EEEEEP. I am beyond excited to go to the Realm Makers conference for the first time this year!!
Along with all the awesome lectures and learning experiences, Realm Makers also has a costume banquet (and a Nerf War!!). I am seriously counting down the days.
But the costume banquet means…deciding on someone to be for the night.
Initially I chickened out and said I might just dress nicely for the dinner and not wear a costume. Then a cosplay-loving friend set me straight. 😛
Very well then. 😀
The trick is – I’m so horribly picky!
Not only do I want the costume to look good, and be relatively inexpensive and easy to pull off, but it’s also incredibly important that it be “very me.”
I didn’t fully understand what that meant until I’d gone through several ideas and found the common thread between all of them. In order for a costume to feel “right” for me, it has to tap into some deep part of my own identity. I must have a personal connection to the character or concept I’m cosplaying. If I’m going to dress up “fake” as someone else, it has to be congruent with who I am as a person! I need that personal connection. I can’t just pick something because it looks cool or because they’re a favorite character. The deep personal meaning is of utmost importance.
I have the feeling that this is true for most people – that whether we like it or not, and whether or not we intend to, the costumes we choose say something about our souls.
Personally, I’m intensely intentional about it. And maybe I’m just overly analytical, but this kind of pickiness makes it really hard to think of costume ideas. 😛
Eowyn’s a character I feel pretty strongly connected with, but pulling off a costume for her would be complicated and/or very expensive. (Not to mention I can’t bring my sword on the plane. That makes it about half as exciting to be her, haha.)
Another of my favorite characters ever, Homura Akemi (Puella Magi Madoka Magica) doesn’t look anything like me. I doubt I could pull her off convincingly, and even if I did it would require me to make or buy a complex costume, as well as wear a large, uncomfortable wig over my own copious hair. That’s a no-go.
Finally a stroke of brilliance hit – I could go as Athena!
I’ve loved Greek mythology ever since I was a child and read the D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys. Athena was always my favorite. She wasn’t typically involved in the stupid erotic hijinks of the other characters in the pantheon. She was goddess of wisdom (supposedly one of my spiritual gifts), warfare (I’m all about spiritual warfare!!) and the arts (how perfect is that??). And her symbol is the OWL, my favorite animal!!
I thought for sure this would be my perfect cosplay.
Then I bought myself a helmet and it ended up being…way too big. I had to awkwardly perch it on top of my head, where it was in danger of toppling off any minute. And that really wasn’t what I was going for. 😛 I pictured myself balancing a helmet on my head all evening, along with an unsteady owl perched on my shoulder, and with that my mental concept dropped from “epic” to “goofy.”
The idea of being Athena soured on me – maybe I’ll tuck that away for another year.
For awhile I toyed with the thought of being Princess Leia, in her Ewok Village dress. My hair looks almost exactly like that, and Star Wars was my big childhood fandom.
But her dress was too complicated. I didn’t want to undertake a sewing project that complex within the next ten weeks, with all the other jobs I have on my plate.
Then, the other night, I was scrolling through Pinterest when I noticed some fan art of the Maximoff twins.
I was suddenly struck by ALL THE FEELS.
I forgot that Wanda loses her twin brother!!
I felt an instant kinship with her at that realization – because of my emotional experience last year, when I wrote a short story in which my protagonist was actually my dead twin (that’s a very complicated tale…).
Writing that short AU story jumpstarted a lot of creative inspiration for my actual book. Without that odd writing experience, my real trilogy wouldn’t be where it is now. Furthermore, it was a very spiritually transformative experience that God gave me right before I needed it most. It seems fitting that my cosplay draw on that aspect of my personal history.
Not only did I feel an emotional connection to Wanda over the lost twin thing, but her costume is pretty cool. AND it would give me a great excuse to buy a red leather jacket, like I’ve wanted to for a long time…
Admittedly I don’t know much about Scarlet Witch – I haven’t even seen Civil War yet. Bad Marvel fan! (Actually, just a busy Marvel fan with four kids…BUT it turns out that my husband and I are finally seeing it tonight!! Yay!)
I wrote this post a couple of days ago. At this point, I may or may not have a final decision on what to be for the Realm Makers banquet. 😉
But no matter what I ultimately choose, it’s going to have to come from my soul, even if only I can see the connection. It will be something I relate to on a deep emotional level, something I am trying to share about myself, even as I show off a favorite fandom.
Have you ever cosplayed? What is your rationale for choosing a character or concept to portray? Do you feel like your costumes say something about your soul? I’d love to hear about it.