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Unread 01-24-2013, 08:36 PM   #1
dotingly
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I love to cosplay, but I don't like going to conventions?

... And it's pretty terrible.

Because of my acute anxiety, I lost the ability to leave go to conventions awhile ago. I was never very fond of them though, being extremely quiet and shy and never letting myself make any friends while at conventions for the constant fear and paranoia of them secretly judging me/hating me/whatever. While I'm at conventions I obviously get very nervous and tend to hold my friends back because I'm afraid to pose for pictures, go to any panels, or do just about anything that's fun. The last time I went to a convention (two years ago), I made my friend sit on a bench with me for hours because I was too afraid to move.

I love cosplaying. I love cosplaying and I love being able to dress up and take pictures for myself, but I feel terrible about wasting so much money on things I'll never be able to show other people and go have fun with.

I want to go back to conventions and try to have fun there because I'm jealous of my friends that can do such things, and they're all very supportive of me, but I'm just wondering if there is anybody else who likes to cosplay but doesn't like/chooses not to go to conventions? I feel like such a minority, haha!!

I'm also sorry if this was completely misplaced, gaaaaah.
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Unread 01-24-2013, 08:53 PM   #2
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I just went to my first and I'm super shy too. I nearly had a heart attack when a friend convinced me to get up and sing "Infected" in my Shilo costume in front of the entire Repo panel. o_O

But at any rate, I've been cosplaying for years without going to cons. I love just being able to personify my favorite characters, whether it's while acting something out or taking pictures with my friends, or even when I was little, just running around in the corn fields in my Star Trek uniform pretending I was Captain Janeway on an alien planet. I think that as long as you're having fun, it doesn't matter!

And you could always have a mini-con/costume party with a couple friends sometime if you wanted a manageable group atmosphere.

I hope I've said something vaguely helpful and not just rambled on lol
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Unread 01-24-2013, 08:53 PM   #3
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I've never really been interested in conventions myself. I've had a bad experience with a creepy kid at my high school, and apparently guys like him are a dime a dozen at conventions. Not to mention, I did read the "Convention Horror Stories" thread in this very forum. I am warming up to the idea because of artist alley, though.... the prospect of buying things sans shipping fees is pretty appealing!

Do you think you could maybe do a private photoshoot with a few good friends and then share them online? That way, you wouldn't need to go to a convention to share your costume.
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Unread 01-24-2013, 09:00 PM   #4
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Something that might help you is maybe going to smaller meet ups. Look around/ask around on here or on Facebook and see if there are any small fandom meetups near you. That way you will get to show off your costumes in a less hectic and crowded environment. The meetups during the spring and summer are generally held in public parks, and are much more laid back than conventions. See if some of your friends would want to join you, once you start getting comfortable at meetups, you can then seek out small local conventions to go to. Just take it a little bit at a time. Also remember, that people at conventions are generally not judgmental. Keep in mind that most people are incredibly absorbed with themselves and are more worried about what they look like rather than what everyone else looks like or is doing. No one is going to single you out because of your cosplay and most people will respect your space. Just stay away from large cosplay meet ups or photoshoots at conventions and you'll be fine.
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Unread 01-25-2013, 05:03 AM   #5
RydiaValentine
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Do photoshoots. Some of my favorite cosplayers don't go to conventions, unless they're kamekos or have a cosplay group. They usually do photoshoots. Besides, the costumes will look better this way.
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Unread 01-25-2013, 05:26 AM   #6
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If I can do it, you can do it.

2005: Went with one friend. Was quiet, and met up with a few of HIS friends. I felt out of place.

2006: Brought young brother with us. Friend's girlfriend at the time came with us as well. Wasn't too comfortable with my brother that year with us. Made the year kind of a living hell for me, but I also was inspired in 2005 to make AMVs, so this was my first year competing. Was worth it to be part of something, without being infront of people.

2007: My two AMVs made it into the contest. Didn't win, but felt like I was part of it. Friend of my friend's girlfriend joins us this year. Pretty enjoyable year.

2008: First real cosplay. Sadly, my hat didn't work out for me. Pants were too tight, but easily replaceable. Felt like a mess still.

2009: My first year MtF crossplaying. This took a bigger jump in guts than anything before it. Walking out in a dress and heels was pretty darn scary outside of the hotel, and my makeup suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked. I mean, I was orange. Seriously. It was awful. I try to forget that year, but I am sure others won't forget the orange male Chii.

