Everyone starts cosplay as a beginner. For some, it's great fun, a way to take the edge off a bad week at work. For others, it can be a way to make new friends with similar interests. After all, when you're surrounded by sports nuts at work, it's hard to get up players for a game of Dungeons and Dragons. For the hardcore cosplayer, the role play can quickly become a competition or even a business. The point is, no matter where you are in the cosplay world, you're going to run into beginners. So play nice!
It takes a lot of nerve to dress up as Superman or Wonder Woman and plow into a crowd of
strangers who may be critical of every stitch and wrinkle of your costume. "That's the wrong shade
of red in your cape." "Better come as Etta Candy next time, honey, because you're no Wonder Woman."
I've never heard either of those phrases or their like at any show I've attended. I hope I never do.
Still, beginners fear such cruelty. Why am I concerned? Keep reading.
At every show, you'll see someone in a not so great costume. We all don't have hundreds of dollars
to spend on costumes and accessories. Perhaps some would be players lack the ability to create the best costume. Give the noobs credit. At least they're trying to get into the game. As I said before, it takes a lot of nerve to walk through that door in costume the first time. Try to have an encouraging word for the new kid.
At one big show, at least big for my little area, I noticed a young girl, sitting by herself. Now, she may have been tired. All that walking around, viewing displays, and yes, being viewed, can wear you out fast. This girl, however, seemed to be lonely. Perhaps she was even a little sad. It's the writer in me. I tend to make up a story for someone based their situation as I see it. That's how I create characters and stories. This shy girl struck me as someone who felt out of place among her peers. Wearing a comic character tee, she should have blended right in. Fiddling with her phone, alone, she was missing all the fun. Now I could be wrong. I may have just found someone tired and ready to go home after a great day of mingling with friends at the convention. It didn't seem that way. It felt like I was seeing someone who wouldn't be coming back. Passing by, I tried to say a word or two. "Hey, come visit us at loredagger.com," was what came out. I'm an old guy, so I didn't want to look like a creep hitting on a young girl or like a heartless businessman making another pitch. Inviting her to visit the website was about all I could say without invading her space too long. I would have liked to ask how she liked the show, who her favorite character was and encourage her to keep coming. I hope she stays interested in the cosplay world. Sometimes we all need some harmless escape from reality, not another kick in the teeth from our own kind of folk.
So to all the cosplayers out there, play nice. Talk to the new guys and gals. You were the new kid once, yourself.