Momo Soto, age 25, has worked with The D20 Girls since 2010. She played Dungeons and Dragons with a young lady in her local area, who told her about the group. “I want to try to get us to do more volunteer work for charities and continue to go and help at more conventions.” Momo says of her future plans with D20. Her hobbies include baking, cooking, music and collecting “all the things; makeup, dolls, posters, figurines, plushies”. She supports gay marriage and, after finishing college, wants to teach science and math in a middle school. Momo graciously agreed to answer a few questions while attending Triad Anime Con.
What truly defines you as a geek?
This is a funny question: I actually don’t consider myself a geek. I’m really into lots of the facets in the geek and nerd culture. I, by no means, am an expert on anything but I can tell you about what interests me and possibly about some of the things that I collect. Where should I start? Well first off: some of my collections. I like things and having them. If you were to walk into my home you would see what I mean. I have a few obsessions I suppose: Sack people from Little Big Planet are all over my room, Felicia Day from Darkstalkers is a on the poster on my bedroom door. I have bleeding edge goth dolls and the dolls from Monster High. Every flower I have ever received is withered and dead on top of my bookshelf. On my wall I have some of my cosplay wigs hanging by nails. All around my home I have lots of fan art work from various video games, animes and comics. My entire fridge is covered in fan art magnets. On my bookshelf I have various sci-fi books, sonic comics, manga, CDs, DVDs and Playstation games. In my home we pretty much have every system except the Atari. Though having all these things do not define me as being a geek; I like a bit of everything honestly. I play video games, read books, manga’s and comics, I have played vampire and D&D, I love the SyFy Channel, Cartoon Network and the Anime Network. When I was 13, I would to go to the mall and sit in Walden’s Bookstore reading manga on the weekends. I attempted Magic the Gathering but it isn’t my cup of tea.
Could you please talk a little bit about your childhood? Were there any fictional characters you adored? Any influences that lead to your style?
I was always an oddball as a child. I never really fit in. I liked all the Disney princesses and the Ninja Turtles. I think the music I listened to may have influenced my style –The Cure and Depeche Mode.
Team Edward or Team Jacob?
I don’t like either but I won’t deny that I have read the books but haven’t watched all the movies. I would say that I am Team Alice; based on the movie she is one sexy lady.
In which House would the Sorting Hat place you?
I would hope for Ravenclaw: I believe that I’m an intelligent woman and that I would fit in there irreproachably.
If you absolutely had to choose between Mortal Kombat and Soul Calibur, which would you pick and why?
Soul Calibur of course. The first time I played Soul Calibur III, I met my beloved character Tira. She was so deranged and vivacious. Tira in every way is schizophrenic; she has so many emotions, her weapon was magnificent and when I played with her I actually made progress and beat the game (with my button mashing skills). With each new installment of the series she became darker and more twisted. When Soul Calibur V came out I found another character that entranced me in Viola. She was mysterious, dark and ominous. There is something fascinating about their personalities within the game. After I had played Soul Calibur V I knew that I just had to cosplay as both of them. I worked on those costumes for 2 months. I put my blood sweat and tears into their outfits. When I was wearing them I tried my best to mimic their mannerisms. It may be obvious I’m a bit enamored with this series.
If you could vacation anywhere in the known universe, where would you go?
Pluto because… never forget.
Do you have a dream cosplay, one character that you would love to portray?
Absolutely! Rose from Legend of Dragoon in her Dragoon form. Legend of Dragoon was my all-time favorite RPG. To this day I have legitimately played through it 10 times. She is very admirable, tremendous, transcendental, reserved, strong and independent with a sharp tongue. So I aspired to be more like her.
What is your favorite part of being a D20 Girl?
I have been able to make a wonderful family with girls I may have never spoken to before. No matter what our interests are, we help each other and progress into better people. Normally when you put too many females together they end up being malicious towards the other females. In the entire time I’ve been part of The D20 Girls Project, I have never experienced this, for which I am grateful.
How has The D20 Girls Project changed since you were hired?
When I first applied back in 2010 there really wasn’t a presence. After Chiki had become our manager things started changing. Here in NC we actually have a presence. People are excited about us.
What inspired your D20 alias? Has anyone made any Avatar: The Last Airbender-related jokes about it?
The first manga I ever read was Peach Girl and the first friend I made in Orlando after I moved there was a boy named JJ and we both used to go to the mall on the weekend and read mangas. The main characters name in Peach Girl was Momo. JJ and I both didn’t care for my real name so he decided to call me something else. Since I was in the process of reading Peach Girl and he considered me to be a peach her started calling me Momo. I really loved the sound of that and had always wanted a nickname so I took it. Whenever I met people I always introduced myself as Momo. I do get a lot of people who assume that I got the name Momo from Avatar but no one has actually made jokes about it.
What would you say to prospective or newly hired D20 Girls?
This is a wonderful organization of which you will love being a part.
Please describe your experience with the D20 Girls in one word.
Suppose your life had a soundtrack. What is the one song that would be the first hit single?
Depeche Mode – Walking In My Shoes.
Have you personally dealt with “geek gender discrimination?” What do you think is the best way to combat it?
I would say while playing online games sort of Sometimes if I talk on the vent, males will make rude comments. I just always made sure to beat them in the game. I don’t understand why there is even gender discrimination in the geek world to begin with.
Is there anything you would like to say to all of the other Active D20 Girls?
Please do your best. You are all beautiful ladies who will continue to help create a positive image for our gender.