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Unread 05-13-2016, 11:29 PM   #1
FBOS
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To Be in Character or not to Be?

I was wondering, how many of you guys actually stay in character while walking around at a convention? Like not just posing for pictures, but the full on act?

Do you guys do skits as you walk throughout the convention venue? Do you make it up as you go, but by predicting the way your said character would react?

I'm a fursuiter, so my entire public image is dedicated to staying in character and speaking in character no matter what. Pretty much acting-out is my game. If I'm standing stagnant and not moving around, then people won't take an interest in asking for photos.

I have noticed, the more I move, act out, interact with people, and move in general, the more likely I have caught people's eye and they ask for pictures. I've had stagnant moments where I was combing through what I could do because I had ran out of things to play with.

To help with that, I have recently purchased a shoulder-slung boom box speaker to keep me busy with dancing. I saw a Deadpool at Naka-Kon in Kansas City, Missouri with the same boom box and he had a crowd around him that was thoroughly entertained. Being the jelly tauntaun that I was(I had a fanny pack speaker and OMG it was NOT doing its job above the Con ambience!) I went home and immediately sought out that boom box on amazon.

I got my birthday money a day ago and I purchased one. I have a convention coming up next weekend. I'll be there all day, before opening to bring in the crowd and after closing. Cannot go wrong with music, people love it!

What are some methods you guys use to keep your act fresh for pictures and entertainment purposes? Suiting has actually kept me from spending money, believe it or not. I'm so busy suiting and entertaining people, my wallet comes home still full of the money I can spend on something else. Or, I don't end up spending as much as I could if I'm out of costume.
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Unread 05-14-2016, 12:14 AM   #2
SirWonderusMary
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This is really hard but from my perspective you should limit what you act out - you should be able to do it when you're in a fursuit/mascot, around children and a character you know the other person knows. When you're in a mascot, I feel like you could get away with staying in character the entire time and it attracts people to you but if you're dressed as someone horribly sarcastic and "evil" - you're going to get people who dislike you if they don't know that you're acting out the character's personality. The best thing I could say about this is that you should be weary of body language of the people around you and only play out a role if you know you won't annoy or ruin another convention attendee's day.
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Unread 05-14-2016, 01:28 AM   #3
Helara
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It depends. You could argue I'm a bit in character a lot of the time when I'm in my Winter Soldier costume as I don't really smile much and I do "walk with a purpose" when I'm going anywhere but that's just me and those things taking on a different meaning because of the costume.

I only go into character for photos, masquerades or for a bit if somebody uses the characters name to call for me and I've thought up a little bit on the spot to respond with. The rest is me being myself.
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Unread 05-14-2016, 02:02 AM   #4
FBOS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirWonderusMary View Post
This is really hard but from my perspective you should limit what you act out - you should be able to do it when you're in a fursuit/mascot, around children and a character you know the other person knows. When you're in a mascot, I feel like you could get away with staying in character the entire time and it attracts people to you but if you're dressed as someone horribly sarcastic and "evil" - you're going to get people who dislike you if they don't know that you're acting out the character's personality. The best thing I could say about this is that you should be weary of body language of the people around you and only play out a role if you know you won't annoy or ruin another convention attendee's day.

I agree with that. I don't really get near people that are uncomfortable, I always let people come to me. Since I"m in this huge massive crowd. depending on the convention, I kinda just draw attention to myself. I'm surrounded by hundreds of people and they like a big fuzzy stuffed animal tromping around.

Kids are their own thing. Some children love me, others are not so hip, but sometimes I can win them over.

I am not for scaring people, unless I am in a scary costume, but even then, I stay where I'm at and let people watch me move around from a distance. I don't like scaring people intentionally. I do have moments where I want to be not so cute and cuddly and attract a different kind of crowd. But, I agree, it's best not to terrify con-goers, lol.
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Unread 05-14-2016, 04:50 AM   #5
Syon
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I'm almost never in-character. Because I think it would confuse most people, especially when they don't know the character I'm cosplaying. Also one of the characters I cosplay is...kind of evil and paranoid. Most people who interact with me at a convention want to interact with me, the person inside the costume. And my costumes aren't typically those that appeal to children, like Disney princesses and super heroes. If a child comes up to you, acting incharacter can make their day.

