Good Day! About a month ago I had the opportunity to sit in on a fantastic panel during Stan Lee’s Comikaze 2015. The panel, Diversity in the Geek Community, featured a group of women from the cosplay group, Chocolate Covered Cosplay. During this panel these women openly discussed the difficulties they have encountered as female, African-American cosplayers and geeks. The panel was very interesting and eye-opening. If you would like to read more about what was discussed during this panel, check out my article – Panel on Diversity in the Geek Community. I highly encourage you to check it out.
Following the panel discussion, I got the opportunity to meet one of the founders of Chocolate Cover Cosplay, Ashphord Jacoway. Our meeting was brief, but through the magic of the internet and Kelsey Jenkins from Beck Media & Marketing, I was able to get a short interview with Ashphord. In addition to being an active member Chocolate Cover Cosplay, Ashphord is currently starring in an online series, The Doll Life, which just recently aired its season one finale on November 24th, which I will talk about below the interview.
Q. Tell us a little about yourself.
A: My name is Ashphord ‘ashi_chan’ Jacoway, and I am a model for Dolldelight. I hold a BFA in theatre performance with a minor in political science. I have lived in Los Angeles for five years. I am an actress and an activist. I wish to create positive change in our country concerning race, gender and equality. I am a founding sister of Chocolate Covered Cosplay, which dedicates itself to positive social change through cosplay. I find joy in cooking and nature.
Q. How did you get into cosplaying? Was there a specific person who inspired you?
A: My brother got me into cosplay. He introduced me to anime and J-pop, and the rest is history. I started cosplaying on my own because he set the tone for my life. If he never introduced me to Ranma 1/2, I would not be here today. My friends and I even dressed up as Ganguro as a surprise for him once. I love my bro.
Q. How many cosplays do you do? Which is your favorite? Which one do you do most often?
A. I am really into Harajuku fashion now, but in the past loved cosplaying as Poison Ivy and Asgardian Storm. I do Harajuku fashion the most, aside from “Dolly” style for work and play.
Q. How often do you attend events where you cosplay? Cons, etc.
A: I attend 7+ cons a year, depending on if we (Dolldelight or Chocolate Covered Cosplay) get invited. Cons are expensive but make for great press. I try to go to one local Los Angeles cosplay event a month. I usually sell pies.
Q. Have your cosplays led to anything such as meeting the actor of the character you cosplay as, interviews or social media?
A: My cosplay has got me on set with actors. Because I sew and act, I am often offered to be on shows or make costumes for actors. I got to work on “Shelf Life” with Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt by remaking their costumes. I was also on “The Guild” as a special cosplayer. I did recently meet Nichelle Nichols because my cosplay group got passes for hosting a panel. She loved my style! We discussed the strength of being Black in the industry and she was INSPIRING. It was the first time I had a fan moment and bought a photo from a fellow actress. I get interviewed a lot, mainly for my solo performance show “I wish my life was a RPG,” where I discuss race and gender in geek and Black culture. I also interview for Hip Hop Gamer INC. If you do what you love, opportunities unfold.
Q. Do you have anything new in the works? New cosplays, any events or cons you’re attending, or jobs?
A: The more viewers we get for “The Doll Life”, the more likely we will have a second season. You can help us out by watching Wednesdays on MyxTV.com. Chocolate Covered Cosplay will be guests at Hanadoki Con in the spring and are currently invited to Anime Los Angeles as featured guests. C3 also just got a manager, Danny Gonzales from D.Boy Entertainment. Lastly, during the first two weeks of December I will be running wardrobe for East West Players production of “Chinglish” by David Henry Hwang. We’re located in Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles. Hope to see you there!
The Doll Life
As previously mentioned, Ashphord was starring in an online series called The Doll Life, which airs on myxtv.com.
“The Doll Life” is an exciting look at what happens behind the scenes at the Japanese street fashion brand, Dolldelight. Headed by designer Cyril Lumboy, Dolldelight specializes in the popular sub-culture of Japanese “Dolly Style” street fashion. From runway shows to pop-culture conventions, cameras follow Cyril and her models as they deal with the high-pressure and high-profile situations unique to the fashion industry, where catfights are common, resentments can build, and over-the-top outbursts are the norm.
Personally, I’m kind of a sucker for fashion reality shows, so I watched the show myself to see what it was all about. And the DollDelight fashion was beyong AMAZING and GORGEOUS. I really enjoyed the show. Below are some stills from the show.
The Doll Life just aired its season one finale on November 24th, which means you can now binge the show and share it with all your friends. Below is the Season 1 Finale Preview.
The Dolldelight fashion show at LVL UP Expo in Las Vegas kicks off with major stress as Paula attempts to fix the stage and find an emcee. Luckily, the dolls pull through and the final fashion show of the season goes out with a bang as both Cyril and Stevie’s family watch in the audience. The dolls then celebrate the end of the fashion season and reminisce on the relationships they’ve built with each other.
Make sure you check out this show! Just click here! It’s worth it. Trust me. Help The Doll Life get a 2nd Season!!!!
I would like to thank Ashphord Jacoway for taking the time to answer our questions and giving ToG the opportunity to promote her work with Chocolate Covered Cosplay and The Doll Life. We would also like to thank Kelsey Jenkins from Beck Media & Marketing for setting all this up during Comikaze.
*All images/stills and episode descriptions were provided by Kelsey Jenkins of Beck Media & Marketing.