I want to share a little cosplay story with all of you, a story that started off in my beginning years of cosplaying and has stuck with me to this day because of how important it was to me. Keep in mind this is pretty long but its one of my favourite stories to tell.
Back in 2011 I had just started getting into the convention scene and the cosplay community, and as many of you all know, that’s roughly the time where MLP and Homestuck both became big enough to have people hating them at the same time on the con floor.
It was whereabouts at Anime Festival Orlando in 2012 I believe that this particular occurance happened, and its still one of the greatest things to have ever have happened to me. I was young in mindset, 17 going on 18, just getting into conventions and figuring out my place in life yadda yadda, that I decided it was time to make my first cosplay by hand. The cosplay I wanted to make was Princess Celestia from My Little Pony, because I was a huge fan of the show and I wanted to cosplay her because I thought I was good enough at it (I wasn’t)
I ended up walking into the con dressed like this:
Looking back on it now, It was a goddamned disgrace. The wings were a mess I’d put together in like 2 hours, the dress was hand-sewn and bulky and I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.
So I walk out onto the convention floor for the first time in this shoddily put together cosplay that admittedly if it was still alive I would burn it I feel so bad.
But at the same time, that convention was one of the best conventions I’ve ever had in my 6 years of conventioning, and I’ll explain why.
The very first second I step into the convention, I’m walking down the hallway and a woman comes running out of a panel room and looks at me and immediately asks “Are you Princess Celestia?”, to which I nod and am like ‘yeah I’m her’. She immediately goes off to tell me that they’re running an MLP panel and they need a Celestia cosplayer for it, to which I get really excited because “What the fuck is this really happening.”
I walk into the panel room and everybody on stage stops what they’re doing and just bows to me. Out of literally nowhere. And I’m standing there like ‘what the fuck is going on what did I get myself into’
They proceeded to invite me up onto the stage to sit down, and they were apparently holding some kind of election that I had no idea was going on, that I ended up winning.
It was really bizarre.
But, the panel immediately following was a panel for one of my favourite voice actresses of all time, and coincidentally the voice of Twilight Sparkle. I was giddy and excited that I was able to sit in on the panel, and I do this thing at virtually every convention where I make a wallet for a voiceactor based off of whatever they’re currently working on or whatever they’re voiceacting, and I happened to have one of Twilight Sparkle that I wanted to give her, so I raise my hand to ask a question and tell her that I made a wallet for her and that I wanted to give it to her, but she stops me in the middle of my sentence and yells “YOU LOOK BEAUTIFUL! STAND UP!”
And I’m floored. Absolutely fucking floored. Here’s this woman who I’ve admired my whole life tell me that my shittily done cosplay is ‘beautiful’ and to ‘stand up’ because she thought it was so nice.
And at this point I’m nearly in tears because this is like some sort of dream come true for me, so I go up on stage and give her the wallet and fight back crying while telling her what an inspiration she’s been for me growing up and she hugged me, and I was about to pass out.
I go back and sit down in my seat and some other woman out of nowhere comes up and hands me a one-day convention pass with nothing but a “Here, take this” and runs off.
I later go to a dumb photoshoot and end up meeting one of my best friends to this day who has graciously driven cross-country with me for conventioning before, and I end up going home feeling like the luckiest fucking girl alive.
And yet when I look back at the pictures compare to the original one above, which was taken at Megacon 2013 the following year, I’m sad. I’m sad that I couldn’t have been at my best during the con. I’m kind of upset that my first impression with one of my idols was one of my younger and inexperienced ones and I wish more than anything for her to have seen me as the Princess I am in the first picture, instead of the scrappily put together picture in the middle.
But I don’t regret it. Its one of the things that I can look back at and say that I did that one of my absolute idols appreciated.
So, long story short, no matter what sewing level you are, crafting level, and whatever confidence you have in yourself, or if you’re experienced and you’re looking back at what you’ve done, never regret it. Somebody somewhere appreciates and is going to love you for it. And while you can, even if you’re not where you want to be, make the best of it.
I know I did.