My first experience attending a convention was in 2006 with a friend of mine. We just graduated high school and wanted to check out Anime Expo which was in Anaheim at the time before their move to Los Angeles. I had heard that people dressed up for these things so my friend’s mom made a super quick, super cheap Monkey D. Luffy shirt and BOOM, I was Luffy! I didn’t think too much of it but when we first got there a little kid recognized who I was and that’s when I fell in love with cosplay.
In 2009 a group of us made an Afro Samurai group since the creator Takashi Okazaki was at guest at Anime Expo and I was Ninja Ninja. The creator liked us so much he stayed after because he wanted pictures with us. He also signed some of our outfits, he signed my ninja boot. It was one of the best cosplays I’d worn and had a lot of fun in it.