So my cosplay origin story started back when I was in fifth grade. I was 10 and my mom told me she couldn’t afford to get me a Halloween costume that year. So I stayed up all night being really sad about it and then suddenly I had an idea.
So I ran around my house and found a bunch of different pieces of clothing and put them together. I found a white shirt I found the blue vest I found the baseball cap, and at the time I was obsessed with Digimon so everywhere I went with me I had a little demiveemon with me. So I actually even made him a mask and I put the mask on him and I had a pokeball from Burger King when they were doing those gold Pokemon cards and I put him in the pokeball and I went to school the next day as Ash. That was when I first got started I didn’t know that it was called cosplay.
That was around the time [high school]that we had learned about Anime Vegas so I grabbed my cousin and then we of course did our little closet cosplays cuz of course there were no wig stores or cosplay shops or places to get costume pieces like there are today.
And we took the bus down to Vegas. I think we were 15 at the time and we were so excited when we got there and there was a whole line of people also in there closet cosplays that they put together waiting to get in. That’s when I really got into cosplay when I first went to Anime Vegas cuz I knew there was a name for it and I knew I wasn’t the only person that liked dressing up like anime characters.
My current cosplay: so right now at the School of Cosplay I am working on my Crow cosplay. He is from a show called show by Rock and he is a rockstar hedgehog LOL. He has a lot of spikes a lot of studs leather pants leather jacket a tail the whole nine yards. He is what I am working on for an upcoming competition at LVL UP Expo for this upcoming February and then after him I’m actually going to work on a pretty exciting and ambitious cosplay for Crunchyroll Expo.
It’s going to be a remake of Lelouch from Code Geass. And it’s a remake because I made him a long long time ago way before the school even existed and looking back on it I hated how it turned out LOL and I want to take it up like a million notches
[School of Cosplay] It’s just a nice safe space to work and it’s very spacious and of course having an instructor there to answer any questions you may have is always helpful. I’ve always wanted to improve any time I’ve done a masquerade and I go to feedback I would always be told you have to take your costume up some more your performances are great but you got to improve on your costume work. And I would never know how to do that.
A lot of people can go on YouTube and watch videos or some people went to college for it. I’m more of an in-person learner so the school has really helped me in teaching me everything I need to know when helping me improve.
My number one [favorite cosplay I’ve done] would have to be Anthy from Utena. And there’s just something about that costume that I just love. I think it has to do with the fact that growing up besides being a black cosplayer it was hard to find female cosplays that I thought looked good on me.
The first time I made Anthy, I thought she looked really cute on me and so once I started going to the School of Cosplay I wanted to remake her because I had learned so many skills there and so I made her a second time and she came out better but there was still something that I needed to perfect on her.
So that’s what I made her a third time and that’s the one you saw in the studio I’m really proud of how she came out. She is perfection and she looks extremely good on me which always surprises me.
So my number three would have to be Motoyasu from the Reprise of Superhero. So me and my friends had done a shield hero group at Anime Los Angeles right before the pandemic. And my friend was going to be Naofumi, who I love but the next character in line that I was going to be Motoyasu. But I hated his personality so when I was making his first costume I was looking for any reason I could find to not hate him. That’s when I found out that he had a side manga series called the reprise of spear hero where he actually redeemed himself and I actually started to really really like him. So after I did his first costume I did his second costume from the side manga and it came out so nice it was one of my most difficult cosplays to make.
My second favorite Tokiya from Uta No Prince Sama. I adore idol anime especially if it’s male idol anime. And I have an obsession with a Japanese voice actor named Miyano Mamoru. So I like the cosplay characters he voices.
Advice I would give to my younger self would probably be more along the lines of masquerade because my younger self did not understand masquerade. I didn’t know how it worked assume that you going and getting up on stage is an automatic award. I would tell my younger self to make sure to always continue putting your best foot forward to not be afraid to cosplay outside their comfort zone and that of course anyone can cosplay do not let how you feel about yourself getting the way of what you love. Because there have been times where I have not done a cosplay because I was worried about how I would look to this day there is still a costly that I’ve wanted to do since I was a teenager that I have not done yet but I will soon.
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