Accessories happened, though not as quickly as I hoped. For some reason, I thought that I was going to crack out three of them within a few hours.
Oh young grasshopper, have you not learned?
I actually lost steam on this project completely and wasn’t going to go through the accessories or the photoshoot. I won’t bore you, the audience, with the messy details but just trust me, I was in a mood.
The day before the photoshoot was slated to take place, I was flipping through my feeds and the announcement of the One Piece contest were announced. Usually, I don’t have the pleasure of knowing who the judges will be until I am face to face with them in judging. And even then, I don’t usually know who the crap they are. (I’m not a faces and names person at all)
So when I followed the link to the judges page, I wasn’t expecting much.
I totally recognized one of them – AND I LOVE THIS MAN.
Let’s back up in time for a moment.
Years back, at Otakon Vegas, I had the pleasure of meeting Toshio Furukawa – the Japanese voice actor for Portgas D. Ace.
To those of you who don’t know me, I FRIKKEN LOVE the One Piece brothers. Ace, Sabo and Luffy are my absolute favorite characters in the One Piece universe and I pretty much own a crapton of merch with them on it…..I HAVE NO REGRETS.
So years ago, despite retiring that cosplay, I dressed up one more time as Monkey D. Luffy to meet Mr. Furukawa. I was over the frikken moon to “meet” Luffy’s older brother and I even made the iconic hat that Ace wears for him to sign.
I remember standing in that line, nervous AF and just trying to no fangirl all over this poor man when I got to talk to him. It is rare to get to see a Japanese voice actor around my parts in the USA and even rarer that I may get to say a few thanks in my broken Japanese.
When I did get to meet him, I awkwardly offered my Ace figure to be signed and thanked him for his hard work. He did look at me, but he seemed rather confused. I just figured it was because I was trying to not embarrass myself like an idiot.
Before I chickened out and before my two seconds with this great man was over, I asked his translator if he would ask Mr. Furukawa to sign my Ace hat. Words were passed on and with a smile, he politely agreed to do so.
I was then completely stunned when Mr. Furukawa spoke to his translator and his translator said; “He doesn’t mean to be rude, but he is confused. Are you a boy or a girl?”
I can’t even begin to tell you how frikken happy that made me. You see, as a crossplayer, It is my goal in life to make people question my gender. Unfortunately, as I’ve gotten older and pudgier….I pretty much figured I was no longer good at that game. But when I got asked that question, I think I lit up the room, I was beaming with joy and excitement.
With the dumbest grin on my face, I replied that I was a girl and Mr. Furukawa started talking rather animatedly with his wife. I wish I had understood what they had said! Now I had badly placed confidence and boldly asked if he would wear Ace’s hat and take a photo with me.
He smiled and then spoke to his translator as he put the hat on. “He says he is sorry that he isn’t as handsome as Ace is.”
I was just so happy!!! We took the picture, his wife also snapped a pic and then I left the room. He was so kind and polite – I will always remember that encounter with him. And did I mention??? He ended up posting that same photo to his Twitter??? IM SO LUCKY.
Which brings us back to the present. The fire in my heart was lit once more to finish Perona as I watched the video of him introducing himself as a judge. I would just die if I got to meet him one more time and you better believe I’d take that photo with me to show him. Do you think he’d remember me???
Then to make things even cooler, I watched the video of the second judge Toru Furuya and he is Luffy’s other brother – Sabo! Holy crap, it LITERALLY is like senpai would notice me! I know I’m just a silly fan girl, but if my photo really got to be seen by these two actors, then, come hell or high water, this cosplay is back online to be done!
I went home hyper after work to pattern and make the hat.
While I seem to have made several hats; Undertaker, Luffy, Ace and Syaoran I would still say that I’m a beginner when it comes to milling from the ground up. Its something I’d love to get better at. The pattern came out well enough and I used the same lining fabric that I used from the umbrella to tie it in.
Its not my absolute favorite creation, but it gets the point across. Then I added $30 worth of faux roses and then it was off to bed.
Sadly, I was beyond sleep deprived when I got up two hours later and pushed through the process of the zombie teddy bear and the last details on the umbrella. Sorry for not having anything there for photo evidence…
After everything got done, it was a race to figure out the makeup. I wanted the eyes to be the focus of the makeup. I ended up using three different styles of eyelashes and morphing them into something larger than life. At first I was only going to do three long, bottom eyelashes but I really liked the full line of under lashes that I ended up with.
I also was “tickled pink” with this look using only a shocking pink combo of blush, lip stain and lip glitter to finish it off. Wig came next and just for luck, I wore the kimono style top I got when I was in Nagoya.
Then photos. Let me talk photos. I am beyond lucky to collaborate with Chad from Faces Photography for this event. Chad is a wildly talented artist in my area who has a great eye when it comes to making magic with his camera. His energy, direction and attention to details make him my favorite photographer ever.
The shoot was quick, but a good photoshoot should leave the model exhausted and sore. Both parties work hard for those few minutes and if they both give it their all – magic happens! I’m also so glad that I didn’t die in those 7 inch platform heels. I spent the whole shoot jumping and trying not to pull stupid faces when I jumped, posed and then hoped I landed well.
Along for the ride as well, was my dear friend Christy. I have her to blame for my One Piece love. When I first met her, I heard so much about this series and after catching her excitement, I ended up watching One Piece so I’d have something to have in common with her. She has long since been stuck with me and my antics and she is one of my truest friends. So it was only fitting that she was dragged along for moral support during photos.
In the end, this has truly been a voyage and a half!
I got to do something that I love BECAUSE I love this series and in the end, isn’t that what its all about? I look forward to posting photos when they are done and maybe, just maybe, something magical will happen.
I sign off with Luffy’s promise – I’m gonna be King of the Pirates!