I had put the Convention Survival Guide on hiatus because of... Stuff in my life. But now I'm back up and running and I'll try too update at least once a week.
I have cosplayed myself a few times and found there are some... specific problems. Cosplaying is fun, but requires a ton of planning. Which sometimes needs to be chucked out the door because you where a bit too eager to do a certain cosplay. Trust me, been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Several, to be honest. But that is a different story.
But how do you prepare best for a convention when it involves cosplay? Are there certain things you need to do or take care of? Yes, plenty to be honest. First off, conventions are crowded, so floppy wings, long swords and staffs or bulky props are photoshoot only. Keep it in your room or at a wardrobe so the nice steward doesn't have to give you an earful about how your prop is a dangerous thing. Second, make your cosplay sturdy. A lot of people means it may break when faced with a crowd.I know there will be some groans with the first advice, but trust me, you'll keep yourself out of a whole lot of trouble but NOT taking such things. As an addition to the second advice; take a sewing kit with you. Breakdowns do happen, be prepared to fix it fast.
On to competitions. Fashion shows are all about you costume, so you wanna go mad on it. Plan a year ahead, from purchase of materials to completion of the costume. Pick your battles: do you want to wow the judges with a big project with lots of bells and whistles or just cram lots of detail in a simple suit. Take logistics in consideration as well! What good is a fantastic cosplay if you can't take it with you.
Act competitions are a whole other animal. A strong script, good overall concept, performance and sound/visual design are important here. Nobody wants to see an act of Sasuke en Naruto kissing any more. It's boring and uninteresting. Drama scores low too. Keep it light upbeat and at a good pace. Fast enough to keep everyone's attention but slow enough to understand what's going on. Place characters in situations that takes them way out of their comfort zone or have a character say or do something out of left field. It may shock fans before they laugh.
For both competitions the same thing applies: read the rules, thoroughly. Find out what deadlines you have. Write several drafts of your script and have others judge or scrutinize it. Criticize your own work and push your boundaries. Only then you can truly know the art... of cos-play.
Until next time!