Don’t Call Me A Cosplayer : Why I’m Finished in 1,000 Words or Less

This might sound weird, but from now on, if you see me at a convention, don’t call me a cosplayer.

I know, I’ve built up my following through cosplay, I’ve been doing it since 2007. Recently I posted on my Facebook page that I’ve made the decision to stop cosplaying and focus more on my media persona. This is a decision, sadly, that I’ve come to after months of struggling with the shift of the convention community as a whole. I haven’t even been involved with the convention scene for that long, it was only about 2-3 years ago that I began doing panels, having tables at these events, and was invited as a guest to my first convention.

Don’t get me wrong, guys, I am MORE than grateful for every opportunity I’ve been given. Good OR bad, they’ve been learning experiences, and have helped me make other connections I never would have made otherwise. Like, what other time can you gain access to parties where you’ll drink with Playmates and 80’s action stars? Not many people can say they’ve done that. But, I digress. For as many great times as I’ve had in the convention community, I’ve had some horrible experiences that have turned me off to it as a whole. Mainly, within the cosplay community. I’ve been dealing with harassment, whether it be about my size, look, or a difference of opinion, since the beginning of my cosplay adventure. It’s only gotten worse the more I’ve gotten involved in this scene.

Recently I worked at a convention where I dealt with some Regina George type bullshit. From MANY different people. Purposefully left out of promotion leading up to the convention, petty war being waged via vague book statuses (which I know we’re ALL guilty of from time to time. We’re irrational people with access to the Internet, it happens.) and at the actual event, I had a literal Mean Girls moment. I won’t get into it, but it was a conversation where I actually had to stop myself more than once and think, “Wait, what?” I’ll just say it was very reminiscent of the scene where Regina and Cady are talking at the lunch table, and she says she’s really pretty. And when Cady accepts the compliment, Regina replies with, “So you agree? You think you’re really pretty?” These are the type of backhanded compliments and cleverly disguised disses that you’ll replay in your head long after the conversation is done, that will literally bring heat to your cheeks immediately in embarrassment.

I don’t know what it is about the cosplay community that’s changed since I started out, or maybe I’m the one that changed? I don’t know the answer. But all I can do is go back to the source…and go back to why I’ve done this in the first place. It was for fun. I didn’t care about appearances. I’ve never wanted to be a professional cosplayer. I have always just wanted an outlet for my creativity. To be an advocate for the less confident, girls or guys who are feeling currently the way I once did; ashamed of their bodies. I just wanted to make a difference. But I’m done giving back to a community that wants absolutely NO help.

A year or so ago I read an article by Yaya Han, where she said the cosplay community has gone way downhill since she began cosplaying. I can’t disagree with this. I remember at my first NYCC. I was wearing a casual cosplay and I was complimented and had my photos taken. Now, people won’t look at you as a “real cosplayer” unless you’re in 30 pounds of body armor or something. It used to be  a hobby where everyone was really accepting. Now, it’s all a competition. Dog eat dog. Regina George attacks on the daily. Not fun anymore.

So, guys. I’m seriously done this time. You may see me in cosplay, but don’t call me a cosplayer. I’m a person in a costume. Playing dress up. I refuse to fall into a category where lately, I receive nothing but criticism, bullying and grief. I’m in the process of selling off costumes I don’t use for charity events. I don’t know if people all over the place deal with this type of BS on the regular, or if it’s specific to this area. I can’t tell because my following has grown a lot in the past two years, which could play a role in this. NYC is much more divided. There’s NYC cosplay events, but it’s almost too large to be caught up in drama, unless you’re specifically looking for it. All of my problems started when I moved upstate and began attending these events. Is it because it’s smaller, and people are bored? Or is it because I’m more involved in the community than some other people? I really don’t know. I just don’t want to play this game anymore.

Part of me wonders if it’s the rise of the competitive cosplay world. Cosplay contests seem to cause a lot of the problems. I personally have been in contact with a few convention promoters, and we’re talking about the negativity that surrounds the contest. While I understand that it’s a great way to bring cosplayers out to events…I wonder if doing away with them would keep some of the negative few away? Maybe if smaller shows do away with the contests, anyway. Smaller shows don’t NEED them. Larger shows, I totally understand. But for people who are into the competition circuit, I’m pretty sure that your local collectible show’s 1st Place doesn’t matter much to people running, let’s say, The World Cosplay Summit, anyway.

