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Unread 06-26-2009, 07:41 AM   #1
luckylucy73
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Can you become a professional cosplayer?

I know what a professional cosplayer is but I have been wondering for a long time, how do you become a professional cosplayer?

Are you a professional cosplayer? if so how did you get your job? and do you make all of your cosplays that you wear?

I would love to become a professional cosplayer one day because I love cosplaying so much ( It probably won't ever happen, but i can dream! ) and I was wondering if anybody has any tips on making it into the 'business'.

Thank you for your time <3
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Unread 06-26-2009, 09:33 AM   #2
Mangochutney
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The short answer is that you don't. I don't know of anyone who actually makes a living cosplaying: any 'big-time' cosplayers you see are almost certainly taking commissions and very probably working another job besides. There are temp agencies that will hire pretty people out to wear a Supergirl outfit for a con booth or promo, but that's not really cosplay.

If you'd like to have your professional livelihood tied to costuming, my recommendation is to look into some sewing classes and start poking around for theaters that need help.
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Unread 06-26-2009, 09:46 AM   #3
AI_Sparky
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Aye. The only people I can really think of who would have the opportunity to intentionally choose to cosplay for a significant portion of their workload, who wouldn't have to deal with the modeling industry, would be successful manga-ka, and making convention appearances is just an offshoot of their primary profession.

Basically, creating a successful manga is about the only profession I can think of that potentially anyone could accomplish provided they have the talent to do so (ie, nobody else can stand as a barrier to your own ability to succeed or fail)... that would result in someone actually paying you to come to a convention.

I make this observation with Fred from Megatokyo in mind.
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Unread 06-26-2009, 10:11 AM   #4
The Hag
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckylucy73 View Post
I know what a professional cosplayer is
Then you've got one on me, seeing as how everyone has a different idea of what cosplay actually is. Is it making the costume? Wearing the costume? Being in character? Doing that at a con? Anime/manga characters only? There are various jobs that incorporate one or a few of those. There are costume designers, seamstresses, actors, models, theme park mascots, booth babes. But given that the definition of cosplay is so nebulous, I'm not sure what the job description for a professional cosplayer would look like.
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Unread 06-26-2009, 10:29 AM   #5
Camarilla
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All in all, like it's been said, you really don't. Depending on the context you're using 'cosplay' in, anyway - being hired out as a mascot for conventions and events would be about it, but that's on-commission and would be hard to get in the first place (if it pays at all - I'm pretty sure that people invited to cons to hold a panel get in for free but don't actually get ten bucks an hour). If you were born rich enough to not ever have to worry about getting a job, that's about the only way I could see cosplay/costuming supporting you, haha.

However, if you just mean costuming in general, wearing one and walking around in character - there's always Disneyland.
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Unread 06-26-2009, 11:05 AM   #6
Cora
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There's no such thing as professional cosplaying. The closest you would get is to be a model of some sort or a character performer. But to me, that's not cosplaying because you don't get to choose the costumes you wear or make them. As a model, a designer makes the clothes and you show them off, as a character performer, you're acting a specified role.

Cosplay is not really a 'business,' or an industry. It's simply a hobby, and many of the people who do commission will tell you that it's not exactly the best way to make money. For several, it's simply a way to fund their own costumes and they have regular jobs.

Bottom line, though, is that you're not going to find someone to pay you to make costumes and then go around to conventions to flounce for a weekend. It just doesn't work like that.

As others have said, if you are interested in costuming as a career (costuming, not cosplaying), then you should look into costume/fashion design, and then you could work with theatres and (if you're really good) film productions. But it's a tough job.
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Unread 06-26-2009, 11:34 AM   #7
princessrei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cora View Post
Cosplay is not really a 'business,' or an industry. It's simply a hobby, and many of the people who do commission will tell you that it's not exactly the best way to make money. For several, it's simply a way to fund their own costumes and they have regular jobs.

Bottom line, though, is that you're not going to find someone to pay you to make costumes and then go around to conventions to flounce for a weekend. It just doesn't work like that.
Agreed agreed. Most my thoughts were the similar to Cora's.

The beautiful thing about this is that anybody has potential to become better. I used to feel the same way when I began cosplaying, that maybe some people are so popular and pretty and talented that they're just lucky. I learn it takes work and learning to get to all of that. And nobody's EVER perfect.
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Unread 06-26-2009, 02:29 PM   #8
ShinobiXikyu
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The only thing I consider "professional" cosplaying is someone who's really, really, REALLY damn good at it and has been doing it for many years (think Cosplaylab.com's "Spotlight" section). Not necessarily making a career out of it. Pretty well everyone else has said that's it close to impossible to make a full-time career out of cosplay already, so no need to insert my extra two cents on that one.
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Unread 06-26-2009, 03:32 PM   #9
AI_Sparky
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This isn't the 16th century... we don't reward the talented for merely being talented.

Cosplay is ultimately a hobby. People who professionally design clothes are fashion designers, people who professionally wear clothes are models, and people who design anime clothing are manga-ka.

People who make anime clothes to wear are cosplayers (which is a hobby because there's no profit from it). People who make anime clothes for OTHERS to wear are commissioners... and they run the very real risk of being sued for illegal merchandising if they become too successful.
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Unread 06-26-2009, 08:38 PM   #10
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You know what a professional cosplayer is? Then please tell the rest of us, because none of us know. Not even those of us who've been cosplaying for over ten years.
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Unread 06-26-2009, 09:20 PM   #11
PurpleDuckie
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I assume professional cosplayer = booth babe???? In which you have costumes made for you, and you would probably need a modeling portfolio and possibly an agent to find you the job. If any are available that is.
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Unread 06-26-2009, 09:54 PM   #12
Tatsu-chan
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that is quite an interesting concept though of a professional cosplayer
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Unread 06-26-2009, 10:26 PM   #13
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Hmm...I think a professional cosplayer is some one who is REALLY good. You know, the cosplayers that make the showcase costumes on our very own cosplay.com Or the kind of people that have no life and spend ALLLLL their time making millions of costumes for themselves ^^;; So if you think of those as professional cosplayers, then it's pretty easy to become one. You just gotta be willing to spend all your time and money into make those "super epic" cosplays >_<

Professional cosplayers could also be defined as those really popular cosplayers. You know, the ones that a lot of people know? Ex.: Katie, Misato n PenPen, Elsch, etc. But those professional cosplayers are the ones who make the showcase images/costumes ^^;; But I consider them to be professionals <3

Either way, no matter how good you are at cosplaying, you'll unfortunately never be paid In fact, you lose money by cosplaying since everything is so expensive XD Oh well....Fun and happiness come at a price >< And for cosplayers, it's a very heavy price
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Unread 06-26-2009, 11:18 PM   #14
Sutie
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hmmm... the closest I know of a professional cosplayer would be those on a national team for World Cosplay Sumit
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Unread 06-26-2009, 11:29 PM   #15
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hmmm... the closest I know of a professional cosplayer would be those on a national team for World Cosplay Sumit
What do those winner actually win? Is there money involved? :P Otherwise, yeah, not a career.

I think of "professional" cosplayers as being the ones who have their own personal websites that they more or less use as a modelling portfolio and they sell prints of themselves in costume. Not enough to actually live off, though.
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