Welcome to Crystal Lake

Confessions of a Cosplayer: John Drancsak

Welcome to another installment of “Confessions of a Cosplayer”. Each week I will feature a cosplayer in the Friday franchise who I either know personally or through social media. As time moves on, I will also be focusing on other iconic horror characters from other franchises then I will have horror inspired cosplayers.
If you are a cosplayer or know someone who is a cosplayer and would like to be featured on a weekly spotlight please reach out to me on Facebook, Instagram or send me an email at SouthJerseyJason@gmail.com

On this week’s edition, I am introducing another member of the 13 Gallow family. If you follow Gallow Goes to Hell on Facebook or 13_Gallow_Lane on Instagram you should be familiar with this cosplayer as he takes on the style of Jason from the love it or hate it Freddy vs. Jason. In my opinion, his take on this incarnation of Jason is better than what we got in the movie. Not only does John cosplay as Jason he also does Doc Ock from Spiderman, A Ghostbuster (John is part of a Ghostbuster’s cosplay group that not only share a love for the movie but participate in local charity events. Ghostbusters of Central New York is a chapter that is nation wide) and Al Borland from Home Improvement.

What is your first memory of watching a Friday the 13th movie?
It was when I was 7 and I was spending the night at my Grandma’s house. My Aunt Sue had part 7: The New Blood on VHS and I was obsessed with looking at the cover art and that one big still of Jason grabbing Nick and Tina on the back. So she let me watch it by myself (to which I was terrified and loving it at the same time) and from that day on I’ve been an instant fan.

What is your favorite Friday the 13th movie?
While it always was part 7 just because she was my first (and you always remember your first), I feel now I much more enjoy part 6: Jason Lives. I enjoy the fact it has an operating camp as well as it’s the final confrontation between Jason and Tommy. Close second though is Freddy Vs Jason. I can always put that on no matter what and enjoy the hell out of it.

What made you get into the art of cosplaying (how old were you? Where did you first show off your cosplay, do you design your own clothing, hood, hockey mask etc.?  If not, who do you use to help with your costume?)
I apologize In advance if this answer gets a little long winded. I guess it was back in 2007 that I got my first itch of cosplay. I was 22 and throwing a Halloween party. I wanted to do Ash Williams and I wanted to do it right (and for what I could afford lol). I made my own chainsaw hand and got some clothes and belts at the Goodwill.  I made it all up and fell in love with the whole process of making your own costume from scratch. 2013 is where I really took on one of the biggest cosplay challenges for myself and made the slime blower from Ghostbusters 2 and did that whole costume from scratch (minus ordering a flight suit) and also hit my 1st con with it- Scare-a-con.
Fast forward to 2019 and I finally decided that my 34 year old ass needs to do a legit Jason Voorhees. Now me being a member of the big man club, I decided to go with Vs Jason. He doesn’t get the love like the other Jason’s get so I wanted to see what I could do with it. I started by getting a hood from Escape Theory Studios and bought some cheap ass china masks. I got out the Dremel and did some painting and made my own Dream Sequence and End Scene hocks. The rest of the costume I did with stuff I had as well as hand sewing the burlap jacket from using a dress shirt and making a con friendly machete from a piece of plywood. Once she was all done, my buddy, Mr. James Burlew made me some nice Vs belt straps.

How many versions of Jason costumes do you have?  Do you have plans to showcase more costumes?
Currently I only have the one version of Vs as in coat and hood but I do have the starting hock, dream scene scratched hock, and the end scene done up. (In china hocks but fuck it) however I do currently have a better blank on the way from JDF studios to which I’ll make it up as the starting mask. Once I’m done with that I’ll get more blanks and do the others. If I do make another coat it would be a much more distressed, a lot more blood…pretty much for the complete end scene.  As for showcasing other costumes, I have a Ghostbusters 1 & 2 (proton pack and slime blower), A Dr. Otto Octavius (lab coat style), Capt. Spaulding, and my own take on Pretty Lady Leatherface.

Do you attend conventions?  If so which ones do you attend?  Are there any you recommend for someone who has never attended?  What advice would you give to someone who has never attended a convention as a cosplayer?
Yes I do. I’ve attended a lot of local ones in NY from Buffalo to Albany. I’ve hit Scare-a-con a few times as well as Salt City Con to which there are always tons of entertainment and vendors. If I have any advice, is to be respectable. While we may have different goals, we are all there to enjoy it. Let other people know if you think their costume rocks because compliments are always appreciated; you could make another person’s day. And…make sure your cosplay can fit through a standard door (fucking slime blower lol)

What advice would you give to a first time cosplayer?
Take your time.  Do your research. The internet can be a wonderful tool and you can find thousands of useful references for anything you potentially need. Remember that it doesn’t matter what other people think of your costume as long as it makes you happy. Always think outside the box when prop making however if making your own stuff isn’t your thing or maybe you don’t have the time, there are tons of prop makers out there in all communities that are able to make anything you want.

Who are some of your favorite cosplayers that you follow on social media or personally know?
Well of course I have to shout out my beautiful friend Mr. Joe Gallow, to which is the reason I really wanted to strive to make my own Jason costume (I even texted him before I started on the costume to make sure it was cool as we literally live in the same county about 20 minutes from each other. (I didn’t want to bite his steeze if you will) The page he runs with the lovely Mrs. Emily Lane has always been a favorite of mine and I’m happy I can say I’m part of that family now, alongside Mr. Jordan Harvey and Mr. James Burlew. ( I also follow my podcast brother in arms, Mr. Bobby Aimone, and his sexy versions of Jason and Michael Myers.  Lastly, I do love me some Johnny Ruckus!

Do you have any social media accounts for your cosplay that you would like to promote?
Absolutely. So for my Jason pics you can follow 13 Gallows lane on Instagram, or Gallow Goes to Hell of Facebook. For my Ghostbuster stuff you can check out the Ghostbusters of Central New York on Facebook and if you want to (for some reason I guess lol) follow me personally you can find me on Instagram @Hotpoketz or find me on Facebook. Also if you wanna listen to
Big Johnny D”s sexy voice you can catch him on the Gore N More Podcast

(part of the Dewback Discussion Network) every Monday

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