Don’t try and convince me NOT to quit this hobby. I’ve tried sticking it out. I can’t deal with it anymore. I don’t have to do anything that doesn’t make me happy or affects me in a negative manner. My own mental health is more important to me than being “cos-famous.”

 

Reflections on Cosplaying : Undies Update 6/28

So, if you’ve been following my page for a little bit, you may have noticed I’m winding down on the cosplay front lately. I honestly didn’t realize this myself until a good friend of mine messaged me and said “you seem like you’re over the whole cosplay thing, lately, are you okay?” And she’s not wrong. I am kind of over it lately. If you’ve been following me since March you’ve seen first hand, my interactions with [the con that shall not be named] and certain individuals in this community, you might think, well, it’s no wonder that I don’t want to do this as much anymore.

But I mean when I say I refuse to let people steal my joy. And to spit on cosplay as a hobby isn’t fair at all. Cosplay isn’t the problem, it’s certain individuals that are the problem. I can honestly say if not for this hobby…if not for the cosplay community, I probably wouldn’t be the person I am today, right here, at this very minute.

I remember in 3rd grade, being on Weight Watchers with my mother. Kids in my class were calling me fat, and I didn’t want to give them any ammunition. I followed the diet, went to the meetings, and thought that this was normal. It’s really not. I had always had a very negative self image. I remember one girl in my class, we’ll call her C, was ALWAYS picking on me. If it wasn’t my looks, it was the way I spoke, the way I sat, the way my headband looked in my hair, whatever she could use to tear me down. I remember having a crush on a boy in my grade, in 4th or 5th grade, he used me for my kindness and made fun of me behind my back. And the insults were all the same. Fat, ugly, annoying. She can’t wear a two piece swimsuit to the pool party, she’s too chunky.

Their words replayed in my head well after I’d left elementary school and remained there throughout junior high and high school. I also remember saying to my mother, “Nobody will ever want to be with me, I’m way too ugly.” She assured me I wasn’t, that I was beautiful. “You’re just saying that because you’re my mother.” I remember replying. I sincerely believed it. In high school, mind you, I wasn’t even anywhere close to the weight I am now. I was probably BARELY plus sized, breasts aside. Even those caused me problems, unwanted comments from teachers, relatives, and boys at school made me want to crawl into a hole and die. I even tried to hide the fact that I had breasts by wearing boyish, baggy clothes, and doubling up on sports bras. I thought my body was something to be ashamed of.

Now here I am, modeling for a bunch of photographers, posing for shots at conventions, and being invited places to speak about my journey to self acceptance. If you’d told me, this insecure, depressed and image obsessed girl, that this is what I’d be doing right now, I’d probably have laughed right in your face. But here we are, nonetheless. “You have to get lost before you find yourself”, may seem like a cheesy, Hallmark quote but it couldn’t be more true in my case. Cosplaying, and being able to dress in costumes of characters that I know and love, has gotten me so far out of my comfort zone as far as how I dress and what I wear in my daily life.

While going to cons is fun and I enjoy meeting new people, I really feel like my goal next year needs to change. What I really love to do is to get content out there for you all to see. These blog posts, other writings and reviews, speaking on panels, managing things with C-Mart over at EvilGeeks.com, that’s what I really love doing. Cosplay has become too competitive…and it’s not a game I want to play. I didn’t sign up for scrutiny, backstabbing, drama, etc. I just want to have fun, do what I love, and give back a little to this community that’s given me so much. Sure, I’ll delve into cosplay here and there in the future, but I have a feeling Undiesofwondy will look really different a year from now. With grad school and my adult life beginning, I think it’s time for me to hang up the star spangled booty shorts for a bit.

But they will always be there for me when I need them, sitting in my closet, waiting for me to put ’em on, just to serve some justice.

Nerdiquette: How to Properly Treat Your Con Staff and Volunteers

 

This weekend I had the great pleasure of working at my local convention, Albany Comic Con. It’s my 3rd or 4th show working with them, and I am always honored to be asked back. Albany Comic Con holds such a special place in my heart, because it was one of the first events I attended upon moving to the Capital Region two years ago. I was so nervous and excited to get my feet wet in this community of creativity, and I had a blast going to a smaller, homegrown show. Since then, I’ve since become friendly with other convention owners and have had the opportunity to work at many other shows.

