Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cosplay as a Career?

^Is there really such a thing as Professional Cosplayers?
What does it take to be one, anyway?
And if there is such as thing, would you consider Cosplay as a Career you would like to build?

Before we ponder on some points of this touchy subject, let us define first what a Professional is.
According to Rolf, my handy electronic dictionary (who I always have with me).

The word professional is an adjective.
  1. relating or belonging to a profession > worthy of a professional person, skillful or competent
     2.  engaged in an activity as a paid occupation rather than as an amateur

There really are people who get paid to cosplay, in other countries this is something not new to them. In Japan, I believe there are professional cosplayers like Arisa Mizuhara.

Cosplayers cosplay because they enjoy what they are doing, for some it is a hobby, for some, it is a passion. There are different reasons why people cosplay, what ever your reason is, I'm pretty sure you are enjoying it that's why you are doing it.

I personally think there is nothing wrong in being a professional cosplayer.
Who wouldn't want to be paid doing what they love most, right?
Isn't that how you define a dream job?

But let's face it, not everyone is fortunate enough to have their dream jobs.
There is a high percentage of people who are either unemployed or are underemployed in the Philippines.
Why do people work? Simple, because they want to live. Money doesn't make the world go round but we need it to sustain our needs and our wants.

Intermission for your tired eyes XD So sorry for the long post.

The thing is, if you make cospalying a full time job, would it still be fun?
I'm not sure how things go if you are a professional cosplayer but if you have a boss, wouldn't that boss dictate what you have to cosplay? Wouldn't there be deadlines that you have to meet?
Since it's gonna be work, there's gonna be a high chance that there is also stress and pressures involved, right?
It's work, you can't slack off and do this part of the costume now and the other parts when you feel like it, you would have to say bye-bye to procrastination, no more working at your own pace.

Ok, let's say you still get to choose what you can cosplay. 
So, who's gonna pay for all the necessary items needed for it?

It's ok if you already have the costume but what if you don't?

It's all fine and dandy if the company would answer all the expenses, but what if they wouldn't?
Cosplay is a costly hobby, you can be resourceful to save money but you still have to spend. Wigs, costumes, shoes and lots of other things are NOT cheap.

I don't know about you but if the amount and effort I spent to go as near as perfect for a cosplay is NOT equal or greater to the compensation that I would be getting, I would definitely be NOT happy. I'm talking in terms of work here, if it was for my own personal enjoyment then by golly, if I have to spend then I'll really save up for it!
Come on, guys! Be realistic, you spent that much time, effort and resources only to be given a thank you and a free lunch? 
If you volunteered for it then it would make you feel good at least but if it's a career then it most certainly is not fine, at least for me it isn't.

"I thought jaRoukaSama said there wasn't anything wrong with being professional cosplayer?"

Nothing wrong if you enjoy what you are doing and if you are compensated well for it.

I have been fortunate enough to be invited to a few meet and greets, to some promotions, to be featured in some local TV programs and to cosplay for a photo shoot where I got paid.

Another intermission XD

It was nice, I cosplayed characters that I liked and the pay wasn't bad for a few hours of smiling and having pictures taken. Just so you guys know, some I just got goody bags and gift certificates and very nice free food. Still it was nice because I enjoyed it. Met new friends and bonded with those close to me already.

Come to think of it, am I a professional cosplayer already?! hahahahhahah Nah, I don't think so. But if the pay is gonna be good and it's gonna be something that I will enjoy, if the opportunity presents itself, why not?

In some forums, I have seen people comment that if there was a school for cosplay, they would definitely enroll. I would too, who wouldn't want to be better? hehehehehe But I think they are just joking, crash courses or few classes is ok but a four-year course? That's taking it too far don't you think? XDD

Some things I read sadden me, there was this guy who just graduated and he wanted a job that didn't require him to go to work on weekends because he wanted to go to cons and cosplay.

There are also some students who don't attend class or skip exams even just to go to a convention! *shakes head* 

Some even choose to cosplay instead of going to a family affair!

Cosplay is fun, but don't let it take control of your lives. Family, friends, responsibilities and studies are way more important. Too much of something is bad.

