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Unread 07-30-2013, 09:33 AM   #46
supergeekgirl
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Wearing cosplay outside of a convention center is pretty common in the U.S. At Dragon*Con, it's basically a giant street festival, so half the people you pass are in costume (at least). Same with other big cons that take up multiple hotels. I can't think of a good reason to go change before going back to my hotel or going out to eat (maybe to keep from getting food on a costume, but whatever).

I'm part of a Ghostbusters club that goes to public events in costume. I've also been doing a lot of other events besides cons (birthday parties, science events, etc.) as the Doctor in the past year, and I'm not embarrassed about it. It's a thing I do. People stare. People ask questions. They go on with their lives. I'm there for the people who asked me to come to the event.

There are a few rules you ought to consider for public costuming, however.

1.) Limit how "in-character" you are. If I'm actually at an event PLAYING the Doctor (I don't get paid, so I can't say "hired", but I host things), I will be totally in character. If I'm going out to Hardee's, I won't. Particularly if your character is rude, don't take that with you.

2.) Answer people politely. As weird as it may seem, not everyone knows about our subculture. If they ask questions, answer them (out of character is best) without being condescending or flippant. Even if they say something that might be considered offensive inside the convention world, stay polite. They don't know any better. Hey, and maybe you could prepare some answers to give. Think of how you'd explain your costume to a family member who knew nothing about your favorite show. Do you sew as a hobby? Do you want to explain it in terms of acting or make believe or even modeling? If you have answers ready, you won't be caught off guard so much.

3.) Don't be disruptive or do anything illegal. Trespassing is still trespassing in costume. If you think you're in a public place, but someone asks you to leave, LEAVE. Don't argue. Don't come back when they're not looking. Just go. It's not your property. How would you like it if a band of people just started tromping through your garden or climbing on your front porch? Remember, just because it's a business doesn't mean they have to allow you to play on their corporate art.

4.) Avoid overt sexual positions for pictures taken in public. It's hard to gauge what people will find offensive, but it's always a sure bet that, if you're in an area populated by families, you should avoid sexual positions in your pictures. Now, I don't usually apply this to small, private areas of convention centers, so if you find a sitting room unpopulated near the con area, you're probably good to go as long as there's no nudity. Just don't take your yaoi poses into public parks or, again, corporate art.

5.) Understand that you're back in the minority outside the con. This doesn't apply so much to big cons that take over a city's downtown, but when you're at a smaller con or some distance from the convention center, don't forget that you are not the majority anymore. You're coming into the world of out-of-costume people wearing something strange or scary even. You may be asked to take off your mask. You may get a lot of questions. You WILL get a lot of stares. You need to learn to take it in stride. YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING CONTRARY TO DOMINANT CULTURE. With that comes consequences. Now, if someone does something bad to you (hurting you or harassing you), you can absolutely call the police. Please do! But if someone is staring or asking questions, instead of snarking or crying or shouting or complaining on your blog about all the people who thought you were really weird, think about this:
I ran a convention called Bishie Con, and one year, as we were packing up, some of us still partially in costume, an Orthodox Jewish group started coming in. The women all wore long dresses and scarves, and the men all wore curls around their ears with wide hats. As they moved past us, they stared, and guess what? We stared back. In the end, we talked to each other about our subcultures, and it was a great experience because I saw a glimpse of how "normal" people might see us when I looked at them. We'd never seen their subculture. They'd never seen ours. Remember that ALWAYS when you're out in public in costume.
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Unread 07-30-2013, 09:50 AM   #47
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I currently live in the Philippines and the people here are almost extremely accustomed to us cosplayers already XDD I have been in trains, malls, random gatherings with friends in colored hair and confusingly manly clothes. So basically a casual cosplay. XDD There are several cons here every month, though I would think that most of them aren't as big as those in the US.

I'm very comfortable in costume with friends, but alone I'm a little shy XDDD But when I'm with friends I couldn't care less about the stares we get, it's just hilarious and it's fun to be in the costume of a character you love!
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Unread 07-30-2013, 12:33 PM   #48
Randommerade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supergeekgirl View Post
Wearing cosplay outside of a convention center is pretty common in the U.S.
I live in the U.S. There were surprisingly very little cosplayers outside Anime Boston this year though. Kind of sad.
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Unread 07-30-2013, 04:25 PM   #49
Amanita
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I'll say "Hell yeah" to everything Supergeekgirl said.

When dealing with non-cosplayers, don't drag them into games or roleplaying schtick that they may not understand. Let them approach you, don't chase them down.

