Saturday, January 11, 2014

Why I Decided to Get Involved in Shows

"Egotism is the drive to maintain and enhance favorable views of oneself, and generally features an inflated opinion of ones personal features and importance."

I think it's safe to say that we have all known someone who was an egotist. Sadly, in the world of costuming more and more egotists are popping up. Some people believe that they are better than others, certain costumers are competing with each other and many are caught up in racking up the most "likes" on Facebook as if their very lives depended on it. I've personally known people who got involved with conventions for one reason and one reason only; to see their names on the Guest List and brag about it to high hell. It has nothing to do with helping the show as a member of the staff or meeting with people interested in our craft. It's to be a "Cosplay Celebrity" or a "Professional Cosplayer." Because of the behavior I've personally seen live and in person, I had sworn off getting involved with shows in an effort not to be like the Cosplay Egotists but all of that changed at the 2013 Pittsburgh Comic Con.

I'm going to be blunt; there is no such thing as a "cosplay celebrity" or a "professional cosplayer". Every time I see or hear that term, I laugh myself silly. I truly believe that that is the most idiotic term I have ever heard. Cosplay is a hobby, not a profession. If you make and sell your own costumes and props, then you are a costume maker/seamstress/designer or a prop maker. Would you put "Professional Cosplayer" on a job application? If you did, I'm sure you would be laughed out of the office or they would look at you like you had three heads. And what makes a person a "professional or expert cosplayer"? If you have experience then you can just as easily say "veteran cosplayer". Throwing in "professional" or "expert" is just a BS way of making someone appear glamorous and important. Now comes the title of "cosplay celebrity". True, there are certain costumers who are more well known than others but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are the best or celebrities.

A cosplayer is a cosplayer. Plain and simple. The fancy titles are smoke and mirrors.

I never wanted to become a costumer who sought the spotlight. I got into costuming to express my fandom, not to seek fame. I've seen people change in their search for cosplay stardom and I was afraid I would be following down the path of egotism if I got involved with shows. But then I was asked last minute to be one of the judges at the Costume Contest at the 2013 Pittsburgh Comic-Con along side Freddie Nova. Although I was bewildered, I accepted. It was truly a learning lesson for me and completely changed my perspective. A lot of that has to do with the gracious Freddie Nova. Freddie is beautiful and very talented. Her liquid latex Venom photos went viral and she has an enormous fan base. Everyone from comic creators to comic fans and cosplayers knows who she is and yet she is very humble. She treats everyone with respect and was incredibly encouraging to every person who took the stage. I saw for the first time someone use their position to spread positivity and it was beautiful. I learned from her shining example and was sure to smile at all of the contestants, encourage them and even spoke to a few of them afterwards and online. Many were first timers in costuming who had many questions. It felt wonderful to help others and I want to continue that.

I'm currently scheduled for 2 more local shows. I'm not doing it to see my name in lights and I actually make it clear that I do not want to be credited as a 'professional cosplay celebrity". I'm simply a cosplayer who wants to reach out and support the community. So think of me as a Goodwill Ambassador of Cosplay, if you will. But never a professional cosplayer. *laughs*

1 comment:

  1. Hi Victoria! Great site! My name is Maddie. Do you have an email address I can contact you on? Thanks and have a great day!