Balance between being a Attendee and Cosplayer?

Started by Bsan89, May 30, 2017, 04:23:05 PM

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I been going to FANIME for 8 years now. (I feel old)
I started cosplaying about 5 years ago.

When my group of friends and I first attend...
We did what most attendee do. Line-con, eat, take pix, buy stuff, watch OVA, panel, game-room, hentai-night, home, repeat-ish. Saturday and Sunday we would attend music feast and masquerade. etc.
We're gamers, smash bro, Overwatch, Board-game. Etc.. Tend to spend many hours in game-room.

In the last few years as I gotten into Cosplay. I made a ton of new friends. And my schedule for FANIME change a lot.
The change I notice was, my camera went from DSLR to my Iphone for selfie with other cosplayer. I stopped going to panel, hentai-night, music feast, masquerade, and game-room.
Its...Breakfeast, redbull, shower, cosplay, gathering, lunch, shower, redbull, cosplay, gathering, photoshoot, dinner, shower, redbull, dance, sleep, repeat. Exception of Thurs-Fri for swap meet and dealer/artist alley at 10am. Get all my shopping done on Friday Morning.

I feel kinda bad as the only time I spend with my Original friends was Thursday to pick up badge & swap meet.
Just wondering how you guys balance it. Do you actually keep a schedule for FANIME? (I don't)
Helghast - Killzone 2
ISA - Killzone 2
Team Rocket - Pokemon
Army of Two

Nina Star 9

It really depends on what you want out of the con, and what kinds of costumes you are doing.

I'm the type to also do a lot of costume changes (I reached my personal record of 4 in one day this year), and that can get really hectic. I usually reserve evenings for hanging out, karaoke, and easy costumes that I don't have to worry about. It can be a bit much, though, so do so many costume changes, especially if they're really intense costumes.

One thing you can do is reserve one day of the con to not cosplay. Choose a day with programming you want to see, without gatherings for your major series, and where you can walk around and be comfortable, if possible. You can also reserve a half day for this. If you can't stand to not cosplay, you can wear a comfortable and easy costume that doesn't attract tons of attention and walk around in that. This year I did my intense cosplays on Saturday and did a super easy and comfortable cosplay on Sunday and mostly spent the day doing one shoot, a gathering, and then hanging out and walking around con with friends (and then hitting up the hot tub, changing into another fairly easy costume, and hitting up the hotel bar in the evening with a different group of friends), and it was really nice and relaxing to not have to worry about wearing something uncomfortable, or changing multiple times, or running to get from place to place, like I was on Friday (panels) or Saturday (intense cosplays).

I tend to keep schedules because I'm often doing photoshoots, giving panels, attending gatherings, etc., and because I tend to be a pretty organized person to begin with, but that doesn't work for everyone and can often be more tiring. If you see something you really want to attend on the con schedule, be sure to block out that chunk of time where you don't have a photoshoot or a gathering or you wait until after to change, etc.

Really, you need to make choices with what you do with your time at con, and if you are happy doing tons of shoots and gatherings and costume changes, that's fantastic! If you aren't happy, you'll have to reduce the number of costumes or costume changes or shoots and gatherings and find a way to attend the events you want to attend.

Wakako Sorabayashi

I used to maximize attendee and cosplayer activities by trying to engage in as many "attendee activities" (attend panels, browse dealers and artists, attend video showings) as possible, with the rule of thumb that if I was outside of my hotel room, I was in cosplay. I destressed and rested well before Con, allowing me to run off of 3-4.5 hours of sleep per night during the con itself, occasionally pulling all-nighters. I used to spend time in the gaming hall as well, but I'm quite socially introverted, so playing most games with strangers didn't really float my boat. The last time I really operated this way was around 2014, I think?

Over the years, I've been doing less and less of the attendee activities. Trying to over-pack my schedule was inherently stressful, especially when time conflicts between panels and gatherings happened. I still mostly kept up my rule, though, about "always being in cosplay if I was out of my hotel room". New to this year, I sometimes didn't go out in full cosplay if it was late-night and I didn't anticipate people taking photographs.

Still not sure where I'll find my balance, but I really need to find hotel roommates with as much con-fever and flexible sleep schedule as I do.
2011: Mazoku Yusuke Urameshi
2013: Hagiri Kaname
2014: Ruby Rose
2016: Ruby Rose (w/Magnhild), Hatsushimo
2017: Megumin


I always plan half days. 10-3pm in cosplay and then 3-4pm resting in the hotel with the rest of the night in regular clothes. I will alternate the next day:10-3 plainclothes and 4- to whenever in cosplay. You may also want to bring less cosplays or plan a whole day in plain clothes?


