I’ve been asked, a few times, over the years (and again tonight) what it takes to ‘go pro’ as a cosplayer. As a disclaimer, I’m not really an expert on this, I’ve conversed with a few known cosplayers and done a bit of reading and watched what a few did to make themselves known, so I can offer at least a bit of a starting point.
First, you’re going to need a fairly substantial cosplay collection, and you’re going to have to add to it often. This can be expensive. Some cheat around it a bit by wearing lingerie in the colors of the character with a wig, makeup and accessories. Draws attention, and takes less time than building or buying a full cosplay. currently characters like 2b are pretty popular for this, a few google searches will show you what I’m referring to. Do I condone this? I neither condone nor condemn, not my place, it is up to each person to decide what is for them. There are also casual cosplays, a bit of research will give you some insights into that.
Second, you’re going to need pictures, lots of them, good posed ones, selfies, the works. The lucky cosplayers have a supportive significant other or good friend with decent camera skills and between the two of them can do some good edits. Some do time for CD shoots with photographers or make deals or squeeze in as many pro shoots as they can. Some are paid to do pro shoots. There are lots of possibilities. Lots of pictures also means lots of studying character poses and the poses of other models and cosplayers to see what those successful in the field are going.
Third, all of the cosplays and pictures and selfies are going to be needed for your social media campaign. To go pro you must be known, to do that you need followers. Jessica Nigri, for example, has 3.7 million followers on instagram, 4.7 million likes on facebook and 913k followers on twitter. Extreme example, I know, but she had to start somewhere, as does anyone. That means regular posts and uploaded pictures, and hashtags, and doing the research to become social media savvy, basically, you’re crafting the cosplays, working the pictures, and being your own publicist, while working a regular job to pay bills and buy the stuff that you need to create the cosplays in the first place.
I don’t want to discourage anyone, I just want to point out that overnight successes come from years of hard work.
As I said, I don’t claim to be an expert, if you want to do this, you’ll have to become one. Do your research, watch out for anything too good to be true, question any ‘expert’ that comes your way, and watch out for those that may try and capitalize on your drive to succeed to talk you into anything that your common sense might steer you clear of.
Did any of that make sense, or am I tired and rambling? LOL
© 2019 – 2020, Tim Boothby. All rights reserved.