Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cosplay Fame: how and why it happens

At one point I stood back and looked at the community these days and thought to myself, why fame come to those who least expect it, and very rare to those who actually strive for it.

Fame is relative, it depends so much in a lot of factors, which i would discuss briefly. This is not to teach cosplayers how to get fame, instead its to give understanding why fame falls to the few, whether they aimed for it or not.

  1. Being the First - anyone who knows the quote "First impression lasts" would find it a useful explanation on why some cosplayers are never forgotten. Its because they did something that was never worn before, never done before. You were the first bishie, the first mecha, the first lolita, the first crossplayer, and the list goes on. Firsts also falls to gimmicks, like the first transforming costume, the first to use latex, the first to use recycled materials. Anyone else following in their footsteps will fall under the pioneer's shadow. But this is only for the short term, a quick burst of fame for being different, or unusual. The following factors the come next ensure the longetivity of such fame.
  2. High Profile - one other way of becoming famous is become the community's standard. Winning competitions is one of them, with your named assured of a place in somebody's online winner roster. Keep winning and people remember, and talked about.
  3. Persistence - being first or winning a contest may put you on the spotlight for year, but there is also a saying "Out of sight, out of mind". One cosplayer may keep on showing up at every con or another may keep wearing the same costume over and over again for years. Sometimes trademarks are often the kind that keeps people remembering them, like the same giant sword you carry no matter what costume you are in, or that bunny ears, or that annoyingly bright red carton chest plate. This applies online as well, especially if your internet name is firmly connected to your cosplay costumes, or any cosplay related activities.
  4. Controversy - reputations, whether good or bad, retain a certain kind of mental glue to a community's consciousness. If certain reputations are blown up, talked about and even intentionally becoming the center of aggression, they are remembered well. Often this is the easiest and most used tactic in becoming famous, and i can top a few names off my mental list, but would rather refrain from mentioning them to lessen the already burgeoning controversies surrounding them.
So these are the 4 ways in why cosplayers become well known. It may surprise you that most of the cosplayers who happen to become famous due to the mentioned ways never wanted the fame in the first place. They happened to be stuck in the community's consciousness because they were the first, had a high profile, very persistent or controversial. Other cosplayers seem to crave that very attention, but rarely achieve it using 1 and 2. Number 3, Persistence, may work for the patient ones, but the majority simply thought to use #4, because in the world of cosplay, no one can resist listening to bit of drama once in a while.

No comments:

Post a Comment