How Do You Feel?

I went shopping with a friend from work this weekend, we were working on updating her wardrobe, just getting a couple of staples that she could mix into what she already has and elevate her style as a whole. Every time she would try on a new piece of clothing I would ask her how she felt, after the second or third outfit I realized we were speaking about two different kinds of feelings, she was telling me how the clothes felt in a physical sense, were they soft, tight, lose, anything like that. I was confused, that wasn’t telling me anything. I realized I was talking about emotions, was it making her feel confidents, happy, excited, did she feel sexy in what she was wearing. We recalibrated and met somewhere in the middle. She started telling me about how she was feeling, did it make her feel good about herself, and I listened to when she thought something wasn’t fitting the right way. We discussed what to look for in proper fit of a garnment, and we talked about how sometimes she was wearing the wrong size trying to hide her body. I am also not a tiny lady, and I know the allure of wearing an outfit too big to hid the parts of my body that I don’t like to look at in the mirror when I go to the bathroom or catch my reflection in a window. It can feel nice to pretend that things are different, but I am who I am, and there are some really nice parts of my body, just like my friend’s body.  Sure there are things I could make “better” but that would also mean giving up cheese, and craft service at work, and I don’t want to do that, if I did, I already would have.

 

However, I have ended up on a tangent about how wonderful cheese is, and even if that is true, it is not my point.  My point is that when I am wearing clothes, and even more, when I am cosplaying, I am looking to FEEL a certain way,  I want to embody the character that I’m playing, that’s why I spend a solid hour or more coming up with the right pose.  I want to know I have the whole package and that I love what it is that I’m wearing.

 

I hope when everyone gets dressed in the morning they don’t ask how this looks, but how do I feel, because that is the key, for me, to being happy all day and not bored by lunch.

Inspiration: Entrepreneurs

For the last couple of months I’ve been casting a show all about people following their dreams. It’s been really fun to get to talk to people who have such a passion for different things that I thought I could never imagine having. My boss and I were talking in a coffee shop in Atlanta about what would be our dream business that had nothing to do with working in TV. I knew mine right away. It was the idea of having classy women’s nerd clothing. I think there’s such a hole in the market right now. Don’t get me wrong, I own more graphic tees and nerdy skirts than one person really should. And I’ve seen plenty of Black Milk leggings, I own Her Universe clothes, but they’re still not sophisticated. I know that would be my concept, but I have no idea what that even means. A man can add a cool belt buckle or an awesome tie, but what do we woman have? I think an awesome nerdy pair of heels is a great start for that nerdy touch to an office. I do work in an office where I can (but technically am not allowed to) wear shorts to work when it’s hot, but I’m not really sure I could handle working anywhere that doesn’t let me let my geek flag fly. However, even in my non-traditional office there are so many things that are not ok.  My office is about 65% women, and it’s not a place where women wear teeshirts on a regular basis, but my boss doesn’t go more than 3 days without a Star Wars tee or sporting his favorite sports team.  I guess that says something more about attitudes than what specifically is going on in my office.  About 3 out of 5 day a week I wear my TeeShirt of the day hoodies to work, so I may just be saying crazy things.  Either way, I would like there to be more classic and classy nerd clothing that I could wear out.  Internet, please get on that.  Thanks.

Heroes of Cosplay

I’ve been watching Heroes of Cosplay and I so desperately want to fall in love with it.  It seems like a great premiss.  But I just can’t get into it.  I think for me the reason for me is that some of the characters take cosplay a little too seriously for me.  My cosplay philosophy is to have a really great time, just getting to play dress up is enough for me.  I get that for some people it isn’t, but no one should be told that they can’t do anything.  I get that I don’t look like my characters, maybe it’s that I fall into the category of some days I may just be kidding myself l don’t have the body for some of the characters that I do.  But I’m ok with that.  For me it’s more important to be a character that I am really into and getting to pretend to be that person for the day. Now that being said, I can’t stop watching it.  I really enjoy watching the cast fabricate their costumes and I have been inspired with some of what they did.  Also by the last episode I do admit that there was a redeeming scene.  When the two teams were sitting around and they had “group talk” it made me even more sure that I want to be Holly’s friend.  The cast talked about how cosplay is about supporting each other and not judging.  (over the course of the show they did show Yaya and Victoria flip-flopping on the issue of is it more important to look like the character or is it important to be having fun.)

However the scene’s integrity is a bit undermined by Monika putting on sunglasses, but I don’t know if that was something she did on her own or a producer asked her to. I did connect with the 5 women from LA more than the 3 from Atlanta.  I am acutely aware of how much a producer and editing team can influence what we all see on television (I am a reality television producer by day) and I have no reason to believe that they are not the nicest women in the world on the show, but they were not shown to be that way because reality tv loves to have a villain, and Monika made a great villain. To be able to get the scene where she is yelling at her mom is wonderful.

Overall one of the nice parts of the show was that the cast was genuine.  They all loved the things they dressed as and loved dressing up.  I found it to be educational, I figured out how to do some of the things I was having trouble with on my costumes.  Just for that fact alone I would watch the next season.  I would like a couple more guys added to the main cast, specifically ones that did armor pieces more often.  I really loved Jesse’s Assassin’s Creed outfit, but it would have been super awesome to see armor being made by people who know way more than me about what they are doing when it comes to fabrication.