But it’s my local shows, in particular, where I notice a trend. Perhaps it’s because I’m so involved and keep up with the local group on Facebook, but I notice people complaining or blaming staff for many things out of their control. As someone who volunteers much of her free time to help out with these shows, I do really take personal offense to this, as do many of my peers who also volunteer. It’s because of this that I decided to compile a list of responses to these grievances.

“It’s too hot/cold in this building.” Literally this could not have less to do with volunteers and staff members. The temperature is affected by so many things. If the convention space is particularly crowded, body temperature and closeness of others raises the temperature significantly. Not to mention — we don’t control the heat/AC — the convention space does. If you come up to us and yell about the heat/cold…there’s literally nothing we can do. Except agree with you — because if you’re feeling it, we’re probably feeling it too. The only difference is that you have the option to leave and we don’t.

“Why are tickets so expensive? You guys should make this more affordable/free for us! Don’t you care about your guests?” Yes, we do care about the guests. That’s why volunteers/staff work closely with convention owners to make sure you’re getting the best show possible. And, surprise! That costs money. If we gave you a free event, chances are, we wouldn’t have the cash to get in the comic guests, vendors, and other people you so love to see at these things. Money also goes to securing a venue, so unless you want to host the next convention in your backyard…but I digress. Sometimes the venue or space increases the rental price and the convention needs to charge more for admission in order to make up the cost. Trust me, the convention is likely not raising prices to pocket more of your money. Most owners will tell you that they barely make back their losses at the end of the convention.

“Why don’t you have more famous people?” Some shows, like Wizard World Cons, NYCC and SDCC, are run by corporations rather than small/local convention owners. It’s just like in the outside world, here. There are Mom and Pop shops, and there is Walmart. Comparing local shows to corporate run shows is like comparing apples to spaghetti. They’re two totally different things. While some small cons use their money to get in media guests, it’s not how every show runs things. Some cons prefer to have artists/vendors as the priority. It’s just the way it works.

“The Staff wasn’t smiling. It looked like they were all miserable.” This shit is hard work. We’re doing a ton of stuff all at once, for absolutely no pay. (I mean, maybe some people get paid? I’ve really never gotten paid while staffing a con. For guesting, yes. But not staffing.) I can recall one local show I worked, where a guest complained on a local group because the staff looked tired, one of the cosplay judges wasn’t even in cosplay, didn’t smile or high five her child. What this person didn’t know was that the day prior, almost all the staff was volunteering at another event, where we were outside all day and nearly all got sick afterward. Sometimes, for shows that are more than one day long, there are afterparties or after hours events that ALSO need staffing, so sometimes staff and volunteers are kept up late. Some shows run continuously for 24-48 hours. Guess what? The con still needs to remain staffed. You never know if someone got stuck working third shift. Also, we’re human beings. Not robots. We have lives outside of volunteering/staffing the convention. You never know what another person is dealing with.

“Why didn’t I win the costume contest? Your judges are biased and they pick only their friends to win.”

This is, perhaps, the one point that hits closest to home for so many of my fellow ACC volunteers. This is someth

ing we hear after every single cosplay contest, and let me just make this perfectly clear…it is 8000% false. I can literally say I wasn’t close personal friends with any of the main ACC winners. I barely know people in this area. I’ve only been here 2 years. My fellow judges are NOTHING but PROFESSIONAL, and to insinuate otherwise is disgusting and shows poor sportsmanship. The majority of people who make this claim do so when they lose to someone else, yet when they win, they have glowing reports of the contest. We work our asses off to pull off a good cosplay contest for everyone. It takes months and months of planning, preparation, and cash (to put towards prizes) and it’s downright disrespectful to treat people who work so hard, to put together something that is requested time and time again. We could simply not offer a cosplay contest, but people would complain about that as well. True story: I know a 9 year old girl who takes loss more eloquently than some adults in this area. If you didn’t win, it’s probably because someone was better than you. It has nothing to do with you personally, and does not define you as a cosplayer. It doesn’t even mean that yours wasn’t as good as person x or person y…it just means, in the eyes of 3-5 judges, someone was viewed as better than you.  If you cannot handle losing, you have no business entering a costume contest.