For the past few years, I would cosplay on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday where I would be in cosplay when the sun is up and then change out to meet up with "regular" friends for dinner in the evening. Had to sacrifice a lot of events and at-con activities and only had time for the AA and Dealer's on Monday but I don't regret those gatherings and photoshoots.

This year, I decided to only cosplay on Saturday but I realized only cosplaying for one day during Fanime was no fun at all.
(That, and most of the events I wanted to attend were on Saturday so I missed those anyway)

I'm still trying to find a proper balance between cosplay, the con, and my friends who do and don't cosplay.
(And I often forget to account for the extra 1-2 hours of getting into and out of cosplay so that also messes up my schedule. Orz)

Fanime 2017
Eromanga-Sensei | Digimon World: Next Order


A lot of great advice so far!

For the past three years my wife and I have decided to cosplay every day of Fanime after cosplaying for a single day the year before that (2014).  We live about 10 minutes away from the convention center by freeway, so we drive in every morning.  We still head out pretty early to get a good space in our preferred lot as we pack a cooler and go eat lunch at the car Friday - Sunday and then have dinner downtown unless we leave on a day in the late evening.

The majority of our cosplays are based around reasonably standardized garments (jumpsuits, uniforms, specific civilian clothes) as those tend to be the characters we really like.  Convention planning really falls upon what props will be carried on what days.  Each morning we head to peacebonding first thing to get it out of the way, and then I'll sometimes run props back to the car to stash away, especially if we have alternate (daytime / evening) props that we switch out throughout the day, generally when we return to the car to eat lunch.

We plan on doing the most shopping and purchasing on whichever day we're wearing the most mobile cosplay.  For the past two years that's been Saturday while cosplaying as the two SV2 captains from Mobile Police Patlabor.  The cosplay is more or less a formal 1980's Japanese traffic control uniform (which the Patlabor uniforms were designed to be a near-future extension of) so it's easy to get around in and the boots are very comfortable all day.  I also made us some in-universe themed canvas tote bags with logos of the two major corporations in the series, so no matter how much stuff we buy, we still always fit completely in-universe.  I keep saying we'll retire the Patlabor uniforms for a year but I love wearing them WAY too much and we always run into the most awesome vintage anime people while wearing them, like a couple who attended AnimeCon '91 whom we met on Saturday night.

In addition to getting the majority of the "hard shopping" done in the easiest to move around in cosplay with the most minimal props, it also makes it easy to carry a camera (again, in one of those branded tote bags) and be able to have a 'normal' con day.  If there are autograph sessions we're interested in - that's the day to do them if at all possible.

Generally if there are large props involved during a day, it tends to be more low-key or we plan a specific break.  The year we did Densha de Go!, which consists of me wearing a super-deformed bullet train around my mid section, we stored everything in the car for a couple hours one afternoon after lunch and just had a 'normal' con afternoon into the evening, getting dressed again after dinner.  FYI - if you walk around con in business attire (the cosplay involves me dressed as a normal salaryman and my wife looks like a normal office lady without her JR platform conductor blazer and hat) people will ask if you are hotel staff. -_-;;

Splitting the day, as has been said previously by others, tends to work out the best for us regardless.  If you are carrying a large prop, simply putting it in your car or room for a few hours (between two meals for instance) can make a huge difference.  If you don't want to be sans props, think of smaller alternate props you can carry to free yourself up for at least part of the day.  This is also a good time for a footwear swap for a bit during the day, especially if you're going to do a couple hours worth of hall shopping.  For instance my wife changed to tennis shoes after the Sailor Moon gathering this year as we were going to take two of my sisters around the con (their first ever) and knew there would be more walking than usual.  Smart move.

Another planning tip that does well for us is quickly marking in the pocket guide ANYTHING that seems interesting, including anything reasonably interesting in the video rooms.  Of course if there's something specific we want to see or do then that takes priority, but it's nice to be able to see at a glance if there's anything coming up that we were interested in.  Once that's taken care of, we tend to play the rest of the convention fast and loose with no specific plan.  We only do one cosplay a day, so of course your mileage may vary, but these few things keep the convention what it should be - fun.
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Retro Cosplay, Easy As XYZ



1) wear cosplay
2) do whatever you would do if you were not in cosplay

Problem solved.


Thanks everyone,

I think I need to start keeping a schedule. Normally I hate schedule when I'm on "vacation".
Thursday I do not cosplay. Day 0. Reserve for badge pick up, swap meet and meet up with friends.
Friday is a "half day" I normally get ALL my shopping done on Friday because most of the stuff I want later on tend to be sold out. Once shopping is done. Then back to cosplay once all that is done.

Is what i have "planned" so far.
Helghast - Killzone 2
ISA - Killzone 2
Team Rocket - Pokemon
Army of Two