If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Veteran Cosplayer Gives Back To The Community Through Charity Work

Eric "The Smoke" Muran has gone from professional wrestler to being a prominent member of the cosplay community.

Eric The Smoke Moran
Photos Courtesy Eric "The Smoke" Moran

This past month I had the chance to pose a number of questions to an incredibly multi-faceted cosplayer, Eric “The Smoke” Moran. Not only is he a talented cosplayer but he’s also an actor, director, producer, host of Heroes of Cosplay and even a professional wrestler. And if that wasn’t enough, he often uses his cosplays for charity work.

Ani-Mia: Hi Smoke, thanks for chatting with me. Let’s get started with a standard question, when did you start cosplaying and what made you want to cosplay for the first time?

Eric: I was cosplaying before it was called cosplay, way back in the late 70's and 80's for me. I was an avid fan of pop culture and I loved dressing up as different characters. I was wearing costumes any chance I got to wear one of my favorite movie or tv show at the time. I got back into it hardcore in the late 2000's and I never stopped.

Star Trek

AM: And you’ve made so many cosplays over that time. But if you had to pick a favorite cosplay that you’ve done, which would it be?

E: Every cosplay I have is a favorite one. The reason why is because each cosplay I've made, or had others help me make , has a story behind it and the fun making said costume.

AM: What is it that makes you want to cosplay a particular character?

E: There are so many reasons that I cosplay certain characters; either for their costume, their character story line, or because they are iconic in my eyes. One of them is Batman, which I have cosplayed 10 different versions of. That character has to draw me in to want to cosplay them.

AM: Now you do a lot of charity work with cosplay, what drives you to use your cosplay for charity?

E: I have done some charity events for kids, but I just like becoming that superhero character to give kids hope and inspiration no matter where they come from.

Eric "The Smoke" Moran

AM: Is there a favorite moment you’ve had in cosplay?

E: I've had a lot of moments in cosplay, two of them are being host on Heroes of Cosplay and becoming a DC Comics character. Also cosplaying with my wife Adya Cosplay.

AM: You’ve also done a lot of work in the film industry. How do you find it similar and/or different to cosplaying?

E: I was a pro-wrestler for over 10 years and before that modeling and acting. To me both cosplay and acting are similar because you get to become a character outside your everyday self and it's a lot of fun being somebody different.

Eric "The Smoke" Moran

AM: You’ve also done some fan film work. Can you tell us a little about that and your inspirations?

E: I've done close to 20 different fan films including one that I'm working on base on The Orville. It's a lot of fun to tell different stories based on shows and films I love. I really enjoy collaborating with different talented people and putting something together and bringing it to life.

AM: And final question for you, what advice would you have for those that want to use their cosplay for the greater good aka doing charity work?

E: Cosplay because you love it. Never let anyone tell you that you can't or can’t cosplay a character due to your sex, size, age or color. Inspire to give back hope to kids. The most important thing is to have fun cosplaying.

AM: Thanks for the chat Eric and thank you for inspiring others to use cosplay for good.

About the Author
Ani-Mia avatar



Ani-Mia has been cosplaying since 2008 and her love for video games, comic books and anime are reflected in her wide variety of cosplay costumes. She has been a cosplay guest at over 150 conventions across the globe as well as judged championship cosplay contests, appeared in both online and print magazines as well as television appearances. She’s also the Cosplay Writer for Otaku USA Magazine, the premiere print magazine about anime and manga in the United States, and an official video host for PreviewsWorld catalog and Sapphire Studios.