Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cosplay thrill junkie

Last Friday it started in half way of my workday. It was like my stomach was replaced by whirligig. Two hours before I could leave, I was going through the steps my make-up would require and in what order to put on the different pieces of the costume. I also made a schedule for the whole process; how long did the glue take to dry, when could I eat and were there time for fix things if I screw something up. When I was free I cycled to home like I had a hole in my head and got almost hit by a car. I got home with pounding heart, excitement tossed me around my flat before I halted and said myself, “Okay, now I’m going to take advantage of you”. “You” being cosplay thrill, anxiety to dress up, curiosity to see the impact of your costume and longing for the gratification of your work.

I have performed for ten years and I’ve had only few serious stage frights. Usually I only have a nice itch before the show starts. The process of putting on the costume is like preparing to take the stage. First appearance in costume is like a launching party of an actor. My pre-costume thrill is little negative like a bad stage fright. It makes me impatient, sloppy and nervous. It takes deep breaths to harness the anxiety and turn it to positive energy. But when it’s achieved, the concentration is on its own class and it’s easy to drive determinately towards the wished result. In other words, the good cosplay thrill is starting to kick in. When at stage it works the same way. The excitement turns to a power source; it makes you more sensitive and shows you that you care of what you are doing.

Theater and cosplay aren’t so different for me; both of them keep me interested because of the atmosphere, relations between the “show” and “audience”. From acting I have learned that I want to make people feel and part of anxiety before the performance is the urge to see how you manage to do it. Finnish audience is in a way ungrateful, because it restrains reactions. As a difference between theater and cosplay, in theater you are performing an act; the audience might just be interested in the text itself or in the work of the director. Some might only be there for public relations.

In cosplay the reactions are produced by you and your creations. The audience is everywhere. You can raise feelings in people who don’t even know what cosplay is. Compliments or only long looks assure you that you have done well and that is something I’m aiming for. The best thrills I get just before stepping out in costume, where it from car to convention area or from my apartment to the staircase. The pleasant, tickly feeling makes me smile stupidly even if I try to keep a straight face.

I want to make an impact with my work and what could be better demonstration of it than horrified screams of teenage girls or tipsy young man inquiring had I bathed in well recently. It's the best reward one could have. For a moment, in random encounter at random place you feel you have something in common with that particular bar fly, who obviously likes horror movies. Your performance has been accepted and it has touched someone, raised curiosity and questions or need to stare just a moment longer.

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