You dress up and do what exactly? OK, that sounds cool.

You dress up and do what exactly? OK, that sounds cool.

Cats climb on a VOLTRON cat toyMe and Cosplay

Cosplay and conventions, they go together like Voltron and cats, trust me, it’s a thing. Allan and cosplay, that’s less of a thing. From the outside looking in, cosplay is so full of colour and fun and alien behaviour such as happiness, (I’m British and it’s alien behaviour OK). I never knew how to approach or do anything but stare through the shop window of awesome at all the costumes. How do all these people garner the courage to dress up and be so very brave? I think I will stay in my work boots, in my workshop, working, making the things for the cosplayers, who are shiny and, well not me.

Then I started exhibiting at conventions and meeting more and more cosplayers. It’s my job to meet people, to chat and talk and exhibit and I love it. I always have and here I was, meeting cosplayers, hundreds of them, swarming their happiness swarm all around me. Smiling and having fun. Stop that, (please never stop that). They were the most fun, amazing, bright, awkward, extroverted, shy, talented, friendly, everything group of people. Every type of person, every walk of life, every gender, every fandom and every time I met someone new, they were passionate. WOW, I loved it.

“Who’s your favourite character, what are you making?”

“OMG the con is just around the corner and I haven’t started my costume yet”

“Do you cosplay?”

“ummmm , no,” I would say.

“OMG you should totally do [insert who I should do here] ”, they would beem.

So, you know what? I did, I took my TARDIS to a Doctor Who convention and I “did” the eleventh Doctor. I bought a lovely long green frock coat, a red bow tie and come braces, I grew my hair to make it as floppy as I could and I enjoyed it. My friend, Nic came along as the fourth Doctor and even had his hair permed, wow he looked amazing. We had fun and we chatted and hung out with some great people, waving our sonic screwdrivers around.

But was I cosplaying? I bought all my gear and just put it on and combed my hair. There were people there in Dalek dresses that made it from scratch, amazing costumes, hand stitched and sewn. Homemade K9s and a little boy in a Cyberman costume. Sure, I made the TARDIS, so I guess that’s something. I had the cosplay guilts.

The convention came and went, I got my hair cut and my friend’s perm faded, life returned to normal, mostly. I was suddenly thinking of my next outfit. What would I wear, who would I be? Wait, was I now a cosplayer? “OMG the con is just around the corner and I haven’t started my costume yet!” Wait a minute…

I had con fever, I needed a new outfit. My friend Alex from Clockwork Butterfly made me the most amazing Steve Rogers army uniform from Captain America: The First Avenger. I still couldn’t sew but I did make myself a shield and grew my hair again. I figured I was working with what I had and it turns out that’s OK. Man, I looked ever so smart, I felt great. The fourth Doctor, (new perm and all), marched into PAXAUS with thousands of others and I had a ball. I stood on tanks, I pretended to be Steve Rogers, we met people, I asked about their costumes and they asked about mine. I realised that everyone is working with what they have, at their own level. We make, we buy, we cobble together and we get there. My cosplay guilts evaporated and I gushed with happiness.

I love it, I love all the people who take part and put in the effort, large or small. Now I want to do so many more things, so many costumes I want to try but time is tight and of course, the convention is just around the corner.

Next time; Meeting Stan Lee.

Allan, AKA “The TARDIS Guy”

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