Cosplay interviews! A weekly feature on Animetion where we talk to cosplayers on what motivates them, plus a cool gallery showcasing their cosplays.  Here we talk to cosplayer:

Name: Ricky Gopaul (a.k.a. Son Gopaul)

Q: When did you start cosplaying and how long for?

The first time I cosplayed was in October 2007, at the MCM London Expo.  I had seen the cosplay talent at May that year, and it was the first time I had even seen cosplay.  I dressed as Terry Bogard from The King of Fighters, but sadly most of the comments I got were from people who thought I was Ash Ketchum from Pokemon.

Q: What attracts you cosplay?

The original idea behind my cosplays is that I love the character.  Recently the characters I cosplay have been under the category of "all bark, no bite" characters like Dan Hibiki from Street Fighter.  Not only do I cosplay characters I like, but I love to act out the character as well.

Q:  What has been your favourite cosplay?

Probably Dan Hibiki, as it was the first costume I felt I had perfected and raised my confidence in cosplay.  Since I first wore it to the October 2008 MCM London Expo, I have not only worn the costume to Expos or cons, I have also been in costume at card game events and video game events.  Nearly two years down the line, I still have the costume and have only just begun wearing the Alternate costume as seen in Street Fighter IV.  I assume that I am the only person who has done the alternate costume to date!

At a very close second, is my Wario costume (the Super Smash Bros Brawl one), as people loved seeing it at October 08's MCM London Expo.  Not only that, everyone said I had perfected the character not only in costume but in voice and actions as well. "WA-HAHA!"

Q: Most memorable moment whilst cosplaying?

Probably getting so much attention as Wario, then the performance at AyaCon 09 as Dan.  I wore the costume on the Sunday, while a Street Fighter IV tournament was being held in the video games room.  I think I gathered more attention at that tournament than Guest of Honour and voice actor of Fei Long, Matthew Mercer, who was also playing (as Fei Long)!

Q:  Have you had any cosplays go wrong/encountered problems whilst making cosplays?

I think the worst cosplay I ever did was Siegfried from Soul Calibur III at May 08's MCM London Expo.  I had made the costume at the last minute, so I bought a cheap plastic suit of armour, and quickly made a cardboard sword (which was the only part that actually looked good).  My friend had done the opposite with his Nightmare costume, spending over 6 months making it out of mod-rock and finding out on the day that it was very impractical.

Q:  Have you ever regretted cosplaying?

Shortly after the above incident, I had heavy doubts about cosplaying again.  But those doubts turned into determination that I would learn my lesson and always do my best at a costume in the future.  Thus I made my Dan Hibiki costume, and a Saikyo legend was born.

Q:  Have you ever done group cosplay? If so how did you find that experience?

The first time I had done an intended group cosplay was with my friend, who organised a group at the May 09 MCM London Expo for the Anime/Manga Sgt. Frog (a.k.a. Keroro Gunsou).  I cosplayed as a human version of Tamama, in a karate gi and a T-Shirt emblazoned with Tamama's symbol.  We had so much fun outside messing around and doing photoshoots, we didn't actually enter the building until we entered the Masquerade!  Doing the group allowed me to get to know other cosplayers, and found out they're awesome to hang around with too!
In October 09's MCM London Expo, I will be part of a huge Street Fighter group as my main man Dan Hibiki, and once again will be wearing the padding for the alternate costume.  There's still time to join in on the fun d(^_^)b

Q:  What cosplays are you planning?

Well, I'm in the process of making a personal costume of my avatar on the MMO MapleStory, who wears a Super Saiyan wig and tail, and armed with a nodachi and a snowflake shield.  I'm stuck for ideas for my second cosplay on Sunday at the October 09 MCM London Expo, I want to do a character from Gurren Lagann but just wondering who to do.

Q:  Do you have a dream cosplay?

It's been done at May 09 MCM London Expo, but I would LOVE to cosplay as a Gyarados from Pokemon, in the style of a Chinese dragon.  There's this one guy who's making a collection of Pokemon cosplay pictures, so I'd love to help him out.

Q:  Do you have one piece of advice that you would give to cosplay virgins?

Heh, "One Piece". Sure that wasn't a pun?  Anyways, there are 3 important rules I follow when making a costume:
1) Has been mentioned enough already, but put as much effort into your costume as you can.  Sure enough you can buy one online, but people appreciate your hard work when you do it yourself because it's unique. Also give yourself enough time for your effort, in case anything goes wrong.
2) Be original.  Nobody remembers you if you cosplay as "Naruto character number 7513" or "L number 63856293" because there's just too many of them!  People love to see characters who aren't often cosplayed, and in fact you might be surprised how many notice who you are cosplaying!
3) Get into and stay in character.  Now you don't have to go to extremes, such as "My character smokes so I'll take up smoking!", I'm talking about the way your character acts. If they're cute and lovely, be cute and lovely!  If they're a loudmouth, let everyone know who you are!  It also helps if you're good at projecting your voice.  I'm still recovering from a sore throat after AyaCon while typing this!

Q:  Do you have an account with the website Cosplay Island/other social networking sites?

If you're browsing around and you find the name Son Gopaul (with or without the space), it's going to be me.  I'm on Cosplay Island and the MCM Expo forums, to mention a couple.

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