jessica merizan

I'm done.

I wrote something with rationalizations, justifications, and defenses against misinformation but deleted it, because I realized it doesn’t really matter. What does is how I feel: my perspective has changed after this week on the world of cosplay. I will keep doing “make believe” costumes and encouraging kids (+those at heart) to follow their imaginations, but I’m out as far as everything else goes. No thanks. 

It probably would have been easier if everyone was just personally attacking me since that’s easy to ignore, but it’s that PLUS my friends and professionals who are amazing and hardworking, ethical people. Flawed? Yes. But do you want me to throw stones at your glass house?

My mom just survived cancer (again). I’ve gone to more funerals than I have weddings. My childhood was spent watching people I loved suffer through addiction, prostitution, jail, child protective services, abuse. I personally experienced things that are too triggering for me to talk about. 

And seeing all of this, that’s where I’m at. I don’t even want to go on my Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr anymore. Literally, panic attacks. And, I always tell people, “When it stops being fun, stop doing it." 

I couldn’t even get 100 shares when I (against better judgement lest it gets plagiarized) posted an excerpt of my research that inspired the Peter Pan costumes. That’s what people claimed they wanted right? Process? Fun? But when they get it? Oh… sorry. There’s some drama happening, better re-post that instead. But don’t do that on the TV show because that’s not real.

I’m tired of traditional cosplay. You can find me in the world of the Never Never Land. If that’s where you want to be, you know how to get there.

I love you. Let’s never fight again.

The picturesque design of Kensington Gardens, though artificially constructed and shaped by culture, is perhaps the aspect making it appear as a timeless reminder of the resilience of nature. This nature/culture structure is also one of the key themes within the Peter Pan ethos. In the literature, the reader is confronted by perpetual youth (Peter, being described as wearing only “autumn leaves and cobwebs” for clothing) while his companions grow older and their progeny become Peter’s new playmates for a time (Cordner 1995: 97). This can be reflected within the public nature of the gardens, where generations bring their family to experience the joy of Kensington as they once remembered it. For Barrie, his exploration of this tension would touch upon the inevitability of death: “The sense of lost, eternal youth had been implanted in him irreversibly at the age of 6, when his elder brother David (his mother’s favorite child) was killed in a skating accident on the eve of his fourteenth birthday. ‘When I became a man,’ he wrote later in Margaret Ogilvy, ‘he was still a boy of thirteen’ ” (Cordner 1995: xxii). This preoccupation with death was further translated onto the landscape, in Barrie’s interpretation of the parish boundary stones delineating between Paddington and St George Hannover Square parishes as “tombstones of lost children” or more specifically the lost boys, said to find Neverland after falling out of their prams (Cordner 1995: 313). There is a clear division in his plays, as well as upon visiting Kensington Gardens, between time halted and continued. Andrew Birkin further argues that through his interaction with the Llewelyn Davies children in their exploration of Kensington Gardens, the after-life of dead children is transfigured into the setting of Never Never Land, “a child’s paradise, haven of the Lost Boys, abounding in such pleasures designed to gratify a boy’s appetite for blood. Such visions of delight led George to make the not unnatural declaration, ‘To die will be an awfully big adventure’ “ (Birkin 2003: 69). This assertion became possibly the most memorable quote from the Peter Pan narrative.
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Tonight’s finale of Heroes of Cosplay shows the conclusion of our Peter Pan costumes and people have been asking me about the premise and inspiration. It was based on interpretive work I did during my MA research at University College London looking at material culture, mortality, and landscape through the lens of phenomenology. However, Chloe so cleverly summed up my inspiration for a costume art house piece as “Peter Pan’s Labyrinth” (and it’s not discussed in the episode but you can see little nods to Guillermo del Toro symbolism weaved in all three of our costumes).  

Anyway, based on popular request, I included a brief excerpt from some of my research on Peter Pan. I’d like to revisit, revise, and publish all my work when I’m not doing a million other things!

