Saturday, February 11, 2012

Playing the Character

Hey folks! Sorry I haven't updated this blog in awhile, my life has gotten so active at late with college and other things but I will keep updating.

I thought I should focus this post on character portrayal. I think with cosplaying getting really popular and especially with cosplay modelling and photography there is alot of focus on the costume because these cosplayers spend so much time and money making these costumes so they want to get good photos but portraying the character can be forgotten about. As we know cosplay is not about the costume as cosplay means "Costume and play" you are playing around with the costume and to make it more artistic :P cosplay means bringing a fictional character to life to the audience so it is entertainment. Now I am not saying you have to play the character eg many people who cosplay at conventions enjoy walking around in costume being themselves and feel rather silly acting out their character all day and that is fine. This post is more for people who would like to play their character at conventions and for cosplayers who want to get more into modelling as character portrayal is very important when it comes to modelling, the fans need to connect to your photos.



On the Cosplay Ireland forums some ask "how do you play the character?" As a passionate artist says "To play the character you must feel the character inside you." This saying goes for dancers and other forms of performing, I know it sounds very cliche but it is very true! When I started cosplaying, I was very shy and when I started doing shoots it was really awkward as the photographer didn't know much about cosplaying or my character being Rei Ayanami. I just kept doing the generic poses she does in her images and the photographer was getting bored.

What really helped me with playing my character was I didn't just constantly watch footage of Rei in the series and seriously studied her mannerisms, I would look at cosplayers who portrayed Rei really well. I would save their photos onto my computer and study the photo and ask myself, "Why I am I getting a Rei vibe from this image?" "Is it the lighting, her pose?"

What also helps is study your body in front of the mirror and take lots of photos of yourself. Practice your facial expressions and see how their come out. The more time you spend infront of a camera, the less shy you will be! Get a family member or friend to take photos of you in your cosplay and try acting as your character. Even at home or when along in your room, in the bathroom say some lines as your character, acting as them. Well known theatre actors and film actors like Danial Day Lewis do this, when coming up to a play they walk around staying in character. I try do this suttle when coming up to a shoot.



Also fan art images help too! I found image boards really helpful when it came to character portrayal as you can see that you can do out of the box poses which makes it entertaining to the viewer and you don't feel really restricted at shoots. Now when I do a shoot I feel really natural and can let loose yet staying in character. You also have to eat, breed and sleep as the chacter but that comes later on. :)



It just takes practice! Practice makes perfect. When you keep practicing you become a natural.

I hope this was helpful. All this information is from my own experience and if you have questions please ask! No question is stupid. ;)