But I think its different for fursuits and mascot costumes, because those highly profit from acting incharacter and people tend to be more used to that being "the norm". Probably because of theme parks like Disneyland.
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Unread 05-14-2016, 08:24 AM   #6
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Music, no. Nononono. The Deadpool you saw was a very rare (and temporary) exception to the fact that people playing their own music at conventions are annoying and intrusive. Deadpool with a boombox is a bit of a fanon thing, and Deadpool is very popular right now, so while generally people roll their eyes I can see why that one, acted engagingly, was able to draw a lot of people who wanted to interact. A humanoid tauntaun doesn't have that.

I'd say a humanoid tauntaun doesn't NEED that--you're a fucking humanoid tauntaun, your thing is a different thing entirely! Music is irrelevant to your schtick. Don't introduce a potentially irritating factor to it.

And normally I'd say don't RP, but you're in a fursuit and you're not talking to people or being a person so fuck it, RP your heart out. As long as you're letting people come to you instead of getting into their business uninvited, you're fine. I recommend humanizing some natural tauntaun behaviors to add variety to your in-character experience. Scrape 'lichen' off walls in a feeble attempt to feed yourself. Root through 'snow' for the tiny, hardy plants that must sustain your bulky reptilian form. Look awkward and uneasy as humanoid awareness of your original form's rank, oily stench dawns upon you.

Or you could just do pop-n-lock stuff. Fursuiters do seem to like doing that.

And to answer your other question, no. People do not do skits as they walk along. Most people don't do much RP at all, and thank god they don't. It's only fun if you like the character and the person; otherwise, it's awkward and irritating. Even if you DO like the character and person, it's still awkward and irritating if they don't know when to drop the act. Self-indulgent public theater is fun for the performer and almost no-one else. Fursuits get a bit of a pass on this because what else are you going to do? But don't be a pain in the ass about it.
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Unread 05-14-2016, 11:04 AM   #7
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I do fursuits. I only do character when it's clear the person wants to interact with the character rather than the other way around ( i.e. Parents brnging their kids over) or if I work a children's party. Otherwise? Heeeeck no. I don't want to be obtrusive or obnoxious.
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Unread 05-14-2016, 11:49 AM   #8
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I pretty much am never in character when I cosplay, I'm not an actor/good at acting so it's embarrassing for me.
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Unread 05-14-2016, 01:08 PM   #9
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Music really only works if the music you're playing is a big and identifying part of your franchise. The Deadpool you mentioned is about the only exception to this rule, because they can basically be as obnoxious as they want and still be in-character. People just roll their eyes and go on with their business. However, for any other characters, you shouldn't blast music at a con with a loud boom box. Now, if you're in a big empty space with no crowds or people or booths nearby, then it's fine to dance with a group (if you have one) or start a dance that everyone knows (like the Cupid Shuffle, Cha-Cha Slide, or Macarena - just NOT the Harlem Shake, because that can get wild). I've heard group dances being started before in big empty spaces, and everyone gets into it. I'd love to participate in one myself! However, playing music should be a fairly quiet thing at cons, only so those immediately close to you can hear. For instance, I'll be playing my ocarina in a couple of weeks at a VERY busy con. I'll only play it in spacious areas though, not in crowds. The ocarina is soft enough to not be intrusive, but just loud enough to be recognizable. If they want to hear you play, then they will come closer!
Now, about acting in-character, it's really only acceptable in two cases. (1) If people approach you and obviously know/like your character, then it's fine to act in-character with them, as long as they act like they are enjoying it. If they start to look at you strangely, then stop. (2) If you’re a character that probably everyone at the con is familiar with -- like Darth Vader, Harry Potter, or The Little Mermaid Ariel -- then sure, act in-character as much as you want. Fake force-choke, wingardium leviosa, and sing to your heart’s content. Same thing goes here, though: if you’re obviously annoying more people than you’re entertaining, then stop and go on with your business.
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Unread 05-14-2016, 01:27 PM   #10
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I wish I could act in character. I've had people come up to me a few times in character trying to interact/do a little RP (like in my Meowth cosplay I had a trainer come to "battle" me and another trainer asked me why I kept trying to steal Pikachu), but I'm not good at thinking up anything on the spot and it comes off super cringy.

If I do end up learning how to act in character, I'd probably only do it to those who know the fandom I'm cosplaying from, because I feel like it'd be too confusing for people who don't and I don't want to seem weird (I mean, weirder than I already am in cosplay lol)
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Unread 05-14-2016, 01:29 PM   #11
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I might make a joke here and there that's in character but aside from that I'm never in character. If they like my costume or the character then they like it and if not, no harm done to me.