In regards to point 3 that supergeekgirl made, sometimes asking first can go a long way. If you want to get your picture taken with a cool sculpture on an office tower plaza, asking security might go over much better than them suddenly having their plaza taken over by a bunch of people whose dress and mannerisms they might not understand.

I say this as somebody who's spent almost a third of her life working in private security. We security guards (well most of us anyway) aren't bad people or killjoys, but we do have a job to do, to keep people and property safe. If I see a mob of people converging on the site I'm guarding, it's going to get my attention. Now, if somebody from that group were to approach me, explain themselves and ask nicely "We're part of a costuming/Anime/Sci-fi club, may we take some pictures on the plaza/with this cool sculpture?" That would go over much better. I might have to lay down some ground rules, such as "no climbing on the sculpture, no roughhousing or horseplay, don't block traffic, and keep the noise level down"- those are the rules of the site everyone is asked to follow- tourists, office workers, and yes, cosplayers too.

And sometimes the site rules may be such that there are places where photos aren't allowed- Security at One Penn Plaza in NYC invited me into their building lobby when they saw my costume, which was a personification of their building. But they couldn't let myself (or curious tenants either) take photos in the lobby, those were the rules they were given to work with.
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Unread 07-30-2013, 04:43 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randommerade View Post
I live in the U.S. There were surprisingly very little cosplayers outside Anime Boston this year though. Kind of sad.
I think one big reason why they may not have been outside so much is because the convention center is in a mall. Anything a con-goer may need will likely be in there.
Also, the weather often plays a large factor, and it was kind of icky out, at least Friday.
Anyhow, that's what I figure. Not sure if there were other reasons.
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Unread 07-30-2013, 04:53 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquamista View Post
I currently live in the Philippines and the people here are almost extremely accustomed to us cosplayers already XDD I have been in trains, malls, random gatherings with friends in colored hair and confusingly manly clothes. So basically a casual cosplay. XDD There are several cons here every month, though I would think that most of them aren't as big as those in the US.
The U.S. is certainly the best place to be a Cosplayer especially if you live on the East or West Coast as there are many major conventions in those areas. The Northeast and Southern California in particular have many major cosplay conventions per year.
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Unread 07-30-2013, 04:59 PM   #52
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I have a few stories to share ;3

Once after a con my Mom needed to grab something at Target after picking me up so I wound up going through Target as Jadzia Dax; uniform, spots and all. While we were shopping a man and his 5 year old son passed by and the man said 'say hi to Dax!' which was beyond cute. And I confused the daylights out of a group of three woman who just did not expect to see a trill at target that day xD But they were light hearts and fun.

I wore Raven (teen titans) out in this school field thats in my backyard ish area for a photoshoot and a jogger gave me a thumbs up and said 'keep up the awesome!'

Strangely my worst reactions have happened in my most 'normal' outfits.
I've gotten some srs stares in my Jack Frost and Maka Albarn get-ups.
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Unread 07-30-2013, 05:53 PM   #53
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ok...here's question ( since I'm new to cosplay)...i'm going to a Con in Novemeber...my outfit is HUGE...and by HUGE, I mean HUGE!!!!! -it might cause manueverability problems --I don't want to lessen anyone else's experience, but I don't want my design to suffer either....

How over the top has anyone ever gone to make the point of the costume?

Cheers,
Jenn
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Unread 07-30-2013, 06:56 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supergeekgirl View Post
I'm part of a Ghostbusters club that goes to public events in costume. I've also been doing a lot of other events besides cons (birthday parties, science events, etc.) as the Doctor in the past year, and I'm not embarrassed about it. It's a thing I do. People stare. People ask questions. They go on with their lives. I'm there for the people who asked me to come to the event.

There are a few rules you ought to consider for public costuming, however.

1.) Limit how "in-character" you are. If I'm actually at an event PLAYING the Doctor (I don't get paid, so I can't say "hired", but I host things), I will be totally in character. If I'm going out to Hardee's, I won't. Particularly if your character is rude, don't take that with you.
You don't charge for you character entertainment services? Usually as a character actor and entertainer, you could demand payment. That's awesome that you do events! I've been trying to get into doing that, but seeing as I don't resemble my character very much it is hard for me to get hired even though I have the act down and (for the most part) the look

