We previously interviewed the Regina cosplayer extraordinaire, Reini Side and now we meet her friendly nemesis, Snow White cosplayed (wonderfully) by Malerie McDonald. I remember seeing Malerie at Regal Con but was too shy to introduce myself. I believe I did compliment her on her cosplay. I’m shocked at how similar to Mary Margaret, Malerie looks. Oh well, enough of me rambling, please get to know the quirky, creative, cool and very kind, Malerie McDonald.
Describe yourself in 3-5 words.
Quirky Enthusiastic Caring
Do you have any nicknames you’d like to share?
Growing up, I could not walk into a room without hearing someone sing “They call her Mellow Yellow” lol
Did you have a Fairy Tale dream about yourself when you were younger? What was it?
I would dream all the time; Daydreams as well as dreams at night. I would imagine myself as every princess I saw in the latest movie. At first, when I was little my favorite princess was Ariel because I could relate the most to her. I am also the youngest of seven girls. (I know my poor father lol) I love to sing! And I daydream about living in another world all the time. Then as time went on I started getting the nickname Snow White because I am so pale and have dark hair naturally. Here is a wonderful picture that Malerie provided of she and her son.
How did you start Cosplaying? Where would you point someone if they are interested in starting? Any beginner tips?
I have ALWAYS loved dressing up. Whether it was for Halloween or Theatre or a Musical I was in. I suppose I started “cosplaying” when I was about 20 years old and I heard this company was looking for actresses to portray Princesses, Fairies and Super Heroes for Girl’s Birthday Parties. I was always into painting in Jr. High and High school and was good at it because I am a very visual person. So I started working there and dressing up doing Storytime, Face Painting, Dancing and Singing for Parties. I worked for this company for about 7 years. Now as for Cosplaying at conventions, I started at Regal Con as Mary Margaret. It was fun and easy because I resemble Ginny. I would say to anyone getting into cosplay to do what makes them happy. I know SO many people praise me with compliments because I resemble Ginny even more so in cosplay and I love that but you don’t have to resemble a character to cosplay. It’s all about dressing up as your favorite character
What was your first OUAT Cosplay costume? Where was the first placed you Cosplayed?
The first place I Cosplayed Mary Margaret was Regal Con and the first place I Cosplayed OUAT Snow was D23 Prior to those events I had only Cosplayed for Halloween and Princess Parties where I would Sing Act Dance and Face Paint
What does OUAT mean to you? Has it helped you through difficult times in your life?
OUAT means a lot to me. It has helped me through some very difficult times. My husband was serving in the USN when I started watching and as many military wives and families will tell you, you rarely get to see each other when they are on active duty. So the first thing that really resonated was when Charming told Snow “I will find you, I will always find you”. It literally brought me to tears. And as time went by after my husband had come back from deployment and was still away from me but on shore duty every Sunday night we would FaceTime and watch Once together. We were able to see Season 3 together this way.
What has OUAT given to you? Friends, etc?
OUAT has given me a mantra of Hope and Love that I carry with me daily. I work with special needs children and people often tell me “Wow, you must have a lot of patience” and I always respond, “Yes, a lot of patience but also you have to look at them through love”. Love is a great motivator to get you through ANYTHING. Another thing OUAT has brought me is a lot of friends; people who can truly say are my closest friends now.
Has OUAT and Cosplaying given you opportunities to give back to others? What have been some highlights?
I have always been told I looked like Snow White (not just OUAT Snow White) and earlier this year I was able to team up with a wonderful friend who wanted to start a Princess Etiquette Camp. It was months in the making but we finally did one week and hopefully, in the fall will do another. Teaching those girls manners dress as Classic Snow has been such a wonderful experience.
Have you ever met your favorite OUAT actor or actresses? Who is it? If you have met him/her, what was that meeting like?
I met my favorite Dwarf Lee Arenberg aka Grumpy/Dreamy. I was a volunteer at Regal Con and being a volunteer I honestly didn’t think I would get to actually meet any of the stars. I was monitoring the autograph session and Lee called me over asked my name and we discussed Ink. He also told me He could see the resemblance between me and GiGi! I had moments with Sean Aka Robin Hood, David aka Dr. Whale, Michael aka Happy, Faustino aka Sleepy and Eion aka Pinocchio but for Lee to really take the time and call me over and get to know me even in those few minutes was really awesome. I also got to take a picture with Lana that day… I don’t really feel like I got to “meet” her because it was very hard to get in and get out in the Photo session by the time I got there, but what I do remember was a brief exchange;
When I walked in to the area for the photo op with Lana, I heard her say “Well hello, you look familiar” to which I replied “Please don’t kill me”.
What are your thoughts about Season 5?
I’m excited to see what happens this season! I am hoping to see a lot more of Snow and Charming trying to help Emma fight the darkness. I want to see what happens to Rumple!!! I love him so much and want to see what happens now that he is no longer the Dark One.
What causes or charities are important to you and how can we help?
Reini, my Evil Queen Cosplay Partner, and I have thought about doing charities and going to hospitals spreading messages of Hope and Redemption by Cosplaying as Snow and Regina. We just need to organize and perhaps get some sponsorships.
What projects are you involved with and how can we see them and support you with them?
I work with an amazing person. We were able to do a one week summer Princess Camp and taught the girls good manners and how to be kind to one another. Which is SO important to me and weighs on my heart because every little girl should be able to feel beautiful and be treated like a Princess.
Is your significant other a Oncer, too? How do they deal with your Oncerness?
My husband was stationed in Pearl Harbor when we both started watching Once. It became a bonding time for us to watch it on Skype together. Later when he deployed and we couldn’t watch it together, I would recap him on what he missed. I’m happy to say that my Charming has found his way back to me. He definitely embraces it even though at times he doesn’t understand ships and other Oncer things. He definitely loves the fact that I resemble Snow.
What is your favorite OUAT line and why?
“And what exactly do you think fairy tales are? They are a reminder, that our lives will get better. If we just hold onto hope. Your happy ending might not be what you expected. That is what will make it so special.” Mary Margaret
Malerie tells us “The best part about being a Snow Cosplayer interacting with kids… They are so perceptive that when I had to fill in as Anna from “Frozen” during the ‘Love is Powerful’ segment of the camp a little girl who fell in love with me as Snow White leaned in to hug me and whispered to me “I know you’re not the REAL Anna from frozen”… And when I looked at her with fear in my eyes because I was caught… She looked me dead in the eye and said still quietly “You’re Snow White pretending to be Anna… ” I then winked at her and motioned a shhh… “Don’t tell,” she said, “I won’t let anyone know you’re really Snow White in disguise” and she hugged me once more and skipped off to join the other girls at the crafts table.”
One More Thing
Malerie wanted to give a big shout out to her amazing husband who throughout this especially hard year has been the Best Most Supportive Charming EVER! Here is a great pic Malerie sent.
What a great couple! Thank you Malerie for such a great interview, and we want to thank Malerie’s husband for his service to our country. Thank you, sir!