Q: How did you "get into furry?"
A: I always had an affinity towards anything furry or plush, but it wasn't until December, 1984, when I was 14, that I saw the trailer for a new cartoon that was going to be aired the next year--called, The Thundercats--that I really "got into furry" completely.
I took photos of the TV screen when the show was on (didn't have a VCR yet), and also tape recorded the audio and transcribed it. Later, my friend and I would sit with a reel-to-reel tape recorder and re-enact the episodes. I also remember skateboarding with my friend to our old grade school playground and just talking about how good it would feel to have Cheetarah's fur rubbing up against our skin. At the time, I also had an interest in Liono, but didn't want to admit it to myself until much later.
I remember I wanted very much to be a Thundercat, too, and to have fur instead of hair. I felt it was childish to want this, since I was growing up and in high school, but it persisted.
The cover of my first "official" band cassette tape (when I was 15) had a photo of Cheetarah on it.
Many years passed and I forgot all about it until the late 1990's, when I rediscovered furry--and Chester Ringtail.
I attended my first con in 2001 (MFF), and felt an overwhelming wave of gratitude and relief that there were others who felt the same way about furry, anthropomorphic characters--and I received my first hug from a fursuiter.
That did it! I wanted a fursuit, then, too.
My lust/love/desire for Chester was pretty intense, and once again I wondered at myself. However, I decided to go all the way and try to "get it out of my system" by, in effect, "becoming" Chester.
I wanted to know what it was like to become something else, something with fur--something cat-like, something I lusted after and also a character that others already knew, so Chester was the perfect choice.
At the time, there was another fursuiter (a German fursuiter named Whitepelt) who already had a Chester suit, but I decided to go ahead and have one made, anyway, because it was such a popular character that it only seemed natural that more than one should exist in fursuit-form.
In 2004, for the suit's debut at Eurofurence 10, I decided to do a musical performance on my keyboard (since I can't dance worth crap), and as luck would have it, it went over nicely. Since I couldn't see very well out of the head, I practiced the piece for a few weeks beforehand--blindfolded and wearing floppy gloves--to simulate performing in the suit! At the performance, my mate, Fuzzywolf, MIDI-ed another keyboard to mine and was able to control the effects and paramaters of the sounds I was using, in realtime.
It was the most fun I ever had at a con, and I agree with Uncle Kage when he says it was the best furry convention, ever! http://www.unclekage.com/efx/index.html