Chrystine Shelton – Board Director and Midwest States Branch Head

Chrystine Muscular Dystrophy Walk 2014

Bio: I’m Chrystine Shelton, born and raised in Michigan. I moved to Chicago a few years ago for my job as an environmental consultant, and was looking for something new to do. I saw an ad for Wizard World happening that weekend and decided to go on a whim. Before Wizard World 2011 I knew cosplay existed but didn’t know it was such a big thing at conventions. I was amazed at all the people in costume and how much fun they were having. I wanted in. So, I put together Lady Joker and went to Wizard World in 2012 to see how things went. Things went wonderfully. I met so many amazing, talented, and kind people including those of CWC and once I went to my first charity event with them I was hooked. Not only did cosplay make me happy but it made other people happy as well, how can you beat something like that? I’m not a seamstress, so I either buy or scrounge costumes together with pins and glue, but as long as you have fun it doesn’t matter. Besides, if I don’t have a costume to wear, I can always bring the camera!

We asked Chrystine a few questions…and here they are with her responses – 

1. Who was the most inspirational person/people in your life?  What was is they did that inspired you? 

I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had very, very good teachers in my life from grade school through college, even in my current workplace.  I can’t really pick just one.  However, one common trait with each of them was allowing me to do things my way, and acting more as a guide than a dictator.  At the same time, they still held me to a high standard and had high expectations, so even though I had freedom there was still responsibility.  It really helped me develop independently and critically.  I hear so many horror stories from people about “evil” teachers in school, and sure I had those too, but I also had so many inspiring and supportive teachers that it set a precedent on how I approach tasks, problems, and opportunities even to the present day.  Never underestimate a good teacher, or take them for granted.
2. How did you hear of and first get involved with CWC? 

I went to Wizard World in 2012 wearing my first cosplay.  I didn’t know ANYONE at all.  I actually think Scott may have been one of the first people I spoke with at length at that convention, and he mentioned CWC.  Cosplay Chicago had a booth there too and a lot of the people in that group were also in CWC.  I joined the group right after the convention, but didn’t participate in any events until the following year.  I mostly lurked.  Once I did the first event though any reservations I had disappeared.

3. If there was one super power you could have, that could never be taken away from you and why would you want this “super power”?

 The ability to literally smack sense into people.  So many of the world’s problems seem to stem from irrational fears, prejudice, bigotry, and greed.  It would be so awesome to be able to smack someone and make them realize that they really should be funding NASA, putting more money into clinical research, promoting equality for all people, helping those that are less fortunate, and generally not making stupid decisions based on fear.

4. What was the happiest moment in your life?  

That’s a tough question.  There have been a lot of happy times in my life but I can’t really point to one in particular as “the most”.  I’m not married, nor do I have children, which I assume would be the default answers.  Graduating from college was awesome, when I lived in Japan was awesome, getting my first promotion was awesome, when my niece was born was awesome, sky diving was awesome, a lot of the cosplay charity events are awesome…I can’t pick just one at this point in my life.

5. If you could cure any childhood disease or illness, what would you choose to put an end to?  

Cancers I suppose if I can’t pick all of them, since that seems to affect the most kids.  It’s also painful, drawn out, and stops kids from just being kids which is awful.

6. What was your favorite CWC event and what was your role? 

My favorite event so far is the Kids in Capes walk, mostly because that was my first big hands-on charity event with CWC.  The kids have an absolute blast beating me up, and hey it’s good cardio!

7. If you could describe CWC to someone who has never seen or heard of them, how would you go about doing this? 

When people have asked me in the past I’ve told them that CWC is a group of regular people that put on costumes and act like their characters, typically of well-known super heroes or movie characters, and attend charity events to either perform for kids directly or to help draw in crowds to increase donations for various charitable causes.  I explain how the people that do this do it on their own time and at their own expense, out of the goodness of their hearts.  I’ve never gotten a negative reaction from anyone explaining it this way.

8. What is your favorite costume to wear and why? 

Lady Deadpool by far.  In part because it’s super comfortable and maneuverable, but mostly because the character is so random and off the wall.  I can put on that mask and do things that I would never do without it.  Of course, given the character, I have to tone it down for kids versus adults at conventions, but it never ceases to be amusing and aside from “anti-fad” people I’ve never had any negative reaction to her antics.

9. Do you have any strange or unique talents you would like someone who doesn’t know you to know about? 

I’m pretty open about my quirks, I think.  I guess a lot of people don’t know that I draw or that I’m into photography.  Mostly because both of those take a back seat to other responsibilities.  I’m hoping to fix that a bit more this year.

10. Assuming you could go anywhere and do anything you absolutely wanted to with no limit or time or money, where is it you would choose to go and what would you do? Ahhh yes… do you have any big dreams to share?  

Outside of promoting good causes and donating to great charitable and research organizations (which is the obvious answer), I would love to travel the world on an unlimited budget.  If I could spend the rest of my life travelling to every country in the world (well, the ones where I wouldn’t be executed on the spot anyway) I’d do it in a heartbeat.  I’d go everywhere and do all the things.

 We at Costumers With A Cause would like to Thank Chrystine Shelton for donating her time and creative skills to help us. We simply could not do what we do without people like her. Thank you Chrystine!!

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