Cosplay has become a huge industry over the last few years. Far from its roots as something that obsessed science fiction fans get up to at conventions, cosplay is now pretty cool, and people with all sorts of interests are taking to the idea. It makes sense in many ways, because cosplay is really just dressing up for grown-ups, and why should kids get all the fun of becoming a warrior princess or a medieval knight? With cosplay, you can play dress up adult style.
Finding out about cosplay
If you don’t know much about cosplay, it’s worth doing a bit of research first. You’ll find plenty of websites with information on how to get involved in cosplay and details of events that are local to you or specialize in the areas of cosplay you’re most interested in.
If science fiction is your area of interest, then you’ll have plenty of opportunity to try your hand at dressing up as Princess Leia or Han Solo; but remember this is where it all began, and there’s going to be a lot of competition for the best sci-fi legends outfits.
Is cosplay competitive?
There is a hotly competitive side to cosplay. Conventions and other events that invite cosplay usually offer prizes for the best costume in different categories, and for some participants, the need to win drives them to spend a great deal of time and money creating the perfect costume.
If you want to compete as a cosplayer, then you’ll need to study other people’s costumes to see how high the standard is. Note the attention to detail, and the accuracy of the best costumes. For example, if you’re dressing up as Captain Jean-Luc Picard and you’ve only got two pips on your shirt instead of four, your chances of success are remote.
If you’re serious about making an impact, you can have a lot of fun using special fx materials like silicone and polyurethane rubber, the kinds of materials the professional special effects wizards use to make monster masks and alien landscapes.
How do I make contact with other cosplayers?
If you’ve got some friends who are also interested in the world of cosplay, you can go on your dressing up adventure together, but if you’re on your own it can be a huge help to get to know other people who have the same interests.
Have a look on Facebook or other social media sites for local groups of fans, or browse the adverts and links on cosplay related sites. Try looking at specialist sites that cover your topic of interest, because joining up with other people who are into vampire cosplay is likely to be more rewarding than hanging out with people who prefer the Avengers.
People who take part in cosplay say it’s not only highly enjoyable, but it’s a brilliant way to manage stress. Playing pretend is the perfect way to forget your daily cares and worries and escape into a fantasy realm for a while, so why not give cosplay a go.