Talking To Ourselves: Kaddie and Panda

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So with all the fancy folks we have here at WERRRK.com, it’s only logical that some of us would be doing some pretttttty cool stuff from time to time. Rather than give these huge scoops to the people at TMZ or Gawker or even our buddies at Fox News, we decided to keep it in house, hence “TALKING TO OURSELVES” was born! Today, one of our noobs, Kaddie, sits down with our buddy the Crunk Panda about some cools things he just did although she apparently calls him “Ron” for some reason. Weird. Anyway, enjoy!


 

Kaddie- So Ron, I hear you did a lot of cool things at an event you went to recently?

Ron- This is how rumors get started!

K- Haha. That’s what you get for leaving the safety of your home!

R- I know, I finally get the nerve to leave the confines of Castle Von Panda and next thing I know, paparazzi everywhere. (pause) Okay, maybe no paparazzi, but, so many people had cell phones…many of them with cameras. I’m counting it.

K- Well I hope you were wearing underwear when stepping out of your limo!

R- I will say, while tempting to shed undergarments is tempting as temperatures rise, constant motion from moving around combined with about 40 pounds worth of gear, undies and deodorant are super clutch. (pause ) Boxer briefs if you were wondering.

K- Best of both worlds.

R- Everyone wins really. Sure, I could do without the pantie lines, and I just figure the eyes are on the proton pack anyway and not all this trunk.

K- Oh ho! So, tell me about this event and what made it so great?

R- This year at Planet Comicon, myself and a handful of my very good friends had the unique opportunity to do something special. As you know, one of my greatest joys in life is giving back to the community. We have established a fantastic relationship with Children’s Mercy Hospital here in Kansas City, and we were able to use the final day to give the VIP treatment to our friend Nick(and Team Nick) and Super Bo and all his friends and family.
We rarely get to show the world a glimpsed into what we do because of all the various laws and restrictions out there, but, this allowed us to not only give these deserving families a great day, but also shot awareness through the roof for not only their individual causes, but, it also showed others how we give back, and hopefully inspires a few people along the way.

K- Well that sounds amazing.

R- It really was. We didn’t know what to expect really, and being away from the hospital was a unique experience. We had so many amazing artists, vendors, cosplayers, and celebrities really bend over backwards. The smiles we got to give and receive that day were absolutely amazing

K- So these kids and their families got to go to the convention?

R- Yes! We met them at the back dock so they could avoid lines and all the 60k+ visitors that descended that weekend. I was so happy to see so many friend and family members. Nick’s teacher even came out. I’d say we had close to 30 guests when all was said and done. We escorted them around the floor to help navigate all the people and craziness that comes with conventions, and, thanks to an amazing network of friends, we had many stops along the way where we were able to introduce them to people and often times get them some cool swag!

I need to note that Michael Rooker and Stephen Amell were absolutely fantastic and really made the day extra special. I met Michael the night before and mentioned we would have some guests and he was all over it. Everyone treated these kids and three families like absolute stars.

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K- That is so freaking cool. I really love it when people use their hobbies like cosplay to help others. Go you dude.

R- You know, I never planned on putting on costumes. It was silly to me. Then it happened and was still kind of silly. I started getting to know people here and then people invited me to smaller things, it just kept growing and blossoming, and before I knew it…my life was changed for the better.

K- That had to be so amazing for those kids. The all star treatment.

R- Sometimes smiles are difficult to come by, especially at the hospital, so, when we can bring that many people in to share the love, and get those smiles…its magic. We also had an young man named Gabe who was unable to attend due to some medical concerns, so, we didn’t let that stop us. We then assembled hundreds of Cosplayers and spectators to the stage area and we shot a video as a greeting card of sorts for Gabe, and, I’m working with other conventions to give him a make up date.

K- Sounds like a really full and fulfilling day.

R- The hugs from the family at the end of the day make everything worth it. I went non-stop bouncing between the two families from 10:30 until almost 3pm, I had no clue how much time passed because we were all just lost in the moments and everyone forgot about the rest of the world for a little while, it’s an amazing thing to behold.

K- What do you think was the best part?

R- My favorite part is in these pics…

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Where I mentioned escaping. Nick was getting a bit tired as the day went. Plus there was a news crew that we weren’t expecting on my side. A camera in the face constantly gets old. So, we gave the family some time to kind of escape the floor, we came back with another friend who does a fantastic Hawkgirl, as we finished putting her wings on, Nick comes out with his family and sees her and Supergirl, Supergirl is our main liaison between the costumes and the hospital…as he saw them he smiled, and the world around us disappeared.

K- Aww. It is so magical seeing kids being so involved in something they love.

R- It was just an amazing day, and that was only a small part of the convention as a whole, but, it was easily the best for all involved. I’ve had people ask me how they can help more, and the love I’ve received from Kansas City and online have been amazing. Just so proud to be able to use costumes as a force for good.

K- That sounds so rewarding in so many ways. How should other cosplayers go about doing something like this in their own community?

R- That’s a great question…look in the phone book to start. What drives you? I’ve worked mostly with kids charities, but, I’ve also done work with the local SPCA. I’ve found that a lot of organizations love what we can bring to the table, and a couple hours a month really goes a long way. Find something you care about and call, ask how you can get involved. Here locally whenever we have events where I can bring people with me, I usually use Facebook and a local cosplay group we have, is a great way of informing people of what’s going on.
I have to stress, I don’t do anything that you or someone else can’t do. People say “I wish I could do that”, you absolutely can, I can’t tell you everything happening in your city or town, but, I can tell you there is always a need for people’s time. I live check to check, but, I have time…and that means a ton to many places. The returns in smiles alone make it totally worth it. You don’t even need a costume, yeah, it help, but I encourage everyone to find some small way to give back to their community!

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K- Doesn’t sound too hard, I hope your work inspires others to give back to their community in whatever way works best for them. Personally, you’ve inspired me to contact my local humane society :]

R- A cosplay adoption day could have a huge return I think. Draw people in with the costumes, then BOOM, puppies and kitties.

K- sigh, I’m going to spend so much time making puppy and kitty capes.

About Kaddie O' Keefe 3 Articles
Pinup and Cosplay Photographer, San Diego CA

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