 

Now that I’ve addressed some of these frequently heard complaints, you may be wondering if there’s anything you can do to resolve some of these issues. The first thing I would suggest is to VOLUNTEER, VOLUNTEER, VOLUNTEER! Cons could always use more staff and volunteer support, and usually, there are nice incentives for helping out — like free lunch and free admission to said event. Also, it’s the absolute best way to get some of your concerns addressed. My 3rd grade teacher always used to say, “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” If you want a specific area improved, volunteer there. There’s no better way to know how a cosplay contest is being run, than to help run it!

If you have concerns, the best way to go about it is to go directly to the source. The con owners welcome constructive critiques and use them to make their show better time and time again. A good business person always takes the customer’s concerns seriously, and it’s no different in the convention world. Facebook posts bashing convention staff are NOT the way to go. Address it with the convention owner, if there’s a satisfaction survey offered, take it and air your grievances there. It makes your concerns more valid and doesn’t make you look like a petty vaguebooker. Believe me, I know how great the temptation is to complain all over social media. I have been guilty of this in the past. But going straight to the source is the best course of action for all involved.

I hope I shed some light on what it’s like to be a volunteer/staff member. I honestly love doing it and it’s how I have met so many dear friends. If you don’t volunteer/have done some of the things mentioned on this list/rant thing, I hope that this enlightens you as well! I encourage anyone who’s worked a con to share some of their stories in the comments or with me personally on the Facebook group. Don’t forget to say “thanks” to a volunteer or staff member at the next con you go to!

 

Metamorphosis: Undies Update June 2016

I’ve been itching to write something since I’ve finally got some time to spare (for a change, huh?) and believe it or not, this entry was inspired by my class. For those of you who don’t know me in the muggle world, I’m an assistant teacher in a Universal Pre-K classroom when I’m not cosplaying/blogging/reading comics. Recently, we did a unit on the life cycle of a butterfly, and we got some caterpillars in our classroom. My class was able to watch the life cycle of a butterfly firsthand, and this week, after our Memorial Day break, we let out butterflies free.

Clearly this blog isn’t to inform you on how butterflies work, so I’ll get to the point. The metamorphosis got me thinking about my own life, and how I’ve changed as a person, writer, and cosplayer, in this past year alone. My favorite human, Walt Disney, once said, “”Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” I feel the same is true for all of us, whether it be about creativity, personal growth, or whatever, we are always changing and evolving as people. Do I think that I’m a perfect person? No. Not by any means. But thinking back to last year, I can see such tremendous growth in every aspect of my life.

I don’t talk about it much, because I hate being pitied and I really hate divulging any deeply personal details of my life, but last year I was going through so much. I was struggling so much with depression, anxiety and mental health in general. I hated my job. I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. I felt like a failure as a person, cosplayer, and friend. Now, here I am, getting regular treatment, taking care of myself, (hopefully) attending graduate school in the Fall for my Masters in Teaching, and sure of myself as a person.

This blog isn’t to brag about how great my life has been compared to last year, I promise. I’ll always struggle with my mental health, I had my fair share of drama in the cosplay community this year as well. But the important thing is…I’m still here, breathing, cosplaying, and living my life. And while I have bad days, I know that I don’t have a bad life. And it could be far worse. It HAS been far worse. And I’ll get through it.

Growth is a necessary part of life. And in order to continue that growth, sometimes we need to go back to square one. If you’ve ever seen Mean Girls– do you remember that one scene where Lindsay Lohan’s character, Cady, goes to visit Regina George (Rachel McAdams) at her house, after she was hit by that bus? Even though Regina was an uber bitch, Cady is able to recognize that she’s made some mistakes too. She says, “When you get bitten by a snake, you have to suck out all the poison, that’s what I had to do, suck all the poison out of my life.” Like Cady, I know that I’ve made some bad decisions and I’m not a perfect person. I can be overly defensive, and it’s caused me to burn some bridges within my friendship circles. It stems from my trust and abandonment issues and my anxiety as a whole. I’m not making excuses, though, and I fully intend to take responsibility for my actions. If you’re reading this and I’ve upset you in some way, shape or form — I’m really sorry. I want to suck the poison out of my life, and I’d love nothing more than to start over with a clean slate for everyone involved. Life is too short to hold grudges. Cosplay is an escape for so many of us…nobody should have to be riddled with anxiety or fear when gearing up to go to a cosplay event. We should all be there for each other, lead by example, and make this community an awesome one.

