Home CultureCosplay Meet a Dork: MonsterPoh, LA-based Cosplayer

Meet a Dork: MonsterPoh, LA-based Cosplayer

by Neil Bui

MonsterPoh spoke with DORKAHOLICS about her cosplay life thus far and shared some awesome photos from her latest shoots.

MonsterPoh as Rize Kamishiro from 'Tokyo Ghoul.'

MonsterPoh as Rize Kamishiro from ‘Tokyo Ghoul.’

  1. Why did you begin cosplaying and when did you start?
    • I have always been interested in cosplaying ever since I learned of the word. Dress up as your favorite character? BE your favorite character? And best of all, create your own story as that character? Yes, please! Unfortunately, it took a few years before I had the opportunity to begin cosplay. My chance came April of this year (2016) when my friend invited me to a small convention called Titancon. I jumped at the chance and cosplayed as Rize from Tokyo Ghoul. I have to admit It was not my proudest cosplay but it was the most memorable since it opened the doors to cosplay modeling. I was hesitant at first but with some encouragement from friends and fellow cosplayers and photographers, I followed through and here I am today. I still have a long way to go, but I really believe this year was an amazing start.
  1. Which one is your favorite to wear and why?
    • I adore all of the cosplays I have done, but my favorites so far are Miku Hatsune and Gwenpool. I chose these two because they are the closest to my personality, so it was not difficult to get into character. If I can cosplay a character that loves to laugh and be silly I would jump at the chance. Serious characters are fun, but I do find it difficult to not smile sometimes.
MonsterPoh as Marvel's Gwenpool.

MonsterPoh as Marvel’s Gwenpool.

  1. What is your favorite video game, comic book, or anime series?
    • My favorite game was League of Legends. I say “was” because I haven’t played since I started pursuing a career in the medical field. But I still recall staying up for hours playing and raging with my friends. I don’t know good I am now but I was a pretty decent support if I do say so myself. I had multiple mains, but Annie was my first and favorite character, which is why I love cosplaying her.When I was younger the only anime series I could get lost watching over and over again would have to be Inuyasha. I still recall staying up late during a school night just so I could watch the series at Adult Swim. As for more recent series I would have to say Black Butler and No Game No Life, which is kind of surprising since my favorite genre is shoujo.
MonsterPoh as Christmas Annie from League of Legends.

MonsterPoh as Christmas Annie from League of Legends.

  1. Did you consider yourself a dork when you were younger, and do you do so now?
    • Always and forever more. If I am not acting dorky I am probably wearing it. But apparently, I do not give a dork vibe since many are still surprised that I like anime, manga, and gaming. Goes to show you cannot judge a book by its cover.
  1. What do your non-cosplay friends think of your cosplaying?
    • At first, I didn’t really share my cosplaying hobby to my non-cosplaying friends since they are not fans of anime and gaming in the first place. I wasn’t hiding it; I just did not think it would make a difference whether I shared it or not. When I did decide to share they were actually very supportive. After seeing my recent photos a few of them have considered trying it out at least once. To think that I started in this hobby alone, but soon I might actually parade conventions with close friends! It sounds like a dream!
MonsterPoh as Miku Hatsune.

MonsterPoh as Miku Hatsune.

  1. What is the most motivating factor that brings you back to creating new costumes and cosplay?
    • Other cosplayers! Sometimes I think I can only do so much in a costume and then I meet a new cosplayer who is willing to share their expertise. For example, the first few costumes I owned were purchased and altered by me, but now I am dipping my feet into prop making and even investing in a new sewing machine. Thank goodness too because I used to hand sew my costumes and it would take days to weeks! Biggest project now? Armor!Another motivating factor is my desire to be original. How can you be original when so many people are cosplaying the same character? Well, I believe it is all in the way you portray your character along with the costume you create. I have not reached this type of originality just yet, but I do have a cosplay in the making that I hope will set apart from the earlier cosplays I have done.
  1. Do you attend many conventions and do you have favorite ones?
    • I have only attended four so far and all of them were just this year. These conventions were: Titancon, Anime Expo, Anime California, and Blizzcon. As for a favorite convention, I would have to say Titancon, where it all started, and Anime California. Anime California was my favorite because that was where I was encouraged to branch out to other cosplayers and photographers. I may be silly and dorky, but I am shy as a bug when meeting new people.
MonsterPoh as Moka Akashiya from 'Rosario + Vampire.'