2010: Returned to try as Chii and tried better. Still kinda failled, but wasn't orange, so yay!... Eyes bearing down on me still kind of uncomfortable, but I didn't let that get to me.

2011: Crossplay becomes near-second nature. Get a Cardcaptor Sakura crossplay. Greatly improve. Friends see me, and one was shocked at how much better I have gotten. Less eyes glaring.

2012: I trapped a gameshow host. Made my year. Sure, I was in front of an audience, but you know, when I was in that moment, it was awesome. My team loved me. The host called me "Secret surprise" If being infront of a gameshow in a dress didn't build me up, nothing would. In the end, we won, I knew alot, and my team actually looked at me for a bunch of answers.


So, from 2005, I am there, just me and one friend, and me being super quiet, to 2012 with me being a decent cosplayer/crossplayer who has the guts to get up on a gameshow stage in front of a huge audience.

As you can see, I segwayed myself to where I am socially these days. I try for fun. I say, go with a friend, and start from there. Being accompanied by a friend should help loosen you up. Once you are into the con, it will feel like home, and everyone not at the con will practically be ignored.
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Unread 01-25-2013, 05:54 AM   #7
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I don't cosplay but I do suffer from that same sense of acute anxiety. It can be a bear to cope with at times and I'm guessing it comes from a sense of being a perfectionist. Am I right?

The best advice I can give for that is simple... stop being so hard on yourself. People are cruel... they do judge... and they'll do whatever it takes to get ahead. You know what though? No amount of worry, fear, or predicting what will happen will change any of that. Go out there and be the best you can be and at the end of the day if that's not good enough for your friends, family, or anybody else then forget them.

Chances are that all of the worries will slip away once you get out there though. Cosplayers get so much love and love melts away all anxiety (among a ton of other things that ail us human beings).
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Unread 01-25-2013, 06:27 AM   #8
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I find that people don't often judge at conventions. We're all geeks and nerds and there for the same reason. If anyone is judging you, then they are really not worth your time and energy to think about it.

Try going to a few smaller conventions around your area. Going to big conventions can be overwhelming. Like I said ease your way back into it but doing some smaller cons first. Also try to go to meet up and gatherings for the series you are cosplaying from. You'll end up meeting people with the same interest, and it could help you talk to people more easily.
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Unread 01-25-2013, 07:10 AM   #9
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I don't get terrible anxiety, but I do become extremely nervous at conventions to the point where I start getting adamant against talking to anyone. I suppose I just always think I will say something incredibly stupid or the like.

But not even that, I've found lately that I am losing a bit of interest in conventions myself but my love for cosplay is only growing. I am probably going to try and just throw myself back into the convention scene though. It's really the only thing I can think to do because I also have friends who still want to go to cons.
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Unread 01-25-2013, 07:35 AM   #10
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as someone with panic disorder, I can understand how hard it is to go to cons with a bunch of people, which is why I prefer smaller cons. I'm also on medication though and it helps me a great deal. Probably also helps that I met a lot of my friends on facebook before actually getting to the conventions.

Try going to some small gatherings at conventions, too. It's a great way to meet new people
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Unread 01-28-2013, 06:31 PM   #11
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In my first two years I went to conventions, I was really nervous and shy. I even went to those first cons with my friend/sister (but not fan of anime) even though I had fun, I still feel a bit sad. All I did the whole con, is looks through dealers and take pictures of cosplayers. Later, I made friends in high school and they were anime fans. I even got them into cosplaying.

So, I went to a con again with my friends and had a blast! I made friends and contribute a bit in panels! I guess all I need is a little push to socialize whenever I complemented someone's cosplay!
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Unread 01-28-2013, 07:46 PM   #12
emmisu
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honestly when I go to a convention I'm so much more focused on seeing everything and shopping and actually getting around all the people than I am on what people think of me!

Last Otakon I had my first Artist Alley table though, and that was so nerve-wracking!
Having people appraise my artwork and decide if it was worth buying and taking home scared me half to death, but I sat through it and I had friends help me and people actually seemed to really like my stuff (who wouldn't, for $5 a print lol)

Everyone has their nerves, sounds like it's a serious thing and I totally believe you that it's hard to just get up and deal. I'm sure your friends don't mind helping you out, but I also sympathize with the guilty feeling of doing that. I felt like I took away all of my friends' con time with them helping me out at my table.
But it turned out they were so happy to have a place to sit and a solid meeting spot, they said it was the best and most relaxed con they've ever been to!