 

I suck at updating this thing 2k16

Hi guys, I’m sorry I’ve been so absent lately. I’ve been kind of feeling meh lately and I thought maybe a blog post was in order. This convention season has been nothing short of amazing thus far — every event I’ve attended has been amazing, full of kind staff members and great guests, and an amazing experience for myself and those attending alongside of me. However, I think I may have overbooked myself slightly and I’ve kind of watered down my appearances for the rest of this convention year. I’ll be at Albany Comic Con, doing a panel with my COSUnity crew and helping to judge the cosplay contest.

Recently I’ve been really questioning my involvement in this hobby as a whole. I’m really sick of a lot of things that have popped up recently. The egos, the bullying, and the backstabbing have got to stop. This isn’t a fame game. I can honestly say I have NO desire to be cosplay famous or well known in the convention world at all. It’s just sort of something that happened for me. I hate the term Cos-famous…I think it only really has negative connotations and like I said, that’s never been what I’m about. I am SOOOO grateful for every opportunity I receive and I love that I have such a large support system for doing what I do. But I’m not here to be a master craftsman, or to outshine anyone else. This has always, always been about love of characters for me, and through portraying them, making others smile and feeling great about myself.

I’m just kind of baffled about the way I’ve been ostracized from my local community. One day, I feel like I have a million friends and that I’m wanted, and the next, I feel like everyone hates me. I’m vocal about many of my issues, yes, but it’s not for love of drama. It’s because I’m always trying to help others. That’s it, seriously. I never meant to start a turf war between local conventions, or cosplayers, or anything like that. The way I’m being portrayed, as a monster or bully, couldn’t be further from the truth of how I am. I will literally forgive someone who treated me like dirt just to avoid confrontation…I have this weird complex where I want everyone to like me. And yes, I get that’s not the way the world works, but I still hope, and try, and wish that I could be liked and accepted by everyone.

If you’re reading this and you actually have come across me in any way, shape or form, where I came off as a negative person, I really am sorry. I struggle with my demons daily. I have anxiety and depression, as well as a number of mental health issues I don’t really feel comfortable discussing. But I have a handle on them. And I live every day trying to be the best person I can be.

My creativity lately has been so severely stifled by some of the things going on on this community, especially my local community. I literally am afraid to show my face at events for fear of being bullied or made fun of. I just want to go back to having fun again.

Back when I started, there were no groups or social media I had to worry about. That’s when this was new and exciting and the most fun. I did what I wanted to do and didn’t care about likes or who thought I was this or that or the other thing. I just WAS. And I’m really hoping to get back to the core of that, from here on out.

A friend of mine gave me some good advice recently. Delete Facebook off your phone, she’d said. At first I was worried that I’d miss out on something (the FOMO is real, guys) but then I realized the world keeps going without Facebook. I still have Messenger activated, and I have a separate app for my cosplay page management, so I’m not totally shut off, but you’d be surprised how much less negative your life is when you don’t mindlessly scroll through FB at all hours of the day, and see anti-trans, homophobic, negative, shit posts. I really do feel like a whole new person, and it’s only been a few days.

I guess the moral of this story, kiddos, is to know your limits, and don’t be afraid to take a step back and take some “me” time. I started cosplaying for myself, and that’s the only person, ultimately, who needs my approval.

Am I quitting cosplay? No. No, I’m not. But 2016-2017 is going to be full of big changes for me. I’ll probably (if all goes well) be going for my Masters, continuing to work full time, and trying to adult a bit more, in terms of paying off some loan debt and trying to save up for a future for boyfriend and I. But one thing is for sure. Undiesofwondy will always be around, in one way, shae or form. I love writing and keeping this website and blog active are some of my core goals for the rest of the year. I love being able to share myself with you through my writing, and it’s therapeutic as hell to just get it all out, regardless of if someone, or…well…anyone, for that matter, is reading this.

If you are reading this, hi. I love you. <3

Unplugging, Recharging, Updating – Undies Update Week of 3/29

I had to step away from social media for a bit this week. Unplugging is both a necessary and helpful thing for me when I feel swallowed by the anxiety and negativity others impart on me. For those of you who follow me, you’ve probably been privy to at least some of this negative wind garbage, and for that, I sincerely do apologize. This is the last I’m going to speak on the matter and I want to make sure I get absolutely everything off of my chest.

