Recently, I was asked this question and I realized how complex the answer was. You can cosplay with your friends or with strangers but either way… it can either be a great experience or it can be a train wreck.
Here are a few things you need to know before you sign yourself up for a group cosplay…
- Accept that people will drop out
Whether it’s because they lost interest or something else came up, people will not be able to finish their cosplays. As a member of a cosplay group, you have to accept that everyone in the group is likely to drop out for whatever reason and you shouldn’t hold it against them. It’s always a bit disappointing but sometimes, it’s best to lack a member than have a member who didn’t want to do a costume and ended up botching it.
- Compromise: the key to success to group cosplay
Several brains is better than one. It also means, several opinions on several ways of doing of part of a cosplay. It’s important to not impose YOUR way and to discuss with your teammates and research what everyone would be comfortable with. If you vehemently disagree, let it be known in a fashion that won’t upset your peers.
Aree at my place, working on our upcoming Love Live cosplays
- Group workshops or work on your own?
One of the fun aspects of group cosplays is that you can work together and get things done faster, especially if your outfits are similar. It not only speeds up the process but it’s also more fun to work with peers. Whenever it’s not possible to work together, make sure you share your notes and updates so that your peers are not only aware the techniques you are using but also feel motivated by your progress.
- Plan WAY AHEAD OF TIME
Every group I have been part of were planned months ahead of time. This might as well be a general cosplay rule but I feel that for cosplay groups it is particularly important since working until the very last minute on a cosplay can add unnecessary tension to the group members.
- COMMUNICATE. COMMUNICATE. COMMUNICATE
Keep in touch with everyone in your group. In all of my groups, we liked to create hidden Facebook groups and keep everyone update as well as converse almost daily regarding our progress. Never leave anyone out of the loop!
- Be a leader… but don’t impose leadership
Be proactive and be a leader; if nothing is happening and no one is making progress, take it upon yourself to organize an outing and go fabric shopping or get together to craft. However, just because you show signs of leadership, that doesn’t make you the leader of the group. No one likes to be bossed around, especially when they are doing something that is meant to be fun. Just because you’re cosplaying the main character, it doesn’t make you the leader of the group!
Overall, just have fun!
Groups can be a lot of fun and they can also be a nightmare. Overall, it all comes down to communication and respecting your group mates. If you take it too seriously and you’re not having fun, maybe a large group isn’t what you need 😉