I'm glad that you took the time to list those rules and explain them all really well. I find that people who are newer to staying in character when they cosplay sometimes take their characters too far and this is definitely something that they need to be aware of. Especially if their character isn't widely recognized. For example, recently I was at a cosplay meetup and I encountered a Ciel cosplayer who was in character and they started interacting with me (me as Jack Sparrow), and I noticed that they became very bossy and pushy, and even pulled me down to the ground because, I guess, they thought that Ciel would do that. Luckily for them I was familiar with the character and we were in a convention-like setting, but I still found their behavior to be very obnoxious (and they still FB message me in-character actually.. I don't respond though because I won't talk to people as Jack on FB :P).
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Unread 07-30-2013, 06:58 PM   #55
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scootergirl Usually conventions don't allow you to wander around the general convention halls if your costume exceeds a certain size. For example, I think some cons say that if your costume extends more than 2ft from your body, you can't walk around the hallways like that because it causes mobility issues for people surrounding you. So you may only be able to display your costume when you are outside of the convention center or participating in a photoshoot. If your costume is really HUGE then you probably should not try to navigate the convention halls in it anyways regardless of the official convention rules.
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Unread 07-31-2013, 11:01 AM   #56
supergeekgirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SweeneyTodd View Post
You don't charge for you character entertainment services? Usually as a character actor and entertainer, you could demand payment. That's awesome that you do events! I've been trying to get into doing that, but seeing as I don't resemble my character very much it is hard for me to get hired even though I have the act down and (for the most part) the look

I'm glad that you took the time to list those rules and explain them all really well. I find that people who are newer to staying in character when they cosplay sometimes take their characters too far and this is definitely something that they need to be aware of. Especially if their character isn't widely recognized. For example, recently I was at a cosplay meetup and I encountered a Ciel cosplayer who was in character and they started interacting with me (me as Jack Sparrow), and I noticed that they became very bossy and pushy, and even pulled me down to the ground because, I guess, they thought that Ciel would do that. Luckily for them I was familiar with the character and we were in a convention-like setting, but I still found their behavior to be very obnoxious (and they still FB message me in-character actually.. I don't respond though because I won't talk to people as Jack on FB :P).

I've had people offer to pay me, particularly for the Ghostbusters appearances. We figure, since these are licensed characters, it's best not to take money though we do sometimes ask for big events that they feed us and give a donation to a child-related charity in our name.

You look pretty well like Jack Sparrow. People love Jack impersonators. There's one locally that DOES get paid, but he's so thoroughly in character that it's amazing.

Our Ghostbusters appearances have run the gamut of everything from having a table at a local toy show every two months to running on stage for burlesque shows to private children's parties. It's fun, and since that's something most people know (unlike the Doctor), we get more requests than we can fill.

Because I had so many people who wanted to extend the RPing with the Doctor into my facebook life, I created a fan page where I post videos and photos in character. People talk to me on there, and I answer in character (unless it's an event inquiry). It's a nice way to separate things without going full-on RP like I'd probably have to do on tumblr.
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Unread 07-31-2013, 11:04 AM   #57
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I almost got arrested for wearing a cosplay because the cops in downtown chicago thought we were a flash mob out to rob tourists on michigan ave.

And I was cosplaying as Honey from Ouran High School Host Club and the people I was with had no large weapons or props.
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Unread 07-31-2013, 05:04 PM   #58
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One of the skyscrapers on my "Must personify and cosplay this!" list is One Astor Plaza- if anyone here is from NYC, they'll know it as the fin-crowned skyscraper that sits right alongside Times Square. It also houses the MTV studios, and a major Broadway theater. So it's something of a landmark.

I want to get into the costume and get my picture taken in Times Square while wearing it- after all, Times Square is home for that particular tower. But I don't want to be mistaken for one of those buskers who charges for photos and harasses tourists. Yikes! I suppose the thing to do might be to pre-emptively approach one of the cops there together with whoever my photographer is, and explain ourselves and what we would like to do, so that they don't mistake us for buskers or the like.
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Unread 07-31-2013, 08:01 PM   #59
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When I went to a convention in Manchester it was about a 20 minute walk from the trainstation to the convention. I was dressed as the Arkham Asylum Joker, full make up and my friend was The Doctor. Besides the typical smiles and laughs, I played along with it since the joker is a very well known character.

The best moment is when I photobombed a group of Asian tourists that where just out and about in the city taking random pictures of buildings! I bet that's a interesting picture in their photoalbum!
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Unread 08-01-2013, 03:35 AM   #60
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On my way home from a convention, everybody started worrying about my health, how am I not cold, how I will catch a cold. (I do not like to change at cons, so I go all the way there and back in cosplay.) Literally. The guy who sold newspapers, a random lady while waiting for the tram, another woman further away... Okay, it was a chilly April, but I wasn't feeling cold (turns out satin can be really warm, no matter how thin it is. ). At least not until they started speaking about it. O.o
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