Like many people, I was cosplaying before I knew what it was called. It’s not an unusual experience to have a rough time in middle school, and on top of it, I was kind of weird because being a geek wasn’t a cool thing back then. There was also one other detail: I was obsessed with “Jurassic Park” and dinosaurs and anyone remotely involved in making of the film. I had the ‘making of’ book and I read it every day.
|“Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth.”|
My family thought that it was a bit weird. I mean, I was pretty much obsessed with one topic. But instead of drinking and doing drugs, I was wearing out a video tape of “Jurassic Park” and showing an enthusiasm for science and acting.
I guess now that I write things* for a living, people tolerate it a bit more.
Does it go beyond just not getting it, or just wanting to keep things real?
Cosplayers, writers, artists, and otherwise generally obsessed fans are actually some of the most ‘real’ people I know.
Everyone knows it takes guts, as a writer, to put your work out there, but it takes a special level of honest to get into a characters’ head, play around, make yourself unregrettably uncomfortable, and then send that material out to strangers who will tell you exactly what they think.
Cosplaying isn’t much different. You spend all of this time making and/or assembling pieces of your costume, then you go and wear it in front of hundreds or thousands of other fans (and in some cases, the actor who portrayed the character you are now dressed as).
While writers must be clear, our medium is still words on a page. People can’t criticize it if they aren’t moved enough to read it in the first place–but with illustration and cosplay, you’re showcasing a single idea, enthusiasm, interpretation, and a moment in time just based upon a single image. And like all art forms, it must go through the lens of interpretation from each viewer.
Anyway, if you want to dive headlong into the fandom of a movie, TV show, or video game, go for it. As long as you don’t lose yourself or other aspects of your life (relationship, income, a significant amount of sleep), there’s seriously no shame in it.
*Things like blogs and articles about movies as well as works of fiction.
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