I have duties and responsibilities to my family, I want to travel and buy things that I want. In short, I have my own needs and wants and I have my family and future to think about. If I continue to focus on cosplay alone, will I be able  to live the lifestyle that I want?

Pay for cosplay isn't really that big, you can win competitions but I don't think that's enough to put someone thru College or support a family. Well, unless you are in the big leagues. Which not a lot of us are fortunate enough to be in.

Because of all the things in life that we have to consider, cosplaying as a living especially in the Philippines, is something that you should really think about not seriously involving yourself in. I'm just saying.

Intermission again XD

And another thing, I do not intend to fan flames of hate here but do we really need to classify ourselves as Pros and Amateurs? It only spawns resentment, I think, which isn't good at all. How can we truly enjoy cosplay if the people in it are biting each others' heads off because of this labeling? How do you expect people who do not cosplay (or those outside the community) to appreciate cosplay if we continue to be like this? 

Honestly speaking, cosplayers are looked at as immature geeks and weirdos in costumes. 
Should petty things really get us all hyped up? No wonder people look down on cosplay.

We should seriously get our acts together...
Cosplay should be enjoyed and not be a cause of drama.
Just saying...

As usual, I have to add a disclaimer.

First off, I have been cosplaying for more than 2 years already and these are my opinions on things.
As these are my and only my opinions alone, I am prepared to take full responsibility for the things I have said.
This blog entry was not intended to offend anyone in particular, If my words did offend or hurt anyone, I apologize, that was not my intention.
I only wish to make people think through some stuff, not to intentionally hurt or spread any malice.

Oh and the pictures have nothing to the with the article, they are just there as a break from all the text heheheh

I think that pretty much covers it all.
Thanks so much for reading.
Have a good day, y'all.
Until next time, jaa ne! bye bye! ~♥

thanks for reading!
 jaa! visit me again, ne!
     arigatou! (*^3^)/~


  1. nice post yuu! if that's the case, I am a professional cosplayer as well XDXD I received free foods, actual monetary pay and even movie tickets, but in the end I just enjoyed the experience together with the cosers I was with during those gigs. For me, Professional or not, it doesn't matter. bottomline is not everything is all about cosplay.

  2. Hmm.. so Im not a professional cosplayer. But I'll soon be a professional veterinarian and earn more than those posers! haha! totoo naman..

    anyway, the other day I was thinking if anyone that got paid is a professional.. may professional basurero kaya? just thinking. I dont mean to offend :)

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    Im addicted to giveaways! They dont require you to have many likes :) sali ka din yuu! check my blog :)

  3. Very well said, Yuu! :)
    More than 2 yrs na rin me (may hiatus modes lang hehehe) and I somehow share the same sentiments. ;)

    Keep the insights coming! :)

  4. @devian grey: hear hear! somehow people are getting too caught up in the drama that shouldnt really be paid any attention to, there are more things in life.

    @reika amakura: 1st off, i love your vintage dress. the one you bought online heheheheh

    not really sure about that, but i guess if you make a living out of it, it is considered a profession.

    @chai: parang same time lang dn pla tayo nag start hehehehe thanks, these are just some that i feel is same to share. some arent really worth the bother and some i feel are too touchy, baka may mga tamaan kahit wala naman akong sabihing specific. mahirap na, as much as possible i dont want any drama.

  5. Thanks! XD I will never be a pro anyway since I just cosplay for fun and because it's one way I can be artistic and be a kid again. also it's a MAJOR stress reliever. Being a Pharmacy stud is really a bummer sometimes XD hehehe

    But sad though, people taking this waaaay to seriously. You know m family thinks that cosplay is now a new modeling fad ever since it went mainstream. I'm not pointing names though.

    And some people here think of us as mascots. Well the last time we were invited we werent compensated, so we wandered around the area being "crowd attractors" without pay even refreshments. I don;t really mind on the pay, it's just that nakakapagod talaga

  6. @phira rhysia tyui: glad to hear that you are enjoying your cosplays =) well, you cant really blame your family, best thing to do is just educate them on what it really is, being misinformed really has lots of not so pleasing outcomes. thats horrible! nothing at all? tsk, sayang ang effort nyo. /hugs

  7. Thanks for talking about this xD I've been wanting to talk about stuffs like these for some time but never got around to it.

    Thanks for sharing ^^!