Wednesday, September 2, 2015

My First Time Cosplaying

Article by Chet Royer

Hello once again, this is Chet a.k.a. Ninja101 and I want to talk about an experience that I had. I was able to attend New York Comic Con (NYCC) 2014, because I didn’t have a problem acquiring tickets. It was because I attended Special Edition NYC which allowed me to purchase the tickets on site. Alas, that is not what I want to discuss with you all. I wanna talk about my first time cosplaying at a convention.

Some may think that the cosplay experience at a con starts when you walk through the doors with your gear. I’m here to tell you that that is not the case. The experience starts months in advance when you begin choosing whom you want to cosplay as. Your life changes all of a sudden. Depending on the difficulty of your cosplay, free time becomes non-existence. If you have time to hang out with your friends or go on a movie binge, you have time to work on your cosplay. When it came down to crunch time (about a month prior to NYCC), I was unable to see my darling until we actually met up at the convention!

After all the preparation and loneliness, the day finally arrives when you can unveil your creation or your custom made outfit from a commissioner. Well, I went on Thursday in plain clothes so that I could focus on shopping. It was the normal stuff. Then Friday came. Due to some real life events, I was unable to attend for a large part of the day but the little part I was able to attend was quite different. Firstly, my commute from my home to the convention center is almost two hours. I dressed in my cosplay at home and spent two hours grabbing the attention of the normal folks. Also, it didn’t help that I am black man who was wearing a grey wig. My cosplay for this day was Noctis from Final Fantasy XV. When I finally arrived at the convention, I thought to myself that I finally can look normal amongst my people. I was surprised to find that people actually wanted to take photos of me. Totally was not used to getting attention. So much to the point that I did not practice any poses for photos! So I had to improvise...After hanging out a bit with friends, I finally went home and took off my cosplay. I enjoyed wearing my cosplay so much that when I returned to my normal home clothing, I felt that my appearance was boring.

Then the accursed Saturday arrived. There was a torrential downpour. Again, my commute is very long and exposes me to the elements. Due to the nature of my cosplay for that day (Egil from Sword Art Online extra), I was unable to wear it; because I feared the effects of the rain on my armor’s paint. Because I felt that wearing regular clothes would be boring, I slapped together one of my joke cosplays that I made but never wore. It was known as bosozoku: a japanese biker gang outfit. It was not exactly an eye catching outfit, but it was more fun wearing the outfit than my plain street clothes. The day went on as I thought it would, I had no pictures taken except with my friends.

Sunday: the final showdown. I was kind of excited, because I would be part of a group cosplay. Then my commute decided to get annoying. There was a marathon that affected all bus routes, which effectively made me, run about 6 blocks to get to my next mode of transport. After running, parts of my cosplay started to unravel, which I had to repair later. I was eventually able to reach the convention hall, secure a bathroom stall and make my cosplay whole again. I was cosplaying….well CROSSplaying as Sayaka Miki from Puella Magi Mahou Madoka. Crossplay means that someone is cosplaying as a character that is not their gender. Whether you alter the costume or not to match your gender is up to you. Because I was not interested in wearing a skirt and sporting a mid drift, I altered my outfit to be more masculine. No one really spotted me out until I started collecting my crew of magical girls. Many photos were taken with other magical girls. It was quite fun actually. It still took some getting used to. You would randomly hear people call out your cosplay name and wouldn’t even realize that they were talking to you. Another thing I had to get used to was having hair on my head. My characters, except for the bosozoku, pretty much required a wig. My peripheral vision was shot!
Even though it was quite fun running around in cosplay and having photos taken, I still missed being a casual con goer. I missed running around shopping with my friends and not having a care in the world. So, I actually got out of my cosplay early and did just that. I wouldn’t say whether it was more fun than cosplaying. What I will say is that it is a different kind of fun. Both are very enjoyable in their own way. You pretty much need to set your priorities for the convention and see whether or not cosplay is a good idea.

I learned a few things from this experience though. One major thing I learned is that cosplay is stressful! You can ease the stress by giving yourself more time to plan and fabricate. Also, I learned how your commute will affect your cosplay. I feel like most of my stress was from working too much during the crunch time and not enough before it. Well you live and you learn. Godspeed spider-men and women!

© 2015 Linda Thai

Photography by Linda Thai

For more pictures, check out the Something Deeper: Anime, Manga and Comics Page on Facebook

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