A good friend of mine, who happens to be a cosplayer and person I admire and trust, posted a status today that inspired this blog post. “If I cared about what people said about or to me as much as the rest of the cosplay community does, I would have killed myself by now.” This struck a chord with me completely. I won’t lie. These past few weeks have been by far the worst experience I’ve had with the local cosplay community as a whole. I’ve been so depressed and anxious, to the point that if I weren’t medicated and speaking to professionals, maybe I would have killed myself.

People may think the Internet is all cat pictures and dank memes, but the things I’ve seen about myself in the past two weeks on the Internet have both shocked and sickened me. I seriously laid in bed for about two days straight and sobbed, thinking about it. I was accused of perpetuating negativity, drama, and using my charity/activist endeavours to further my own gain.

I will say this much: I may overshare on the Internet. I only do this because I consider you guys my friends, and I want to be real with you. I’m also highly sensitive, and sometimes I react by posting or oversharing to an unprofessional point. I’m not saying this is right. I know that I have my issues. I’m not perfect. I’m a regular human. My defensive nature comes from years of bullying and mental abuse. When I feel threatened, my claws can come out. I know there are people I’ve hurt and pushed away that did not deserve it. For this, I am sorry. I can admit when I’m wrong.

However, to accuse me of things like “being fake” when I’m genuinely trying to reach out and mend a friendship or open up and share my feelings is sickening to me. How can you base your opinions of me off of the way I reacted to a situation in which I was treated SO poorly, I considered doing something drastic and harmful to myself? Clearly I was upset, my emotions were running high, and after being wronged time and time again by the same individual, I think I have the right to speak out and air my feelings without being accused of dumping my dirty laundry on people.

You don’t have to like me, or even believe me, but I’m a good person. I work hard to make connections in the convention community, not to further my own popularity or means, because this is not a job for me, but to try and help others so nobody has to feel the way I once did. Small, insignificant and alone. I want people to know that they can come to me with their problems and that I will be there for them. To spit on my charity work is also highly disrespectful to me. I was raised by a mother who always taught me to give back to my community in any way I can, and to share my talents for the good of others. I would NEVER use a charity event to further my own means.

To those of you who feel you need to “expose” me for the monster I am — I’m truly sorry you feel this way. If you have a problem with me, I really would like to talk it out with you and hear what you have to say. I guarantee you it’s either misinformation that has lead you to believe I’m this monstrous person, or a misunderstanding based off of how I’ve presented myself in the heat of these super emotional times. I’m willing to talk it out and, yes, even apologize if it calls for it. I’m many things– but unreasonable is not one of them.

For those of you who refuse to reach out and continue to hate on me, I’m choosing now to not let your words affect me. I feel sorry that you have this hatred or void in your hearts that causes you to not accept me. If you would take the time to get to know me, you would know I’m a compassionate person who just wants to make a good impression on this world. I could care less about my social standing — but I care about whether or not people think I’m a good person. Probably because of the aforementioned mental abuses I’ve had to endure that have made me believe otherwise for 3/4 of my life. I’ve worked so hard to love myself and it sucks that people would try and undo that just for their own sick gain.

Consider this a moratorium. I’m bidding adieu to the drama of [convention name redacted] and the people perpetuating this drama. I’m going to continue to hone my craft, to better myself in mind and body, and cosplay like there’s no tomorrow.

 

 

Undies Updates: Week of 3/13

I’ve decided it might be cool to update this weekly with kind of a recap of what I’ve been up to! I love journaling and keep my personal journal pretty up to date but I feel like I should open up more to my followers because a) it seems like there’s so many more of you now and b) I’m open about everything else, so why not? Besides, I really feel like I need to show you guys a side of me that’s more than just various costumes. I want you to be able to know the girl inside of them a little better.

Okay! So since Katsucon I feel like I’ve been moving non-stop in terms of costuming and conventions. Genericon totally creeped up on me…I really thought that I’d have such a huge gap after Katsu to prepare for it but I really underestimated how quickly it would come around. With the urging of two of my best friends in the cosplay scene locally, Jaye Cosplay and Comatose Cosplay, I entered a skit for Genericon, which yes, marked my first time competing in a skit category. I’ve done a few walk-ons at smaller contests but I’ve never really cared about competing. I don’t really like to sew and while I continue to build my craft, I’m more about giving panels, portraying characters and enjoying the big picture than getting caught up in the competitive side of cosplay. (And I mean, let’s be real, isn’t there enough competitiveness in the cosplay world?) But it seemed like competing in skit was all the fun parts about competing without any of the bullshit, so I was glad to do it, especially alongside two great cosplay pals. We didn’t win but I really felt as if people enjoyed our skit– lots of laughs and it was a ton of fun to do. If you want to watch it, you can click here and do that! I also acted as a human prop in my Fairy Godmother for Miss Ellie F Cosplay, one of my favorite cosplayers and people in general, who won first prize in the Youth Category for skit! Yay! I was also able to give two amazing panels and I had a great time giving both.

