By Nicole Luke

Editor Note: Cosplayer is Best of Louisiana Award Winner from Anime Secrets’ Mega Cosplay Contest 2012.

5Introductions

Tell us a little about yourself.
-Meghan Haas AKA MehanChan
-25
-New Orleans, LA

Cosplaying

When did you start Cosplaying?
2001. It was Halloween and I was Satan Videl from DBZ!What got you into Cosplaying?

What got you into cosplaying?
I was in love with Anime since Sailor Moon came on UPN in 1994 or so…It was just a crazy love story from there. I just got to this point where I just wanted to be the justice seeking characters that I had grown to respect so much.
What is your favorite cosplay you’ve made(or that you’ve done)?
It definitely has to be Leeloo, I know she’s one of the easiest costumes I’ve ever made, but who doesn’t want to walk around as the sexy Supreme Being?? She’s so much like what I’m not. This super amazing super heroine!
How do you determine what to Cosplay as in characters?
I try to stick with costumes that fit my body-type. I’m 4’11″ and the size of a 12-year-old. I’m not really a “good or bad” character cosplayer, I just try to switch it up sometimes. It was really fun to be Insane Black Rock Shooter and just scream at people; not gonna lie.

Do you enjoy cosplaying?
I LOVE IT. How can you not love being someone else for a day?

Do you have any Dream Costumes you want to make or do?
Promethea, Sorceress Edea, Queen Esther, Valkiria

Out of all your costumes, which was the hardest to Fabricate? 
Juliet was probably the most technically difficult. I had to sculpt the skeletons and LEARN how to make a silicone mold then cast with flex foam. Also, it was the most technical sewing I’d ever done due to the hoop and tons of pleated ruffles. I know you’d think it was Insane Black Rock Shooter, but I am pretty good at prop and armor making
What are some cosplays you are currently working on?
I’m about to start on Harpie Lady and Harpie’s Brother with ShinraJunkie and a pair for the World Cosplay Summit! Look for us at Anime Matsuri.
Which costume are you looking forward to wearing in the future the most?
Hopefully I’ll have Dark Shiva from FFX for Mechacon VIII. Only depends on how the WCS goes in April
Do you think you will ever retire from Cosplaying?
As of right now, I sure hope not!

1Have you ever considered wearing costumes outside of conventions for daily wear?
Yeah, but my job definitely doesn’t allow for that. I get messy with pastry baking all day!
Do you fabricate/make your own costumes or buy them?
Proud maker of everything.

In the World of Cosplaying:

Do you or have you participate in any contests? (Convention, online, etc)
Every year since 2007 at MechaCon, Dragon*Con the past 2 years, and Anime Matsuri last year!

Have you won any awards if so what or which?
-Best Craftsmanship 2008 MechaCon for Aya Matsuura Ne~e? PV
-Runner-up Craftsmanship 2009 MechaCon for Griselda from Odin Sphere
-Best Craftsmanship 2010 MechaCon for Dark Saber from Fate/Stay Night
-Best in Show 2011 MechaCon for Insane Black Rock Shooter
-Best Female Costume NOCC 2011 for Visas Marr from Star Wars

What was the first event/convention you went to?
Numa Rei-no Con 2001!!!! YEAH!

What is your standing on Handmade vs Store bought cosplay?
As long as you don’t claim to have made a costume you didn’t, I don’t care either way

How do you feel about those who Cosplay getting into character? Do you get in Character as well?
You should always get into character! Why else be that character? You should always cosplay someone you think is fun to embody.

2Is there anyone you always wanted to meet and have a photoshoot with?
Brian AKA Kuragiman and Matt Ebarb AKA Fate Twister!!

Personal Experiences:

Can you share a few tips for beginners from your experience?
If you are looking to get into the costuming community, start small. Don’t attempt a project you obviously don’t have the gusto to make. You don’t want to take on too much and be disappointed and especially give yourself enough time if you are attempting something new or difficult! Timelines are absolutely the most important. Start with sketches, think about material lists, and write down everything you have to do. Checklists are your BFF and will help you get the most tedious tasks out of the way first! ALSO, don’t be afraid to cosplay! Who cares, if you are happy? You first!
What are the positives and negatives of Cosplaying in your opinion?
Cosplay can be a tricky thing because I do it to be someone else sometimes. I love the thought of getting to play a character and see my friends at conventions. I know some people cosplay for the wrong reasons and give cosplayers a bad name. Some use cosplay to gain fame instead of doing it for the love of the craft or the series. This subculture is for freedom of expression and a place to be accepted by your peers who want the same thing. No one wants to be around someone doing it just for fans and awards.
How do you deal with negative and positive feedback on your costumes?
I’m really self-conscious when it comes to costuming so if I feel like I can’t possibly do a costume or finish it in a time frame, I won’t do it. I just have this obsession with doing everything perfect because I don’t want negative comments about myself or my costumes. Unfortunately, there are people in the community whom just give you negative comments just because they don’t like you and you just have to ignore it and love yourself and pride in your work!
Any words of wisdom for aspiring Cosplayers?
Whether you make the costume yourself or not, take pride in yourself and love the community you are a part of. Fandom is amazing and costuming is the best way to pay homage!

3Outside of Cosplaying:

Do you have any hobbies other then Cosplaying?
I love to bake, I’m a pastry chef outside of costuming. I love playing RPG’s, drawing portraits, watching series and movies…and reading! Haha.

Do you have any helpers (pets) that often ‘help’?
My mom taught me to sew! I go to her when I can’t figure out how to fit something or if I need to learn how to sew a new material; we figure it out together.
Is there anything you do outside of Cosplaying that give you ideas of what to do for a costume?
I do lots of crafts. My whole life, my whole family has been crafty!

Final Words to the Readers:

Costuming communities can be an amazing place to meet people you never would have thought you could meet. It’s a wonderful experience to talk to these people year round, work on costumes together, and gain knowledge together! Just be careful not to be judgmental of others and their costumes, it may be their first one they sewed by hand. Who knows? And, as long as they are accepting of you, you should be of them because you are here in the cosplay community for the same reason: the love of the genre!!

For more information on Mehanchan, check out her facebook fanpage