I hope the quote piques your interest. I’d love to discuss my thoughts! For more reading on phenomenology, I’d recommend the professor I studied under, Christopher Tilley. For other interesting work interpreting Peter Pan and material culture, check out Laurie Wilkie’s “The Lost Boys of Zeta Psi”. 

I love cosplay not just for costume construction but for the vision, creativity and passion that goes into it. This was certainly another strange dream costume, but the weird ideas that stick with you are probably the ones that are going to make you cry on stage for reasons you can’t even properly articulate <3

CosPains: Crabcats and the Rikiteer

Hello, my wonderful followers and possible followers. Not too long ago, Heroes of Cosplay caused a little ruckus in the cosplay community. More recently, the series has thankfully completed its first season.

            Today, I must dredge up Heroes once more. The third episode of the series had a couple interesting quotes from three of the cosplayers the series followed. The cosplayers were Jessica Merizan and Holly Conrad, and Riki LeCotey. Each cosplayer said something different which brought up different thoughts. LeCotey’s comments made me think about audience relations, while Conrad and Merizan’s comments brought up self-image concerns.

            First off, let’s talk about LeCotey’s comments. She was going as Bettie Page dressed up as the Rocketeer if I am not mistaken, and I very well could be mistaken. What I do know is she was doing a female version of the Rocketeer. This may not be an exact quote as I was rapidly taking notes while the episode aired: “She’s slutting up the Rocketeer.” This was one of LeCotey’s concerns about her Rocketeer cosplay when people saw it. I quickly began to question why. Generally, most cosplayers have good relationships with their audience.

Moving onto Merizan’s and Conrad’s comments, they admitted to having low self-esteems. I wondered why two women with a business of their own doing what they love and being respected within the cosplay community would have self-esteem issues.

            I came to two conclusions. Conclusion number one: I read way too much into the described statements. Conclusion number two: the women are legitimately concerned about their relationship with their audience. Conrad, Merizan, and LeCotey obviously know their source material. I’ve only recently heard of the Rocketeer. Admittingly, some of the cosplays I see are of characters I barely recognize or simply don’t know about. I believe LeCotey, Conrad, and Merizan are afraid of being called “fake” by the small, yet vocal, minority of geekdom. No one likes hearing insults, and if one has even a shred of fame (fame is a word I’m using loosely here because it’s definition has become so broad within the past ten years thanks to the Internet) these insults can cause some devastating effects on their targets.

            I believe the quotes point to just how wary people are becoming of the some parts of the geek community. To be more specific, women are getting wary of the small, vocal minority of geeks who scream and rave about fake geeks. There’s various reasons hateful people within the geek community cite for being so hateful, such as a hot girl somehow “ruining” a character by cosplaying as that character or a variation there of. The cosplayers are “just wanting attention.” These reasons are generally nonsense and shouldn’t bother their targets, but they do. And it doesn’t just hurt the victim, but it hurts the entire geek community by undermining everything that is working in our favor and the work geeky people have done to allow us, the geeks, to inherit the Earth.

            It’s difficult for me to pin point what exactly the quotes meant, but for some reason I found them important to bring up. I find myself fizzling out, so I’m stopping here.

On some editorial notes, this will be the last of CosPains series. I want to thank my readers and followers. Honestly, you helped me find the motivation to make sure these posts were up each Tuesday for the past five weeks. It’s nice having followers. BUT!!! This won’t be the last you see of me, though. I’ll be back. Oh, I’ll be back!! With a new blog post within the near future. Oh yes. Mwa ha ha. MWA HA HA HA HA HAAA!!!

 Bibliography

 LeCotey, Riki. Bettie Page as the Rocketeer. DeviantART, 2013. Web. 30 Sep. 2013.

 “MegaCon.” Heroes of Cosplay. Syfy. 27 Aug. 2013. Television.

