For those who don’t know, cosplay is short for costume play, or, short for those-who-wish-Halloween was-everyday. Cosplay is one of my not so guilty secrets.
In the early 1980’s I discovered Star Wars and anime conventions, back then it was hard to find anime unless you attended a con or event. Computers weren’t as widespread, and the internet hadn’t taken over (cell phones, laptops—what the heck were those?! Oh, you mean like in James Bond?). Yeah, I know, I’m ancient.
If you wanted to cosplay, you got creative—there was no Hot Topic to help you out. My friends and I would hold secret meetings about whom or what we would go to the next event as, and what we would be planning for next Halloween. But we took it a step further, why not dress up whenever we wanted and go hang out at an all night diner? The waitresses hated us, and the patrons always asked what play we were in. Of course we garnered strange, blank stares when we told them we weren’t actors. Back then our salvation was the SCA and Ren-fairs.
In the 90’s cosplay started taking on a whole new level for me, mainly because more events started popping up. I attended one of the first ever Labyrinth of Jareth masquerade ball, found an entire brave new world through Burning Man, and costuming became a big part of many smaller artsy events. Burning Man is where I discovered my first taste of Steampunk. Black Rock City is a cosplayer’s heaven!
The whole point of this post is to inspire you to try a little cosplay. You don’t have to be a teenager. At every single event, I’ve met the most interesting 80 year olds living it up in the poshist of styles imaginable, all ages are present and having a wonderful time. No one cares what age you are, or what nationality, or sexual preference, the world is welcome and celebrants seem to have an endearing, innocent hope for a better tomorrow.
And don’t use excuses for not trying it out. There are events in just about every state. In Louisiana (where I currently reside) there are steampunk events, pirate events, vampire balls—do a little key word research on the web and you will be surprised by what you find. Facebook is another good resource for finding gatherings in your area. One of my favorite states in the U.S. is Oregon. Oregon hosts a plethora of cosplay goodies: The Vampire Ball, Zombie Prom, Faerie Worlds weekend festival and the good and bad faerie ball, and not to mention the Steampunk Film Festival, you name it—there’s something for everyone. And let us not forget the comic and fantasy cons which are in practically every state now too. If you were really resourceful, I bet your schedule for dressing up would have your weekends filled!
Now in the 2000’s, when people ask my age, they are surprised because I feel younger and look younger than I ever have—my secret: Cosplay. Having a little fun outside the boundaries of this constraining world does wonders for one’s vitality.
Want to add some reading fun to your costume play? Then check out my erotic steampunk adventure Mile High Airship Club. Tea, airships, and stockades—oh, my! DecadentPublishing
To read more adventures and free stories, go to: http://www.nishiserrano.blogspot.com