Five Things to Consider When Entering a Cosplay Contest

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Halloween has just passed, and we all love our costumes. Ever wish you had a reason to dress up other times of the year?

Well, if you are not interested in joining a Renaissance guild or the Civil War re-enactment world you have probably leaned toward cosplay.

Cosplay is the portrayal of a character from pop culture (comics, anime, or movies) by dressing up and embodying that character.

The last three years I have organized the cosplay contests at ZappCon, a comic book and gaming convention in Fresno, California. I am by no means an expert, but this would be my advice to those new to cosplay:

1. Character Portrayal

Act the part. Does your character have tag lines? Do they have a distinct walk or mannerisms? You can usually perform a skit once on stage, but let the organizers know before hand.

2. A Picture for Reference

Unfortunately, judges might be limited in their scope of taste and that can work against you. If you are at all unsure if your cosplay will be recognized, bring a picture to show your costume’s accuracy so then the judges will have something to work with and give you a fair shot.

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3. Posing

Posing might seem like a no brainer, but practice in the mirror or have a fellow cosplayer help you out. You might know to cross your wrists as Wonder Woman, but if you do it too high, no one will be able see your face and it will ruin your pictures. Some poses will feel awkward to you, but will look great to everyone else. Pick 3 to 5 poses that match your cosplay character.

4. Showmanship

Be confident, or fake it well. Take your time on the stage. It might feel like an eternity, but you’ve done all the hard work, make sure everyone gets to appreciate it. (Besides someone will cue you if you have been up there too long.)

5. Have Fun!

Soak it all in, and geek out with your fellow cosplayers and costume makers in the community. Take some time to ask questions and complement each other for your creativity and craftsmanship. Make some friends so that you can help one another out on future cosplays!

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Cosplay Contest Winners from Zappcon 2016! CLICK HERE to check out this newer Comic Con in Fresno, California!

Please take into account the job placed before the judges involved. It is a very difficult task to decide who is the most deserving of recognition because there are only so many awards. Judges generally understand the blood, sweat, and tears that so often accompany costume making.

Keep in mind as well that some conventions do the bulk of the judging before the actual contest either online through pictures, (check to see if you can enter online beforehand!) or the judges preview costumes at the convention beforehand.

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Above all, HAVE FUN! Good luck!

Sarah Gonzales on sabbloggerSarah Gonzales on sabemail
Sarah Gonzales
Sarah Gonzales
at
This post is authored by Sarah Gonzales! Sarah started playing Dungeons & Dragons and performing at renaissance fairs when she was eight. Her father taught her how to play cards, her brother taught her how to play Magic, and her sister taught her how to make costumes.

The Hobbit was one of the first books she read by choice, followed by years of Dragonlance novels. Some early dates with her husband Sammy (aka Sammy G Art) included watching Warhammer 40K combats, 80’s movie nights, and listening to Harry Potter in the car. Their five children already love comics, gaming, fantasy, and drawing as much as they do.

Sarah loves sharing with the community family friendly events that come to the valley. View her blog at fresnofrugalista.blogspot.com. Contact Sarah at Sarahg@zappcon.com.

Sarah Gonzales

This post is authored by Sarah Gonzales! Sarah started playing Dungeons & Dragons and performing at renaissance fairs when she was eight. Her father taught her how to play cards, her brother taught her how to play Magic, and her sister taught her how to make costumes. The Hobbit was one of the first books she read by choice, followed by years of Dragonlance novels. Some early dates with her husband Sammy (aka Sammy G Art) included watching Warhammer 40K combats, 80’s movie nights, and listening to Harry Potter in the car. Their five children already love comics, gaming, fantasy, and drawing as much as they do. Sarah loves sharing with the community family friendly events that come to the valley. View her blog at fresnofrugalista.blogspot.com. Contact Sarah at Sarahg@zappcon.com.

43 thoughts on “Five Things to Consider When Entering a Cosplay Contest

  • 8 November, 2016 at 7:58 am
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    First time in my life I heard about Comic Con in Bing Bang Theory (which I love to watch). I would like to see this event live 🙂

    • 8 November, 2016 at 1:54 pm
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      Hahaha, I am one of those people running around shouting, I LIKED COSPLAY BEFORE BIG BANG THEORY MADE IT COOL!!!! lol. Where are you located? I am willing to bet there is a convention near you where there is bound to be cosplayers. 😉

      • 19 November, 2016 at 9:07 pm
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        I’ve always loved the idea of cosplay…but I feel my husband would think I’ve gone off the deep end! Looks like it’s a lot of fun though!

