I am not, by any means, an expert in cosplay. I’ve really only been doing this for a little over six months, but it’s amazing what you can learn in that time. Here’s what I’ve discovered so far:
There’s so much more to it than wearing costumes.
I overheard someone passing a cosplayer’s booth at New York Comic Con explaining to a friend, “They make a living out of dressing up in costumes.” Not quite. My introduction to participating in cosplay was when my friend Beth asked me if I would be part of her group of Game of Thrones cosplayers for NYCC. I said yes, and several weeks later, I was Margaery Tyrell. I wasn’t just dressed as Margaery Tyrell. I imitated her facial expressions, memorized a few of her lines, and learned to walk and gesture at things in that elegant way Natalie Dormer has on the show. (I can’t tell you how many times I found reasons to say, “Oh look! The pie!”) It’s not just a costume: that is just for Halloween. Cosplaying a complete character is so much more rewarding than just dressup.. Putting on a costume, but still acting like myself is fun, but even if my costume is impeccable and my look is perfectly canon, it is still not quite as good as acting the part. A Darth Vader cosplayer should act stoic and commanding. Vanellope von Schweetz should be mischievous and quirky. Deadpool should be… well, Deadpool.
It requires new skills and sometimes new friends.
I mentioned that Beth made my Margaery dress, but I didn’t mention that she and her husband Chris made every piece for seven people to cosplay as Game of Thrones characters. In the past couple of years, they have learned dozens of new skills between the two of them. It’s because of their teamwork, craftsmanship, and attention to detail that we three were the winners of best group cosplay at Tidewater Comicon last October as Margaery, Asha (not pictured above), and Oberyn. When you start cosplaying, you meet new people with incredible talents, or you drag some friends and family in with you and discover that they have skills you didn’t know about – and they might not have been aware of, either! Continue reading