A Wave All of Her Own: Meet Actress and Polished Cosplayer–Dara Kamilah Thomas (@darakamilahthomas)

 

THE ORIGINS:

“Just be yourself, but never lie about your character, even when acting.”

 

Actress and Seasoned Cosplayer Dara Kamilah Thomas, a DMV native, was born on October 17th, 1992, introducing the world to a real-life waterbender who would make her impact in a wave all of her own. Born of Malagasy and Filipino lineage, Dara is the only and proud child to her wonderful parents. The anime Inuyasha became Dara’s first anime as early as 5th grade, as it was for many young American audiences being introduced to the Japanese cartoon animation style in the 1990s. This period of Dara’s life was also around the time in which she fell in love with manga, Japanese comic books, when her mother took Dara to the bookstore and introduced Dara to her first manga. Following in the artistic footsteps of her father’s acting prowess, Dara’s introduction to cosplay started in the Drama Club during her K-12 schooling. It was here where she began to learn the intricacies of professional acting outside of her father’s tutelage.

 

 

 

 

 
THE STYLE:
 

“Be your own main character.”

 

It was 12 years old when Dara was captured by the enthralling world of Avatar: The Last Airbender, a blessing of an American children’s cartoon that impacted an entire generation. The brilliant writing and implications of the Crossroads of Destiny episode is what got Dara hooked. Furthermore, many individual characters of the Avatar: The Last Airbender world contained exemplary depth that impacted the show in brilliantly written ways. One such was Katara, one of the main characters of the show who assists the Avatar in mastering Waterbending and assists a countless amount of times throughout the entire series. The bravery, growth, maturity, power and versatility of Katara is what inspired the young DMV actress to emulate her in her own acting journey.

 

 
 
Dara’s father, once more being the great mentor and parent that he is, introduced Dara to conventions after seeing her passion with both Avatar and acting, as cosplay became an innovative practice and bridge between the two worlds. Two years after she was introduced to Avatar: The Last Airbender, Dara found her way to Otakon in Baltimore, a yearly world-famous cosplay convention held in Baltimore City’s Inner Harbor.
 

 

Dara and her father.
 

 

THE MISSION:
 

“What took me so long? What made me wait? It was God’s timing… I want to use what God gave me.”

 

With her purpose, various artistic skills and dreams, Dara hopes to one day use her designing, drawing, and singing skills to set up a business emphasizing drawing and the arts for the children in her community..
“If I lose it, I feel as if I’m not honoring my gifts,” she says during our interview.
 

 

 

 

THE LEGACY:
 

“If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. It’s a journey.”

 

Dara dropped acting 10 years ago, lived in the Philippines for 3 years and then talks in our interview about how everything about her purpose clicked. When she came back to the States, she began investing into her own cosplay of Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender on professionally crisp levels, also building her resume by being a part of the shooting for Season 3 of The Handsmaid Tale, getting into catalog modeling, appearing in TV commercials, and more. Dara’s grandfather, Ralph Thomas, who appeared on Arthur Godfrey Show show years back, said “the music will never leave you.”
 

 

With her own copious amount of zeal, familial support, and range of talent, the grind has been impeccable for the real life version of Katara. Dara wants to be able to live comfortably while also being able to give back–all through her gifts of singing, writing and acting.

 

You can follow on her Instagram @darakamilahthomas , and her other pages across multiple mainstream social media platforms.

> Maurice Valentino

 

mauricevalentino2

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