Born April 24, 1992 and raised in Dallas, Texas as Erica Long. Muse was a nickname given to me by my first photographer, and became my professionally adopted last name and badge name for conventions. I was 8 years old when I fell in love with costuming watching my dad make his own character costumes for Halloween, and 12-years-old when I became obsessed with the Victoria’s Secret fashion show every year. I do feel these grew into obsessions, in part, due to being bullied in school. When I was out pursuing these things, making costumes, modeling, acting, or performing no one was bullying me. Even if I couldn’t make a certain someone proud, I was. The other crafters, models, actors, or performers were there in my shoes, sharing the same dream. I began doing things just to spite the bullies, and used that negative energy for good. Because I went through that, I would never wish that on or bully anyone.
I wanted to be one of the girls in the photos and on the runway, so I pursued it. We didn’t have the funds for any of the schools that kept trying to recruit me, but we were able to take a couple classes and get a shoot done with James Warrick. They ended up landing me a traveling runway gig with Seventeen Magazine, but I got dropped at 17 when I had stopped growing and was under 5’7″. I am still just 5’6″, and most of those girls were 5’10” or taller. After a 2 year gap, I have since done hair shows, spokes modeling, print, and charity runway with L’Oreal, TIGI, Harley Davidson, and etc.
Halloween was my favorite holiday and an important one for my family, being my parent’s anniversary and my brother’s birthday. I have been making my own costumes since 2006, after going to my first convention with anime club and falling in love with the idea of wearing a costume more than once a year. In 2017 I was asked to guest at a convention, as a creator, for the first time. I have since been hosted at over a dozen different conventions, run my own panels, and judged cosplay competitions as Scarlet Muse Cosplay. In 2018 alone, I attended 34 conventions and began contributions to Heroic Inner Kids for charity, with the hopes of raising more moving forward. From running panels and judging competitions to communicating with guests, I am just happy to be involved with so many wonderful events. This has really helped me to progress in the industry and learn quickly. As a happy owner of over 200 costumes, I am always making and acquiring more. Some are bought and altered, some are hand made, and some I just made the accessories for. These decisions are made based on time, cost, and expectations.
I aim to keep the cosplay industry positive and inviting to everyone because when I was young it was very much my escape. In my experience, conventions were mostly the outcasts and people accepting of the outcasts. I got bullied a lot and it was the one place where we all fit in and no one was judging. You could wear or be anyone you wanted for a couple of days without worrying what anyone thought. We were all looking for friends and had our own “interesting” going on, so we weren’t going to judge yours. Lately it has gotten very competitive, and I have run into a lot of judgmental people making others uncomfortable about cosplaying. I don’t want that to be the norm. Always remember “Too many people have opinions on things they know nothing about. And the more ignorant they are, the more opinions they have.” -Thomas Hildern
Music is also a passion of mine. While I haven’t ever recorded professionally, I have performed at many open mics with a few different artists. I began writing songs at a very young age, but was mostly shut down by my family. They supported my other interests so it mostly fell by the way side until I transferred to public school for middle school, and saw their choir perform for the first time. I immediately began practicing again, and joined the following year. I graduated high school in honors choir, and have since written lyrics for multiple songs and performed many originals with other artists.
In high school, I originally joined theater to do musical theater as a means of singing, but I ended up really enjoying general theater and helping with wardrobe and set. After my first year of theater, I joined some groups online and began doing work as an extra. It was going well. I even landed a supporting role with lines, but project after project was scrapped or never completed. I became discouraged and focused on school. Something I regret, but feel was probably for the best.
Later down the road, I took a bar-tending class and the instructor was a videographer. He was looking for extras for music videos, and there I was. I ended up acting in music videos for Rhymin’ N’ Stealin’ and became friends with Josh Martin, who I later discovered was the voice of Buu from Dragon Ball. I told him I had always wanted to voice characters, and he referred me to his friend Chris Rager who did classes. After his class, he advised I brush up on acting since I had been out of the game for a while. I did some research and went to John Casablancas, who landed me agency representation and many gigs since.
I enjoy every field in the entertainment industry, but my dream is to voice characters in anime, video games, and cartoons. Nowadays many children rely on these mediums to make them laugh, learn, or cry, and share these times with friends and family. I want to be a part of that, and am currently pursuing my dream!
My goal at conventions is just to get myself out there, share what I’ve learned, learn new things, and, most importantly, be sure everyone I meet leaves happy.
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