Cosplay and Threatre

Cosplay and Theatre – My Story

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’s a crossover with cosplay and theatre as the two really do compliment each other.

Cosplay is made up of the words costume and play, meaning we make or buy costumes to wear and the play means acting as the character.

In theatre, we dress up in costumes and give dramatic performances in public.

Only as of recent, I realised the similarities, and I thought about how theatre had improved my confidence for cosplaying, it was an epiphany.

I  was on my third cup of coffee, on page 42 of my latest theatre script thinking about what my character could wear on stage when the thought came to me.

I realized that the costume making in the theatre was similar to cosplaying. We piece things together for our performances and anything we cant find gets made by our talented in house costume maker.

I don’t work in the costume department but I certainly learned a thing or two from them like how to make a costume on a budget or how to piece together characters from pieces you find in a charity shop.

When we get a script I look at how to act as the character or what the costume looks like is creative and expressive, we put our own spin on it and make it our own.

With cosplay, some aim for accuracy but with my theatre background, I like to do my rendition of the character and twist things to make it my own.

I was a pretty shy kid suffering from cerebral palsy. I didn’t have many friends and I was bullied.

I remember one cold day, I was hiding in the cloakroom so I didn’t have to go outside and play with the kids who bullied me.

Thats where I met a girl called Aoibheann
(Pronounced Eeven) who had the same idea of hiding in the cloakroom, from then on she became my best friend and she was the one who gave me the confidence I needed to start theatre.

Our first play together was The Three Little Pigs and I had the iconic role as the house.

For six year old me that was a lot of pressure just standing there under the the big bright lights but I loved every second of it.

Later that year I learned that I was moving schools, I had to quit the theatre and I was going to leave my best friend behind.

I was instantly the black sheep at my new school and I slowly began to lose my confidence again due to the bullying and I lost contact with my best friend.

I slowly felt the dark cloud over my head expand. I would constantly withdraw myself from people, automatically thinking they didn’t like me, that they wouldn’t want anything to do with me.

My first cosplay

There was one bright spark, I had found my best friend again in my mid-teens through Facebook.

We finally had a way to communicate. It was like no time had passed. She was still her cheery self. It was that year that I was introduced to Cosplay and she was more supportive of my weirdness than ever.

However, this brief moment of happiness didn’t last long in my fifth year of secondary school I lost my stepfather to suicide,  I completely shut off. My life was officially spiralling out of control and I didn’t know who to turn to.

During my time in college, I got diagnosed with paranoia, I felt that I wasn’tworth someone’s time but I continued with my college degree but I longed to back on the stage.

My mother (bless this woman’s soul) asked me to join another theatre group after quitting a few in the past.

She said she knew of a guild she had worked with and that they were a lovely group and I haven’t looked back since.

I decided to go and audition for a part in the next play that our theatre was doing I never expected to get a major part but regardless of my hesitations, I did.

It taught me that you should always try your hand at something, even if you’re certain you might fail.

Which is why I decided this year I was going to enter a cosplay competition.

Am I terrified? Yes.

Do I want to back out every time I think about it? Yes

Will I lose? Maybe, I won’t know until I get out there and give it my all and that’s one very important thing theatre has taught me.

Even if it goes horribly wrong, that can be one of the best performances you’ll ever do and the satisfaction you get from your facing your fear is priceless.

No matter what happens do not throw away your shot. You’ve got this.

Richard Rodgers Theatre

Which is why I’m writing this article now.

Cosplay and theatre have changed my life completely and since joining the Guild of Nerds team I have never been happier that I’m doing two of my most loved past times.

I wasn’t sure whether to write this article but I would like others to know not to ever give up.

I gave up so many times and it took me a long time before I got back on my feet.

So I’ll leave you with the wise words of Alexander Hamilton:

Don’t throw away your shot