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Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day, Laura Bailey, Jessica Merizan, Ify Nwadiwe, Hector Navarro, and Matt Mercer play Paranoia on No Survivors, hosted by Ivan Van Norman!

‘Getting a Job at Bioware’ is a panel often held at the Bioware Base each event. Each panel offers different developers, and in doing so, shares different perspectives on their employment at Bioware and how to join their ranks.

Working at Bioware

Camaraderie and collaboration. At Bioware Montreal and Edmonton, you will find like-minded people with the same goals in creating great games, sharing knowledge, and fostering bonds. A friendly atmosphere where so long as you show passion towards what you are doing, Bioware gives you every opportunity possible to succeed. It’s a team atmosphere, day-by-day, where co-workers are approachable and work together. People who want to work at Bioware really show theywant to be there.

The Application Process

While they receive many different applications, they hire based off what they need. When their recruiters look at a resume, if a person is a good match but not a good match right now (based on necessity), they will keep the resume aside and remember it when a position is available. It’s suggested not to apply for something not on the Bioware careers list, but recommended to look into EA’s full career site if something at Bioware isn’t found first pass around. "Keep applying,“ they say. It’s not always that they are ignoring you, but with so many applicants to Bioware, there is a chance that you may be hired down the line or for something similar to what they need. (Fun fact: head community manager Jessica Merizan applied three times before she was hired.)

For University Relations, those looking for internships can host their resume on the EA University Relations website and choose from different disciplines of interest. 

As far as what to bring to the table, suggestions:

  1. Have a portfolio. Your portfolio should have your best work readily accessible. A demo reel should not be more than a minute, making sure to be short and concise. 
  2. Build an online presence. Having your material on a blog or website is easy to follow. 
  3. "Make stuff yourself.” Tools like Unreal 4 and Unity are at your disposal. 
  4. Don’t worry about being from another industry when applying, as they do hire beyond the gaming industry (tech, theater, film, etc.)

As far as specific software and skillset demands you should be aware of, most can be found on the job listing. They do not mess around; the technical knowledge you need will be listed on the posting. Here’s some specific things they expect:

  • Programmers: Know C++, best to come from a Computer Science or Engineer degree, (University relations suggests C, C Sharp, Java at the least and will give some support if you are willing to learn further)
  • Art: 3ds Max and Maya, though they are transitioning to Maya only. Zbrush.
  • Q&A: Be familiar with bug trackers. Know how to communicate well and be articulate. If you know how a commercial engine works (i.e Unity) and even know how to design a level, you will have a great advantage.
  • Writing: If making a portfolio, it’d be good to have a simple story arc (like a level) written out. Knowing and demonstrating branching dialogue and how to implement your ideas is greatly favored. (If you can put it in a level, it shows really well how you articulate yourself and it’s a good way to hear your own dialogue)

(A specific note on having “5 years experience”: it’s a difficult situation. As far as gaining experience, the best advice is to keep doing things. Do small side projects, freelance…almost anything works. (For recent grads, University Relations will help in that aspect and help you start doing things getting work experience) However, most careers demanding “5 years experience” are senior positions that must be filled out by Bioware.)

Any money we win on Heroes of Cosplay is donated to charity, this was also cut out of the episode tonight! We don’t do this to win money or prizes or fame or glory or anything stupid, we do it for fun and to encourage and inspire creativity. You don’t have to believe me when I say this, but remember a positive and encouraging outlook on life is way, way more productive than a negative one. :)

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via @DragonAge on Twitter

Vivienne’s voice actress Indira Varma & @jessicamerizan rebuke Vivenne writer @BioMaryKirby in true Orlesian fashion

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WOOT! WOOT! BIOWARE IS FILMING TODAY’S ROMANCE PANEL

Today at the GaymerX2 Con, BioWare is holding a “Building a Better Romance” panel discussion. And luckily for us, according to Patrick Weekes, all of us stuck at home may still have a chance to see it!

HELLZ TO THE YEAH!!!

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