You mean I have to keep smiling?

Hello all!  I’m Megan’s friend Angelica.  She’s mentioned me a couple times here. I guess I’m going to be a contributor now.  Back in April Meg asked me to write something about my experience attending Wonder-Con, in San Francisco.  It’s a tad late I know.  But enjoy.

I’ll be the first to admit that part of the reason I cosplay is for the attention.  I love being asked by random strangers if it’s okay for them to take my picture.  I also love hearing the reaction from people when they see me in my costume.  There is something truly gratifying about the whole experience.  I’m sure many other cosplayers feel the same way.

So it always surprises me when I come across those few cosplayers who don’t like the attentions what so ever.  Sure some of those might be shy newbies but then they soon get over their hesitation and embrace the attention the world offers them.  There is however, that small group who are just plain douche bags.

What do I mean by douche bags?

These are the people who dress up in awesome costumes, which would logically be very popular with the masses but then they are annoyed when someone compliments them by asking for their photograph.

One of my first experiences with this type of cosplayer was at Comic-Con in 2008.  It was for a Doctor Who panel and as I recall there was one guy dressed as the tenth Doctor.  He was a spot on look alike and of course he was very popular.  David Tennant look allike took pictures with a number of people and when I finally got my chance he totally brushed me off and told me no, he had to go away now.

Okay, granted he had been taking pictures for the past twenty minutes and I’m sure he was probably tired of posing but I think he could have refused in a nicer way.

I will sympathize with him on that part.  I remember having to pose for thirty plus minutes of photos last year when I had dressed up as a Dalek.  I remember at one point my checks were burning from having to smile for so long.  I also remember being chased by a fan wanting to take a picture of the Dalek girl.  And in my defense I did not know she was chasing me until she caught up.  I had somewhere to go but I still posed for her, after all it only takes a couple of seconds for a photo…sometimes.

Okay I guess David Tennant look alike can have a pass from the douche bag department.  I forgive him only because I only witnessed him brush one person of, me.

Any ways, recently I attended Wonder-Con in San Francisco.  This years Wonder-Con was unfortunately where I ran into the one cosplayer who prompted me to write this tirade.  Did I also mention this year marked the tenth year I would be attending the con, so running into this cosplayer compounded the lack luster that was my milestone anniversary, but I’m going a bit off tangent.

Back to the A-hole of a cosplayer; coincidently I had the misfortune of running across this cosplayer at another Doctor Who panel.  This guy was dressed as the very popular and very noticeable, Weeping Angel.  A Weeping Angel!

I had the bad luck of nearly missing the Doctor Who panel so I had no experience interacting with the weeping angel inside the Esplanade Ballroom.  That was the massive ball room where most of the popular panels were being held.  My experience was with him was outside the ballroom.  I remember being really excited hearing there was a weeping angel so I made it my goal to find it.  And sadly I did.

I approached him very politely, well as politely as I could muster for being so happy that I found him.  I asked “May I take your picture, please?” Imagine my surprise when he replied “you can take my picture but I’ll be walking away.”

I think I must have stood there dumbfounded for a few seconds, as I watched him go away.  As my friend said when he heard about the incident “Wait, you encountered a cosplayer that DIDN’T want [their] picture taken? My mind [is], blown.”

I would have grudgingly forgotten about the incident, since I know a couple of people (*cough, cough* Meg and Maggie) who have way better looking weeping angel costumes.  Unfortunately, we ran into him and his group a couple more times.  He was posing for pictures this time and I quickly took a couple and I watched as other people posed with him.

At one point there were these two children, they looked about eight or ten.  They were clearly Doctor Who fans, or at least their parents were since they showed an obvious fear of the angel.  The mom was trying to get them to take a picture with the angel but they were hesitant to stand too close.  The photo session was running long.                So what did A-hole cosplayer do?

He grabs the two kids by their arm and pulls them closer to speed the photos along!  Can you image the fear these kids must have felt as the angel reached out for them?  Everyone watching thought it was hilarious.  I was annoyed.

Part of that warm fuzzy feeling you get from the attention is the reaction from the kids.  Let’s face it these kids who attend conventions will probably grow up to be the future cosplayers of the world. So I always feel a certain responsibility to be patient and accommodating to kids.   For kids, it’s more real.  I’m not just some girl dressed in a costume, I really am Belle, or for my friend she really was Harley Quinn to that little girl sees her favorite comic book character come to life.

Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but for me sometimes cosplaying means being as real to that child and not to traumatize by adding to their fears.

I got too preachy I know, but he really scared those kids!

The whole session ended with weeping angel dude brushing off a guy and his lady by saying he had to go find a Darth Vader to take a picture with.  Personally, I don’t even find the irony of Darth Vader and a weeping angel.  Darth Vader and the Doctor, maybe.  But a weeping angel and Darth, I’ll just roll my eyes at that.

I had a point some where here.  Okay, my point is, as a cosplayer I feel I have a certain obligation to those who ask for my photograph.  After all cosplayer and fans have this symbiotic relationship going.  Cosplayers get validation that their costume is as awesome as they think it is by fans asking to take their pictures and fans get to see their favorite characters come to life.  It’s a win/win situation.

Cosplayers, remember with great costumes comes great responsibly.  So don’t be a douche bag.  Conversely, fans if you see person in costume being fed Tylenol and water, maybe asking them to take a photo is not the best idea.


One thought on “You mean I have to keep smiling?

  1. This was actually written a while ago…it’s been stuck in the queue for posts for a bit. For some reason, WordPress wouldn’t let me post it before. That has changed now, so…here you go!

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