Do's and Dont's for the Travelling Cosplayer! (featuring Raistlin and Aya!)
With all the excitement and hoo-hah at the onslaught of awesome overseas cosplay events, and having overseas guests grace our shores, it's only natural that one would get inspired to do some travelling too!
But hang on just a moment there! Whether you're intending to make a big trip to another country, or even intending to just hop over to a local convention at a further location, it's best to know what you should and should not do!
We managed to enlist the help of World Cosplay Summit 2012 2nd Place Winners, Raistlin & Aya, to provide some invaluable tips for all you aspiring travelling cosplayers!!
- Respect other cultures
Aya: This might sound like common sense, but one of the best parts of travelling is seeing a new country and experiencing a new culture, so enjoy it! :D Be open to trying out anything and everything there!
Raistlin: But at the same time, remember the basic fact that you are a guest in someone else's home - so it's important to watch your manners. If in doubt of what to do or not to do, always ask someone!
- Bring costumes that are optimal for every situation
Aya: This applies especially if you are an invited guest; bring a light-weight costume!! Make sure your costume is something you can bring easily with you. But at the same time, don't make it something too simple, especially if you are an invited guest - you need your costume to be impressive enough to make an impression after all!
Raistlin: If you are going as a guest, you're going to travel between several places in a day. Prepare at least 1 simpler costume that you can change in and out of quickly and easily - that means NO big gowns, and NO bulky armour!
- Take care of your health
Aya: Make sure you take care of your health and bring whatever medication you think you may need with you! It's not fun getting sick, and it's even less fun trying to find the necessary pills/medicine in a country that might not have English as its main language! D: I brought along my own flu medicine from Singapore not just for convenience, but it's also stuff that I was comfortable with.
Raistlin: Always stay hydrated and drink lots of water, especially in hot countries. Walking around in costume for long periods of time is tiring, and in a climate you might be unfamiliar with, it can be even more taxing (2 cosplayers fainted at WCS for instance!)
- Forget about airport & customs restrictions
Aya: Pack as light as you can, so you can save space for any additional items you may pick up at your trip! Always make sure you watch your luggage weight - the overweight charge is no joke!! D:
Raistlin: Don't forget to double check on the customs rules of the country you are visiting e.g. can you bring metal weapons, etc. You don't want to bring your expensive prop all the way there, only to lose it!
- Neglect your props
Aya: If you are going for a competition, bringing heavy, elaborate props is always a factor! Make sure you ship these separately, and early, for the least stress and most convenience!
Raistlin: Yes, ALWAYS make sure to pack your stuff properly, making it as secured and compact as possible. Everything should go into properly bubbled-wrapped boxes, don't ever take it for granted! My mecha's large sword for instance, was badly damaged in its trip home as I didn't put it in a box, so be mindful.
- Be rude and/or a bother
Aya: Always be willing to listen to the ideas of others and always be respectful. As they always say - you need to respect others before they can respect you!
Raistlin: It's very important to be sensitive and mindful of what you say and do to others. What you might intend to be a "joke", might come across as really rude to another person from a different culture, and you definitely do not want to offend others as an overseas guest. In short, watch what you say; know when to give others their personal space, and always remember - the world doesn't revolve around you! Do all this, and others will certainly respect you for it.
- Compiled by Q