After Genericon was this weekend’s event, Syracuse PowerCon, where I was a cosplay guest and media guest with my people at Brotherhood of Evil Geeks. We had a blast there too. It’s been like, forever, since I’ve had to give a lecture/panel by myself so I was having a minor panic attack about it, but surprisingly, it went super smoothly! There should be video footage of it soon so I won’t spoil too much, but there were some adorable kiddos present who really made my day!

Personally, things have been looking up! I’ve got a pretty full schedule for conventions this year and I’m just counting my blessings. It’s kind of crazy that people want me at their events, and I feel like I’m actually making a difference in this community! It’s a great feeling to have. I’m working so hard to bring you guys content in terms of this site, my page, modeling and great panels. On top of that, I’m working on my education and hope that my GRE (Graduate Admissions Test) goes well and I can return to school in the fall! Fingers, toes, and other appendages crossed.

That’s it for this week! Hope you guys enjoyed this teensy glimpse into my life! Can’t wait for you guys to see what I’ve got coming up in terms of cosplay. <3

Your Friendly Neighborhood Mary-Jane Watson : A Costume SuperCenter Review

At FantaCon I was lucky enough to portray one of my favorite Marvel cosplays — Mary Jane Watson, aka Peter Parker’s girlfriend. I thought it would be cute to cosplay her in a Spidey Suit, since I’ve seen some fanart picturing her as such. Naturally, when I go looking for ready to order costumes, I look no further than my friends at CostumeSupercenter.com. In cosplay, the “storebought vs handmade” debate is always present, but my opinion is — who cares? You can buy a costume, alter it, and make it as awesome as something that you made from scratch.

This particular suit was the ‘Spiderman Second Skin’ advertised on their site. When I first recieved the costume, it had a mask directly attached to the costume. I cut the head off — as to get rid of the mask, but made a huge OOPS, not realizing that it zippered all the way up to the top of the head. As a result of this, I broke the whole zipper and it fell apart. So, after panicking for 15 minutes, I made the super smart choice to message my amazing friend Elphingirl Designs who calmed my crazy butt down and told me she’d replace the zipper.

Once my zipper drama was solved, I decided to wear this on Sunday of FantaCon here in Albany, where I was a guest and co-sponsor of the costume contest (along with CostumeSupercenter.com, actually!) and I got SO many compliments on the outfit. I loved the fit. I wore it with a layer of Spanx and it held me in very nicely. Spanx are kind of necessary when you’re plus sized and wear spandex, especially the thin kind like on this bodysuit! I really liked the material it was made from, it was soft and very comfortable. When posing for this shoot, I did some crazy bending maneuvers and this suit was able to withstand that, so I think it was made very well.

I’ll definitely be wearing this costume again, and overall I would rate it as my new favorite piece from Costume SuperCenter! Goes to show you that even if you don’t have time to make a costume, you can still look amazing! Go check out CostumeSuperCenter.com for more awesome costumes that you can rock at cons, they have a great selection of videogame, comics and other nerd-like costumes for you to wear.

Stay tuned for my next CSC review — when Batgirl is debuted at New York Comic Con this year!

PHOTOS COURTESY OF TRINACRIA PHOTOGRAPHY – Vincent Giordano.

Finding Confidence in the Nerdiest Places : Can Cosplay Improve Your Self Image?

 

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Photo by Darien D. Hester.

Sometimes, when your craft foam armor that you’ve worked weeks on starts falling apart, or days when your wig just won’t look right, or when you feel totally fat in spandex, it can be hard to remember why we cosplay in the first place. While cosplay can be frustrating at times,  it’s important for me to remind myself why I started in the first place. Continue reading “Finding Confidence in the Nerdiest Places : Can Cosplay Improve Your Self Image?”