Blur Con is a great time. It's in, Virginia. So Blur Con is a must and then I like to go to New York ComicCon and San Diego ComicCon when I can, but the must are Dragon Con, BlurCon, Ranger Stop, and Momo Con, uh, how did I forget? Momo Con

[01:08:55] Spaceman: Where, where is Momo Con?

[01:08:57] Barr Foxx: Momo Con is in Atlanta and it's May.

[01:09:01] Spaceman: Okay.

[01:09:02] Barr Foxx: Yeah. And it's so amazing. And I think I'm attached, I think I am attached to Momo Con because I remember when it was just in a patch grass. In front of a school, like literally it was a corner with nothing built on the corner, a yard. And that's where everybody went and stood out there to get water was a feat that you couldn't get cuz nobody was even out there selling refreshments or anything.

[01:09:27] Barr Foxx: You just stood out there and talked in a costume and now it's in one of our biggest convention centers. And I saw it grow and grow and grow and it's just so fun.

[01:09:39] Spaceman: That sounds fun,

[01:09:41] Halfling: We're looking for conventions to attend because. We want to, as much as we want to hear people's stories, we want people to know about us so that they know we're out there to listen to these stories. So,

[01:09:53] Spaceman: we can record their stories on site.

[01:09:55] Spaceman: Yeah. 

[01:09:55] Halfling: Yeah.

[01:09:56] Halfling: Yeah. 

[01:09:57] Barr Foxx: love that. Momo Con is a great place to do all of that, guys. It's really, it's big enough but not too big, but it, it's. , it's set up so beautifully and, Atlantic ComicCon is cool, but Momo Con definitely. So here we have a few big ones. Um, AWA, Momo Con, Dragoncon. All of those are really full of attendees

[01:10:21] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[01:10:23] Barr Foxx: and, you could have a good space and at Dragoncon, you, they have a podcast.

[01:10:28] Barr Foxx: They have a podcast track where the podcasters are together over the weekend and you do the panels and you bring different people in. So it's a great way, if you guys haven't done that, to either come and get on those panels and let people know about who you are or to get on the track and create some panels where you interview some people and either get the con started or close down or interview some of the celebrities There.

[01:10:56] Barr Foxx: It is some wonderful things you can do.

[01:10:59] Halfling: Okay. Sounds good. so what's next for you? What's the big project or projects coming up for you?

[01:11:08] Barr Foxx: Well, what's next that I just saw this morning? I was so excited. Is that Geek Fest Film Fest? I wanna get it right for their year 10 tour, has decided to take the documentary Cosplay Your Way In Color for the ride, for the tour this year. And I am so excited. Didn't even know that was happening, I was like, so that's like when you, create something, you want people to see it.

[01:11:42] Barr Foxx: Like you guys were just saying, you want people to know you're here and honestly in the beginning, that's, that's just what you want. You want more people to gravitate toward it and get their experience from it. So to hear that someone cares enough about the cosplay documentary, Cosplay Your Way In Color enough to take it with them, a part of their brand to every con they go to for the next year and have that documentary, a part of their programming is so flattering.

[01:12:17] Barr Foxx: And I'm very excited about that.

[01:12:20] Halfling: Congratulations. 

[01:12:21] Barr Foxx: Thank you. 

[01:12:22] Halfling: That's, a wonderful honor. I mean, really, it's not just a kudos, but it's an honor. Good for you. 

[01:12:28] Barr Foxx: It is an honor, I haven't even posted it yet. So you guys are like the first to know

[01:12:32] Halfling: Oh, breaking news here on the Halfling and the Spaceman

[01:12:40] Spaceman: Here at breaking news three.

[01:12:42] Halfling: Ignore him. 

[01:12:42] Barr Foxx: Right. And then in my other world I'm working on, cuz I, I work at Tyler Perry Studios and I'm working on some shows that are coming out. So, we can't talk about them but hopefully they will be, hit some successes and one will drop this year and I can't wait to see how people respond and react to it.

[01:13:02] Barr Foxx: And I'm hoping it continues to grow cuz if people like it, we can get more and more and more and I can continue to do what I do on both sides of the pimps.

[01:13:13] Halfling: Absolutely. . Okay, so tell everybody where they can find out more about you and all the things that you're involved.

[01:13:25] Barr Foxx: Awesome. So if you want to hear more about me Barr Foxx, you can find me at Barr Foxx, that's B A R R F O X X two Rs and two Xs on all social media from TikTok to Instagram. And then if you wanna find out about the company Cosplay Your Way, you can find us at cosplay Your way on all social media. And you can find me at the conventions.

[01:13:53] Barr Foxx: I will be at Rangerstop and Pop, I will be at DragonCon Doing Panels and please stop our YouTube channel, check us out and always reach out to me and or some of the costume of your way. Affiliates, like Dean's List, custom designer, photographer, Andrew Michael Phillips, Drew Phillips, or Super Fit with re or phone Smith, Shattered Images.

[01:14:21] Barr Foxx: We just all love to talk to people and answer questions and give you what we know so we can help you be better. Cuz that's the ideal. We want everybody to be better, keep growing. And when I'm eighty, ninety, a hundred and fifty, I want to be able to say yes, cosplay is still going and we're still having fun.

[01:14:39] Barr Foxx: And look at all the advances in it. So please reach out to me. Barr Foxx cosplay your way.

[01:14:46] Halfling: All right, we'll make sure to get that in the show notes. That's wonderful. And we have had such a great time talking to you, and we again, appreciate you taking the time to talk with us. You're obviously very busy, so for you to take that time out is really, really special for us.

[01:15:02] Halfling: And so we wanna thank you, for doing that

[01:15:05] Barr Foxx: You're welcome. Thank you. I appreciate it. Thanks for being patient with my schedule.

[01:15:10] Halfling: all along well. It's great. It's, it is worth it. Worth it.

[01:15:15] Spaceman: All right. And we want to thank our listeners for tuning in today, and We hope that you enjoyed and perhaps become inspired by today's guest, Jabar. We want to give Jabar a huge thank you and shout out for joining us today, and this is the Spaceman over and out.