When It Isn’t Halloween

It is so insanely hard to type on an iPad, especially when I am not in the least bit familiar with an Apple keypad. But the laptop went down today, and could not go onto the Internet even though it assured me that it was in fact connected. But gosh I really hate auto-correct. If people dislike other people correcting their grammar and second-guessing what they are going to say, I cannot see why they tolerate a machine doing just that. No, auto-correct. You are wrong again, just as you always are.

And you always end up hitting the wrong keys. Oh wait! The internet’s back on the laptop again! Ah, I can finally get on to the topic of this entry.

We all know this isn’t Halloween. All Hallows’ Eve was on the 31st of October, when people (mostly the young) decked out in creepy costumes and went around collecting candy. But I wonder if some of you have seen strange costumed folk from time to time, boarding trains like us, dressed in ninja gear, or carrying suspiciously genuine swords, colourful wigs. And they only looked at you peculiarly when you offered them a toffee.

They may just have been ready to attend the EOY (End of Year) cosplay festival last Sunday. The EOY attracts cosplayers every year, and tonight would have been their J-pop concert held at the Esplanade, featuring Haruna Luna (you know, the one who sang Overfly for Sword Art Online) and some others. But it doesn’t matter whom these faceless names are, because the concert has unfortunately been cancelled. One of their main sponsors pulled out. Oh well, I doubt they had much ticket revenue when their cheapest ticket cost $99 and we are all still reeling over our AFA expenses.

I didn’t go for the EOY because I’m not much of a cosplay fan. I appreciate talented cosplayers, but I think these are few and far between (my favourite cosplay idol thus far is KANAME) and watching terrible cosplays tends to get me off my appetite. More cons than pros for me in attending EOY, certainly.

I don’t want to dabble in cosplay because I respect the amount of effort put in by true masters of this craft. You need money, time and passion to get into this hobby. You must avoid the judgmental faces of onlookers and feel just like that anime character, despite knowing we can never be as perfect as the ones on screen. We have to watch our figure constantly, keep our costumes in good condition and buy or make new ones to keep to the trends. Attention to detail is important, and we do not earn much money out of this. People pester us for photographs, but unless we are really successful, nobody will remember us afterwards, especially once we switch to a different costume.

Watching enough anime is one key to cosplaying. You have to watch enough to know which are easiest for you to cosplay as. You also have to have good makeup skills, since no anime character has an uneven tan or acne problems. The best is if you sound just like that character, but that is simply a bonus that no one seriously expects.

Cosplaying usually takes hours to prepare, from the costume to the makeup on the day itself, as well as frequent maintenance of accessories such as handmade cardboard cannons and wigs. And then you’ve got to get in-character and build up your confidence. Figure out some killer poses for photographs — and prepare to assume that same pose for minutes as the stream of photographers never ends. But I’ve heard some say that assuming a different persona, even if just for a day, gives one self-esteem and takes one away from one’s real-life issues. That sounds appealing. But if you want to make it big in the cosplaying arena, you’ve got to do more than put on some shop-bought robes. Attend cosplay workshops — of which there are plenty — and read tips and advice from existing cosplayers. And prepare to put in a whole lot of work.

I suck at acting, so you probably won’t see me in a foreign get-up anytime soon. But there is no harm in trying out cosplay once in a while, perhaps in a smaller convention where amateurs are not looked down upon as much. Usually at the start of the year, there will be a mini Cosfest, so why don’t you set that as your target?

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