 

 

 

First Times

I can still remember my first convention when I was 4 years old.  It was a Star Trek Convention in Harrisburg, PA.  But it was about 20 years old when I really started getting into the convention scene.  My first cosplay that I made from scratch was a DALEK dress.  It’s silver with black for all of the details.

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Kind of like that guy.  I made it for less than 15 bucks, which I thought was quite the bargain.  Even now I still do, I would just like to fix the mistakes that were made out of ignorance.

 

However, when I was in 6th grade all of my friends wanted to be cheerleaders for Halloween.  I was pretty bored with that, except Buffy Summers was a cheerleader and that’s what I was going to do.  I went for Buffy from the movie, rarely done but it was pretty awesome.  My dad put stakes inside of the pompoms that came with the costume and that’s really all I needed.  It really should have been a sign of things to come.

For the first few cons I went to I did just go for the nerdy T-shirt because that’s really just my wardrobe.  I also have dolls that I made of different scifi characters that I would carry around.  It was pretty cool so I decided I just had to get in on cosplaying.  Then once I was in it I just had to keep going.  I find making the costumes up until the minute before I leave, or even on the car ride there to be so exciting.  Will I get it done in time?  Will it be recognizable?  It’s all so much pressure, but in the best way.

 

Days 3 and 4

So here are the last couple of days of Comic Con.  I have to say for me the best part of all cons are the panels.  I can sit and listen to these talks for hours.  Even though they’re pretty much the same questions and answers over and over again.  I love hearing about the process that actors have taken to discover their characters.  Or listening to other cosplayers talk about how they make their costumes.  One great tip I heard was when you’re looking to making something with fun foam or any sort of thin foam one way to get a raised texture is to use puffy paint.

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This is fun foam.  It comes in a sheet about the size of  a piece of paper.  Great for making gauntlets and other semi-sterdy light weight costume details.

This is fun foam. It comes in a sheet about the size of a piece of paper. Great for making gauntlets and other semi-sterdy light weight costume details.

Once it’s hard and you paint over it it’ll look all the same.  The New York Cosplay Network had a great panel where they shared a lot of tips and tricks they use to make their amazing costumes.

The New York Cosplay Network outside their booth

The New York Cosplay Network outside their booth.

I have not started to really go to enough panels at cons where I’ve started to take a preference in moderators.  They can really make or break a panel.  I find this is especially true when you don’t have a panelist that really knows how to handle the crowd, whether they are new to panels or there is a really really large crowd and it’s just hard to be a big enough personality to stop the truly annoying and rambling fans that are inevitably  going to ask a question.  There is one particularly awesome modirator that has been in Philly the last couple of years, Jarrett Crippen.

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He won the second season of Who Wants to be a Super Hero?  He will cut a fan off (which I think is just wonderful), tell a funny story while you’re all sitting around waiting for the panelist to arrive, lets the panel go straight to the fans and their questions, and makes sure things end on time, which is good because other people need the room in about 10 minutes and I don’t want my next panel to start late so it’s good that we are all considerate of each other and their interests.

This year the convention’s focus was a little different than last years.  Last year is was celebrity packed.  They had all five Star Trek captains, and what a disaster that panel was.  People were so star struck they asked the worst questions that had nothing to do with Star Trek.  It has been a year and I’m still mad.  What an excellent opportunity that was squandered.  Thor was there and most of the questions were teenage and 20-something women asking him for a hug, which is pretty creepy when you think about it.  This year there were panels by scholars of the kind of pop culture I love.  Not all of them are great, some are ok, and some when I see them coming I want to pull my hair out and run.  But it is nice to have a different view point each year.  It keeps things fresh.

Here are some of the pictures I took from the second two days of comic con.

John Barrowman I love his super hero pajama pants.

John Barrowman I love his super hero pajama pants.

They had my favorite pose of the convention.

They had my favorite pose of the convention.

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Raven

Raven

Emma Frost and Kitty Pride- the early years

Emma Frost and Kitty Pride- the early years

Charisma Carpenter

Charisma Carpenter

Jewel Staite

Jewel Staite

Gina Torres

Gina Torres

Adam Baldwin

Adam Baldwin

Summer Glau

Summer Glau

 

Day 2

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This is MY Cally Costume.  I should have more pictures of it on Sunday where you can see the top.

This is MY Cally Costume. I should have more pictures of it on Sunday where you can see the top.

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My dad, the one in the kilt- with an ood.

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Here are some of the pictures from Day 2.  I was in a really interesting panel that brought up Cosplay does not equal consent and it’s interesting that it has become such a talking point at cons.  Not that the idea is wrong but because it is so right that it shouldn’t have to be stated and because it has to be talked about is sad.    ETouching someone without their permission is illegal in any instance.  There are so many strong female characters to dress up as but so many of them also dress in overly provocitive manors.  I don’t think there’s a problem with dressing like them,but I do think there’s a problem with the way they are created.  It also saddens me that when a company tries to move away from an over sexed character look there is an outcry from the fans to change the character back to looking that way.  Most recently, Power Girl and her lack an then reinsertion of the “boob window.”

Before

Before

After

After