Resides currently in: Rockville, MD
How long you have been cosplaying: 2 years
Other Characters cosplayed: Deadpool, Hydra Bob, Spider-Man (Future Foundation and Miles Morales), Titan Eren (Attack on Titan), Tsumugu Kinagase (Kill la Kill), Master Chief
Website or facebook fan page: MelPoolCosplay
1. Who or what inspired you to cosplay?
I always considered Halloween to be my favorite holiday and I’ve always enjoyed being in costumes. In fact for one season at my alma mater (which was a Division 1 NCAA ice hockey school) I wore a Morphsuit to every game and ran around the rink every time we scored a goal. I even was the mascot for two games when the normal guy was out of town (I didn’t like that too much, the suit smelled funny and it was hard to move.) Around 2011 I started reading and enjoying Deadpool comics and figured it would be a fun character to be for Halloween, so in 2012 I bought a Deadpool suit and some tactical gear… and nobody knew who I was, except a bartender who gave me a few free drinks. Another friend of mine knew I had the suit and suggested I go with him to what was the first ever Awesome Con in 2013, I had a blast, people knew who I was, and the rest was history.
2. What do you do when you aren’t cosplaying?
I work as a software engineer in the Washington DC Metro area. For hobbies I’m also a competitive bodybuilder and a competitive snowboarder. I played college baseball briefly and still go to a few Major League Baseball games every year.
3. What costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far and why?
Without a doubt, it would be Master Chief. It was my first armor project of any kind and I ran into numerous challenges including the lack of a consistent workspace and a freak rainstorm warping a few of my armor pieces. But when I got to march with the rest of the 405th Halo Costuming Legion in the Dragon Con parade it was one of the most awesome things I’ve ever done. It was overwhelming having all the kids run up for pictures and their parents wanting selfies. I honestly felt like a rock star. I wanted to do a project where I made most or all of the cosplay (but it’s okay if you commission it!) and this armor gave me valuable learning experience that I can now use to make even better Halo armor as well as some freehand armor projects that I have floating around in my brain.
4. What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying?
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. At this past Otakon, I debuted two anime cosplays, Titan Eren from Attack on Titan and Tsumugu Kinagase from Kill la Kill, and I had never done any anime cosplays prior to that. Titan Eren was the first time I had ever worked with makeup and I was nervous as heck when I walked into the convention center basically naked except for the shorts that I was wearing, but I was quickly put at ease by how much everyone loved the cosplay. Tsumugu was very well received as well. Also if you think you can’t do something such as armor or sewing fabric, don’t be afraid to ask. As cosplayers we all had to start somewhere. Build your network of friends and never stop learning.
5. What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other?
It is cool to be a nerd. Look at all of the TV shows and movies that are being released these days. The Flash, Arrow, the Avengers movies, the Spider-Man reboot, the Deadpool movie!?!?! With the resurgence of comic book movies and TV shows into general pop culture, convention attendance is off the charts. I think that while for the most part people have been respectful at the conventions that I have been to, there have been some rotten apples who either take candid photographs of cosplayers in awkward situations or inappropriately touch someone’s cosplay. I think we as cosplayers need to hammer the point that cosplay is not consent. There are a few conventions that post signs about this, most notably New York Comic Con and Awesome Con, and I applaud both conventions for taking the initiative to post these signs.
Also, in my relatively short time in the cosplay community, I have unfortunately heard of a lot of scamming happen between both buyers and sellers of cosplay props and costumes. Cosplay is supposed to be all about fun, and it sucks to hear about someone taking advantage of someone else in order to make a quick buck.