Fruit Heights woman brings a child’s favorite character straight to the childApr 05, 2021 01:44PM ● By Anna Pro
Shandra Mutchie has loved costumes all her life. As a child, she remembers participating in children’s plays and theatre groups and when it came time for rehearsal, Mutchie would show up in full costume.
“This is just a normal rehearsal. You don’t need to wear your full costume,” Mutchie remembers her teacher and directors telling her.
But she wanted to.
“That was a moment that I realized I enjoyed not just the costume but the process of it,” Mutchie said. “Every time I saw a costume I liked I would just put one together.”
As she got older, Mutchie felt as if she was growing up alongside movies with iconic costumes, particularly the Harry Potter series. The last movie in the series came out when she was a senior in high school and Mutchie dressed up as Professor Minerva McGonagall.
“You look back on everything you’ve done and you realize how much you know and everything you’ve learned,” she said. “When I was that young, I just didn’t realize this was something I could do as I got older and something I could make a real job out of.”
Mutchie has received a Bachelor’s and Masters Degree, both in sciences, but she is able to use cosplay as a career. Mutchie does cosplay in the Utah Renaissance Festival and also works with families to bring children in tragic situations their favorite character.
Several years ago, Mutchie had a friend who said she knew someone whose child was hoping to meet a Disney princess. Mutchie promised to help fulfill the child’s dream but did not realize the event was a fundraiser for terminally ill children until she arrived.
“I didn’t really get a warning of what the event was; she told me it was for charity but what she didn’t tell me was that this was a charity that deals with terminally ill children and a lot of these kids wouldn’t see me next year,” Mutchie said. “It was really overwhelming to me.”
While that event was difficult, it gave Mutchie an appreciation for helping brighten people’s days, which she said she tries to do through her cosplay.
“This was the moment I realized it could be a blessing to so many more people’s lives than just my own,” Mutchie said. “It’s just turned into this thing that’s become so great for me.”
However, Mutchie said cosplay, particularly with children, has become much more difficult during the pandemic, as social gatherings are unsafe, but it is hard to virtually replicate children meeting their favorite character.
“It’s just putting together a costume and that’s it,” Mutchie said. “Covid has just made it impossible.”