We continue our interview with Reini Side as she shares how Once Upon a Time helped her through the most difficult time of her life
Interview with Reini Side – Once Upon a Time – Part 2
Looking back, it’s interesting seeing the parallels in Regina’s and my life. We had both experienced excruciating loss, we were both widows, my name Reini is actually derived from the name Regina (which means Queen), and we were both single mothers working in government. Not only that, but we both overcame hardships and have let good win in us.
— Reini Side (@ReiniSide) June 23, 2015
To top that off, I’m thrilled to announce……
…that I have recently found my Robin Hood. He attended the Disney Expo D23 convention with me while I was cosplaying (he is also a huge OUAT fan), and it was at that convention I found myself deeply in love. I’m so blessed to have another chance at love and a happy ending, and I look forward to seeing Regina’s story of hope continually unfold as she also loves again.
— Reini Side (@ReiniSide) September 15, 2015
Describe yourself in 3-5 words.
The Evil Queen. Just kidding! Strong, loving, compassionate, and FUN!
Do you have any nicknames you’d like to share?
Again…The Evil Queen. Or Reindeer.
Did you have a Fairy Tale dream about yourself when you were younger? What was it?
My fairy tale dream was probably a bit Rapunzel…being rescued from a tall isolated tower. I was a really lonely kid.
How did you start Cosplaying? Where would you point someone if they are interested in starting? Any beginner tips?
I started cosplaying after my husband’s death…Once was a huge escape and reprieve for me during that time. Having really connected with Regina’s character, I decided to attend my first convention (RegalCon) as the Evil Queen. My mom and I took on the massive project of making the iconic stand-up collared dress from Season 1, Episode 21, “An Apple as Red as Blood.” I studied the hair and makeup of her character, as well as the character herself, in order to pull off an accurate cosplay. For someone interested in beginning cosplay, I’d suggest studying everything about the characters they are interested in cosplaying! Study even the tiniest details that most people would miss, and be as accurate as possible. Fans love accuracy. Don’t just dress as the character…BE the character. And HAVE FUN!!!!
What was your first OUAT Cosplay costume? Where was the first place you Cosplayed?
My first cosplay costumer was the Evil Queen dress from “An Apple as Red as Blood.” I’m actually very new at cosplaying, but I’m ALL IN. RegalCon was the first convention where I cosplayed.
What does OUAT mean to you? Has it helped you through difficult times in your life?
OUAT is a story of HOPE. As Mary Margaret told Henry when giving him “the book”…and what exactly do you think fairy tales are?? Stories of HOPE. OUAT helped me through the death of my husband. It gave me strength to deal with the situations surrounding his death, and even though it seemed my happy ending had just been ripped away, it has given me hope for a NEW happy ending.
What has OUAT given to you? Friends, etc?
OUAT has not only given me a creative outlet, but it has brought a community of friends from so many different walks of life! While all different, we all have stories of trials and hardships, and we all have one connecting point…OUAT.
Has OUAT and Cosplaying given you opportunities to give back to others? What have been some highlights?
Yes, it has! In the friendships made with other fans, I’ve had amazing opportunities to listen to others who are hurting and offer them so much love and encouragement! My field of study was counseling/therapy, and it’s been great being able to offer those skills to others. In addition to this, I’ve had the opportunity to cosplay for young fans, giving them something exciting to look forward to, and I am in the beginning stages (with my Snow White counterpart) of getting certified to…
Part 3 of our interview will be released next week. Stay tuned for the conclusion.
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