I agree with the music idea. Please don't. The only time I don't mind it is at the Charles Street Lobby at Otakon. Which looks like this. At that point I've already braced myself for noise and being stuck around all sorts of people. I actually have pretty sensitive ears (thanks, bar with a live band that had no idea what they were doing and decided that all of Maryland needed to hear) so being stuck next to someone blaring a boombox at volumes loud enough to play over con crowds is an actual nightmare for me, and I'm sure people have worse ears than I do. Be respectful of that.

And sometimes I have issues with people who insist on acting in character 100% of the time. Most of the ones I've encountered seem to use it as an excuse to act like the greatest asshole in the world.
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Unread 05-14-2016, 04:40 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by micro-babe View Post
I might make a joke here and there that's in character but aside from that I'm never in character. If they like my costume or the character then they like it and if not, no harm done to me.

I agree with the music idea. Please don't. The only time I don't mind it is at the Charles Street Lobby at Otakon. Which looks like this. At that point I've already braced myself for noise and being stuck around all sorts of people. I actually have pretty sensitive ears (thanks, bar with a live band that had no idea what they were doing and decided that all of Maryland needed to hear) so being stuck next to someone blaring a boombox at volumes loud enough to play over con crowds is an actual nightmare for me, and I'm sure people have worse ears than I do. Be respectful of that.

And sometimes I have issues with people who insist on acting in character 100% of the time. Most of the ones I've encountered seem to use it as an excuse to act like the greatest asshole in the world.
I had a tiny boom box at Planet Comicon, last year and people loved it, actually. They liked to see the tauntaun running around with music. The reason why I like to have music is because my jaw on my head actually moves when I talk and to be running around doing gestures and actually singing along is very hypnotic to people and I like to play that to my advantage.People come to me when they see how animated I am. However, when it came to pictures, I more than happily would hold the boom box AWAY from the person I was getting a picture with, especially children since the boombox was down on their level. I would put it away and Behind me, if I could. Didn't have any complaints on that end

I also like to dance, personally. Nothing professional, but it keeps me cool as well if I'm moving around A LOT. I don't overheat as fast. It does help out with the performance quite a bit, but I can understand how it might be obnoxious. I'll take the advice and keep my performance with the boom box, at least to a wide-open area. I usually stay in the cosplay area at the convention, which is wide open, anyways. Only when the convention is starting to die down do I start to wonder the isles.

Having a tail and limited vision is not a good combination for squalls of people in a tiny isle, especially when people want pictures. I have got the acting down to a T, though. I would practice for hours in front of the mirror at home because I had nothing else to do with my time, lol. I stay at home taking care of a deathly ill sibling, so I have a lot of free time to mess around with my costumes, do charity events and go to conventions to keep my creativity fresh.
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Unread 05-14-2016, 07:23 PM   #13
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anything you see a deadpool doing, do the opposite of that and i'll like you 2348092840% better.
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Unread 05-14-2016, 08:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Mangochutney View Post
And to answer your other question, no. People do not do skits as they walk along. Most people don't do much RP at all, and thank god they don't. It's only fun if you like the character and the person; otherwise, it's awkward and irritating. Even if you DO like the character and person, it's still awkward and irritating if they don't know when to drop the act. Self-indulgent public theater is fun for the performer and almost no-one else. Fursuits get a bit of a pass on this because what else are you going to do? But don't be a pain in the ass about it.
I love you mango, never change. Just quoting because I couldn't have said it better myself.

I NEVER roleplay. I'm over 40, it's weird. When you're 14 it seems like way more fun but I can assure you, the people around you are not enjoying it the way you are.
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Unread 05-15-2016, 06:17 AM   #15
Syon
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I love you mango, never change. Just quoting because I couldn't have said it better myself.

I NEVER roleplay. I'm over 40, it's weird. When you're 14 it seems like way more fun but I can assure you, the people around you are not enjoying it the way you are.
Now, if I wouldn't know you are a cosplayer, I would think you are one of those people, who write nasty comments about adults being interested in videogames, animes and cosplay, because thats childrens stuff and not something a proper adult can enjoy.

From someone who has a general interest in roleplay I can say, that roleplay generally needs context to be good. Reading other people and an understanding of situations is important for that.
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