MonsterPoh as Moka Akashiya from ‘Rosario + Vampire.’

  1. Have you had any bad experiences while cosplaying?
    • I wouldn’t say bad, but more uncomfortable. When I cosplayed Gwenpool I had a few instances when people would take unwanted pictures. And by unwanted, I mean taking close-up pictures of my butt without my consent. There is a fine line between taking souvenir shots and just being creepy. I am a pretty conservative person so it took a lot of courage for me to cosplay a revealing character. Granted I was covered head to toe (I was wearing nude tights), it was still out of my comfort zone. I am not saying I will not pose for the fun of it, but all I ask is please ask for my permission. I know I am not the only one who feels this way so please remember, cosplay is not consent.
  1. What’s one of your most memorable moments while in costume?
    • When I started cosplaying my most memorable moment was when people actually knew who I was cosplaying and wanted to take selfies with me. I know it was not uncommon, but as a newbie with no experience, it was thrilling! Now my most memorable moment was when I was called out by my cosplay name. It took me a while to realize someone was calling out to me when someone was yelling out, “Poh”.
MonsterPoh as Nurse Joy from Pokémon.

MonsterPoh as Nurse Joy from Pokémon.

  1. Who are other cosplayers that you admire?
    • Too many to list! But here are the first few who left the greatest impact so far: Karlibra, Hendoart, Cosplayprodigy, Cinecosu and Narrzisanchan.
  1. What advice do you have for someone just getting into cosplay?
    • Watch YouTube videos! There are so many costume making and makeup tutorials that anyone start cosplaying if they really wanted to. But keep in mind that patience and practice are key. Even with all the videos, it will still take time to find the best technique for you.My last, and probably most important advice. Eat and drink water before every convention. I almost passed out at one convention because I did not take the time to drink water. I guess I was just having so much fun that it didn’t occur that I was dehydrated until my body was sending warning signals. DO NOT IGNORE THOSE SIGNALS. Dry mouth? Drink water. Sweating and getting hot? Go inside a building or stand under a shade. It is always advisable to have fun, but please be safe out there too.
MonsterPoh as Shiro from 'No Game No Life.'

MonsterPoh as Shiro from ‘No Game No Life.’

  1. Looking back on your costumes, is there anything that you’d do differently knowing what you know now?
    • Oh my goodness, yes! It hasn’t been a year, but I already know that my cosplays would have been better if I knew how to put on make-up and wore colored contacts. I grew up wearing little to no make-up so putting on foundation and the like was really confusing to me. Thankfully I draw and paint so I have pretty steady hands and I am familiar with brushes. It was just weird to put it on my face instead of a canvas.
  1. What does the future hold for you?
    • Right now I am not sure what the future hold, but I do plan to continue doing what I love and sharing them with everyone.
  1. Where else can fans follow you?
    • For now I only have my Instagram and Facebook active. You can find me under “MonsterPoh” on both medias. My IG is where I post my favorite content along with comments or news. My FB page, which is still under construction so I apologize if the posts are all over the place, is where I post albums of my photo shoots. So If you like the featured cosplay on my IG, you can browse my FB for more of that cosplay, convenient right? I have also been asked to open up a personal website where I can sell pictures or start a patreon. I am open to those ideas, but I honestly am not ready to start that just yet. For now, I am just happy and thankful to learn that people are taking an interest in what I love. Thank you for the support, everyone! You are all amazing!

Thanks for reading this article!

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