Whether it’s from movies, books or television shows, fictional characters have a way of enchanting audiences, and some people become those characters through cosplay.
Robert Anderson, senior in business administration, said the origin of the word cosplay comes from the two words costume and play.
Jasmine Smith, sophomore in architecture, said cosplay is dressing up as a character as a hobby and in some cases also acting as the character.
“It’s a creative outlet because you see a character that maybe you idolize, and you’re able to bring that character to life,” Smith said.
Smith said once she finds a character how she starts the process can depend on what supplies she already has.
“When I wanted to cosplay Batty Koda from FernGully, for example, I didn’t have anything,” she said. “So, I started with the ears first because I felt like if I started with something that I could purchase from somebody, I could move on to the actual making of the costume, which was a lot of planning.”
Anderson said he will usually try to break it apart.
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“When I find a character that I like, I start to look at everything that is a part of their visual appearance and try to break them down into individual components,” he said.
Smith said other things to keep in mind are the price of supplies and when it’s best to purchase the most expensive item to make sure it all gets done.
“The worst thing is getting mostly done and then realizing, ‘I don’t have enough spare money right now to finish this,’ when the event is in like a week,” Anderson said.
They both agree money can be a big challenge since it often goes toward more than just the cosplay, but also tickets for the convention and the travel expenses to get there.
Anderson said time can also be an issue.
“I’m working, going to school and I have a business I do on the side that involves a lot of community,” Anderson said. “So, trying to balance all three of those and go to cons and do cosplay stuff. It’s kind of difficult.”
They also discuss having the skill to do a cosplay can be challenging.
The Cosplayers’ Association at Auburn is helpful to find other people who can help with different aspects of trying to assemble a cosplay, Anderson said.
The association meets Wednesdays at 8 p.m. in Room 2109 in the Student Center, Anderson said. They also will be having an end of semester party and potluck on April 24 at 8 p.m. It’s free for due-paid members and $5 for non-members.
When working on a cosplay, they both said it is important to know when to take a break.
“You will reach points of frustration when you will have a mental breakdown,” Smith said.
It’s important to sometimes step back, take a deep breath and walk away for a little bit, she said.
When trying to keep on a college budget with cosplaying, thrifting, sales and craft stores are helpful, Smith said.
“Thrifting — thrifting is your friend,” she said.
With thrifting, people don’t have to use the whole piece of clothing; it could just be a part of it, Smith said.
“Don’t be afraid to tear up a piece of clothing that you get at a thrift store to piece with something else,” said Leila Martin, sophomore in economics.
It is also easy to get focused on wanting to be as accurate as possible.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, Smith said.
Martin said people don’t have to cosplay as someone as the same gender as them, and they all said people don’t have to cosplay as a character with the same body type as them. It can be anyone they want.
“The whole point of cosplay is to have fun and enjoy what you’re doing,” Smith said.
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