Welcome to Nerdbot Cosplayer Spolight! Every cosplayer will have different experiences and inspirations. This week we have Bo, who cosplays as Pie Noon!
Would you please introduce yourself?
Hello, my name is Bopharandeth Em, I go by Bo. I am 35 years old. I enjoy making cosplay outfits for me and my family.
What made you start cosplaying? How long have you been doing it?
My husband, Chris, who was my boyfriend at the time, took me to my first Fanime convention in 2011. I was inspired by so many cosplayers there. Speaking to Yaya Han about patterns and where to start was the creative push I needed to just do it. I’ve always dressed up for Halloween and made my own costumes but I never tried wearing them beyond Halloween. But after Fanime, I was determined to put my sewing and crafting skills to the test. I’ve been cosplaying for 9 years plus now.
Tell me about the con-going experience: the positives, the negatives, where you’ve been, etc.
I noticed with all the big cons like Fanime, AX, SDCC there’re going to be haters that will say mean things. There’re always a few. Attending big cons once or twice is good enough for me. My anxiety and black heart can’t handle big cons, but I try to experience big cons at least twice just in case the atmosphere changes the following year.
I have small kids now, so stroller access at big cons are terrbiel. I give props to parents that bring their obnoxious strollers to big cons; their tolerance must be high. A lot of cons do have family rooms for parents and their kids to rest and breastfeed in, but they are so hard to find on the map or they move it without notice and the [volunteers] have no idea. People run over kids all the time at cons, so safety is a priority. My husband and I go to cons in shifts now, one stays at the hotel with the kids while the other attends the con and then we swap. Sometimes we alternate days. Our friends tell us to hire sitters for our kids, but we don’t trust anyone. It’s hard to find a sitter that we trust, one of our children is autistic and it takes a great deal of patience and education. Our friends have kids of their own now, so it’s hard to call in friend-favors.
I do like the smaller cons like Wonder Con or D23. They have plenty of walk space and people are really friendly. I’ve gone to all the cons from Northern California to Southern California. The only con I have yet to attend is Star Wars Celebration. Dragon Con in Georgia was so fun, but my anxiety could only handle two days of it.
Was there ever a cosplay you worked on that did not turn out how you wanted? What did you do?
My Belle Fett (Belle and Boba Fett mashup) cosplay didn’t turn out well. A lot of the pieces fell apart during D23 Expo, I was only able to wear 50% of it. I tried gluing it all together again but it kept falling apart due to the heat. I had a good cry and decided to wear whatever I could.
What are your top 3 cosplay costumes and why?
The gold Belle ball gown for sure because Belle is my favorite Disney princess. It was my first time making a ballgown from a base dress I bought that I heavily reworked. It was my first time working with silk flowers as well, I was proud of it.
My pink TK (stormtrooper) armor is another favorite. I loved building and painting model kits when I was a kid so building this kit was a labor of love. It took me 6 months to build it because I was too scared to start; I didn’t want to make a mistake because the kit was already painted. I was lucky to find help from my fellow cosplayers as I joined their armor build parties and learned a lot! I’m excited to do another armor kit.
My 3rd favorite is my designer warrior Mulan, I wanted to do a cosplay that represented my background. I learned hand embroidery and beading from this project. I love the different patterns and textures of that cosplay.
If you would like to follow Bo, check out her Instagram:
If there are any cosplayers you would like us to reach out to please let us know in the comments!