The goal for any cosplayer is finally show of their creation in a public forum. You’ve worked tirelessly at your project, and now it’s time to take it for a test drive. However, before you sidle out that door, there are some things you should keep in mind.
- You will get stopped for pictures. No matter the level of your costume, the minute you step onto that convention floor (and maybe even a little before) you had best be ready to get stopped for pictures. If your costume is particularly awesome, you may even get swamped by a sea of flashing cameras. It can seem intimidating, but you have to be prepared for the possibility and understand all the image snapping is generally a show of appreciation for your work.
- You do not have to pose for photos for everyone. While you should be willing to take photos while in costume, if you have a panel to get to or need to eat something, it’s okay to politely say no. If you’re going to be back on the show floor again, you can even let folks with cameras know so they can find you later.
- You do not have to take photos you are not comfortable with. This seems to be an issue that more commonly takes place with female cosplayers, but I’m not counting anyone out here. If you are uncomfortable with how someone has asked you to pose, say no. If someone wants to take a photo with you and does something inappropriate, say something. Chances are you are in a room full of people, so holler if you need to. Just please don’t jump the gun if it’s an innocent arm around your shoulder. If you don’t want to be touched, say so from the outset. You set the limits here.
- If possible, have a “handler” with you. This might sound silly or pretentious, but it’s helpful to have an extra hand around to help carry things you cannot easily hide in your costume. It’s also a bit of extra safety in case anything goes wrong. (See my last post on troubleshooting.)
- Give yourself breaks. Stay hydrated. Eat snacks. Leave the convention for some fresh air or lunch if you need to. Cosplaying should be fun, and you don’t want to risk making yourself ill, especially if the convention lasts several days.
- Give special thought to the footwear that goes with your costume. Heels? Boots? Any shoes can become uncomfortable all day on the floor, but some hurt more quickly than others. Plan ahead in how you will arrive and depart from the convention and how much walking will be involved.
- Have a good time. If you’re not having fun, then there’s no point.
Check back next time where we’ll go into depth on tips and tricks for having your photo taken on the show floor! If you’ve missed them, check out the earlier parts of this series:
(Photo: Goofing around at WonderCon with some of the Secret Six. Jason Armstrong, J. Lance Moose, Johnny Bias, Rochelle Anne, Wolfman Dave, and myself. Photographer: Ryan Beauvais.)