  • 8 November, 2016 at 12:25 pm
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    It would be fun to see a contest. I’m way too shy to ever consider entering even though it sounds fun.

  • 8 November, 2016 at 1:21 pm
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    I can’t do it myself, but I do love it when people dress up at other times of the year, not just Halloween. Fun post!!!

    • 8 November, 2016 at 1:55 pm
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      Laura! I am surprised you have never cosplayed! I kind of just assumed you had / have. Lol, we need to fix this, girl, STAT! *contemplated sending you some of my spare costumes* haha..

  • 8 November, 2016 at 2:37 pm
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    That’s so cool that you’ve been the organizer of the cosplay contests for three years, I’m sure it’s so much fun to see all the talent and reenactments you see! I’ve never tried or attended anything like this before, but it does look like fun! Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you have the best week ahead, beauty!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

    • 9 November, 2016 at 2:51 am
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      Not sure if you are responding to me or Sarah, haha… this was a guest post from my new blogging buddy Sarah Gonzales (profile at the end of the post)… if you didnt see that PLEASE let me know, so I can make sure the guest posts I post are more obvious so credit goes to where it is due! I cannot take credit for this post (aside from the photos, which I took at Wondercon and Comikaze last year!) <3

  • 8 November, 2016 at 7:00 pm
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    Really interesting post…thx for sharing! xx

  • 8 November, 2016 at 7:57 pm
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    never done it, but i like to go to dragon con

    • 9 November, 2016 at 2:52 am
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      Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh my gosh! SO JEALOUS!!! That is on my cosplay convention bucket list!!!!

  • 8 November, 2016 at 8:32 pm
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    I could never enter a contests, I have a hard enough time posting for my fashion posts on my blog! lol! It would be fun to watch, tho!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

    • 9 November, 2016 at 2:53 am
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      Pfffft!!!! I dont believe it!! You look so confident! Speaking of, I will be modeling my FIRST dress review post and my hubby will be taking fashion photos… PM me advice… I MEAN IT!!! haha

  • 9 November, 2016 at 3:44 am
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    Fun post! I do think cosplayers are great and it’s great to see what costumes they come up with for various characters. It’s not really something I’d be good at it though! haha

    Thanks for the tips.

    -Lauren

  • 9 November, 2016 at 8:42 pm
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    Couple months ago my friend did a dr who cosplay, it was funny to see her as dr who, we have a lot of parties like this here in Poland 🙂

    • 9 November, 2016 at 10:08 pm
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      Oh man, you should post pictures!! <3

  • 10 November, 2016 at 10:33 pm
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    That’s something I never did but good to know! 😀

    • 14 November, 2016 at 5:43 pm
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      Ohhhh, please post pictures if you do! It is so much fun! <3

  • 11 November, 2016 at 10:44 am
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    Love that Walking Dead shot! Those guys have really got it down! It sounds like it would be a lot of fun to really get into character. 🙂

    • 14 November, 2016 at 5:44 pm
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      Yeah, that whole group was amazing, and they stayed in character pretty much the whole time!!

    • 14 November, 2016 at 5:45 pm
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      Absolutely, I will check it out for sure!! I love networking with fellow bloggers! Thanks for stopping by! <3

  • 13 November, 2016 at 4:45 pm
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    It seems challenging 😮 For some reason I can picture myself cosplaying but without entering any contest. I should try sometime, but… hmmm xDDDDD I’ll keep my low-key profile ;D

    • 14 November, 2016 at 5:45 pm
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      You do NOT have to enter contests to cosplay.. I cosplayed for about 5 years before I ever entered a contest.. and then it was an online contest. 😉

  • 14 November, 2016 at 12:34 pm
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    Nice sharing & love the round-up! Hope I’ll be adventurous enough to try someday…… 🙂
    I’m back from trip & resuming my blog hopping! Have a good week, dear! xoxo

    • 14 November, 2016 at 5:46 pm
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      Good to have you back dear!!! Looking forward to your next posts! <3

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