Featured Media Personality: Cosplay Cafe

Welcome to the Cosplay Café – Part of the Cereal Box Network. One of the best parts of going to conventions is seeing everyone’s amazing costumes. But wouldn’t it be nice if we could get our cosplay fix in between in-person events? Step into our virtual cafe every other week to do just that!

Cosplay Café is a twice-monthly web show, hosted live by Kelly Guentner, Andrea Starnes, and Crayle Vanest, featuring a different cosplay guest every episode. Known together as the Cosplay Baristas, we’re serving up a steaming hot cup of cosplay content for your podcast pleasure!

Each episode focuses on a specific theme, complete with guests and hosts in full costume, viewer-submitted cosplay photos, and the (in)famous cosplay catwalk to show off the craftsmanship of the costumes. Why infamous, you ask? For one, it’s difficult to do a full catwalk in front of a webcam, so we’ve had some pretty hilarious trips, falls, and cord tangles. Secondly, the catwalk’s theme song is performed by our own baristas – usually making up a parody of “I’m Too Sexy” on the spot. Viewers insist the combination is so bad, it’s good.

The baristas and our viewers have nothing bad to say about the costumes whatsoever. We highlight masterful craftsmanship in some costumes, amazing levels of comfort for the appearance in others, and the fun our cosplay guests are having – always. Sometimes things are serious in the Cosplay Café, and you’ll want to break out the candles and dim the lights while we talk about subjects like ageism in cosplay. Other weeks, the discussion is a raucous romp with a topic like “My Partner Made Me Do It.” No matter what the topic is, the cafe “customers” are always welcome to chime in.

Regular viewers and newcomers alike light up the comment section, usually causing total hilarity. But also, wholesome moments abound when the topics of body positivity and the therapeutic aspects of costuming and the cosplay community arise. Fair warning, things can get pretty personal, so if you like it when other people spill the tea, Cosplay Café is the place for you.

The Cosplay Baristas will be gracing your screens on Facebook, YouTube, and Spotify every first Tuesday and third Friday of the month, March through November. Catching us in the off-season? No worries, we have YEARS of back content for you on those platforms as well, just aging to perfection.

Dig in! Everyone is welcome in the Cosplay Café!

  • Want to submit your cosplay photos? We announce our themes each week on Facebook, and you can send your photos to us there, or e-mail us at cosplaycafepodcast@gmail.com.
  • Want to be a guest on the show? Hit the e-mail address above and we’ll send you a short questionnaire.
  • Want to stalk our cosplay barista personas online? We are all over the place, so check out all our links here:

Cosplay Café on Facebook
Cosplay Café on YouTube
Cosplay Café on Spotify

Kelly Guentner

Kelly Guentner couples her encyclopedic knowledge of comics with her unbearable likability to create one of the most refreshing shows in digital entertainment! Kelly is one half of the popular cosplay duo Phoenix Sisters Cosplay. She is also the author (as Kelly Edwards) of the supervillain urban fantasy novel Scorcher: Forces of Nature! It’s available wherever books are sold, and a sequel is on the way.

Crayle Vanest

Crayle Vanest is one half of the Phoenix Sisters Cosplay duo. She is also a freelance fiction editor, with credits on over 10 published works, and the owner of Pokeballs by Crayle, a small business dedicated to Pokémon-related crafts. She has a deep love for anime, comics, and Disney, and loves finding new ways to express her love for these fandoms.

Andrea Starnes has been cosplaying for roughly 20 years, but has been a fan of most things geeky her whole life. Growing up, she and her three brothers spent much of their time playing X-Men in the backyard, reading comics, and creating. Not much has changed, except she no longer plays X-Men in the backyard. Instead, she dedicates her free time to making costumes from many fandoms, as well as original designs. Many of the costumes are used to be a cosplay volunteer, bringing joy to kids and the young at heart. She hopes to be able to share her decades’ worth of knowledge with the next generation of cosplayers.

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