This might as well have been titled "The ramblings of a bitter old cosplay hag".
Inspired by Casper's analytical description of different types of performances cosplayers can give on stage, I decided to do a little list of the DOs and DON'Ts of doing a cosplay show (or a "List of things that irk Elina"). Whether something is a DO or a DON'T is completely up for you to decide.
Scenes from the source material
If someone has already scripted a nifty little play for you, why bother coming up with anything else?
Scenes directly from anime or video games are incredibly popular and usually consist of dialogue and music, ripped unabashedly from the source material. The good thing is that the scenes are usually well thought-out and very impressive (if done well, obviously). On the downside, someone who has never seen the original series or played the game is unlikely to get what's going on.
Also: no one likes spoilers. Seriously.
Action and gun/sword fighting is awesome. But only if it really looks like someone is going to lose their head. Otherwise it'll just look like a few nutcases walking around the stage, afraid to really hit one another with their fragile props.
Fighting on stage is a lot like dancing. It needs to be well choreographed and each and every move has to have a point. Aiming, dodging, hitting; it all has to happen for a reason. Poking at one another with wooden swords until one of you "dies" isn't really all that exciting.
THIS is what a fight scene should look like.
Death by gunshot
You've all seen this. There's a character, alone on stage, doing something pretty epic. And then, at the height of the performance, a gunshot rings out of nowhere.
The character stumbles backwards, grasping their stomach with one hand and reaching out dramatically with the other. Touching violin music plays. The character falls down on their knees, says a few lines and dies. The audience is in tears.
HAVE YOU GUYS EVER SEEN SOMEONE GET SHOT?
... I haven't either, really, but I've watched enough CSI to know that's not how dying from a gunshot wound really happens. Seriously, you guys. Do your research!
Remember what I wrote about stage fighting being a lot like dancing? Now apply that same thing to actual dancing. And practice. And then practice some more. And then a little more.
And you might look like this (start from 2:40).
YAOI ^_^ xD lol
The Finnish cosplay scene seems to be a perfect place for the teenaged yaoi fans to express themselves. And for some reason a lot of them prefer to express their love of boys loving boys on stage.
The typical yaoi themed cosplay performance goes something like this:
There are characters on stage. They do something. Someone implies that someone else might have homosexual tendencies. The audience squeals. Characters do something again. Suddenly two of them throw themselves in each other's arms and snog. The audience goes wild and lets out high pitched screams. No one can hear a thing for the rest of the day.
Flowy fabrics, ribbons and other things you can wave around
There very rarely is a point to waving around fabrics (which isn't to say there never is a point to them). Which means that if you absolutely must incorporate gymnast's ribbons or other such things into your performance, at least know how to use them.
Or like this.
If your character has something that is supposed to glow, installing LEDs is a magnificent idea. If you just feel that LEDs would give your costume the much needed ~pop~, ask yourself this: "What is wrong with my costume in the first place?"
LEDs, a lot like spandex, are a privilege, not a right. They're cool when used right and ridiculous and a bit embarrassing if used just for the sake of using them.
Also, I've managed to pinpoint the exact moment when the entire cosplaying world decided it would be great to incorporate LEDs into everything.
This is when it happened.
And now it's challenge time! (I didn't know such a time existed, but now it does.)
I challenge all of you to go out and find me a video of a perfect cosplay skit and link to it in the comments.
I also promise to personally mail a box of cookies to the first person to link me to a yaoi themed cosplay skit that's actually good. And I mean really, actually, properly good. Good luck with that.