Becoming the character

Students attend to conventions, dress up to celebrate their favorite shows

Fan conventions are places for fans of similar TV shows, books and movies to meet, share interests, discuss theories, study fan-art and buy merchandise. Dressing up as fictional characters, also known as cosplay, is the most common activity at fan conventions. Every year, students join the thousands of fans during conventions. 

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Skel Gracie, far left, cosplays as Rose Quartz from the TV show, “Steven Universe.” Photo provided by Skel Gracie.

“I was cosplaying at a show and me and my friend and we were doing a dip pose, but then I dropped them,” freshman Skel Gracie said. “Onstage. In front of everyone.”  

For Gracie, cosplay is an artistic process.

“I’ll rewatch episodes again and I have to get reference photos if I’m asking someone to help me,” Gracie said. “I make my own costumes, so sewing and thrift shopping and painting [are part of the process].”

The costume construction process is often expensive. According to Freshman Alyks Waring, the more elaborate the character the more the costume costs.


Alyks Waring cosplays as Killua from the anime, “Hunter x Hunter.” Photo provided by Waring.

“Most of the time, I try to use what I already have lying around the house,” Waring said. “If I don’t already have it, I turn to Goodwill for supplies. I try not to spend more than $50 on cosplay, though I know there are some cosplayers who will spend several hundred dollars on cosplay because of their sheer commitment to it.”

Gracie said the more time and money is put into a costume, the more often a character is recognized.

“I was walking through an area and somebody saw me and they yelled the character’s name and was like, ‘you’re beautiful and I love you!’,” Gracie said.

For Gracie, cosplaying has turned her favorite medium of art into a community of friends.

“I felt like part of a community because I’m around other people who like the same things as me,” Gracie said. “It’s a chance to be someone different and dress up and have fun,” Gracie said. “It’s always a good time for cosplayers and other fans who meet them.”

Waring said the secret to a good cosplay is the same as any other form of art.

“Love what you’re doing and have fun!”




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