So my advice?
Take it slow, take it easy. Arrange a photoshoot with your friends or go to a Cherry Blossom Festival (if there's one near you) or just a much smaller scale con, and at the small scale event get a little acquainted with the crowds.
Your friends won't mind, if they did they wouldn't wait for you. they'll probably be happy to be off their feet for a while haha

You can do it, baby steps are encouraged
Good luck!
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Unread 01-28-2013, 08:25 PM   #13
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I feel as is you don't really dislike conventions, instead you just haven't found out what to do while at the convention. At least, something that you don't feel the voice in your head telling you that everyone is staring at you. Does that generally happen just at cons? Or any place in general with many people?

Back to the topic: Don't give up. Look around for small conventions you can go to as those are normally not as crowded and you're bound to just see people multiple times. That was how my first con was, and it was..Well nerve-wracking since I was afraid of asking people if they didn't mind a picture. But that is just shyness, and if you don't tackle it then you'll always be afraid.
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Unread 01-28-2013, 08:44 PM   #14
Voodoo Doll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dotingly View Post
... And it's pretty terrible.

Because of my acute anxiety, I lost the ability to leave go to conventions awhile ago. I was never very fond of them though, being extremely quiet and shy and never letting myself make any friends while at conventions for the constant fear and paranoia of them secretly judging me/hating me/whatever. While I'm at conventions I obviously get very nervous and tend to hold my friends back because I'm afraid to pose for pictures, go to any panels, or do just about anything that's fun. The last time I went to a convention (two years ago), I made my friend sit on a bench with me for hours because I was too afraid to move.

I love cosplaying. I love cosplaying and I love being able to dress up and take pictures for myself, but I feel terrible about wasting so much money on things I'll never be able to show other people and go have fun with.

I want to go back to conventions and try to have fun there because I'm jealous of my friends that can do such things, and they're all very supportive of me, but I'm just wondering if there is anybody else who likes to cosplay but doesn't like/chooses not to go to conventions? I feel like such a minority, haha!!

I'm also sorry if this was completely misplaced, gaaaaah.
Like everyone else is saying, the best thing you can do is break things down; step by step, till you feel comfortable going to conventions again. I'm also shy and get really nervous when talking to someone I don't know. It's a good thing that you have friends that you enjoy cosplaying. I'm sure your friends understand you and your anxiety, so don't think that you are holding them back. A friend would never think that.

The first thing you should do is write down what you just told us in a journal/diary or even a piece of paper and keep it somewhere were you can look at it time to time. Writing this on a paper will help motivate you and give you a reminder. Also, on the same piece of paper write down the steps that you will take to help achieve your goal. Step one should be something you feel comfortable doing like go around the neighborhood/block in cosplay or take cosplay pictures with friends. Step two is something you still feel comfortable with but a little bit out of comfort zone like go for a walk with a friend or perhaps go through a drive-through in cosplay. And so on until you are comfortable going to convention once more.

Also it's not a bad thing rewarding yourself either. Let just say if you go around the neighborhood in cosplay you should treat yourself with your favorite food or maybe something small like a new accessory for a cosplay.

Other idea is you can do is go to the convention in normal clothes and not cosplay for the first half of the convention. Once you feel up to it or the atmosphere is to your liking change into cosplay.

And if your are going back to conventions try to start off with some small ones. That way you don't feel like you are being surrounded. ^.^

The first convention I went to was Zenkaikon (Pennsylvania, US) it's in the middle I would say. It isn't too big nor is it to small. But I didn't cosplay because honestly I didn't even knew cosplay existence till I got there. I brought a camera to take picture and man was I nervous. I was so shy and only took picture when other people where taking pictures of the cosplayer (I still ask the cosplayers for pictures). I probably only took about seven pictures total. >.<
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Unread 01-30-2013, 11:39 AM   #15
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I think Voodooo doll has some good ideas, but I know I'd never ever ever never ever go around the block in cosplay. Cosplay goes from house to car to event, and that's it for me. Maybe a drive-through or something, but that's it until I get to the convention. Being alone in costume is far more nerve wracking than being among fellow cosplayers.

Smaller conventions and photoshoots are the best way to go.
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