7 March 2016

Last year, I spoke to three wonderful cosplayers about their adventure on the London Underground to promote "Lara Croft GO". The group were selected by Crystal Dynamics and Betty Brown PR to travel across the city as Lara on launch day, awarding commuters with iPad Minis. Instructions on how to win a tablet was included in copies of the Metro.

One of the cosplayers was Rachel, also known as Athora in the cosplaying community. Her detailed costumes and intriguing photoshoots has understandably captured a lot of attention over the years. She has received recognition from official TR social media channels and fansites, and was featured cosplayer on both Lara Croft Cosplay and the Tomb Raider Blog. In addition to that she was also the Official Cosplay Ambassador for the UK, promoting Rise of the Tomb Raider at EGX 2015 (formerly Eurogamer Expo). When she's not Lara Croft, she also portrays Belle from "Beauty and the Beast" and Wonder Woman.

You can read the full article, HERE and check out the full interview with Rachel below:

Tell us a little about yourself!

Hello! My name is Rachel! I'm 22 and live in Kent, UK. I currently work with race horses, which is
one of my passions! Among gaming, cosplay and of course, "Tomb Raider"! ;)

Photo by Darren Rowley Photography.

When did you get into "Tomb Raider" and cosplay?

I first got into cosplaying as Lara Croft when I made my very first costume. In 2008, some friends and I decided to attend MCM Expo which is held in London twice a year. "Tomb Raider Underworld" had just been released so it seemed apt for me to make a Lara Croft costume. :) I actually cosplayed as Anniversary Lara as I felt it was easier for me to make at the time.

How did you become involved in the Lara Croft GO event?

I was approached by the Senior Community Manager at Crystal Dynamics, Meagan Marie, to become involved with helping to promote the game and the Tomb Raider Cosplay community as their official UK representative at Eurogamer Expo (which was held in Birmingham in September). As their Official Lara Croft cosplayer I was also offered to help promote "Lara Croft GO" for an agency.

Was this the first you’ve cosplayed as part of a promotional event?


[Editor Note: The Lara Croft GO event took place a month before EGX where Rachel acted as the Official UK Cosplay Ambassador and promoted "Rise of the Tomb Raider". This was her first time promoting Lara Croft at an official event, but she also was a spotlighted cosplayer at gaming conventions before then!]

Photo from Athora Cosplay's Facebook page.

How did you prepare for the day ahead?

I first made my costume extra durable so there was less chance of anything breaking if I happened to accidentally brush past somebody on the cramped tubes! Luckily my costume held up. ;) I also ensured my costume was safe so nothing could snag on anyone; that's one thing I often try to be weary of, even at conventions.

I spoke to other Official Lara Croft Cosplayers and asked for their advice, never be afraid to ask for advice! especially from those who have been doing it for many years! :) The best advice I received was "Smile like you're a Disney Princess".

What was your impression of the event, how did the day go?

I was first apprehensive as I didn't know how we would be received by the public, as you're travelling through the tube stations during peak times you could bump into a variety of people, both nice and not so nice! But once we were down in the tubes and adrenaline kicked in I was really enjoying myself. I think it rubbed off on other people too as many looked up and smiled, I was even called beautiful! I think the day went superbly, the lucky winners were ecstatic with their prizes and I'm so glad I helped to make people's day. One guy even said it was his last day at work, on top of winning an iPad! The smile on peoples faces as they walked away with their prizes was so satisfying, it made me feel great!

How many people came up to you during the event?

I would say all in all about six people? Not a great deal of people, especially not as many as I thought there would be! But not many people had a copy of the Metro newspaper on them, which told them the password on how to get an iPad. ;)

Photo from Athora Cosplay's Facebook page.

As you were interacting with the public, did you feel safe throughout the event?

I felt comfortable interacting with the public, I had an escort with me who kept hold of the iPads, plus a journalist and a photographer from the Metro Newspaper.

What kind of steps did the team make to ensure that everything went smoothly?

We all departed from the same station and went off on separate tube lines during the event, there were four of us dressed as Lara, each with our own escort. We were then instructed to meet back at the office once we'd handed out all of our iPads. The team had our travel cards ready for the day before we left and they ensured we were all comfortable and happy that we knew what we were doing so the day ran smoothly.

What cosplays are you working on now or planning?

I'm planning on reworking my "Rise of the Tomb Raider" costume, I'm also thinking of doing a classic Lara costume in the near future too! :)

A huge thank you to Rachel for taking time to do this interview!
You can follow her adventures on her Facebook page, Athora Cosplay.


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